Secrets of the Heart

the heart

I was introduced to a woman in bible study the other day; she seemed nice and I was happy to meet her. She’s married, keeps herself well cared for, attends church faithfully, and is always out and about in the city.

I found out, from someone who has spent time watching her, that what is seen on the surface isn’t the way she lives her private life. While she may offer sacrifices in the temple, she also lures and entices men into her home while her husband is away. She’s loud, aggressive, manipulative and nagging. She dresses as a prostitute to aid in her cause of catching the eye of men. She doesn’t care for her home and responsibilities because she’s out in the city, stalking her prey. What appeared on the surface to be a fine, religious, married woman turned out to be a very dangerous woman.

I met this woman in Proverbs 7. 

Speaking to my friends about her, we didn’t feel as though we might become this woman. We don’t see ourselves dressing the part of a prostitute and luring men into our home. This isn’t a temptation for us. The thing we discussed was not the final result of how she turned out, but the issues of the heart, the issues of the mind and character that brought her to this place.

We would never lure a man, but it’s so very easy to respond when a man is friendly. The attention, the smiles, the compliments, they’re all very innocent on the surface, but what’s going on inside? This slippery slope of unfaithfulness is easy to slide down if we’re not keeping our hearts and minds in check. These innocent flirtations are what make up the disaster, ugliness and pain that can result in families, marriages and lives torn apart.

Read about the consequences to the women of Zion:

The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet,
therefore the Lord will strike with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
and instead of a belt, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth;
and branding instead of beauty.
Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle.
And her gates shall lament and mourn;
empty, she shall sit on the ground. (Isaiah 3:16-26, ESV)

I think we would do well, women, to remain modest in our interactions with men and continually check the motives for our actions. Too often, the warnings are given only to married men to remain pure and holy, I believe we would be foolish to not heed the same warnings.

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-12, ESV)

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