Playing with Fire
Father, I’m so grateful for the wise teaching of parents and elders. Help me remember their lessons.
Read Proverbs 6:20-35
 My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.  Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck.  When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.  For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life,  keeping you from your neighbor’s wife, from the smooth talk of a wayward woman.  Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.  For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread, but another man’s wife preys on your very life.  Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?  Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?  So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished.  People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving.  Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.  But a man who commits adultery has no sense; whoever does so destroys himself.  Blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will never be wiped away.  For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.  He will not accept any compensation; he will refuse a bribe, however great it is. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat outcomes await the adulterer?
The kind of disgrace that the writer anticipates when the adulterer is exposed seems quaint in our society, so commonplace has adultery become. An “affair” has become part of many marriages, and not to be taken too seriously. There might be some temporary embarrassment, but nothing more serious. Certainly it would not be the social suicide that would have been experienced in the writer’s day. While it is true that, in John’s Gospel, Jesus does not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery (I wonder where the man was?), he does say “Go … and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). Any condemnation we feel towards the adulterer must be tempered by mercy, of course, but we miss the point if we do not understand just how corrosive to the fabric of a society is adultery, and a casual acceptance of it. It is a betrayal that damages many more than the partners in the affair. It is the shame that ensues when we play with fire that preserves us from the folly of infidelity.
Is there a relationship that is too close, or emotionally entangled? Ask Jesus Christ to set the relationship on a godly footing.
Dear Jesus, all of my godly teachers condemned improper relationships. Help me remember that, I pray.