The Sirens of Sex

October 7th, 2008

Focus Text: Proverbs 5: 7-14 (NLT)

 7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
      Never stray from what I am about to say:
 8 Stay away from her!
      Don’t go near the door of her house!
 9 If you do, you will lose your honor
      and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
 10 Strangers will consume your wealth,
      and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
 11 In the end you will groan in anguish
      when disease consumes your body.
 12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
      If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
 13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
      Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
 14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
      and now I must face public disgrace.”

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

In today’s society, the sound of a siren lets us know that an emergency has occurred.  Whether it’s an ambulance siren, a fire truck siren, or the screaming cry of a police siren, we all move our vehicles to the shoulder of the road when the siren sounds.  But the term “siren” hasn’t always had this modern connotation.  In the ancient fictional story of Homer’s Odyssey, the “sirens” were beautiful female creatures whose song lured sailors passing by to sail their vessels directly into the rocks and perish beneath the crashing waves.  The song of the ancient sirens was intoxicatingly irresistible . . . and consequently deadly.

The mythical hero of Homer’s epic tale, Odysseus, instructed his crew to stop up their ears with wax and to lash him to the mast of the ship so that he could not be released.  He sternly commanded them to not untie him no matter what he might say or do.  As their vessel passed by the rocks and the alluring song of the sirens filled the air, Odysseus went mad and pleaded with his crew to release him from the mast. Despite his vehement attempts to be untied, the crew obeyed his previous orders and refused to let him go.  Thus, once the ship had passed out of range of the sirens’ song, Odysseus came back to his senses and was able to tell the crew to take the wax out of their ears.

As long as we’re in this particular passage of scripture, I will continue to be safe and reestablish the context so that there is no misunderstanding.  Just remember that Solomon is speaking to his son and that is the only reason these verses refer to staying away from immoral women with no mention of immoral men.  For all you ladies out there, feel free to interchange the terms to apply the truths to your lives.

That being said, back to sirens.  Modern day sirens aren’t pleasant to the ears.  Their volume is almost deafening and is deliberately unnerving.  The idea is to warn all within earshot to watch out for danger. The sound of a police siren doesn’t allure us to anything but a court date and traffic school.  The sirens in Homer’s Odyssey, however, produced hypnotic melodies that enchanted those who sailed by to abandon caution and embrace death.  Wow, that’s some song!  How hilarious would it be if blue lights illuminated your rear view mirror and instead of hearing next the annoying whine of the police siren, you instead heard the most beautiful music in the world.  Yeah, that would be strange indeed. 

Sexual temptation is more like the ancient sirens than the modern ones.  Oh, how we all wish that temptation would scream out a warning that would jar us into movement away from the wrong thing. But instead, sexual impurity is more like Homer’s description.  Its song seems to be irresistible to all who pass by.  Now, although I believe that we should be spiritually strong enough to resist any kind of temptation, I think that we should realize that this temptation is unlike any other and that it must be approached with a different strategy.  Simply put, we should run away.

Many Christians approach their battle against impurity as if they are strong enough to win easily.  The problem is, the moment the sweet song of temptation begins ringing in their ears, they abandon their convictions and sail headlong into danger.  What are the dangers of sexual immorality?  Just read these verses for another disturbing list.  Loss of honor.  Loss of possessions.  Debilitating disease. Unbearable regret and anguish over the decision to ignore wisdom.  As I said yesterday . . . yikes!

But go back to the beginning of this passage.  These things don’t originate with the immoral act; they begin with going “near the door.”  They begin when one deliberately sails “near” sexual temptation thinking they can resist the allure of sin.  Just like Odysseus, sexual sin is hypnotic and we are not ourselves once we’ve opened our ears to the enchanting tune of temptation.

The answer, then, is not just to stay away from the house of sin, but to stay away from the door to sin. The backseat of a car is not the place to try to exercise self-control.  Self-control should have been exercised earlier in the date when you pre-planned your evening to stay “in the light” by knowing exactly where you were going and by asking his or her parents to call and check on you throughout the night.  Does that sound crazy?  Maybe so, but the chances to fall are vastly decreased.  The middle of the night is not the time to resist the temptation to watch the wrong television show that just popped up on your TV.  The right moment was back when you could have set blocks on the wrong channels and asked someone you trust to create a password that you don’t know.  The examples are plentiful.

But I’m not a little kid?  I don’t want to be treated like I can’t be trusted!  True that, but how sincere are you about avoiding the sirens of sexual temptation?  It’s time to tie ourselves off to the mast of this ship before–not after– we reach the crucial moments of decision.  The decision can be made right now. Hey, just like Solomon implied: if you don’t go near the door, you cannot make the wrong decision.

