Sexual sins are stumbling-blocks to maturity and wise living. These days, they’re not often perceived as ‘sin’. Society has re-branded these things to appeal without conscience: thus, it’s fine to ‘experiment’ sexually in order to ‘find oneself’ or to ‘find fulfilment’; adultery is condoned as being the way to ‘self-gratification’ and happiness; we are free to do whatever we like as long as it ‘feels good’. Such thinking is not found in the Bible.

Proverbs 5, is headed ‘warning against adultery’ and reminds us that there is more to life than fleeting pleasure. It can be hard to resist powerful sexual attraction, but we do well to take a long-term view of life: ‘You don’t want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me? Why did I reject a disciplined life? Why didn’t I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!” ‘ (Prov 5:12-14) ,

The Bible does not simply warn against sexual sins, however: it reminds us of the beauty and power of God’s gifts, one of which is sex within marriage. This should be cherished and nurtured (Prov 5:19). Sexual intimacy is not the same as mere physical pleasure; it far transcends that. As Prov 5:20 reminds us, “Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore? For dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?” ,

Wise living has to include self-discipline and self-control, and it behoves each one of us to be aware of the pitfalls of sexual sins. We are reminded at the end of the chapter:
“Mark well that GOD doesn’t miss a move you make; he’s aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you’ll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” (Prov 5:21-23)

For those who struggle with this kind of sin more than others, there is forgiveness available when we sin and grace and power to overcome temptation. For those who perhaps feel this advice is irrelevant to them, we should remember Paul’s sobering words in 1 Cor 10:12: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” , There is never any room for complacency in our lives. Wise living requires discipline and dependence on God.