The strange woman in the Bible has always fascinated me. Proverbs devotes multiple chapters in warning men of her woes….and only one to the Prov. 31 women. I find it interesting that the Bible says we can’t figure her out (Proverbs 5:6).
“Lest thou shouldest ponder (weigh mentally) her path (manner, well-trodden road) of life, her way (track) are moveable (scatter, to and fro) that thou cannast not know (to properly to ascertain by seeing, comprehend) them. “
I think mainly God doesn’t want us studying the wrong woman, but the right one. Just like the FBI doesn’t have their men study counterfeit bills, they study the right one. Plus, like fire, her ways are so changeable you can’t. She is always going on to the elusive next ‘fix’ where ever it may be. However, since there are so many verses in the Bible about the strange woman I also think God wants us to realize several things about her.
Why? Because the first thing I noticed is the Bible talks about how the young men are “…void of understanding.” (Proverbs 7:7) After looking up the root meaning my summary of this verse is that he is a silly, foolish, seducible son under the age of 20 who has little to no understanding. I assume he hasn’t been taught to beware. Case in point – he was out late, alone, and somewhere he shouldn’t be.
It is our job as mothers to teach our sons what to watch out for and remind them what the consequences will be. Proverbs 5 is full of them: bitterness eating at you like a poison, a disappointing future, discontentment, losing your honor and good name, years of your life with cruel people, bondage, losing all your money to strangers, depression, diseases, and death. One verse even says “…her steps take hold on hell.” While thinking about the consequences I could help but think how some of the consequences sounded an awful lot like prison, losing a job, child support, divorce, STDs, AIDS, and pregnancy. Those are some very heavy consequences, with such high stakes why are we leaving our children’s futures in other’s hands?
We need to make sure our kids have someone watching out for them and keep themselves out of in compromising situations. Are we teaching our kids how to react like Joseph if they find themselves in a compromising situation despite their best efforts? FLEE!
Proverbs 5:8 says, “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:” This verse says to stay far away from her. That they shouldn’t be anywhere near her door. That isn’t what the young man did in Proverbs 7:8 though, “Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:”
So many times, kids ask, “How far is too far?” I have been reading “The Talk” by Jonathan McKee and he gave a great allegory to share with kids:
Fact: Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least six feet away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush. How many of you are going to store your tooth brush just five feet away? It’s only a foot shorter than the dentist recommends. Maybe only a few urine particles will splash onto your toothbrush. How many of you are going to store it right next to the toilet by the toilet paper roll? You could build a little shelf right there. How many of you want to hang it by a string in the toilet bowl so that it is practically rinsed every time you flush?
We need to make sure we are continually encouraging our kids not to see just how close they can get to fire without being burned, but how far they can stay away from it. A lot of the verses talk about ignorant youths falling to the strange woman. Even small boys notice women, so we should be pointing out when our sons are young what to watch for and to our daughters how not to be one.
Second, as a wife, I should want to know what does she does to get his attention. Why? Because as a wife I believe I should be working diligently to keep my husband’s attention. If it works for her, that means men find it desirable. What I have tried to figure out is why so many STRONG men fall by her.
“For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.” (Proverbs 7:26)
At the risk of making a lot of women mad, I believe a good deal of it is because they aren’t getting anything at home. Am I saying it’s not the man’s fault if he goes astray? Absolutely not. He is a grown man, and God places his decisions on his shoulders. However, I made a pact with myself as a bride that if my husband ever did cheat on me, it wasn’t going to be my fault. With that being said, I can assure you that after 14 years of marriage every encounter together does not sizzle, especially with four kids. My husband had some complaints, and we have worked hard together to change things. I think the main point is we need to keep trying to seduce our man. She does, so shouldn’t we work equally hard to keep his attention?
So, I decided to do a study on the things the strange woman does. I wanted to know how to prepare my sons, warn my daughters, and what things draw men so I could work on my own family and marriage. I came up with a list of 16 aspects to consider. Point A will focus on our children, while Point B will focus on ourselves and marriage.
