Revive Our Hearts Podcast

A Restless, Foolish Heart

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss says a foolish woman will look for fulfillment in busyness.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You just see a woman who is here and there and everywhere, always having to be involved in activities. Let me tell you, it can be church activities that keep your heart away from your home—nothing wrong with church activities, but if you have to be in the church every time the doors are opened, and every time there's a need in your church, you have to be the one to fulfill it, it may be that you're covering up a restless, foolish heart.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, September 23, 2015.

Is it up to single women to make marriage happen, to actively be out looking for a mate? Nancy will get to that issue later, but first, it's easy to be busy. It's harder to stay busy doing the right things. Here's Nancy, continuing in a series call "Becoming a Woman of Discretion."

Nancy: We've been looking at the portrait of a foolish woman described for us in some great detail in Proverbs chapter 7. We've seen that this foolish woman goes out to meet a young, foolish man in the middle of the night. This woman is a married woman. She leaves her home, and she goes out with the intent to ensnare and trap this young man who lacks understanding.

Let me begin reading in verse 10 of chapter 7.

And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart.

In yesterday's session, we talked about how this woman, though she's not a prostitute, she's dressed like one. She has the outward manifestation of an internal heart that is not pure. She has crafty, seductive motives.

Now, verse 11 goes on to describe this woman. It says,

She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. [And by the way, if that's not a description of modern-day women, I don't know what is.] Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner. So she caught him, and kissed him, and [spoke to him with an impudent, or a brazen face] (vv. 10-13 KJV).

Now, let's just look at the phrases in that paragraph, beginning with this matter of loud and stubborn. Those words could be translated, “She is tumultuous.” She is not a gentle woman that we see described in 1 Peter chapter 3 (see vv. 4-5) where we're told that a gentle spirit in a woman is what makes her beautiful in the sight of God. This woman is the opposite of that.

Chapter 9 of Proverbs tells us that the foolish woman is clamorous. She's loud. She's demanding. She is not a gentle woman. She's a tumultuous woman, and she's stubborn. That word has to do with rebellious. She's defiant against God's law. She's defiant against the obligations of marriage and of morality.

This is the opposite of a woman who is submissive in her spirit. She's thinking in a sense, “I'm going to have it my way. I will do what I want to do. I will say what I want to say. I will go where I want to go. I will have whatever kind of relationship I want to have with whomever I wish to have it.”

A wise woman has a gentle spirit. A wise woman is surrendered to the will of God and submissive to the obligations that God has placed her under. This woman is the opposite of that, and as we've been saying, the foolish woman is a treacherous woman. She's a destructive woman. She tears down her house with her hands.

Now, you may be thinking as we've been saying going through this passage, “I'm not the kind of woman, as a married woman in particular, who'd ever leave my house and go out in the middle of the night and rendezvous with some foolish man out there.” You might not, but ask yourself this question as you think about who you are in your home, in your workplace, in your church environment. Would I be characterized as loud and stubborn, boisterous, always drawing attention to myself, out of control, not restrained?

Do you find yourself resisting the ways of God, resisting authority, or you're not quick to yield? That's a picture of this foolish woman. She's not willing to yield to those who may have other opinions or input into her life.

As we continue in verse 11, we see that not only is she loud and stubborn, but, “Her feet abide not in her house.” She's always out doing things, not content and satisfied to be where God has put her.

Now, the woman in Proverbs 31 that we talk about, the virtuous woman, is a woman who does go out and do things. She's out buying a field. She's out planting a vineyard. She's out shopping for her family. What's the difference?

In that case, the virtuous woman, the wise woman, when she's out of her home, she's looking for ways to benefit and bless and serve her family or for the surroundings where God has placed her, if you're a single woman. The foolish woman that we're reading about in Proverbs 7 is just a stirred-up woman. She's just restless. She's easily discontent.

