The Modest Woman vs. The Strange Woman
March 19, 2019 (first published May 12, 2004)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061

6 ¶ For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,
7 And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,
8 Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
9 In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:
12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,
14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.
16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.
19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:
20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.
21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.
22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;
23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

Consider some of the contrasts between the strange woman described in Proverbs and the modest woman:

They are different in where they go. The strange woman is not afraid of going out “in the black and dark night” (Pr. 7:9). Her “feet abide not in her house; now is she without, now in the streets” (Pr. 7:11-12). The modest woman, on the other hand, is cautious about where she goes and when she goes and with whom she goes; she avoids going to places where moral temptations lurk; she avoids being alone with men other than her husband and brothers; she avoids situations that could place her in the way of moral harm. The modern pop culture would applaud the strange woman as “liberated,” but the liberty to do evil is actually enslavement.

They are different in their attire (Pr. 7:10). The immoral woman has “the attire of an harlot”--skimpy, tight, suggestive--to draw attention to herself sexually and to lure men to her on that basis. The modest woman, on the other hand, is clothed in such a way so as NOT to draw men’s attention to her in a sexual manner.

They are different in spirit (Pr. 7:10-11). The immoral woman is “subtil of heart ... loud and stubborn.” The modest woman has “a meek and quiet spirit” (1 Pe. 3:4).

They are different in countenance (Pr. 7:13). The immoral woman has “an impudent face.” The modest woman, on the other hand, is “shamefaced” (1 Ti. 2:9). This is the Greek “aidos,” which “has the idea of downcast eyes” and means “bashfulness, i.e. (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe” (Strong). It implies “a shrinking from trespassing the boundaries of propriety” (William Hendrickson, New Testament Commentary).

They are different in their religion. The strange woman makes religious offerings and attends to religious duties (Pr. 7:14), but her heart is far from God; she goes to church, but she is a hypocrite; her true and real life is devoted to evil. The modest woman, on the other hand, serves God from the heart. She is the same person in the dark of night as she is in the light of day.

They are different in their definition of love. The strange woman confuses love with lust, thinking that “love” is mere romance and the fulfillment of sexual desire regardless of one’s marital status (Pr. 7:18). This is the definition of love promoted by Hollywood and rock & roll. The modest woman, on the other hand, knows that genuine love is godly commitment in marriage. True love is keeping God’s commandments (1 Jo. 5:3).

They are different in the way they look at life. The strange woman lives only for the moment; she does not look at the end of things but only at the beginning. She does not think about God’s judgment but only about the pleasure of sin (Pr. 7:22-23). The modest woman, on the other hand, knows that sin is pleasurable only for a season and she focuses her attention on the eternal rather than the temporal (Heb. 11:24-26).

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