Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Battling Seduction From Your Window Instead of On the Streets

“For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice…”  Proverbs 7:6

I do not believe that it is an accident that Solomon’s advice comes from the window instead of on the streets.  Yesterday I noted from Proverbs 7 the path of seduction I also noted that if you find yourself on this path, according to the Proverbs, there is great likelihood that you will end up gutted like a deer in a tree.  That is because the battle against seduction is often won from the window instead of on the streets. 

Though we can find help by looking at 7:11-23 it is not in those verses that the advice is found.  These verses really only tell the story of seduction.  The preceding and concluding verses is where Solomon gives advice.  This story of seduction began before this guy even met up with the seductive woman.  Solomon says here, “Do you want to see an idiot?  It’s that guy that walks next to the harlots house.”

The Idiot’s Cover

My guess is that somewhere along the way this guy has figured out how to “stumble onto” this seduction.  If somebody questioned this guy he could probably say, “she came onto me, yeah I should have said no, but she made it really hard to say no”.  He would be able to give one of those speeches that athletes give when they screw up.  “I would like to formally apologize to the Super Awesome Football Team and all her fans for my foolish actions.  I was wrong.  I made a wrong decision in the heat of the moment and I am sorry for the pain that my actions have caused.  I want to reassure you that this is not who I am.  This is not me.  I made a bad choice.  Please forgive me”. 

All is forgotten.  Homeboy starts catching footballs again, juking out linebackers, and he’s back on the cover of Sports Illustrated even though he shattered a few families just months ago.  And it’s all well and good because we know that we make mistakes and this was just a silly decision he made in the heat of the moment. 

Why “Heat of the Moment” Reveals Character

I have counseled high school students that are devastated and surprised that they messed up in the heat of the moment.  They are shocked that they ended up having sex when all they did was share a sleeping bag together.  But the truth is you can do a gazillion Bible studies on purity and sign your name to a True Love Waits card more times than Justin Bieber has signed posters for 13 year old girls, but if you are a straight dude with a heartbeat sleeping next to a real girl that isn’t your sister there is a pretty good chance you will end up having some form of inappropriate sex.

Then they explain, this isn’t me, man!  You know I studied all about purity.  You know I’ve got my True Love Waits ring.  The problem is, this is you, and you know it.  What happens in the heat of the moment wouldn’t have had the opportunity to happen if you hadn’t planned the night alone in her parents basement.  Yes there is redemption for you and forgiveness and healing, but usually not until you acknowledge that it was you in that sleeping bag. 

That “heat of the moment” actually reveals the battle that waged before you even were on the street.  If you end up alone in the basement, next to a girl in a sleeping bag, or walking outside a brothel, your having been strung up like a deer in some girls dad’s backyard was set in motion long before the “heat of the moment”.  The “heat of the moment” only reveals whether or not you did battle when looking from your window. 

The Battle Isn’t What You Might Think

Though I think True Love Waits has an important place within the church and it is well worth our time to study purity, these are not the primary weapons to be used in this battle.  Solomon calls it “wisdom”.  Those living on the other side of the Cross call it the gospel. 

Unless Christ is precious in your heart you will continue to “stumble on” to the path of seduction.  You will wage a mock war against lust and feel like a victim whenever the harlot ensnares you.  You’ll follow all the rules and set all the guards up to keep you away from these things.  (These are wise.  These are good).  But chances are—especially in our sex-crazed society—you are going to get a Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail, a night alone in a hotel room, or a legitimate seduction that you weren’t even close to pursuing.  Unless you have already done battle “from the window” your probably a dead man. 

How do you do battle “from the window”?  You grow in your affections for Jesus.  You grow in your satisfaction in Jesus.  When your identity is shaped by Him then the harlot’s ploy rings hollow.  When Christ is seen as more valuable than anything else her tricks lose their luster.  When you live in light her empty promise of darkness seems foolish.  It is going to take something bigger than your affection for God to seduce you away from light into darkness.  The more that affection grows the less likely the seduction will prosper. 

Yes, you make yourself aware of the damning consequences of the harlot.  Yes, you acquaint yourself with her seductive patterns.  Yes, you become convinced that the cheeseburger stand away from her house sells just as good of burgers as the one next to her house.  But the best way to battle from the window is by falling more deeply in love with Jesus and the gifts He has already bestowed instead of fixing your eyes on the forbidden. 

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