Winning the Battle for the Home, Part 2
A Study from Proverbs Chapter Five
You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28.
We began last month with the observation that (at that time) three recent high-profile events involving infidelity had made national headlines, reminding us afresh of how Satan has the home under constant attack.
But almost before Part 1 of this study appeared on line, yet another scandal broke. For three weeks it seemed the sordid saga would never move off the front page. Late night comedians went into overdrive. Again we saw how quickly a seemingly solid home and relationship can shatter under the impact of unfaithfulness. Lives, careers, and reputations are ruined. To quote the nursery rhyme, “All the king’s horse and all the king’s men” cannot put these relationships together again the way they were before a broken covenant.
In Christ we know no situation is hopeless when both parties are completely surrendered to the will of God, but even then it will be tough sledding on an uphill path. Our memories, unlike a dry erase board, cannot be wiped clean. How much better for everyone—especially innocent children—if the covenant remains unbroken with never a breach of faithfulness! This is the goal of the June and July studies, drawing upon Proverbs 5 and the message “Winning the Battle for the Home”…to alert believers to the posted warning signs so we steer our homes far away from tragedy.
Last month we began with two important guidelines from Proverbs 5 for maintaining your home’s—and your—integrity. If you missed last month’s study, click back to our recent “Digging Deeper” archives. We referenced Five Factors that will help you build a strong family.
The first two were The Instruction Factor—having the Word of God instruct us in making the right choices—and The Deception Factor, exposing the deceptive tools Satan will employ to destroy your home. We looked at Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.”
Now that we’ve been instructed and we’ve moved Satan’s influences out, what should we do next?
The Infusion Factor
If you empty out one place, something’s going to fill it, for all nature abhors a vacuum. What will you fill your life with when Satan has been moved out?
- Fill your mind with Scripture. Commit to memory Psalm 119:9-11.
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word. With my whole heart I have sought You. Oh let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.
- Spend time with the Lord before your day begins. Nothing will offer you better protection from immorality.
- Turn to the Psalms and fill in some key words to see a pattern developing.:
Psalm 5:3—My voice You shall hear in the ______________,O LORD; In the ______________ I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
Psalm 5:17—______________ and ______________ and ______________I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.
Psalm 59:17—But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the ______________.
Psalm 119:147—I rise before the dawning of the ______________, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
Morning is not the only time you can have a “quiet time.” But a soldier suits up in the morning before he enters the day’s battle. We are at war with a very real enemy. You must spend time with the Lord, putting on the armor. Search for godly wisdom, then become aware of Satan's deceit and how you can protect yourself
The Protection Factor
"Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house." Proverbs 5:7‑8
Those who study human and even animal behavior tell us that if we’re confronted by imminent danger, one of two instincts will take over:
FIGHT or FLIGHT
In the area of sexual temptation you are to choose FLIGHT.
Sexually immorality is not a sin we are called to fight; it's a sin we are called to flee. We’re not even to enjoin the battle! We’re to saturate the battleground with our absence. Turn to Genesis 39 and read verses 6-12. At first, when tempted by Potiphar’s wife, how did Joseph try to handle it? ____________________
Finally, what did he do?
But he left his garment in her hand, and ______ and _______outside.
Avoid dangerous situations. Paul told Timothy (2 Tim. 2:22) and the Corinthians (1 Cor. 6:18) to “flee also youthful lusts.”
Solomon warns us not to go near the doorway of sin….
"…Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger." Proverbs 5:9-10
Stay away from temptation’s door.
What does “temptation’s door” look like?
Would it surprise you to learn that Satan’s door will not look uninviting? It will not look battered and run down. The paint will not be chipping or peeling off. Instead, it will be an attractive, inviting, appealing door—an innocent-looking door. How else would Satan entrap you?
Temptation’s door may be painted different colors, but the warning signs posted before you get there are universal. You may want to adopt some guidelines like these for yourself and set them in place before you’re confronted by any of these situations:
- Don't visit the opposite sex alone in their home, not even on a “ministry visit.”
