Tag Archives: Proverbs


I’ve covered strength and courage, now I will cover the masculine virtue of mastery in a Christian context.

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.

A man must work or despair. He who does not work, does not have a mission, will find himself empty and hollow. He will be consumed by desire without meaning. Anything he is given without earning will taste as ashes to him. A lack of struggle will destroy his soul.

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

Man was created by God to work. He is meant to work and in this work, by devoting himself to it, he finds meaning.

A man finds meaning in his work, but is always presented with the futility of his actions. Ashes will return to ashes, moth and rust will destroy, and the grave takes us all in the end. Yet, however futile his work, man must persevere or despair will overtake him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.

The man of God knows his earthly works are futile, yet he works for a higher purpose, one beyond this world. Though his steel rust, his gold be stolen, and his tower lay in ruins, he knows the kingdom his work on earth is building will remain eternal. The treasures of heaven he stores up through his diligence to the Lord will be his and His Lord’s forever.

The man of God works not for himself, but for the One who made him.

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthian 9:25-27, KJV)

Yet, working alone even for Christ is not enough.

Will a man dare to rob God?

Dare he present God with an inferior gift?

Dare he present an unacceptable sacrifice unto the Lord?

Dare he present a blemished, deformed, and stunted free will offering?

If He dare, his sacrifice will be rejected. His works will be revealed and he will suffer loss.

No, a man’s work must be without blemish, it must be superior. A man must become a master of his craft so his works will pass the test of fire, lest all he has built turn to ashes before the Almighty.

Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:29, ESV)

A man of God must become skillful, so he can stand not just before kings, but before the King of Kings.

The Lord deserves only the best; the man of God must put his whole being into his works for the Lord’s kingdom.

The godly man’s work must be worthy of honouring God, else God may not honour him.

Yet, no man’s work can be worthy. His greatest works are but filthy rags.

The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you. (Exodus 31:1-6, ESV)

A man’s work may be unworthy, but should he devote himself to mastering his craft, the Lord will honour him. He will fill the godly man with the Spirit of God, to give him ability, the mastery, to build a holy eternal temple that will pass through the flames unscathed. The Lord will give him te ability to craft a worthy work.

With this God-ordained mastery a godly man will fulfill his purpose, he will be fruitful in his labour, multiply his works, and have dominion over the earth.

Man must master himself in spirit and in body so he can master his work, and through his work the earth.

The man who does not master himself will not master the earth and will present an inferior sacrifice to the Lord that will turn to ashes in the final test of fire.

Ashes to ashes or glory to glory.

The choice is yours to make.

Make the right choice be a master of your craft.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (1 Corinthians 3:7-15, ESV)


I have looked at the tactical virtue of courage* as denoted in the Way of Man in reference to Christian masculinity. The next to be focused on is strength.

The Bible is pretty clear that physical strength and training is of value.

Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)

In fact, Paul recommends you discipline your body so your are not disqualified as a witness before others.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, ESV)

If you see a physically weak man, are you inclined to respect him, to heed what he says?

If you are an out-of-shape blob or toothpick, get yourself to the gym and cease your gluttony and sloth. The cardinal vices are called the seven deadly sins for a reason.

Respect the temple to God your body is. Physically train.


But often many stop here; strength is reduced to the merely physical.

Do you even lift, bro?

This is not enough and too great a focus on strength is disordered. As Jack Donovan notes “strength is the ability and drive to exert one’s will over objects, over nature, over other men, and over oneself.”

Strength denotes will and ability in addition to physical force. This strength of will is that which the Bible focuses on far more and it is the strength of will that it usually refers to as strength. This strength of will is what you should focus on (without neglecting the physical).

The strength of will is your ability to push yourself beyond what you are, to test your own limits, to break yourself and be made anew. This will is well described by Kipling:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Far more than any physical strength, the mental and spiritual determination to continue on, so that at the end of you life you can say:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8, ESV)

This strength starts in wisdom.

