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Let’s talk about the bane and the blessing of women.

Let’s talk about the bane and the blessing of women.

NOVEMBER 28, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Let’s talk about the bane and the blessing of women.

Steve Brown:
Let’s talk about the bane and the blessing of women, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was author and seminary professor Steve Brown, and this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace. Because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising faithfulness.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. I told you chapters two and five yesterday when we were studying Proverbs were about subjects that are foreboding within the church and I said, I’m not going to go into details, but I changed my mind. So, what we’re going to do is, and this is probably as far as we’ll get today, we’re going to see some negative things about women. In our culture, it’s fast becoming an acceptable narrative that women are good and men are bad. And if anything happens within the context of that relationship, which is wrong and harmful, it’s always the man’s fault. Now, if you read the second and fifth chapters of Proverbs and some other parts of the Book of Proverbs, you would think just the opposite. If anything bad happens, especially sexually, it’s the woman’s fault. The truth is that Proverbs balances that out. It sees human nature as human nature, and it’s not very pretty. We live in a fallen world, and too often, we Christians don’t take seriously the implications of a fallen world. Before we record each time these broadcasts, Jeremy, who’s the producer and I, sit around and just talk. And we were talking this morning about the universal flawedness of human nature. We forget that there aren’t some people who are evil, and some people who are good, and the good ones are the Christians, and the bad ones are the pagans. That’s not true. The Bible has a very, very negative view of human nature. And so, when we see flaws, when we see things that need to be taught, when we see things that are wrong, we need to face those things and deal with them. And the Book of Proverbs in particular, and the Bible in general does that. So, let’s see some of what Proverbs says. Proverbs 2:16 through 18.

Wisdom is given to deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; for her house leads down to death, and her paths to the dead; none who go to her return, nor do they regain the paths of life.

Well, that’s certainly not politically correct. You could get into trouble if you spend too much time in the second chapter of Proverbs. Now listen to Proverbs 5:15 through 20.

Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be despised abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for a stranger with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth, as living deer, and graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. For why should you, my son, be entrapped by an immoral woman and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?

No, no, no. Don’t write me letters. I didn’t say that. God said that. Then look at Proverbs 11:22.

As a ring of gold in the swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

Ha ha ha. And that’s pretty clear. Now, I’m going to spare you the reading of other passages, Proverbs 2:15 through 18. Proverbs 5:10 through 14. It’s more of the same. But there is so much here that is bad about women, the adulteress, the woman who entices men, and it sounds really sexist. And it would be if the book of Proverbs didn’t also have the flip side of that, the glory and the power and the beauty and the wisdom of women. There are those scholars, and they may be right, who say that these passages are the training manuals of Solomon for his leaders, all of whom were males. And these are the things that he felt like they ought to know. At minimum, they teach us the power of sexuality. Freud was a twit. He said some things that were weird, and frankly, he was, as a psychoanalyst, sicker than a lot of his clients. But that doesn’t mean that everything he said was wrong. As a matter of fact, the way he centered in on human sexuality and applied that to us psychologically with the ego and the super ego was in some ways very profound. It’s something we don’t say much, but our sexuality is far more important than most of us think. As a matter of fact, it is determinative in some ways. I have a friend, his name’s Harold Myra, and he was the head of Christianity Today, Incorporated, where I served on the board and the executive committee for a lot of years. And I’d quoted Harold for years and didn’t realize that was the same Harold Myra who had become my friend at Christianity Today. But he wrote a book of prayer poems once that are, were way ahead of their time. And he had one poem that talked about jet sex engines. And in the poem prayer, he says to God.

I wonder why you put this jet sex engine in my Volkswagen body. I think about it all the time. I obsess on it so much. I know about procreation, and I would have gotten around to my part eventually. But could you have cut it back just a bit?

Ha ha ha ha. That is so profound. And it’s so very wise, and so very true of human nature. I one time heard Billy Graham and I miss him, what a gift he and Ruth have been to the body of Christ. As you know, I go to the Cove in North Carolina, the Billy Graham training session, and I teach there fairly often. And when I go there now and realize that Mr. Graham is in heaven, I miss him even more. But he was being interviewed and the subject of human sexuality came up. And he said something that was so very good. I think it was Larry King who said, Isn’t sex like hunger? You know, when you’re hungry, go get a ham sandwich. And sex is exactly the same thing. And Mr. Graham said, No, it’s not. He said, have you ever seen somebody put a ham on a stage and tantalize the people in the audience with a ham? So good and so very wise. And so, as you read through this, we begin to see that sex and human sexuality is a lot more important than most of us would like to admit. And we need to see it, and we need to deal with it, and the writer of Proverbs does exactly that in the pages of this particular book. I think it would be wise here at least to mention it, and we’ll talk about it more tomorrow. We’ve talked about the bane of women, but we ought to look at the blessing of women. The book of Proverbs says some of the most negative stuff in the Bible about women, but it also says some of the most positive stuff in the Bible about women. Proverbs 31 is an incredible, and we’re going to talk about it tomorrow, is an incredible chapter in the Bible. It lifts up the woman, the virtuous wife, and who is, the writer of Proverbs says, worth far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts in her. And then, He goes on to detail that out, and it is quite a beautiful and wonderful chapter. It’s true of all of us, isn’t it? The bane and blessing part of it. I’ve got some good parts in me, and I’ve got some bad parts in me. And if I ignore either one of them, I get into trouble. And so, I’m a sinner, but I’m getting better. It’s called sanctification. And it’s of God. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Thanks Steve. Today, we continued exploring Proverbs chapters 2, 5, and 11, and boy, it sure seems like being Biblically correct often means being politically incorrect. Oh well. We’ll continue with the series Street-Smart Christians tomorrow, do join us for that. Well, believe it or not, Christmas is now just around the corner and we’re so excited to bring you a special free gift from Key Life. It’s a booklet called Christmas Meditations. It’s a reprinted collection of Steve’s writings on the real meaning of Christmas, the Incarnation of God in Christ. The booklet also includes Scripture and devotional questions to help you focus and reflect on the impact of Christ’s coming. Get it now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You could also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. And if you’d like to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Again, just ask for your free copy of the booklet called Christmas Meditations. And, of course, this is the point in each episode where I ask if you would support Key Life financially, but today is Giving Tuesday. If you didn’t know, it’s a worldwide day dedicated to supporting non profits like Key Life. We do not ask this lightly, but if you do value the work of Key Life, would you consider giving a special gift today? You could charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. Thanks. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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