In this last part of the series in my Proverbs commentary, I will layout practical steps to take to overcome adultery and fornication.
In the last three parts of this series we learned how to perceive a harlot, the consequences for getting involved with her, and what actually happens when you have sex. In this last part, we’ll learn how to overcome fornication. Proverbs 5 ends with some very good advice for married, and future married, men of God.
Let’s get into it.
Tip 1: Be faithful and satisfied
You should be faithful to your wife, just as you take water from your own well. And don’t be like a stream from which just any woman may take a drink. (vs 15-16 CEV).
Only have sex with your own wife. Only your wife can take from your “river” because she’s in covenant with you. Notice the wording: “don’t be a stream for any woman to take a drink.” Because an adulteress has not made a commitment to you, when you cheat with her, she only takes from you (time, finances, and your soul) and contributes nothing in return.
Your wife, on the other hand, has made a commitment to stay by your side. Therefore, when you give yourself to her, you lose nothing but rather gain a return because your wife has made a commitment to stick with you, invest in you, but most importantly, to be your helper until death (Gen 2:18). A whore doesn’t fulfill these responsibilities, nor has she made any such commitment. Remember your marriage vows.
Tip 2: Stay a virgin
Save yourself for your wife
and don’t have sex with other women (vs 17 CEV).
As single men of God, we should keep our virginity, or remain celibate until marriage. We should be thinking about the purity of our bodies and souls. You should want to be a clean vessel, not polluted by all these other women. You shouldn’t want to bring that kind of baggage into your marriage. No other woman should be able to say, “I know you” in an intimate way. Guys often want virgins, but have not kept their own virginity.
Even though virginity has become rare, and a term equating to immaturity and naivety, I thank God for keeping me a virgin. There’s been times when I almost fell, but it’s only by the grace of God that I didn’t join myself to some harlot. The benefits I’ve experienced include:
- No woman knows me in an “intimate” way
- No soul ties to anyone
- No broken hearts and callouses on my soul
- No children that I might not know about
- No children that I do know about, but don’t want
- No old girlfriends
- No old girlfriends in my head
- No worries about STDs
- No concerns about my penis size
- No sexual pressures to perform
- No shame about not being able to sexually perform
- No pride from being able to sexually perform well
- No need to chase after women because of an insatiable lust caused by fornication
I was belittled by Christian men and women because of my virginity. These were really worldly people pretending to be Christians. No real Christian would do such a thing to another brother in the Lord. In hindsight, they were jealous because I had something they could never get back. On top of that, my lifestyle exposed their sin.
To all the men of God who are keeping themselves pure: let those whores and whore-mongers laugh and talk. Let them call evil good, and good evil – woe unto them (Isaiah 5:20). Those people have polluted their bodies and want you to become as them. Misery loves company. But the lake of fire will be these sinner’s final destination unless they repent (Jude 1:7-8). The Lord has a blessing for all those who keep themselves from fornication.
Virginity until marriage is the norm in the kingdom of God. Fornication is the crazy, erratic and damaging way of the devil. The body was made to join with one person of the opposite sex, and with one Spirit – God’s.
Tip 3: Pick an attractive wife
As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love (vs 19 NKJV).
She is beautiful and graceful, just like a deer; you should be attracted to her and stay deeply in love (vs 19 CEV).
Getting your sexual satisfaction from her (and only her) will keep you from straying and bring much joy. The KJV says to be enraptured with her love. Enraptured means: To move or excite greatly: carry away, captivate, to delight in completely.
I would also say that this just doesn’t include the sex, but every part of her: beauty, personality and character.
The Contemporary English Version says: “you should be attracted to her”. I like this translation too because it makes it plain that, along with an attractive personality and godly character (as described in Proverbs 31), she should be pleasing to the eyes.
Often times, people say that a virtuous woman doesn’t have to be beautiful. I can accept this if they mean: “pretty” or “beautiful” by the world’s standards. But again, this proverb is saying, “You should be attracted to her.” If you don’t marry a woman you are attracted to, it will be difficult staying faithful to her. Your eyes will wander. You won’t be satisfied, and you may become resentful.
It’s like going to the store to by a item you seen online, for instance, a metallic colored widget. But you get to the store and all they have are plain blue widgets. You really wanted the metallic widget because of its color, shape and features, but you settled for the plain blue widget instead. When you get home, you’re not excited, nor satisfied with the widget you bought. If the metallic widget comes back in stock, you might just exchange it.