The Scripture says that we should make it our goal to live a quiet and peaceable life. This woman is the opposite of that. She's always on the move, always got to have activity. Let me say, our culture feeds that kind of frenetic, frazzled, frenzied lifestyle. Has it done it to you? Do you find yourself just always having to be on the move? You can't sit still.

Verse 12 says, “Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.” This woman is not a keeper at home. Titus 2 tells us, in the New Testament, that the godly woman learns to be a keeper at home, that her priority is to serve and bless and minister to her family. Her heart centers in her home.

This woman is not that way. She has a home. She has a husband. She may have children. We don't know, but that's not what she's focused on.

She's outside. She's in the streets. You just see a woman who is here and there and everywhere, always having to be involved in activities. Let me tell you, it can be church activities that keep your heart away from your home—nothing wrong with church activities, but if you have to be in the church every time the doors are opened, and every time there's a need in your church, you have to be the one to fulfill it; it may be that you're covering up a restless, foolish heart.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the wise woman will not be involved in serving and ministering to others. Again, it's a matter of, where is your heart? Are you content within the influence and the sphere that God has assigned to you?

Because this woman is not focused on her home, not focused on her mate, not focused on her obligations as a woman of God—that's why it's so important, women, that we let God establish our priorities and that we not say yes to every opportunity that comes along. Here's a woman—“Now she is without,” verse 12. “Now she is in the streets. She lieth in wait at every corner.”

She's lurking. She's ready to catch her prey. In her heart, she is actually out seeking to draw men in. Now, you may not be conscious that that's your heart or your intent. It may not be your intent, but if you have that restless, tumultuous, loud, stubborn spirit, you're more prone to develop that kind of heart attitude that has a wrong intent toward other men.

Notice, she lies in wait at every corner. She's not just a foolish woman in that one encounter in the middle of the night with that one man. She is a foolish woman, so wherever she goes, she's dangerous. It happens everywhere—at work, in the neighborhood, at church, and for her, it may have become such a habit that she doesn't even realize what she's doing.

One of the things about foolishness is that it blinds us to see how foolish we are. That's why, as women, we need to have other, older, godly women around us who can help us see things about us that we can't see about ourselves, and if you're really bold, ask your husband. Ask your children about some of these characteristics and say, “Is it possible that I have some of those traits and don't even realize it?”

The foolish woman who has these traits in her heart ultimately is going to live out that foolishness, and she's going to wreak havoc and destruction in the people around her. That destruction may be in your own husband, in your children, in your grandchildren, in people that you work with, in others in your church. It may not just end up in an immoral relationship, but it will end up tearing down your home, the environment, the circumstances, in which God has placed you.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back with the second half of today's teaching and the portrait of a foolish woman she's been describing. I hope you'll identify any resemblances you might bear to the foolish woman found in Proverbs 7 and ask God to lead you in wisdom. Nancy's booklet, "Becoming a Woman of Discretion," can help you do that.

When you donate to the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, we'll send you a copy. Just ask for "Becoming a Woman of Discretion" when you call with your donation. The number is 1-800-569-5959, or you can donate online and indicate you'd like the booklet. The web address is ReviveOurHearts.com. Now, let's get back to Nancy.

Nancy: We're looking at a description in the Scripture of a foolish woman. We're walking verse by verse, phrase by phrase, through Proverbs chapter 7 and seeing the characteristics of this foolish woman. This woman happens to be an immoral woman, but we're asking ourselves, “Do any of her characteristics, are any of the characteristics that are true of that woman, true of us?”

In describing this woman, it says, “She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner. So she caught him,” (Prov. 7:11-13). This is the young man that she is going to trap, that she's going to seduce and ensnare, and remember, if you go back earlier in the passage, that this is in the middle of the night. This is a time and place where a married woman should not be with a man who is not her husband.

She caught him and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, "I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek they face, and I have found thee.

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman [my husband], is not at home, he is gone on a long journey: he hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed."