A wise man is full of strength,
and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 24:5-6, ESV)

It is wisdom which guides your will, which gives your will purpose. Without applying wisdom to discern where to apply your strength, your will, it will be wasted. A strong man without wisdom is more destructive than a weak man.

Without wisdom you will be as the young student who fails to push his ancient master back after struggling mightily; with wisdom you will be as the ancient master who shifts position and brings his young student down effortlessly.

Out of wisdom your will is forged, from wisdom it is guided.

Where does your wisdom come from? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

So, any training of the will begins with fear of the Lord.

For the Christian man, start knowing your place before the Almighty. You must start with humility. To grow strong you must first know your weakness and then work to improve yourself through the grace of Christ.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10, ESV)

From the same source as your wisdom comes your strength. “The Lord is my strength and my shield.”

The PUA builds his strength in and of himself. For a man, his strength may be great, his will may be hard, and his frame nigh impenetrable. Yet, he is still a man. He is limited; his will will break, his strength will flag, and his frame is an illusion. When he inevitably tires he has nothing to fall back on.

The man of God builds his strength on the Rock. When his strength fades and he can hold on no longer, his will is renewed through One far greater than he.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31, ESV)

Therefore train your will, practice discipline and accept the trials the Lord allows you to face. Grow stronger through exercises of faith.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20, ESV)

The Lord will see your human weakness, He will see the hardships you face, He will see your failures, and in these He will build you with His power, His will, His strength. Use your wisdom to learn where you are weak and confront those weaknesses, for there God will give you His strength to fight. From there He will forge you.

A man of God will grow his strength, mentally, physically, and spiritually. He will seek wisdom which comes from the Lord, he will train physically, and, most importantly, he will forge his will to God’s.

Go train. Become strong.

Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me. (Psalm 144:1-2, ESV)


This series is a set of foundational posts. I will build more practical knowledge on top of them. If you are needing immediate practical advice on self-improvement, check out my Omega’s Guide series. It has some practical advice on most areas in which a man may need improvement.

I also plan a post on practical ways to develop your will.


* There was some concern of semantic confusion caused by labeling non-Christian, in particular the masculine/tactical, virtues virtues and then analyzing in the light of Christianity and the Christian theological and cardinal virtues. There is no other good word in English that connotes the same as virtue. I could use virtus, or possibly virtu, but both of those are types of virtue systems. Given that virtue predates Christianity, I will continue to apply the word to the masculine virtues. If I am referring to one of the specific seven Christian virtues I will use the capitalized Virtue.

Biblical Alpha: Proverbs – Part 4

Welcome to the third and final part of Biblical Alpha: Proverbs. (Part 1 , Part 2, and Part 3).

We will cap off the series with the passage on the Woman who Fears the Lord from Proverbs 31:10-31.

Also known as the Proverbs 31 women, this passage is the standard many in evangelical and other Christian circles measure womanhood by. It is a standard some Christian women like to rebel against and one many Christian women think they fall short of, but try to attain.

Any patriarch-to-be should examine this woman carefully. Make sure any potential woman you plan to marry matches what is written here, or at least is trying to. (This goes for anyone else planning to hitch themselves to a woman, not just patriarchs).

So let’s look at the kind of women a patriarch should try to find. I’ll break it down:

An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.

A wife of good character is one of the greatest gifts a man can have. If you marry, make sure you marry a wife of good character.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.

A good wife is trustworthy. If you can’t trust a woman, don’t marry her.

She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.

A good wife will seek the good for her husband. She will not try to hurt you. Marry a women who wants to to good by you, not a women who demands and criticizes (or worse).

She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

A good wife works hard. Marry a women who is active and productive, not lazy. Do not marry a woman who’s spoiled or unwilling to get her hands dirty.

She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.

A good wife prepares food for her family and makes sure they are fed right. Marry a woman who likes to cook. Do not marry a women who refuses to cook because it’s sexist.

