“Let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you.” Proverbs 5:17
Don’t talk to strangers. That instruction was drilled into us as kids, and we may be repeating it to our own children now. Yet many of us as adults are not only talking to strangers, but sharing the deepest aspects of our being with them. Whether it is through pornography, strip clubs, prostitution, erotic massages, infidelity at work, on the road, on social media, in the neighborhood, or simply a self-indulgent fantasy life, too many Christian men and women are “casting their pearls” before strangers and being trampled in turn (Matthew 7:6). Instead of guarding our heart and the streams of life that flow from it (Proverbs 4:23, 5:16), far too many of us are hanging it out in the open–with all its past wounds and isolation–for any seductive stranger to have at. Lives, families, and churches are suffering for it.
God calls us to much more. He calls us to healing (Matthew 11:28), to intimacy with Himself (Isaiah 54:5), to community with one another (Hebrews 10:25), and to love our spouse with the passion and desire that He feels and displays toward us (Ephesians 5). There is no room in that call for a spiritual laziness that leaves the heart open to the spirit of the age with its greed, selfishness, immorality, and impurity–all manifestations of idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
How to guard against the temptations of the “stranger”? Exhilaration, of the healthy sort. The exhortation to be “exhilarated always” with spousal love (Proverbs 5:19) means more than just the occasional date night or shoulder rub; it means a tenacious pursuit of each other as you courageously open your whole hearts to each other and God. To what effect? A growing intimacy with both your spouse and the Triune God reflected in your sacrificial “one flesh” union; oh, and an increasing rampart against temptation. For those of us who call ourselves servants of Jesus Christ, there shouldn’t be anything strange about that.