For My friends at Living Hope Ministries
Avoid Immoral Men
My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen carefully to my wise counsel.
Then you will show discernment,
and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
For the lips of an immoral man are as sweet as honey,
and his mouth is smoother than oil.
But in the end he is as bitter as poison,
as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
His feet go down to death;
his steps lead straight to the grave.*
For he cares nothing about the path to life.
He staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.
So now, my sons, listen to me.
Never stray from what I am about to say:
Stay away from him!
Don’t go near the door of his house!
If you do, you will lose your honor
and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
Strangers will consume your wealth,
and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
In the end you will groan in anguish
when disease consumes your body.
You will say, “How I hated discipline!
If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
and now I must face public disgrace.”
Drink water from your own well—
share your love only with your wife.*
Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
having sex with just anyone?
You should reserve it for yourselves.
Never share it with strangers.
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts satisfy you always.
May you always be captivated by her love.
Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral man,
or fondle a promiscuous man?
For the Lord sees clearly what a man does [and thinks],
examining every path he takes.
An evil [polluted] man is held captive by his own sins;
they are ropes that catch and hold him.
He will die for lack of self-control;
he will be lost because of his great foolishness.