“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech.” (Proverbs 4:3)
Before there was a folk singer by that name, James Taylor was a professor of preaching. This veteran teacher of preachers held forth in classrooms at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary for many years. One day, in a room filled with young preacher boys, Dr. Taylor cautioned us about the temptations we would be facing.
“The day will come when a woman will sit in your office and proposition you. She will make herself available to you sexually. If your marriage is in trouble or if you are not up-to-date in your relationship with your Lord, you could get in big trouble fast.”
I raised my hand. “Dr. Taylor,” I said, “do you really believe that every one of us in this room will face this?” My mind was incapable of imagining a scenario in which a woman–any woman–would sit in a pastor’s office and try to seduce him.
“Yes, I do,” he said. “Even you, McKeever.”
That got a laugh.
I lived to see that day. (Fifteen years after she sat in my office making herself available to the young preacher, while preaching in another state, I spotted that woman and her husband–the same husband whose antics had given her cause to seek my counsel originally–in the congregation. I was thankful I had gotten this thing right in my office that day.)
The writer of Proverbs tried to do the same thing Dr. Taylor did for us in seminary that day: prepare the young lad for what he would be facing down the road.
“My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding;
That you may observe discretion, and your lips may reserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.” (Proverbs 4:1-6)
The remedy for this–in a sense, the armor which protects one from such a vamp–the writer goes on to say, is to “drink water from your own cistern” (4:15). He gets rather explicit in his counsel to a young husband to satisfy himself intimately with his wife and with no one else.