Week of Monday, August 31 – Saturday, September 5
Keep It Zipped! – Man as the Provider 

"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here"; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, "Stolen water is sweet, And bread eaten in secret is pleasant." But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.  (Proverbs 9:16-18 NKJV)

Guys, let’s be honest.  There is a ton of temptation out there to commit sexual sin.  From porn sites to hook-up apps, you are just a click or a swipe from getting into trouble.  And speaking for the guys who are a little older, you never get too old to be tempted in this way.  Like an old preacher once said: “There may be snow on the roof, but there is still fire in the stove.”  The struggle is real, regardless of age, for all men.

That’s why it is so important to spend time every day in God’s word.  A couple of weeks ago, we read: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).  We need His wisdom and strength to combat temptation.  In Proverbs 9, Solomon contrasts the Wise and Foolish Lady to help us in this battle.  Lady Wisdom offers safety and protection (Prov. 9:1-12) while Lady Folly offers nothing but seduction and destruction (Prov. 9:13-18).

The picture here is of a temptress who seduces a guy to have sex outside marriage.  She is attractive, flirty, and willing.  Exciting and erotic, she overwhelms his defenses as she invites him into her home and into her bed.  He gives in but discovers too late that her house is full of dead victims and her guests are in the grave.  The lesson is obvious: If we reject wisdom and embrace temptation, we face judgment.

As providers, we need to provide our wives with a sense of security.  We can do that by keeping our promises, like we made on our wedding day.  Our faithfulness sexually contributes to our wives’ sense of security.  Yet all men face temptation to stray sexually.  The question is will you give into it?  Or will you heed Lady Wisdom?  Will you walk away from the temptation to taste the passing pleasures of sin?  Will you avoid that blast that doesn’t last and the bad consequences that linger?  The choice is yours, but God has determined the outcome: “God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (Heb. 13:4b).

If you think you are immune just because you are a Christian and happily married, think again.  Sadly, I’ve seen this all too often:  high-profile people, even in ministries, who fall prey to Satan’s snare into sexual sin. Everything looks good from the outside, but looks can be deceiving, and as the scripture bears witness: “Be sure your sins will find you out” (Num. 32:23).  Disappointment, hurt and heartbreak follows every time.

Unfortunately, I have seen that sad scenario play out over and over across the years: Wrecked marriages, broken children, ruined reputations, messed up lives.   So guys, listen to this old soldier: Keep it zipped!

What practical steps can you take to avoid sexual temptation?  Are you daily getting God’s word into your heart to avoid sin?  Are you asking God for help?  Have you placed a filter on your internet?  Do you have a battle buddy, who can ask you some tough questions?
Have you failed in this area of sexual sin?  The bad news is there are lasting consequences - no avoiding them.  But the good news is that if you will humbly confess your sin and seek the mercy of God, you will find it.  For those who fail, there is grace and forgiveness in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 6:9-11)!  Praise His holy name!