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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How Far Are You Willing to Go?

In the book of Proverbs, there are two key chapters for girls to read.  Everyone knows Proverbs 31; the Biblical example of what a godly woman looks like (which honestly is pretty scary sounding).  There are women's devotionals devoted to this book.  The other is Proverbs 7.  This is the exact opposite of the godly woman.  This is who we need to be teaching our daughters not to become.

This is the chapter devoted to the adulterous woman, the lady who waits until her husband is on a business trip before she goes out on the town and find some poor, naive guy to seduce with her eyes and her voice.  And probably her body too but we aren't going to focus on that detail.

In order to reach my point, a little context is needed.  The writer is saying he saw a simple, stupid youth walked in the direction of the adulterous woman's house.  Then she came out, "dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent".  I don't even want to know what that means.  Because I'm pretty sure she wasn't coming out to the street to scrapbook.  She grabs a hold of the simpleton, kisses him and "with a brazen face", she says in verse 14 "Today I have fulfilled my vows and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.  So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you!"

Now, can you find what's wrong with this picture?  There's more than one wacky part to this whole spiel she gives.  First of all, she says "So I came out to meet you".  Does anyone else find this minorly creepy?  This woman has food ready and comes out to meet this guy in the dead of night (that was a part of the context I failed to mention previously).  We have no idea if they knew each other previously, if they'd planned this meeting ahead of time or not, or if this crazy lady makes it a habit to dress provocatively and stand at the corner of her street to entice random guys who look like idiots (or drunks) to share fellowship offering leftovers.  And other things...

But secondly, and this is what gets me every time I read this passage, she says "Today I have fulfilled my vows".  Whoop, she fulfilled her vows, so now she can do whatever the heck she wants.  Hey, she even gave a fellowship offering and has the leftovers sitting on the kitchen table, getting cold.  Why don't you come and enjoy them, and have some fun cuddly snuggle time too.  Because why not?  She fulfilled her vows.  She's done being the good wife for the day; her duty is done.  Over.  Clocked out.  Signed, sealed, delivered to the boss man to review and now she's yours.

But that's not how it works.  

From what I understand about marriage from my parents (because I'm obviously not married), it's not a check list thing.  You don't go down the page, putting an "x" in the box when you get something done.  Made the bed today; that's done.  Went to work to make money; that's done.  Told my husband about the doctor visit I had yesterday; done.  Made dinner for the family; snap it's done.  Yeah, those are all good things and very important, but it's not a series of homework assignments that as soon as they're done, you can go off the clock and play.

We run into the same conflict in our Christian walk.  We tend to mark off the list that we had quiet time and wrote deep thoughts in a journal.  I prayed today for longer than five minutes so that's done.  Now I can go off and do my own thing.  NO!  Pause, rewind, and back up.  Stop that.  We weren't saved by grace to just "go through the motions".  We were saved by grace to live a radically different lifestyle.  The thing is, going through the motions is the easy part.  That's why we give into simply fulfilling our vows: it's easy.

When we live that way, people will begin to doubt who our hearts truly belong to.  The hard part of Christianity is putting in above and beyond what your expectations are.  I'm human.  My expectations for myself in Christ is pretty lame compared to His.  I'm excited when I sit down with a couple verses and pick them apart for you guys.  But He wants, no, He demands so much more.  He demands my life.  That means I can't just fulfill my vows for the day and move on.  That means I can't fulfill my vows because they take all of me every single day.  That's the life I want to live.  No, it doesn't sound fun.  But who said following Christ would be fun?  But it will be worth it.

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