Proverbs 2:19 "None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life."
Because of our social nature, people are typically the most influential factors in our lives. From birth, we are shaped and molded by people – a process that continues throughout our lives. Who we choose to associate with is one of the greatest factors to our success or failure. There are some people that will have little to no impact on us and then there are others who will have a substantial impact on us. Some will have a positive impact on us and some will have a negative impact on us. The reason wisdom is so critical to a person, a young person especially, is because it offers the discretion necessary to avoid the type of person that will have an addictive impact on us. The strange woman in the text is one such person. Solomon describes her home as a home without exits. He tells his son that her guests never return from whence they came.
It isn’t just a person who has an addictive impact on us that we are to avoid, it is the person whose addictive impact keeps us from the paths of righteousness. People who draw us away from God will ultimately keep us from God. People who steal our heart from God will steal our future and our spiritual success. The young man who thinks he can experiment with a romantic relationship with a godless woman is a man void of wisdom. The young woman who thinks she can try a romantic relationship with an ungodly man is a woman without discretion. The person that makes it hard for us to choose God over them is a dangerous person. The person that makes it hard for us to choose church attendance over them is a person to be avoided. The person that makes it difficult for us to choose serving God over them is a threat to our spiritual well-being. If you can’t break away from a spiritually compromising relationship, then you are involved in an addictive relationship. If you can’t walk away from a relationship with a person who has little to no interest in God, then you are involved with an addictive person.
The path that Solomon wanted his son to take was a path that he knew his son needed to stay on if he was to succeed. The path of righteousness is a path that is rarely re-entered once it is exited. Based on verse 17, this was the case with the strange woman. While there are certainly exceptions, most who choose to leave the “high” way never return to its bright path. The reason for this sad trend is because of what awaits them off the “high” way. The strange woman’s house of Proverbs 2 most accurately represents the dangerous attractions that line either side of the path of righteousness. Most of these attractions are not designed for brief visits – they’re designed for long-term stays. The temptations of this world are designed to do more than pique your interest – they’re designed to capture your interest. The temptations of this world are crafted to do far more than distract us – they’re crafted to consume us. As an industry, gambling is not successful just because of covetousness – it is successful because of its addictive nature. Pornography isn’t so lucrative just because of lust – it is lucrative because of its addictive design. Alcohol, drugs and other harmful substances aren’t destroying lives because of their appeal – they’re devastating lives because of their addictive ingredients.
Potential scars weren’t the reason for Solomon’s paternal warning. Solomon wasn’t as concerned with Rehoboam coming back to the paths of life with scars as he was with his son not coming back at all. “None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.” Parents have the challenging task of convincing their children of the long-term impact of calling the wrong person, “friend.” It only takes one person to negatively impact our children that permanently removes them from the path of righteousness. One so-called “friend” can introduce a needle or a bottle that will lead our children down a path from where they will never return. One so-called “friend” can introduce an experience or a pleasure that will lead our sons and daughters down a path with no way back.
The evils awaiting us and our children are designed to seize us and own us for a lifetime. Satan’s strategy isn’t one of resistance – it’s one of seizure. Our adversary wants to capture and cripple us so that we will never return to the paths of life. Satan’s roadside attractions have no exits - only big appealing entrances. Each of these roadside attractions have plenty of advertising along the way and they all have ambassadors. The strange woman of our text is one such ambassador. Our children need wisdom for it equips them with the discretion necessary to detect the addictive nature and danger associated with these evil ambassadors. Parents, let us pray for wisdom for our children that they might escape the addictions in this world. Let us pray that their mistakes are minor and that they don’t choose to call the wrong person, the ambassadors of addiction, “friend” or “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”
For those of us whose children have entered the addictive house of the evil man or of the strange woman, let us pray for the great Deliverer to break in and rescue our beloved children. Let us cry out for mercy and beg God to make our enslaved children the exceptions to the rule of Proverbs 2:19. Our God is that Deliverer of Matthew 12, who can enter a strong man’s house, bind the strong man and then spoil his goods, our enslaved children. Hope thou in God!