These verses are designed to be warnings to men. All of Proverbs is generally directed at the son. While most of it we have always said is practical for daughters, it's hard to understand how its beneficial for daughters to stay away from "the adulteress,from the wayward wife with her seductive words." (Proverbs 7:5, NIV). I think it's really hard to say that that can be directed toward the typical God fearing young woman, as well as the God fearing young man. Most of the chapter is directed as a warning toward a young man of the folly of an affair with a married woman, and can easily be a message most of us women just kind of glance over think "well I should teach my sons that" (for those that have children) or even "my male friends should keep this in mind!" (for those of us that may not have children).
So I thought about that, and all of a sudden, a small voice put a thought in my head. This chapter, these verses, are in many ways directed to us women. Possibly even more than they are the the boys!
Just as the boys should not allow themselves to be lead astray against this kind of woman, we should not either. It's hard in a world that emphasizes beauty and sexiness, plasters images of sexy women with great bodies all over the place for women to NOT be led astray by the images around us. We just aren't necessarily falling prey to the same "evils" which men are falling.
I know I am guilty of it. I will go through magazines, or even just look at what department stores are offering and I'm bombarded with images of women in tight jeans, blouses that showcases rather than flatter. I will be out with friends, and we will be at the mall and looking at clothes, and while I may not buy anything, the ads and the styles make me feel unattractive and make me feel down about myself. When that happens, I'm far more likely to buy something that shows more cleavage that I normally find acceptable. I'm for more likely to buy shorts or a skirt that is a bit shorter than I normally would, all because I'm allowing the media and the fashion industry dictate women are supposed to be like. Unfortunately, that is becoming more and more like the wayward woman.
I'm not saying that you can't look pretty, or you have to look frumpy. I believe makeup to accentuate your best features is perfectly fine, as long as you aren't going overboard. I believe dressing in a pretty and attractive manner is not a sin, as long as you aren't trying to get boys to lust after you. The wayward woman is no longer simply the prostitute or adulteress. She is everywhere. She's a fashion icon, a movie star. She's the one we all worry our husbands or boyfriends may secretly be checking out behind our backs because no one can deny her sex appeal. Whether they appreciate it or like it is a different story. She is leading men astray, and she is leading women astray.
While we may not be actually having an affair with this woman, or this idea of what women are supposed to be in today's world, we are still being led astray. We are allowing ourselves to drop the standards of biblical womanhood to embrace secular womanhood. Sure, we can try to justify it by saying that fashion isn't really such a big thing, and that we are still being more modest than the person down the street etc. But we aren't supposed to act and comport ourselves according to secular standards, but rather God's standards.
Thinking about these verses in Proverbs is definitely making me think twice about the women in the world. Even celebrities that I have admired in the past. The women and young adults I see young girls looking up to. Are they looking up to Godly women, or are they looking up to secular women? The wayward woman has many faces nowadays. She is not longer just the adulteress and prostitute, but the young starlet who reveals her body to get paid more in a movie. The model who poses in sexy pictures to sell sneakers. They are presenting an image that even if they don't agree with said image, they are still putting out there for others to look up to. They are perpetuating these ideals, and the Bible clearly tells us to be wary of them!
Proverbs 7 shows us women that we need to be wary of admiring people like that, and possibly even becoming like that ourselves... It's not just a message for the boys.