Single.  Married.  Young.  Old.  It doesn’t matter, we must all sail past the sirens of sexual temptation. Make a decision in the present to tie yourself to God’s strength by deliberately avoiding the door that leads to temptation.

 

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~ by johndriver on October 7, 2008.

7 Responses to “The Sirens of Sex”

  1. I just read The Odyssey for school,in fact we just got done with this! I could picture everything clearly and I know what happens when the book goes on. Since Odyssey was tempted just by those sirens of course he fell into their trap. The whole book is about him trying to get home to Ithaca to his family. But on his journey home, he just runs into more thing and continues to fall into that sexual temptation. He begins to do it so much he doesn’t think anything is wrong with it. He becomes a pig! Haha. Its like once you fall into temptation and if you don’t do anything God promices that you will continue to fall but harder and harder. After many years of Odyssey’s journey he comes back home to his wife. But hus wife has been doing the same thing! She has many suitors waiting to marry her. Odyssey’s later kills them all. His “wife” asks him to prove his love to her so she tests him with questions. Like, “Are you really Odyssey?” She can’t even trust him because he has hurt her so much.

    Spiritually part- We are all trying to do our best to get home “heaven”. But the more we fall into traps by the sirens “sexual temptation” we will be lost and our loved ones won’t be able to trust us. You feel awful and worthless. Not to mention Odyssey is the “great hero” to all. I don’t want to make the same mistakes he did. If I start to fall I need to tell someone, because it will just get worse..

    Great blog,
    Emily :]

  2. the most i like about this whole thing is ” if you don’t go near the door, you cannot make the wrong decision.” people always say i didnt mean to do it he made me (blah blah blah) NO YOU GOT YOURSELF iN THE POSiTiON AND YOU DiDNT STOP iT…

    and YEAH, i think the sirens might help a little bit if we had them everytime we had sexually temptation…but then again you think about it …we have sirens for speeding and drinking and driving and everything else…. it doesnt stop us, the world still does it anyways… no one can stop you with what you wanna do or fall into ithe only way to stop your self is NEVER GET YOUR SELF INTO IT…

    also another saying is “something you never try YOU WONT miss” my dad and i were talkin and brought that up.. and it really stuck in my head……so be strong and dont let yourself down

  3. this is the greatest advice and sounds so easy, but in reality it’s not.
    we just have to realize that thinking ahead of time and not even putting yourself into a situation like that is the best choice. Stay away from the door.. i like that!

  4. I like to think that most of the people im friends with have that internal siren that says ” hey wait step back and look at what you fixing to get into.” But as i read this i also think about the people who don’t have that internal siren. There are certain people in our school who are just like the girl / guy whom Solomon is telling his son about, and it almost kills me when i see someone, who might have had that internal siren, turn it off and stray to that girl/guys door. The people who do stray aren’t thinking about the consequences of sexual immorality. Like solomon said you will groan in anguish, disease will consume the body, and you will find yourself at the brink of utter ruin, (I summarized).

  5. i think this is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to staying on path with god. if you stay away fom the door to sin then the temptation is not as strong. maybe once i hear the sexual sirens then the awful screeching ones will warn me to stop and think… “hey is it really worth doing this and creating a huge sin that i know i wiill never be able to turn back?” it definatly isn’t!

    tanner.

  6. This one really hits home for me…it seems so simple to just do the right thing all the time….its almost funny how we’ll be sitting around talkin about this kind of stuff and we’ll be like ” i would never do something like that, that is so wrong!!” But then the weekend rolls around and the guy you are head over heels for asks you out…and your driving around havin the best time, all of the sudden you’ve fallen into sexual temptation just because you wanted him to think your cool or you wanted to please him, but deep down you dont feel that bad for doing it…its not the guys fault every time thats for sure!! I guess what im tryin to say is…sexual temptation comes out of nowhere sometimes and we just have to be alert ALL THE TIME…so we dont find ourselves in those “sticky situations”

    it will be very hard but hey no one said this thing called life was gonna be easy, we just gotta take it one day at a time and pray we make it through!!!!

    I read that story freshman year…i really like it, its crazy!!

    -gabby

  7. This reminds me of a previous blog you have written. It said something like, “Do the do’s and you won’t have time to do the don’ts.” Well, we are told what we are supposed to do in a situation where we are tempted with sexual immorality. If you stay away from the door, then there will be no room for a “mess up” to occur. We need to remember that when we are doing all of the jobs we have as a christian we are not going to have time to get into this kind of situation.

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