Together in Christ: 'Appropriate Intimacy: Avoiding What is Reckless and Damaging' — Proverbs 30:20

Sunday, November 5, 2023

An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"
— Proverbs 30:20 NLT

Key Thought

The Holy Spirit emphasizes the proper context for men and women to find holy and appropriate sexual intimacy:

Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. [1]

God wants us to find the right person and proper place to build an enriching life of intimacy and fulfillment. [2] This is why He disdains and condemns sexual predators regardless of gender! [3] Today's strong message is specifically directed toward married men warning them against relationships with other women. When a woman can callously enter into sexual sin with a married man and sees nothing wrong with her sexual encounter, she disregards the destruction brought on the man, his wife, and his family. Our verse is intentionally shocking and graphic as it portrays her brazen behavior after devouring the man sexually: she wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"

The man is equally guilty for entering into this adulterous relationship. Once a man is willing to disregard God's words of condemnation concerning adultery [4], he releases disastrous consequences on those around him. He recklessly throws away his marriage covenant, and his actions brazenly proclaim — like the women mentioned in our verse — "What's wrong with that?" When people allow their lustful appetites to become their gods, their out-of-control desires dominate their lives. [5] God is clear about such behavior when He addresses men:

Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? So it is with the man who sleeps with another man's wife. He who embraces her will not go unpunished. [6]
...for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. [7]

As our age becomes sexually supercharged — similar to the first-century church's environment — we must heed the Scriptures, recognizing God's desire to protect our families and especially our marriage partners. Rather than licking our lips in salacious pursuit of our lusts, let's re-commit ourselves to honoring God. Let's find friends to help hold us accountable for our thoughts and behaviors. As disciples of Jesus, we want to pursue God's intended plan for purity in marriage. [8] While God can and will forgive our confessed sin and purify us when we turn from that sin, [9] the consequences of this kind of betrayal and the damage it causes in precious people are not easily undone or forgotten.

[1] Hebrews 13:4.
[2] Genesis 1:27-28, 2:24-25; Matthew 19:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6.
[3]Deuteronomy 22:25-27; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, 6:9-20; 1 Timothy 5:10.
[4] Exodus 20:14; Hebrews 13:4.
[5] James 1:9.
[6] Proverbs 6:27-29.
[7] 1 Thessalonians 4:6.
[8] Hebrews 13:4.
[9] 1 John 1:5-10.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for blessing us with the appropriate person and place to find sexual intimacy. [2] Forgive us, O, Lord, for our sin when we have distorted or perverted Your plan for our life. Redeem, cleanse, and strengthen us to live for You in faithfulness to our marriage commitments. We ask for Your blessing and help in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
  • Proverbs 6:20-29


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Illustration of Proverbs 30:20 NLT — An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, "What's wrong with that?"

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.