What are some things the strange woman does?
- Dress like a harlot. (Proverbs 7:10)
A. We all know that sex filled images bombard our children everywhere they look. This is a subject that should be easy to bring up with them since it is everywhere. Every family has their own personal standards and I think it is vital that we share with our kids the “why.” When my boys comment that a lady is pretty my husband will ask them why they think that. We also emphasize to our kids how they should be focusing inward beauty instead of physical attractiveness. I have tried to start sharing with them how some things are “good, some things are better, and some things are best.” …including clothes.B. How does this relate to me as a wife? Do I still dress attractively? Men notice what women wear. Don’t let your husband be around nice-looking women all day and come home to yoga pants and bed hair. I believe it is important to try to be attractive to your husband, especially at bedtime since that may be the only time alone with him you get for the day. I bought me some nice pajamas and wear them every night and not just when I’m “in the mood.” I liked it so much that now on my birthday I request new nightclothes just so they never get ratty again, and my husband has something pretty to look at. Go to the mall and try on appealing pajamas until you find one that makes you feel attractive and wear it often.
- Get him at night while he’s tired. (Proverbs 7:9)
A. Rest. This is something our culture is sadly lacking. I think a lot of our energy problems and health issues stem significantly from not getting enough rest. It’s our jobs as mothers to make sure our kids are rested. In fact, when we are tired our defenses are down and our self-control is lacking. The story of the strange women is why it is important for kids to have curfews and yes, even bedtimes. The young man in Proverbs 7:9 was out: “…In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night…” Even as a teenager I was made to go to bed when my parents did. Frankly, it is likely that most kids just get into trouble after 10:00 pm. With possibly little to no supervision, kids today stay up extremely late watching TV, playing on phones, texting. I hope if my children ever get a cell phone that I take the phones up at night. Children probably aren’t going to get the rest they need without us making them; additionally, this includes making sure their schedules aren’t overly full. There are so many opportunities in life, we need to make sure the ones we participate in are what is BEST for them.
B. Even as adults it is difficult to stay strong when we are tired and our self-control is lacking. I know my babies could get me to do about anything at night. We need to make sure rest is a top priority for us and our family. If bedtime is a priority in your family both you and your spouse will have more energy to be intimate plus chances are both of your moods will be better throughout the day because you have had fewer fights since you’re both aren’t as snappy.
- Subtle of heart. (Proverbs 7:10)
A. Subtle means to guard in a bad sense, to conceal, to keep something hidden. We need to warn our sons that women are great at hiding things. Think just of social media alone, how perfect people can make themselves look. We need to warn our kids to know what is important to them in a potential spouse before they start dating. That just because someone is okay with something now, they may be doing it just to get you and won’t after your married.B. Do we hide what we do from our husband? Are we open with him? The Proverbs 31 woman’s husband has “no need of spoil” … in other words, he doesn’t worry about her. Marriage is built on trust, and being subtle is the opposite of that.
- Loud (Proverbs 7:11)
A. My husband always says one of the first things he noticed about me when we first met is that I wasn’t giggly and loud like most girls. He also faithfully reminds me of the one night I got that way after not enough sleep and about lost him. Funny thing is sitcoms and the world teaches girls that this is what guys like and that it’s the only way to get their attention. We also need to remind our sons that if you marry someone who is loud before you say ‘I Do’, chances are she will act the same way when you’re married.B
. If I told you to name me one loud woman, you could probably same a name without blinking…maybe even more than one. Now think about what makes them fit that description. Chances are they are constantly trying to steal the attention from others and redirect it to themselves. They probably are a one-upper, flirt constantly, talk loudly, wear excessive makeup and attention gaining clothes. They will do or say anything to get attention, even if it is the wrong kind of attention. We don’t want to be like that. Proverbs 9:13 says, “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.”
