For thousands of years, parents have been giving their children advice at all different times for all different reasons and on all different topics:
- “Eat your vegetables”
- “Sit still”
- “Take a bath”
- “Go to sleep”
- “Say thank you”
- “Clean your room”
- “Be kind”
If we are honest, most of the time that advice is unwanted and unsolicited – which is why we so desperately need it. No kid ever runs with scissors thinking, “I wish I had a ‘grownup’ to tell me if this is a good idea.” No child ponders the many benefits of bathing.
Instead, as the Scriptures teach, “foolishness is bound up within the heart of a child.” (Proverbs 22:15) This makes sense. Since a small child has never touched a hot stove before, how can they possibly know the pain that is about to scream in their small fingers? Children don’t know what they don’t know. This is one of the primary reasons why we need parents in our lives to help guide us along the way. Parents have often been where children are heading. Our scars come from a painful past. Even if we haven’t touched the proverbial stove ourselves, we’ve been tempted and our ancient perspective allows us the ability to forsee the pitfalls a child simply cannot see. As parents, we KNOW what happens when you don’t “eat your vegetables” or “go to sleep.” Though there are other authorities in our life that can certainly help guide us (relatives, pastors, teachers, police, etc), none are quite as motivated like that of a parent.
A casual reader of my blog can see that I have a sordid past. I have tripped and fallen while running with moral scissors. I have not always colored within the lines. I have touched more stoves than I can count. Some discredit me because of it and deem me a poor teacher. From my perspective, my sins were the tuition to the most expensive school in the land, EU – Experience University. To be honest, I hold honorary degrees I wish I never earned. But as a highly educated fool, I have a responsibility to share what I know with others, especially my own children.
If you have been paying attention to the news lately, adultery is once again front page material. With the recent hack of the Ashley Madison website and the continued exposure of the names of those who were members, infidelity is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of families.
Given the sad state of relational affairs (pun intended), I thought it was time to post a heartfelt letter about the topic – from a father’s perspective to his son. All parental advice should be listened to simply because of that unique relationship. But some parental advice is so packed with street cred that only a foolish child would choose to ignore it. This letter, penned to a beloved son, is that such letter.
It is no secret that this particular father had numerous illicit relationships. Because of this, he can offer an extremely unique perspective. More than most, he understands the temptation and deception of the human heart and more than anything – wants his children to avoid his path. If you don’t have a father who shared such wisdom with you, consider this wisdom as coming directly from him. (Though this letter is written from a father to his son, it obviously applies to daughters as well.)
And to my two boys, if you read this one day, please listen. It is truth purchased at an incredibly painful price.
(1-2) Please listen to what I’m about to share with you. I beg that you stop what you are doing and really hear me. These next few minutes can keep you from a world of hurt.
(3-6) In time, you will encounter an adulterous woman and her lying lips will seem like a sweet candy to your ears. Her candy will give you a lifetime of cavities. Her speech, though flattering, is deceptive. Her words will cut you like a knife. She walks down a street of destruction and following her will lead you straight to the grave. She is lost and she will lead you into the land of the lost.
(7) Please listen to me and do not ignore this letter. Keep it somewhere safe and refer to it often, especially when you’re married.
(8-14) Do not go near this woman. Stay as far away from her and her house as you can. Don’t even drive by her neighborhood, lest you fall prey to the deceiving thoughts of your strength. Taking her hand will bring a mere moment of pleasure and a lifetime of irreversible regret. You will lose everything you have worked hard for.
Trust me on this. I don’t want you living with regrets that you can never change. I don’t want you haunted with the voices that will scream, “Why did I not listen to my Dad’s words? Why did I ignore his instruction? How did I get in this position – even as a Christian?”
(15-20) Son, would you eat food found in the dumpster? Would you quench your thirst with water from a street puddle? Of course not! Eat food from your own plate and drink water from your own trusted bottle. Don’t open your heart and body to a total stranger. Blessing is found in the context of marriage. Concentrate all your energies on your wife. Discover the treasure of that relationship. May her body alone satisfy you always. Get drunk with her love. Why get intoxicated with another man’ wife? Why get entangled with a woman of poor character?
(21) Don’t be deceived, you will get caught. And even if you escape the notice of men, everything you do is in plain view of God’s sight. Every night He is keenly aware of the bed you lie in.
(22) Being with an adulterous woman is like willingly walking into jail. You will lose precious freedoms.
(23) This decision can cost you your marriage, family, career, reputation, friendships and income and if you choose this, you will be led astray by complete and utter foolishness.
(This above letter was originally written by King Solomon to his son as recorded in Proverbs 5. Obviously, the passage above was paraphrased and placed in modern context – particularly for my boys.)