Proverbs 5:23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.
Solomon takes this whole chapter warning against the adulteress woman. He first communicates that things aren’t what they seem. Lips that drip with honey actually lead to death. A path that seems fruitful and pleasurable actually is dark, depraved and deadly. A man is to drink from his own well and enjoy the wife of his youth, even when he and she are no longer youths. Solomon describing this now for the second time in the first 5 proverbs tells me that it is both important and relevant to my life.
The wording of sweet as honey, and smoother than oil are used to draw attention to the fact that the adulteress sounds, looks and even feels like a great idea at first. The desire is there. The proposal of a younger, more physically engaging, and sexual woman is one of the most desirable and intoxicating temptations a man will face, regardless of his age or stage of life. The issue isn’t the desire. The difference between a man who walks in purity and a man who fails is not desire. The difference is discipline. Both in vs. 12 and 23, Solomon addresses this subject. Many men try to change their desire, they beg God to change their appetite. But if we take a second to think about what we are asking, we recognize the flaw. If we are always pursuing our desires or what our senses are longing for, we never develop discipline. Maturity is not simply the changing of desires but rather the strength and fortitude to deny ourselves of the desires we have that are not from God or are perverted from God’s original intention. This is maturity; denying ourselves and having he discipline to say no. A few action steps…
1. Be mastered by truth not by my senses. Things aren’t always what they seem, sweet like honey, smooth like oil, doesn’t mean it’s worth tasting or touching.
2. Instead of begging God to change my desires, beg Him instead to mature me in discipline.
3. Drink from my own well. Enough said.
Father thank you for helping me see that it’s not about desire as much as it’s about discipline. My desires will ultimately be shifted and shaped by the maturation process made possible through applying and growing in discipline. My desires don’t change until I actually start saying no.