Not Tiger Woods!?! He’s too good, too successful. He’s got too much going his way. His wife is a former Swedish model for crying out loud!
Was there anyone anywhere in his life telling him to stop? Did anyone say, “Hey Tiger, you’d better graze in your own pasture.”?
We live in a world today where all the stops signs have been removed. We are told it’s okay to say “Yes,” where God says, “No.” We are told it’s okay to proceed through places where God has placed stop signs. If we’re not careful, the results can be catastrophic.
The fact is pressing on the accelerator is much more fun than hitting the brakes! But there are times that stopping can be just as important as moving forward.
The book of Proverbs contains some stop signs that are vital for those who seek to master the art of living as God intended. If these signs are ignored, there will be emotional, financial and spiritual destruction in your life.
The stop sign I’m referring to is – NO SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE!
Let me tell you what I know right now….there is someone reading this blog who is engaged in an emotional and/or sexual affair with someone other than your mate. Or as a single adult, you’re involved in a relationship like this outside of marriage. I am not saying this as a judge. I am saying this as one with his own battle scars, and also too many years of pastoring.
Let me tell you something else that I know very well….God is completely aware of every detail of our lives.
Proverbs 5:21 (NASB95) For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He watches all his paths.
Now I may not know the details of your affair, but I am very aware that sexual immorality is a disease of epidemic proportions among both Christians and non-Christians. Just today Tiger has acknowledged that he and his marriage are not perfect and that there has been infidelity on his part. It troubles me to see someone of his status and influence fall. I’m tired of moral casualties.
Solomon had firsthand experience with the devastating effects of immorality. I’m quite sure there was still some water cooler gossip about the circumstances that led to his birth to David and Bathsheba. Now that was an affair for the history books.
You would think we’d learn from history, but like his dad, Solomon too ignored the stop signs and the warnings about grazing in his own pasture.
Solomon wrote about it later:
Ecclesiastes 2:10–11 (NASB95) All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.
11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.
The consequences of his addiction to sexual pleasure is also listed:
1 Kings 11:3–4 (NASB95) He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.
4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
As wise as Solomon was in other things, he ignored his God-given wisdom when it came to sexual temptations. With Tiger’s saga, we’ve learned again of the smart ones, the leaders, the public figures that were brought down by the same stupidity.
Speaking of Solomon, here’s a Proverb that seems to have been written directly to Tiger:
Proverbs 5:8–9 (NLT) Stay away from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!
9 If you do, you will lose your honor and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
Solomon chose not to learn from his father’s mistakes. I pray you and I will learn from both of them.
After the fallout in his own life, Solomon had much to say about sexual sin:
Proverbs 2:10–11, 16–19 (NLT) For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.
11 Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe.
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.
17 She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God.
18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave.
19 The man who visits her is doomed. He will never reach the paths of life.
Proverbs 5:3–5 (NLT) For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil.
4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison, as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.
Proverbs 6:26–27, 32–33 (NLT) For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
27 Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire?
32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.
33 He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased.
I could go on…Solomon said more…but I think you get the idea.
He’s not just addressing married people, but singles as well. He’s talking about all kinds of sexual sins.
Paul made the same warning in the New Testament:
1 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT) Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.
Sexual immorality can seize our imagination and strangle the emotional and spiritual energy of our lives.
How in the world can it happen to a Christian? How can we ever risk our families, our pride, our spiritual well-being like this?
Proverbs gives 5 fatal fallacies in our thinking that leads to sexual sin and adultery.
If you want to avoid a head-on collision with immorality, you need to realize that you are very capable of committing any sin imaginable. Yep, I said it…any sin.
We must remember we have inherited a corrupt nature. Because of Adam’s sin, we naturally crave things that God has marked off limits.
Man is not by nature basically good. Man is by nature a sinner! Our fallen nature, combined with our active opponent, means that none of us are exempt from sexual immorality.
Sexual sin is addictive. Don’t think for one moment that you’re above the law of sin. None of us are. And you don’t just sin a little bit and then stop. Sin leads to more sin!