But you can’t do this with a woman, that would be terrible! And that’s similar to what Jacob did to his first wife, Leah. He really wanted Rachel, her younger and prettier sister (Gen 29:16-17), but he got tricked by his uncle Laban to marry Leah first, the older, less attractive sister he didn’t want. Jacob kept Leah, worked another seven years, and finally got Rachel.
Now Jacob had two wives – the blue widget and the metallic widget he always wanted. Guess who he loved the most: Rachel (Gen 29:28). Guess how Leah felt: unloved, second best and awful (read Genesis 29). Marrying someone you really aren’t attracted to has nasty consequences for both people.
This may be common sense to some, but some guys settle for a “5” when they really wanted a “10”. There are three reasons behind this:
- Some men are intimidated by the beauty of a woman. They have allowed fear and rejection to hinder them from going for that number 10. The remedy for this is: to rebuke the spirit of fear. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). It’s ungodly to be intimidated by a woman – she’s just a woman, not a goddess. And even if she was a goddess, we must fear the god with the big “G” – the Lord God Almighty.
- Some men have a low opinion of themselves in which they feel they don’t deserve a “fine” woman, so they go for less than what they really want – I was like this. I chose women who were decent, but not 100% what I wanted. The Lord showed me the issues I had. The remedy for this was to renew my mind in Christ.
- By culture, some men were raised to pick from the local church, group or region, but nothing outside of it. But if all the options are unattractive, what do you do? Do you just settle? You better not. The remedy for this: think outside the box and understand that God is bigger than your circle. Allow the Lord to lead you to someone, and forget about the traditional confines of a church group or region.
I don’t believe we need to marry a godly woman at the expense of beauty. If we allow the Lord to help us find a marriage partner, he will bring us someone who has our same nature, who loves him, is best for us, and who we are attracted to. Anything else, and it wouldn’t be fair to her or ourselves; and it could lead to resentment, discontentment and possibly adultery.
Tip 4: Keep immoral women in perspective
Don’t go crazy over a woman who is unfaithful to her own husband! (vs 20 CEV)
Some whores are married. The bible calls out what an adulteress is: an unfaithful woman who’s broken her vows to her husband. That explanation may sound obvious, but when lust has a hold of a man’s mind, he can’t think straight, and he doesn’t see the woman for what she really is. It’s as if he’s crazy, and in some ways, he is.
His mind is going in circles from the nasty, text messages she sent him. His mind is inundated with her beautiful face and body. He’s crazy about her. But he needs to understand that this is another man’s wife. To take a step back, and think soberly for a minute would put this kind of woman into perspective. If you meditate on this verse, it puts these questions into your mind:
- If this woman was my wife, would I want some other man lusting after her in this way?
- What if my wife was like that? What if she was cheating on me behind my back, how would I feel about her?
- Another thought would be: this woman is a liar, a manipulator, unfaithful, disrespectful and a whore. Why would I want to be with someone like that? If she’s treating her husband like that, how will she treat me?
The proverb tells us that we should always keep people, especially beautiful harlots, in perspective. We shouldn’t allow a whore’s outer appearance to cloud our minds, and prevent us from seeing her for what she really is – evil.
Tip 5: Overcoming the problem: Lust
The LORD sees everything, and he watches us closely. Sinners are trapped and caught by their own evil deeds. They get lost and die because of their foolishness and lack of self-control (vs 21-23 CEV).
You can’t hid your sin from the Lord. The Lord sees all. The proverb finally says, “They get lost and die because of their foolishness and lack of self-control.” They made dumb choices, they didn’t listen to wisdom, but most importantly, the key to their deaths was the lack of self-control.
Lust weakens the ability to control one’s self. It clouds the judgment and makes us do the things we shouldn’t. It makes us foolish. To avoid fornication and adultery, we must tackle lust. Lust is part of the problem.
Lust is like a dog, if you feed it, it will stay alive, if you don’t, it won’t. So here are some ways to kill lust. In my own experience, these have worked for me and I know they can work for you.
- Make the decision to overcome lust and fornication.
- Confess you have a problem.
- Acknowledge and agree with God that this is wrong and repent
- Pray to God for his power, through the holy spirit, to overcome this sin. You cannot overcome sin without God (John 15:5)
- Cut off all sensual and sexual media out of your life: movies, comic books, novels, articles, blogs, jokes, TV shows, especially porn (duh), sensual poetry, and music.
