Together in Christ: 'False Love Ruins Lives!' — Proverbs 7:18-20

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

[Avoid the immoral woman, who says,] "Come, let's drink our fill of love until morning. Let's enjoy each other's caresses, for my husband is not home. He's away on a long trip. He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won't return until later this month."

— Proverbs 7:18-20 NLT

Key Thought

Unfortunately, in our sexually super-charged and permissive culture today, the act of having sex with whomever, wherever, whenever, and however, has replaced love, respect, kindness, decency, compassion, commitment, and faithfulness. As followers of Christ, we should display compassion and offer care to those broken by wrongful sexual behaviors — both those trapped in their own sexual sins, and especially those wounded by sexual predators. Jesus showed compassion to people trapped in sexual immorality, and so should we. [1] In addition, Jesus also taught and demonstrated that we should also be clear about God's will for sexual purity and we must not compromise on His values:

  1. We must define marriage, love, and sexual intimacy as God does — one man and one woman, in one relationship, for life, unless death separates them. [2]
  2. We must be compassionate to the sinner trapped in sexual immorality, yet also challenge people to leave their life of sexual sin and live differently in the future. [3]
  3. We must give a wide berth to sexual immorality of any kind, [4] and present our bodies as a living sacrifice, a holy Temple, where God lives by the Holy Spirit. [5]

This commitment to a holy lifestyle feels old-fashioned to many in every age. Sexual purity is certainly out of step with the moral laxities of our time. But, we shouldn't naively think the early followers of Jesus didn't have such problems. A sexually chaotic and immoral culture enveloped the world to which Jesus came. That culture created challenges for the early disciples seeking to honor Jesus. Paul called believers to a sexual purity that was as foreign in their culture as it is in our own. [6] Adultery — sex with someone who is not one's spouse — is still adultery. [7] It is still a violation of one of God's Ten Commandments. [8]

While our world says all sin is the same in the eyes of God, Paul reminded us that sexual sin is different. We must not trivialize it or pretend the residue it leaves in people doesn't exist. [9] Unfortunately, adultery leaves deep wounds that are hard to overcome. Jesus gave marital unfaithfulness as a possible but not mandatory reason for a marriage to dissolve. [10] Thankfully, because of God's grace for us in Jesus, God can forgive and cleanse sexual sins if we will come to Christ or turn back to Christ in true repentance. [11]

So, let's seek forgiveness for our sexual sin, be forgiving toward others, and renew our commitment to honor God with what we do in our bodies. Let's offer our whole selves to God as a living sacrifice and a place of worship:

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. [12]
. . .
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. [13]
[1] Luke 7:36-50; John 8:1-11.
[2] See this definition and explanation.

[3] John 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
[4] Please take time to read the Related Scripture Readings below.
[5] 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.
[6] 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

[7] Matthew 5:27-32, 15:19, 19:18; Romans 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
[8] Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18.
[9] 1 Corinthians 6:18.
[10] Matthew 19:1-8. Also see 1 Corinthians 7:10-16.
[11] See Paul's powerful declaration in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Also, hear John's clear emphasis on both forgiveness and cleansing to be made pure again — 1 John 1:5-2:2.
[12] 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NIV.
[13] Romans 12:1-2 NIV.

Today's Prayer

Holy, righteous, and forgiving Father, I come to you to offer my body — past, present, and future — to you. Please forgive me and cleanse me of sin. Please accept my commitment to present myself — body, soul, mind, and spirit — to you in holiness and honor, a daily and living sacrifice to you. Empower me, please, dear Lord, so that I can live up to my commitment and my desire to honor you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1-20, 7:1-17


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Illustration of Proverbs 7:18-20 NLT — [Avoid the immoral woman, who says,] "Come, let's drink our fill of love until morning. Let's enjoy each other's caresses, for my husband is not home. He's away on a long trip. He has taken a wallet full of money with him and won't return until later this month."

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.