Seduction is not ugly. It is not disgusting. If it was, so many would not be falling for it. Even the strong can lose out if they are not equipped correctly. Proverbs 5:1-6 begins a discussion of seduction and adultery.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
listen well to my words of insight,
that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. (NIV)
Solomon starts out again emphasizing that you need to listen to him. Probably because he had been there before. Some of the best advice comes from veterans. Solomon is passing out wisdom even to us today.
“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey” gets your attention. I love honey so this is telling me that the attention grabber from someone seducing me is usually eye-catching and tickles a desire within me. “Her speech is smoother than oil” – seduction is not usually rough and mean. Most of the time it is subtle – so subtle that you might not even realize it is happening if you are not well guarded against such things. It can begin so innocently that how could anyone say no. But someone full of the correct wisdom and knowledge can pick up on such things almost immediately. God gives discernment to all if we only listen and exercise it.
The beginnings of seduction (and I use seduction more than adultery because many people who are involved in the physical aspect are not married which in a semantics argument can be left out here) is innocent and even strangely beautiful. Solomon warns us though that in the end it turns ugly and very painful. I’ve never known anyone who gave into the temptation to come out of it unscathed. When anyone gets involved in such a relationship, the end results are rarely thought of and when they are the picture is painted much rosier than reality to help alleviate guilt and to help give justification for the acts. It NEVER turns out good. Don’t fool yourself. Giving in has dire consequences. Relationships are ruined. Trust is destroyed. Even physical death has occurred because of one person giving in to the sweetness of the forbidden. One time won’t hurt, right? Wrong! It is deadly on a physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual level.
Many times throughout scripture God uses the analogy of adultery to show how His children betray Him and stray. Many times He described Israel as giving in to the temptations of idols, false religions, security under the guise of treaties and other rulers. When His children decided that the mysterious and unique belief systems of other culture around, were something to try “temporarily” it was adultery of the heart and the soul. They had the best of the best and the only One that could protect them when the worst came around. Yet, one taste of the forbidden couldn’t possibly hurt, right? Say that to the ones who were attacked by armies, their crops burned, their homes and families ripped apart, and the ones forced into exile and slavery that it didn’t hurt. That the forbidden is harmless. It is forbidden for a reason.
I would like to direct you slightly different. You might not have ever been tempted in the sexual manner that is described above in the verses above. But don’t think that these are words of wisdom you don’t need. For one thing, you never know what that kind of temptation and adultery will enter your life or try to pull you apart from your life. But also, you can be seduced in so many other ways. As God used this description to discuss the adultery of religion and leaving Him, you can apply it to the rest of your life: betraying your values or ethics to get a higher paying job, the allure of the internet while your family is needing you, spending more than you make, trying to keep up with the Joneses, following the crowd, a little gossip to fit in. Is it wrong to get a higher paying job? Not really. To get it did you lie? Cheat? Agree to things that go against your beliefs? If any of these were answered yes, then it is wrong. Seduction and adultery can be more than just physical.