- Stay away from fornicators, whether they be men or women, Christian or not. Don’t even eat with them (1 Cor 5:11,13 CEV). Break off all sexual relationships with people you’re not married to, including “cyber relationships”.
- When you go out in public, rather than staring at a woman’s body, look at her face, or keep your eyes on something else. If you need to, for a season, don’t go to the mall, or those places that cause your mind to wander.
- Fast from food for a period of time to starve the flesh’s ability to lust.
- Rebuke the spirit (demon) of lust in the fasting period, telling it to “Get out and return no more, in the name of Jesus!”
- If you know this is a season where you are to be single, stop thinking about a wife. Don’t fantasize and daydream about your future spouse, if it leads you to lust.
- Meditate on the scriptures throughout this article series instead of thinking about women.
I say that lust is part of the problem because there are often other issues like loneliness, discontentment, generational curses, depression, emptiness, no purpose, no identity and abuse that lead men to use sex, porn or masturbation as a way of dealing with their deeper issues. As you overcome fornication, ask the Lord what the root issue is, and he will work it out. Only with the Lord’s help can you be entirely free. Also know that he was also tempted in these areas, so he understands us:
For we do not have a High Priest [Jesus] who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15).
More about lust
I used to struggle with lust that would led to masturbation and pornography, but now I’m free and I refuse to go back again. After a while, I began to understand how wicked and stupid it was. Lust makes you think that if you fulfill this or that desire, you’ll be satisfied, but before you know it, you’re thirsty again – and the thirst gets worse.
Lust is insatiable. You will never find fulfillment when you’re full of lust. Lust is like being trapped in a desert with no water, and no way to quench your thirst. I hated that feeling. I hated when my mind would go in circles over a woman. I hated being out of control. I now say to myself, “why waist mental energy on someone who isn’t my wife, or may not even care about the kingdom of God?”
Lust is selfish, it only seeks to please itself. I no longer accept a woman who lusts after me as a compliment. She may like my appearance, but her underlining motive is selfish. Therefore, she really doesn’t like me, there is no respect coming from her. She cares nothing for me and definitely doesn’t love me (according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Contrary to what some believe, selfishness is actually the opposite of love, not hate. Selfishness is why Lucifer became Satan and the reason for the world’s condition today. Selfishness leads to destruction and so does lust.
Be born again
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
I can talk about STDs, soul fragmentation, spiritual pain, a broken relationship with God, drama with women, babies out of wedlock, loss of finances, a broken marriage, and all the consequences of fornication and adultery, but it won’t stop you doing the “do” if you’re a sinner. You need to be born again (here’s how).
Only with the nature of God in you, can you begin to combat the evil flesh inside. The spirit man (or new man) doesn’t want to sin because he’s just like God – he’s the child of God. The old nature (the evil in you) is the child of Satan – he can’t wait to sin.
Many so-called Christians can’t and don’t want to overcome sin because it’s in their nature, and there is no spirit of God dwelling in them to make a protest. These scriptures say it all:
- 1 John 2:29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.
- 1 John 3:9 – Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
- 1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
- 1 John 5:4 – For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
- 1 John 5:18 – We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
Once again, as stated in Proverbs study 4:14-19, the difference between a child of God and a devil baby is that God’s child doesn’t want to sin. He may fall at times, but he’s maturing and overcoming sin day by day – he does not like sin, nor does he practice it. A devil baby continues in sin, has no repentance, cares nothing about living holy, and has every excuse in the book as to why he can’t follow Jesus and obey him.
Be washed clean
To all those who’ve committed fornication: the Lord can heal and restore your soul without a problem. All he needs you to do is renounce all affiliations with those you’ve joined yourself to. Confess, and repent of the sin of lust and fornication, and you can be made clean and new through the blood of Jesus (Psalm 51:7, 1 John 1:9).
What does the blood do? It washes. What is the blood? It’s the perfect soul of Jesus. The bible says, Jesus “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12 KJV) – what was poured out was his blood. Therefore, his soul was in his physical blood. When the righteous blood (soul) of Jesus comes in contact with your dirty, fragmented soul, it makes it whole. His perfect soul fixes our broken ones. My prayer: Continue to wash me in your blood Jesus! Fix me with your perfect soul!