- Don't go to lunch with the opposite sex alone.
- Never discuss problems related to sex—either yours, theirs, or someone else’s—alone with a member of the opposite sex.
- Don’t say cute things or flirt. If you are married, flirt only with your spouse.
- Don’t be the “shoulder to cry on” or the sounding board to a member of the opposite sex having marriage problems.
- Don’t counsel alone in your office. Many a wise, godly counselor has established this rule: When talking with the opposite sex, their office door to will remain ajar.
Give temptation a wide berth. And don’t think, “It could never happen to me.”
Therefore let him who thinks he ____________ take heed lest he ________.
1 Corinthians 10:12
To review, what is The Protection Factor? FLEE.
The Destruction Factor
Sin has consequences. You may think you can sin and no one will know, but God knows. David thought no one but he and Bathsheba knew, and that he had gotten away with it. Sin may seem to pay the dividend of pleasure, but it costs far too much.
Sexual sin puts people into bondage. Every act binds you like links in a chain forged on the anvil of lust, tempered by the bellows of a hard heart.
Sin ends in destruction. Solomon ends his advice in Proverbs 5 with the words,
"He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his __________ he shall go ____________" (v. 23).
The warm flame of lust leads to the fiery flame of hell. You cannot live this way and strut into heaven.
Turn to the following passages and fill and fill in some key words.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the ___________________ will not______________ the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither ___________________, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
- Matthew 13:41 “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather_______ of His kingdom all things that _____________, and ________ who practice lawlessness.
- ! John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we _______ and do not ________________ the ___________.”
If you struggle in this area—if you have a sexual addiction, if you are into internet pornography or other forms of entrapping behavior, do not go through this study in despair. There is freedom for you from the bondage of sexual sin. Your pastor or a trained Christian counselor can connect you with resources that will walk you through the steps that will bring you liberty.
If you are only playing around the doorway of such an addiction, I beg you to flee now, before consequences are unleashed that cannot be “stuffed back into the bottle.”
The Law of the Harvest
Do you remember how the “Law of the Harvest” works?
We always reap what we sow …
more than we sow…
later than we sow.
Remember David’s infant son who perished as a result of his father’s sin? Have you ever stopped to think that one day, probably at a young age, Solomon found out he had an older brother in heaven? Have you ever wondered, had he not perished, what this older brother might have been like if the circumstances of his birth had been different? We cannot know, but he might have been an even greater King than Solomon. We do know that David’s indiscretions brought havoc into his home and ruin into the lives of his children.
Think about it, men and women. What do you want your legacy to be? Will the generation that follows you be blessed or cursed by the choices you’re making today?
Turn back to Proverbs 5 and read verses 9-14.
List at least 5 consequences that will result from this sin:
What would you say to a person who claimed, “I’ve seen a lot of sex-oriented movies and magazines, and they’ve never affected me”? ______________________
Lastly, there is…
The Intention Factor—God’s Great Intention for Your Home
God's intention is that yours should be a lasting, loving marriage.
"Let your fountain be blessed, And ______________ with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be ___________________ with her love.” Proverbs 5:18
Don't think that by living according to God's laws you're going to miss out. You'll miss out if you live according to the world's standards. You'll never know fulfillment and joy until you obey His Word.
The Lord isn't trying to keep sex from you. He's trying to keep sex for you. That's why He calls us to flee fornication. He wants you to have something much greater: a happy marriage.
Lastly, turn to Psalm 128. I can think of no better way to end this two-part study than to meditate upon one of the most beautiful portraits in Scripture of the godly home. Visualize yourself in this portrait:
“O blessed are those who fear the Lord
and walk in His ways.
By the labor of your hands you shall eat.
You will be happy and prosper.
Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house,
Your children like shoots of the olive
around your table.
Indeed thus shall be blessed,
the man who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion
all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children
in a happy Jerusalem.
Which do you want more…this legacy, this home, or satisfying the desire of the moment?
Keep yourself pure. God has something wonderful in store for you!