With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him (vv. 13-21).

She seduced him with the smoothness of her talk.

Now, let's go back in that passage and just look at some of the characteristics that are true of this woman. We're beginning in verse 13, and we're told that "she caught him. She kissed him, and with an impudent face, she spoke to him."

What picture does that stir up in your mind? I picture a bold woman who really just throws herself on this man. She just greets him with a great big bear hug. I see a woman who is not fulfilling the role of a wise woman, which is to be a responder. This is one value that we have really got twisted around in our culture today and so much so that very few women, even Christian women, understand the significance of this difference.

Even the basic, physiological differences between men and women teach us that God designed for men to be the initiators and for us, as women, to be responders. It's nothing at all today for girls to be calling boys at home, even young teenagers. It's nothing for girls to be asking boys out on dates.

What's wrong with this? The fact that as Christian women, so many of us don't know what's wrong with that is evidence of the extent to which the foolishness of our age has influenced our thinking. If a young, Christian woman wants to find a mate, wants to be married, the suggestion today, even among Christian teachers in some cases, is she needs to get out there and let young men know that she's available.

I just want to say to you women, this is not God's way of thinking. This is not God's way of living. I have counseled with so many married women over the years who live with this chronic, recurring frustration that their husbands are not what? Spiritual leaders.

Then we look back at how these relationships began and evolved and unfolded, and we see it began with the woman taking initiative. If the relationship, even one that will end in marriage, begins with the woman taking initiative, what makes that woman think that then when they're married and she wants a spiritual leader who will lead her and take initiative, that that's the kind of husband she's going to have?

This woman is bold. She's flirtatious. The woman who flirts is saying in effect, “I don't trust God.” One of the wonderful things about being a woman, as a single woman, is that it's not up to us to make marriage happen.

Now, I believe that God's intent is that men who believe that God wants them to be married, which is true in most cases—singleness should be the exception to God's rule, for the sake of being set apart for single ministry. But most men, I believe, God wants to be married. I believe that under the leadership of God's Spirit, men should take the initiative and ask God, “Show me what woman You want me to marry.”

If you're the woman in the equation, the single woman, it's not up to you to find that man. That's where you can wait on the Lord. Now, I can just hear single women saying, “I'm going to be waiting a LONG time,” and you know what? You may, but the Scripture says that the person who trusts in the Lord will never be disappointed.

I can't write the end of your story. I can't tell you how it will all unfold, but I can tell you that if you trust in the Lord, and if you wait for Him, you will never be disappointed.

Here we have a woman who has aggressive behavior. She catches this man. She kisses him. Let me address another point, just off of that phrase. I find that even in the church today and maybe especially in the church today . . . Because I spend a lot of time with church women in churches, I watch. I find that so many of us as women are not discreet in this matter of physical contact with men who are not our husband.

I'll go into a church setting or a group of Christian men and women and see women just reach out and maybe not in an obnoxious or an obviously immoral way and perhaps not with immoral intent at all—but just reach out and give a man a bear hug, a man who is somebody else's husband. Now I'm not saying that the intent of that woman is to be immoral, but I'm saying that is a foolish thing to do, that we need to be careful.

You say, “Are you putting such restrictions on us that we got to walk around like people who don't have feelings and can't touch each other, and you're just being legalistic about this?” When you're driving on a high, mountain road that's very narrow, and there's a precipice right off of that road, aren't you thankful for the guardrails? You don't fuss about those guardrails.

Those guardrails become a protection from a big, dangerous fall. So in my own life, these are not matters of being legalistic or feeling that you can't have warm and meaningful relationships with members of the opposite sex. It just says that there must always be restraint, that the filling and the controlling of the Holy Spirit in my life will give me the wisdom to know not to throw myself—in my attitude, in my eyes, in my speech, or physically—on another man.