She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

A good wife can take be trusted to care of finances and handle her wealth properly. Marry a woman who can follow a budget. Do not marry a wasteful spendthrift or a women who likes wracking up consumer debt.

She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.

A good wife is strong. Marry a woman who can take care of herself and won’t be utterly helpless without you. Do not marry a delicate flower, a weak women, a dependent women, or someone unwilling take care of themselves. (Hint: Do not confuse being strong with being bitchy or a ball-buster as some feminists are wont to).

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.

A good wife is productive and industrious. Marry a women who is willing to work hard, do not marry one who is lazy.

She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

A good wife is compassionate, charitable, and generous. Marry a woman who cares about the people around her, do not marry a woman who thinks only of herself.

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.

A good wife will make sure her family, herself, and her home are kept well and look presentable. Look for a wife who will value and create beauty in herself, her family, her home, and you. (Hint: Valuing beauty is not the same as vanity and superficiality). Marry a woman who takes care of herself and her home, do not marry a disorganized mess.

Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.

A good wife is one who will bring you respect among your peers and your betters. Marry a woman you are proud to show off to your friends, your church, your family, and you boss. Do not marry a woman you would be embarrassed to bring to an office party or family dinner.

She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.

A reiteration; a good wife is productive, industrious, and financially astute.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.

A good wife is dignified, but has a sense of humour. Marry a respectable women with an easygoing, joyful temperament. Do not marry a coarse or “low-class” woman or a women who feigns dignity through being stuck-up, prissy, or a stick-in-the-mud.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

A good wife is wise and speaks kindly. Marry a woman whose judgment you respect and who talks kindly to you and others. Do not marry a stupid, foolish, or rude woman.

She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Another re-iteration; a good wife takes care of her family and isn’t lazy.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”

A good wife will bring joy to you and your children. Choose one that will. Choose a good mother for your children. Do not marry a woman that will bring pain or sorrow to you or your children.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Beauty fades. Choose a wife who has good character; do not fall into the trap of marrying a beautiful woman lacking character. Beauty is good, but character matters more in the long run.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

A good wife will let her good works speak for her; she will not be vain, boastful, or arrogant. Marry a humble woman who desires to do good and help those around her. Do not marry a selfish narcissist, an attention-whore, or an arrogant, vain, or snotty woman.

The Proverbs portion of the Biblical Alpha series has been a bit different from the rest of the series; it has focused more on advice for men, than on Biblical teaching on masculine virtues, but I hope it’s been valuable to some of the readers.

A major theme throughout, is choosing the right woman and avoiding destructive women. Hopefully, this will  help patriarchs-to-be (or others looking for relationships with females) know more about the kind of woman they should look for, and the kind of women they should avoid.

* All references from Proverbs, ESV version.

Biblical Alpha: Proverbs – Part 3

Now for the third part of Biblical Alpha: Proverbs. (Part 1 and Part 2).

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.
This is the way of an adulteress:
she eats and wipes her mouth
and says, “I have done no wrong.”(30:18-20)*

The first few lines ending with “the way of a man with a virgin” made only limited sense to me, I thought it was positive at first. So I read some online commentary on it.

Some took the last line as meaning a man who engages in fornication and deflowers an innocent virgin (a really big deal in Jewish society), but leaves no visible trace of sin (as the eagle, serpent, and ship leave no trace of their passage). Under this reading, it would show disapproval of fornication, at least with virgins. So, a no-no to playerdom.

Others I read had viewed the line as something more innocent and wonderful. They compared young love and marriage to the natural wonders of the world. In that case, marry young, marry a virgin, it’s wonderful.

Some connected it to the next few lines about the adulteress. Where the original four lines hide their traces, so to does the adulterous. In this case, beware, the virgin who says she’s a virgin may not be, and the women who plays innocent, may not be innocent. These warnings far precede those of the manosphere about women lying about their n-count.

