This week was the second week in our series on the Song of Solomon. Last week we saw into the heart of the young woman featured in the Song. What she was after? How did she feel about herself? How she wasn’t willing to compromise her own character to get what she was after.
This week’s message was directed mostly at men and to make the points needed Jeff stepped out of the Song for just a minute and took at look at Proverbs 5-7. The main point is this – the character of a man is revealed in the type of woman he pursues and the reasons he pursues her.
Proverbs 5-7 paints a good picture for us of what NOT to look for in a woman when it describes what it calls, “the forbidden woman.” Biblically speaking this would be anyone other than your wife (or future wife.) It tells us that she goes for “the look” that guys tend to fall for. Her speech is smooth and flattering. She knows how to press a guys buttons. She is seductive, enticing and cunning. She preys on men who are weak and foolish. She says there will be no consequences for infidelity. But Solomon’s warning to stay away from her could not be stronger. He tells us that going to her leads to death and those who go to her don’t even realize it.
The question is, what else does a seductive woman offering unlimited pleasure with no consequences make you think of? Prostitutes, extramarital affairs and fornication are real problems but the problems don’t stop there. Our culture sells almost everything with sex. From commercials to magazine covers we are inundated with it. And you can hardly read Solomon’s account of the forbidden woman without thinking of pornography. It’s an epidemic in our culture, a 10 billion dollar industry. We spend more on porn than on the NFL, MLB and NBA combined.
Let’s be honest and say that pornography is mostly a male problem, though the statistics on women using pornography increase all the time. In pornography, we find all the lies our culture tells is about sex and women; sex is only physical; there are no consequences to promiscuity; women are to be objectified and used for pleasure and to fulfill an appetite that is identical to needing food. These things are lies from the pit of hell. Sex and sexual sin is so much more than this. 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 tells us that the sexual union is physical, emotional and even spiritual. That it is an act of two becoming one. This is a huge deal. So What men are looking for from the forbidden woman is more than physical, it is spiritual and emotional. Studies show that what men are really looking for in sex is respect, relationship and refuge. Pornography, prostitutes and fornication pretend to offer these things but they can only be found with sex within the context of marriage.
Sex inside of marriage provides everything that God intended sex to provide. We were meant to be naked and unashamed and sex inside of marriage can provide this but it requires vulnerability. Vulnerability in marriage is hard. It involves admitting who you are to yourself. You’ll discover – or your spouse will point out to you – that you are not always right and that in many ways you are “the wrong person.” And instead of defending against that and lashing out about how they are the wrong person too, you have to accept it. For vulnerability and acceptance to really exist, the other person has to forgive you for your sins, which have inevitably affected them. And for it to be really good, both people have to be willing to do this. And it takes a really safe place to do that. And THAT is what sex is meant to be paired with. Men, seek and pursue a woman who understands this. Proverbs 31 describes a woman who is generous, caring, hard-working, optimistic, kind, intelligent, diligent, and dresses classy – a woman of character. He mentions almost nothing about what she looks like.
God designed sex to be the place for a couple to experience outwardly the intimacy and connection that they have committed to inwardly and ultimately sex is a picture of God’s commitment to us and our union with him.