Now, that's not always an easy way to live. We women are drawn by touch. It's meaningful to us, but I'll tell you what. God knows how to touch you at the innermost parts of your heart in ways that are more significant than any man, including a husband, can ever touch you.

Now, I know we crave physical touch, and God doesn't give to us that same sense of physical touch that we may long for. Part of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus is the willingness to have unfulfilled longings and to let those be, as I've heard Elisabeth Elliot say in the past, “material for sacrifice.” Something to offer up to the Lord and acknowledge, yes, it's not easy. It is hard to live this way, but by God's grace, that's the way I want to live.

When you as a woman throw yourself in a bear hug onto a man who is the husband of another woman, what you don't know, as well as you may think you know that man and as godly a man as you may think he is . . . I've seen this happen in churches down at the front at an altar with women hugging a pastor. There's nothing immoral in their intent about that, and they think, This is a godly man. He may be, but what you don't know at that moment is where that man is in his own walk with God, where he is in his relationship with his wife.

Just because he's a pastor or a man of God doesn't mean that he and his wife are always living in perfect oneness and harmony at home. There may be struggles and issues there. There may have been, just that day, a point of hurt. It happens in Christian leaders' homes, too.

They're real people. There may be some struggles in his heart, as a man, and when he finds a woman who is physically drawn to him—and it may not even be for physical reasons. Sometimes it can be just a sense of being spiritually drawn to this man as a spiritual leader, and when he senses that affirmation, that respect, that being drawn to him, in that moment, you may create in his heart a greater temptation and vulnerability than you have any idea has happened.

I've read stories about this. I've heard men and women talk about this, about things that get triggered and fueled in their own hearts, as much as they may have been seeking to walk with the Lord. In that moment of weakness, in that moment of vulnerability, you and I, with the best of intentions, can be the means of that man being spiritually cast down.

You don't want that to happen. I don't want that to happen. That's why we need not only to guard our hearts, but to not be like this foolish woman who catches this man, physically embraces him, and even in this case kisses him. This is something that is precious. It's an intimate thing and ought to be reserved for marriage so that you are giving your best physical attention and affection to that man that God has chosen to be your husband.

Father, we're talking about some difficult things here, and I pray that Your Holy Spirit would show us how to apply in our own walks what needs to be applied. I pray that we would not become critical or judgmental of others who may not understand some of these truths or may be naive, but that we would be wise; that we would model wisdom, and that we as women would be teaching younger women Your ways; that we might find freedom and blessing and the most wholesome, holy, pure relationships possible by handling ourselves in ways that are wise. I pray it for Jesus' sake, amen.

Leslie: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss helping us become wise women. There's so much foolish advice you can hear and read for women that truly is foolish, and I'm thankful for a chance to hear reliable, biblical counsel every day on Revive Our Hearts.

The ministry is possible thanks to listeners like you who give. When you donate any amount this week, we’ll say "thanks" by sending a booklet that corresponds with this series. The booklet is called “Becoming a Woman of Discretion.” Ask for it when you call 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com. This week, we’ll send one booklet per household with your donation.

Tomorrow, hear why a wise woman has a long-term view of relationships. She can see that God is doing something great even in a tough marriage. I hope you'll learn more about that tomorrow.

Nancy: Oh, maybe you can’t see it yet. Maybe there’s no evidence of your husband ever becoming a real man of God, and there is no guarantee that he ever will. But ask God to give you faith for what that man could be if you’d be willing to make a long-term commitment and investment in that man.

I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s a whole lot easier to go out and find a stranger who will satisfy you until the morning. But that’s not love, and it won’t satisfy. You’ll find yourself—as so many women have told me that they have found themselves—wounded, with a broken life, broken relationships, and your life in shambles. It starts with these little choices of saying, “I’ve got to have satisfaction now, and I’m not willing to wait.”

Leslie: I hope you'll learn more about that tomorrow. I hope you can be here for Revive Our Hearts.

All Scriptures are from the King James Version.

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