- Stubborn (Proverbs 7:11)
A. Pretty much this means she won’t quit going after him, and she will do whatever it takes to get him. Think of the example in the Bible of Joseph and when his boss, Potiphar’s, wife pursued him relentlessly until he had to run away from her. We need to warn our sons that there are certain women that just won’t take no for an answer.B. We need to be determined too but in a good way. Marriage takes being stubborn and going after our guy even when we don’t feel like it. When my husband is stressed he likes to build what I lovingly refer to as “a wall.” I kid him all the time that I have a hammer and he can just keep laying them bricks because I will just keep smashing them down. I know there are many days that I must work hard to get my husband in a good mood after a particularly stressful day. There are days that I am tired too and would rather just go read a book, but marriage takes grit and determination. We need to have the same mind set of “whatever it takes” to make our marriage work. It might be less time playing on our phones, watching what he wants to watch, less sleep to we have more time with him, doing what it takes to get us in ‘the mood,’ and saying ‘yes’ to sex even if we are tired, etc.
- Not content at home (Proverbs 7:11-12)
A. So many kids want to be anywhere except home, is that our fault though? Are we willing to have their friends over and feed them? Do we make our homes a fun filled atmosphere? Even if we aren’t at our house, are we doing fun things as a family or are they always hanging out with friends? I can honestly say as a teen I liked being home because my Mom and Dad took us fun places and did things with us that we enjoyed.B. So many women today want to be everywhere BUT at home. I love going places, a lot, but I try to show my husband that our home is my first priority. I at least try to be home before him, but I will admit that this is an area I struggle in. We should work harder at not filling up our schedules so we have more time to devote to our home like the Proverbs 31 woman. Are we content with where God has us or do we want more?
- She caught him. (Proverbs 7:13)
A. This seems especially true today. Girls now chase after the guys, instead of guys after the girls. They are bold and use their bodies to get what they want. We need to teach our sons that some girls are just out to conquer him. The more forbidden he seems or unattainable, the more she will chase after him. Girls love to touch guys…the playful slap, rubbing their back, surprise piggy back rides. I think this is one reason the Bible says, “it is GOOD for a man not to touch a woman.” It doesn’t say you can’t, but it can lay the foundation for more.B. How about us as wives? Does my husband know that I want him? Does he know that I like being married to him? Guys sometimes like to be the one pursued – especially in the bedroom. Sometimes I text my husband during the day to let him know I’m thinking of him. Other times if he is at home I might smack his butt or just come up and lay a good kiss on him. Don’t make him beg for sex.
- She kissed him (Proverbs 7:13)
A. I find it interesting that the definition here for kissing is: to catch fire, burn, kindle, to cling to, to delight in, have a desire, to set in love. I think as Mom’s we may not do a good enough job warning our kids about the dangers of kissing. I once read as a teenager that kissing ignites a flame, so I decided that I wouldn’t kiss anyone but my husband. Goodness, I’ll admit it was super hard, but I stayed true to my conviction. I wanted to kiss my husband so bad while we were dating, but I knew that if I did then I would start to focus on other things I would like to do. It’s a progression that I really believe starts with kissing. Am I saying that it’s a sin to kiss a boyfriend? No. I’m just saying it lights a flame that we need to warn our kids about. If it’s a kiss they would be comfortable doing in front of their grandma, they are probably okay.B. I don’t know about you, but I am ashamed to admit there have been many days that I have gone all day without kissing my husband. At first it wasn’t like that; in fact, after no kisses while dating we made up for lost time. However, after 4 kids and my husband working a demanding job, it just became easier and easier to forget. I have tried to do better after reading that one of the characteristics all marriages that lasted have versus ones that have divorced is that the couples kissed longer than 30 seconds a day. I guess it’s hard to stay upset with someone you’re making out with. Try it. Well, don’t let your husband know you’re going “One Mississippi…Two Mississippi…”, but you’ll be surprised how long 30 seconds is and how it does make you feel closer and notice each other.
I didn’t want to make this post too long so stay tuned next week and I will conclude the final points!