The Word Made Fresh
1My child, listen carefully to my instructions
and try to understand my teachings,
2so that you might hold on to knowledge
and when you speak it will be with wisdom.
3The lips of an immoral woman speak so sweetly.
Her voice is smooth as oil,
4but really, she is never to be trusted
and her words cut like a two-edged sword.
5Her feet lead to the end of life;
follow her steps to the grave.
6She doesn’t walk a straight path
and doesn’t even know she is wandering.
7So, listen, son.
Don’t wander from my instructions.
8Stay away from that woman.
Don’t go near her door.
9If you do, your honor will be taken,
and your years will be wasted.
10Strangers will take off with your wealth
and everything you earn will wind up in the hands of strangers.
11As your life comes to its end,
and your body fails you,
12then you will remember how you hated any kind of discipline
and despised being corrected.
13You will remember how you ignored your teachers
and refused to hear your instructors.
14The public leaders will judge you to be utterly worthless.
15Drink from the freshness of your own spring,
flowing from your own well.
16Don’t scatter your fresh water.
Don’t pour it out in the street.
17Treat it as a precious gift from God,
not as something strangers can help themselves to.
18The wife of your youth is your family’s fountain.
May she be blessed.
19She is a lovely deer, a beautiful flower.
May her embrace always bring you pleasure,
and may you always be satisfied by her love.
20Never let yourself become interested in another woman,
and never become involved with an adulteress woman.
21God sees everything people do,
and God knows every path they take.
22Wicked people are always trapped by their wicked ways.
23They die because they have no discipline.
1-6: This chapter will give you the impression that the greatest danger a young man faces in this world is a “loose woman,” and you might even begin to wonder how the author knows so much about this.
7-14: Nevertheless, the danger is real, not so much from loose women as from loose morals of men and women alike. Loss of honor is the best such a one can expect.
15-23: The author’s advice for avoiding the pitfalls of lust and the devastation caused by adultery and prostitution is to marry and be faithful, because “human ways are under the eyes of the LORD,” and God expects his people to mirror the steadfast love and faithfulness that is God’s way of living in relationships.
Exposure to filth of all kinds in modern western society is nearly impossible to avoid. “Freedom of speech” has become the primary weapon of the young and even adults to use against parents who strive to “train their children in the way they should go.” It is to the outcome of the war against evil that the strength of the family is bound. Don’t surrender to evil. Continue the battle!