So, next time a women complains about you judging her for her number of sexual partners, tell her it’s in the Bible, Proverbs 13:19-20.

I’m not sure which would be the best reading and can’t verify as I don’t know Hebrew, but they all seem to fit well with the rest of scripture, so they all seem valid. A combination of the first and third interpretation seemed to be the one most used by the older and mroe well-respected sources, so I’d lean to those.

There is also is another warning against adulteresses.

Under three things the earth trembles;
under four it cannot bear up:
a slave when he becomes king,
and a fool when he is filled with food;
an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress. (30:21-23)*

In other translations unloved comes out as bitter, odious, or hated. Avoid bitter and odious women.

Also, avoid those with newly acquired power who might use it pettily. (Does he mean democracy?)

What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?What are you doing, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.(31:2-3)

A clear warning not to waste yourself on women.

This commentary said it nicely:

Give not thy strength unto women, unto strange women. He must not be soft and effeminate, nor spend that time in a vain conversation with the ladies which should be spent in getting knowledge and despatching business, nor employ that wit (which is the strength of the soul) in courting and complimenting them which he should employ about the affairs of his government.

Having a good woman is excellent, but don’t waste the effort on women who aren’t worth it. Also, have a life beyond women, there are many more important and fruitful things to attend to.

Tomorrow I will publish the fourth and final piece of our current looks at Proverbs. We will be looking at the exciting topic of the Proverbs 31 woman. Don’t miss it.

Biblical Alpha: Proverbs – Part 2

Here is part two of our look at Proverbs for the Biblical Alpha series. This will be examining the section of shorter proverbs of the book.

The book has many warnings against falling for the wrong woman (or the prostitute):

A foolish son is ruin to his father,
and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. (19:13)*

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. (21:9)

It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. (21:19)

A continual dripping on a rainy day
and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
to restrain her is to restrain the wind
or to grasp oil in one’s right hand. (27:15-16)

For a prostitute is a deep pit;
an adulteress is a narrow well.
She lies in wait like a robber
and increases the traitors among mankind. (23:27-28)

He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. (29:3)

Choosing the wrong women, or letting her control your life is a nightmare. If nothing else sinks in, know that you have to be very careful choosing the women you allow into your life.

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion. (11:22)

Remember, beauty is nice, but it is not the only thing. Don’t let the wrong women control you with her looks and charm.

On the other hand, women aren’t completely bad. A good wife is a prize:

He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.(18:22)

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. (12:4)

The wisest of women builds her house,
but folly with her own hands tears it down. (14:1)

So choose a good one. She will bring you honour and joy and she will build your house. Choose a wife for yourself that will do this.

For women who might be reading this, be wise, build your home up, don’t tear it down.

In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and his children will have refuge.(14:26)

The wise man is confident; confidence is key. Preferably you’d gain it from God, but even if you’re not religious, gain it anyway.

On the other hand:

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is ran abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished. (16:5)

Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall. (16:18)

Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor. (18:12)

Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin. (21:4)

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life. (22:4)

Arrogance and haughty pride will lead to your destruction. There is a difference between arrogance and confidence: the latter will build you up, the former will destroy you.

Know the difference.

Related to that:

Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips. (27:1-2)

Don’t boast, let others boast for you. Have enough honour that others will demonstrate fitness for you. Pre-selection is good.

The vexation of a fool is known at once,
but the prudent ignores an insult. (12:16)

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (15:18)

Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city. (16:32)

Good sense makes one slow to anger,
and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (19:11)

Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.(17:27-28)

A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back. (29:11)

Keep your frame. A wise man does not allow others to control his emotional state. He remains in control of himself at all times.

Control your frame. Demonstrate self-mastery.

The glory of young men is their strength,
but the splendor of old men is their gray hair. (20:29)

Young men, be strong for to gain honour.

The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. (16:21)

Be judicious and learn to be persuasive.

Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. (19:2)

Be judicious. Demonstrate wisdom, knowledge, and mastery over yourself.

Be not among drunkards
or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
and slumber will clothe them with rags. (23:20-21)

God would probably not approve overly much of night game though.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (13:12)

A man does not hope, he takes action to fulfill his desire.

Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.(27:5)

Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue. (28:23)

A man does not slander or flatter. He should honest and straight-forward in his criticism.

I’m going to end today’s post with what should be the motto of the manosphere:

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another. (27:17)

Men need to interact with other men to better themselves. This is what the manosphere exists for: for men to better themselves.

Also, outside the manosphere, start your own gang so you can work to improve yourselves.

* All references from Proverbs, ESV translation.

Biblical Alpha: Proverbs – Part 1

The Book of Proverbs from the Bible is one of ancient wisdom written mostly in the form of simple proverbs (surprising, I know). The book is filled with instructions on attaining wisdom and avoiding evil and folly. So, as a continuation of the Biblical Alpha series, let’s take a look at it from a red pill perspective.

The book starts with admonishments to pursue wisdom, follow God, and avoid evil so it will go well with you. These themes continue throughout the book. I will not be talking of them, instead I will mainly focus on those related to the theme at hand. I would still heavily recommend reading the entire book to anyone, as the cultural significance of Proverbs alone is more than enough reason to do so.

So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
one who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life. (2:16-19)*

Here, some common sense advice is given to avoid the adulteress and to be wary of women who would forsake their marriage vows. They will lead to death.

Women are not inherently good and men who are not wary will suffer.

This is reiterated and expanded upon later:

My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
incline your ear to my understanding,
that you may keep discretion,
and your lips may guard knowledge.
For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil,
but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps follow the path to Sheol;
she does not ponder the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it.
And now, O sons, listen to me,
and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house,
lest you give your honor to others
and your years to the merciless,
lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
and at the end of your life you groan,
when your flesh and body are consumed,
and you say, “How I hated discipline,
and my heart despised reproof!
I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
or incline my ear to my instructors.
I am at the brink of utter ruin
in the assembled congregation.”
Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad,
streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone,
and not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
be intoxicated always in her love.
Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders all his paths.
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray. (5)

Here we see it presented even more starkly. The wrong women will doom you.

“Keep discretion” and “guard knowledge” are another way of saying ‘maintain your frame’. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into the charms of a woman against your better judgment and your principles.

If you choose to pursue the “forbidden women” you will labour for others while groaning as your flesh is consumed.

Does this not sound like the plaintive cries of an MRA whose women betrayed him?

Be very careful of the women you give yourself to.

Also, notice the instruction to love your beautiful wife. The Bible implies that you should choose a spouse that you find beautiful. Don’t fall for the “a godly man should love me for who I am inside” nonsense some will spew.

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
to preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life.
Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house.
He who commits adultery lacks sense;
he who does it destroys himself.
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts. (6:23-35)

Another admonition to avoid the adulteress. I think there might a theme here.

And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
“I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
I have spread my couch with coverings,
colored linens from Egyptian linen;
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love.
For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;
he took a bag of money with him;
at full moon he will come home.”
With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him.
All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.
And now, O sons, listen to me,
and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
do not stray into her paths,
for many a victim has she laid low,
and all her slain are a mighty throng.
Her house is the way to Sheol,
going down to the chambers of death. (7:10-27)

Another warning about the “forbidden woman”. It is obvious at this point that any Christian leader arguing the natural goodness of women has never read Proverbs.

It is also obvious that the Bible is very strong on letting young men know that the wrong type of women is destructive.

As I’ve written before, be very judgmental when choosing a mate.


At this point, Proverbs changes from longer form, almost poetic, admonitions to wisdom, to shorter and simpler proverbs. This post is already long enough, so I’ll leave it there, but Part 2 should be forthcoming soon.

* All references from Proverbs, ESV translation.