26 My son, give me your heart
and let your eyes delight in my ways,
27 for an adulterous woman is a deep pit,
and a wayward wife is a narrow well.
28 Like a bandit she lies in wait
and multiplies the unfaithful among men.
If the faithful are shy about discussing sex, they certainly didn’t get it from Proverbs. Here we begin with an important insight: we need not let our hearts and eyes guide us. Temptation is often strongest in moments of boredom, and sexual temptation is no exception. If we commit our affections to the Lord, and delight ourselves with his ways, we have less attention to pay to temptation. Where the world says “follow your heart,” wisdom tells us to “set your heart on the right path.”
“For an adulterous woman is a deep pit, and a wayward wife is a narrow well.” What begins with casual sex may feel like falling in love, but in reality it is falling into a pit. The binds of intimacy which strengthen a marriage are chains to the adulterer, who can break them? The wayward woman may promise deep satisfaction, but make her your wife and your thirst will be subjected to frustration. How many have been trapped by the lies of sexual freedom?
“Like a bandit she lies in wait and multiplies the unfaithful among men.” Casual sex may be romanticized in our culture, but the truth is the same now as it was when these verses were written. Like all traps it is easy to fall in to and nearly impossible to get out of. Here we are given the image of an ambush, the wayward woman “lies in wait” for her victims. Those who fall prey to her are not only trapped, they are also rendered unfaithful. As Aldous Huxley remarked: “For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom.”