THIS chapter is full of wisdom regarding marriage addressed not only to married couples but to all in the sense that entering into the bliss of marriage includes wise restraint in observing the boundaries God has placed.
For the unmarried, it helps you appreciate that not all people are called to be married, and for those planning to be married, this will give more wisdom before saying “I do”. Let us drive cautiously as we discuss these wise counsels, being in full agreement with Richard foster in that we desire to give guidelines without legalism.
This message comes to you not as a memo from religion but as wisdom from having the fear of the Lord.
Evade (Avoid) ungodly relationships that pollutes your marriage (vv. 1-14)
• Take this issue seriously -- “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; listen carefully to my counsel. (v.1)” This is not just about marriage, it is about the fear of the Lord.
• Discerningly – weigh the evidence of destruction. Discern the chance to detour from this complicated situation. Consider the deception rushing towards you (vv. 3-6)
• Determinedly -- (vv. 7-8) - I can hear the writer shouting with urgency “Listen to me”, “Stay away from her or him”, “Don’t go near the door of her or his house”. The devil succeeds if he can make you think you are exempted because you can evade this trap. May God convict you to really pray Lord, have mercy on me.
• Practically (vv.9-14) consider the long-term and lifelong consequences so as to avoid destruction of:
1. Your honor (v.9)
2. Your Home (v.10)
3. Your Health (v.11)
4. Your Hope (vv.12-14)
“If only I had not ignored all the warnings!” avail of his grace to detour, to be dependent; avail of his grace to face your regrets and accept his invitation to end well.
Enjoy (avail of) the blessings of God’s gift of intimacy in marriage (vv. 15-19)
This is a timely moment to state that God, in His wisdom, warns us to avoid infidelity in the strongest terms, equally, in the most persuasive terms, wants us to enjoy the eros side of marriage...guided by the Agape (Richard Foster) meaning, in the context of the holy covenant of marriage, we are given permission to enjoy and celebrate the bed of marriage. We have the green light from God to enjoy marital intimacy emotionally, physically, spiritually.
• Drink from your own well, share love only with your wife”. Richard Foster says this “Sex outside marriage is wrong because it violates the inner reality of the act; it is wrong because unmarried people thereby engage in a life-uniting act without a life-uniting intent...Intercourse signs and seals and maybe even delivers a life union, and life union means marriage”.