1) The woman who wants to be your wife.
She is unhappily married. Her husband has disappointed her in a hundred ways. Sitting in church week after week, it occurs to her that you are everything she has ever wanted in a husband. You are kind and gracious, thoughtful and spiritual. You love the Lord and are devoted to your family. You earn a good living and you do not drink or smoke or hang out in bars. So, she fixates on you.
Now, if she were rational, she would know that by seducing you–or winning you, however she would put it–all of those wonderful qualities she admires would suddenly go away: your ministry, your family, your income, the respect with which you are held in the town, your joy in life even.
In most cases, she thinks clearly enough not to actually try to break up your marriage (although that has happened often enough). She merely feels a strong attraction to you and puts herself in a position for you to pick up on it. Consciously or unconsciously, she becomes a trap for the unsuspecting minister.
2) The woman who wants to be your mother.
She will smother you with attention, inundate you with goodies she cooked “just because I knew you liked these,” and make life miserable for you. If you never suffered from claustrophobia before, you do now.
It’s not so much that she poses a sexual danger to you as that by allowing and encouraging this attention from her, you will give occasion to gossips to ply their trade. Avoiding “the appearance of evil” is always a good principle (I Thessalonians 5:22).
3) The woman who wants to be your lover.
This one has a particular allurement to the minister whose relationship with his wife has grown stale. This really is the woman the Proverb-writer describes. And, in case one wonders, I seriously doubt that Solomon wrote this. The man with 1,000 girlfriends is in no position to offer such advice as we find in Proverbs 4! (Although he surely knew the truth of it!)
Such a woman seems to be amoral, without a sense of wrongness about anything she does. She justifies making herself available to the minister by statements such as: “You deserve this,” “God wants all of us to be happy, don’t you agree?” and “No one ever has to know; I certainly won’t tell.”
The thing to keep in mind, pastor, is that this woman making herself so available to you with no strings attached–that’s what she says, although we know better!–does not look like a Jezebel, painted and padded and bejeweled. You will not know her by her adornments.
She may be the pretty wife of a deacon, the friend of your wife, or a church member who came to you for counsel. No one would ever pick her out of a crowd as a party-girl. But she is your biggest enemy.