The Strange Woman
Brian D. Dykstra, Teacher in Hope PR Christian School, Walker, MI
*This article was originally written as a devotional for his fellow teachers at Hope CS. It is posted here because of its broader value for our website readers.
Proverbs 2:16-19: “To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.”
In these verses, Solomon continues to teach us from what evils we are preserved when godly wisdom enters our hearts. In the previous verses, we were told from what type of man we are delivered. In these four verses, we read of being preserved from evil women. Young men are taught to what type of woman they are not to be attracted. Our young women have here an example of what type of woman they are not to become.
There is surprising news about this evil woman in verse 17. We learn that she has forsaken the guide of her youth and has forgotten the covenant of her God. This is not what we would read about this woman, if she were of the Philistines or from some other of the surrounding heathen nations. She has not been brought up in the way of idol worship. The god of her younger years was not a convenient excuse for gratifying sinful desires.
She had been brought up in the sphere of the covenant. Jehovah and His law had been her guide in her formative years. She had been taught of God’s covenant. However, because she was not elect, the instruction given did not take root in her heart. When she became old enough, she wickedly forsook the instruction she had been given. The pleasures of a life of sin were what she desired. She must have been the cause of great heartache for her parents, as Samson caused grief for his.
Yet, she is described as being a strange woman. This is not a reference to some personality quirk which makes her unique from all other women you might meet in life. Although she was born and raised in the church, she separated herself from it making herself an alien to those who are truly God’s people. She immersed herself in a way of life which was supposed to be alien to God’s people. She is separated because of her unrighteous living.
She now, out of her hatred for God, His ways and His people, seeks to bring others with her. She does this through flattery. She uses her tongue to make smooth the way to her trap. If she speaks of her love and attraction for a young man, it is not sincere. He is merely a means to satisfy her sinful desires. Perhaps she speaks of how pleasant the experience with her will be. She will assure her victim that everything will be all right. Nobody will find out. There is nobody who will be hurt. Her words are insincere. To listen to her is to begin the sure slide down the slippery slope to self-destruction.
There is only one end when a man becomes involved with her. Her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. Her house does not lead to the infirmary or the hospital. Her path does not bring its travellers to the place of illness or even severe bruising. She will lead to spiritual death. Solomon could speak from experience here. He loved many strange women. He built many temples for idol gods. Solomon’s heart was not perfect as was his father David’s. Solomon is a rare example of one who did escape the destruction of that path. God’s arm can reach to pluck out His own from the fire, but such people seem so few that we read, “None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.”
Proverbs 22:14 tells us, “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.” No wonder the examples of those who escape judgment after once starting along this path are so few.
Our young men need discretion to recognize such women for what they are. It can be a difficult task in our world today. What type of woman is thought of as being desirable? Is modesty a valued virtue? What is thought of a young woman who expresses the desire to be a wife and mother in the home? How cherished is a submissive heart? It is not the look of chastity which radiates from the eyes of the women on the covers of magazines.
Our young women need strength and encouragement in home and school to develop the godly virtues of meekness, sobriety and modesty by the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The opposite of these characteristics is practically screamed at us every day in the media and marketplace.
May God give our students understanding hearts to discern what is truly attractive so that there are covenant homes raising a pure seed in the years remaining until our Lord’s return.