2 Peter 2:19b (NASB95) ….for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
The rationalization anyone involved in premarital sex, extramarital sex, or pornography, will always gravitate to is, “I can stop any time I want.”
Here’s my definition of rationalize — rational lies!
Do you really believe that you can stop any time you want? Then prove it and stop right now!
The Apostle Paul said, “I will not be mastered by anything.”
Those four words are the most common words that lead to affairs.
Most affairs begin as friendships that fulfill some deep emotional need in one or both parties. We tend to think of affairs as being one-night flings, etc. Like Mickey Gilley used to sing, “The girls all get prettier at closing time.” That’s not the case.
Most affairs don’t begin in the bedroom, they begin in the heart. And they begin with words….
Proverbs 5:3 (NASB95) For the lips of an adulteress drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech;
Dr. Dennis Rainey gives common warning signs of an emotional relationship that easily leads to adultery:
• You’ve got a need for attention, affection or approval that you feel your mate is not meeting and another begins to do so.
• You find it easier to unwind with someone other than your spouse by dissecting the day’s difficulties over lunch, coffee or during a ride home.
• You begin talking about problems you’re having with your spouse to another.
• You rationalize the relationship by saying that surely God wills for you to talk openly and honestly with a fellow-Christian.
• You become defensive about the relationship and protect it.
• You look forward to being with this person more than with your mate.
• You hide the relationship from your mate.
The power of temptation lies in the pleasure of the temptation. Solomon is so adamant against sexual sin because he knows the initial exhilaration it provides. The Bible calls it the “pleasures of sin.”
Solomon never misled people about sex. He acknowledged the lips of the lover are like honey initially, but in the end they’re as bitter as wormwood.
You know, most of us understand the 10 Commandments’ prohibitions against theft or murder. To steal another person’s property or take another person’s life is clearly wrong. But what harm is there if two people, each trapped in a loveless marriage…or two people who aren’t married, bring a little happiness to one another? I mean sex is victimless, right?
The one thing I find interesting is that Solomon doesn’t describe the pain sexual sin brings upon the innocent parties involved. He doesn’t talk about the other spouse or the children. Maybe because, in all his wisdom, he knew how egocentric we all are. So he detailed the effects of sexual sin on the one doing the deed:
Proverbs 6:32 (NASB95) The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.
He says it will destroy you. And then he lays out three costs we need to consider: the physical cost, the financial cost and the emotional cost.
The Physical Cost –
Proverbs 7:21–23 (NLT) So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.
Sexual sin is setting yourself up for all types of physical health problems. Oh and by the way, I know the big thing is practicing safe sex. Friend, your sex is not safe until it passes judgment.
The Financial Cost –
Solomon said you could be reduced to nothing but a loaf of bread if you keep going to prostitutes. I’ve seen people lose jobs, lose half their property, lose their retirement, lose houses, and on and on. Then there’s lawsuits, sexual harassment cases, etc.
There’s a reason why 80% of men and 73% of women report a lower standard of living 10 years after divorce.
The Emotional Cost –
Some say, “I know there are physical risks and financial risks, but to have someone truly love me, I’m willing to take that risk.”
Don’t forget the emotional cost. The anguish of losing children, sleepless nights, working hard to keep the ball of lies rolling.
One study of men, 10 years after divorce, showed that:
33% were intensely angry
50% ended up in divorce again
80% experienced a lower quality of life
Many saw their kids emotionally damaged
50% under age 50 were unhappily remarried
66% over age 50 were unhappily remarried
The only way to experience the sexual and emotional fulfillment we all crave is within the security of a committed, loving marriage partnership! Unfortunately, the wisest man who ever lived had to go through the University of Hard Knocks before he figured it out:
Proverbs 5:18–21 (NKJV) Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love.
20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, And He ponders all his paths.
This last verse underscores the greatest argument against immorality. Don’t make the mistakes of David by confusing God’s mercy with God’s tolerance. Just because judgment doesn’t come immediately, does not mean it won’t come.
The price is just too high. Hey Tiger, you and I need to graze in our own pasture.