Keep your way far from her,
and do not go near the door of her house, Proverbs 5:8
Satan seeks to draw you into sin by making you bold to venture near the occasion of sin; ‘You may walk by the harlot’s door, though you won’t go in; you may sit with the drunkard, though you won’t get drunk; you may look upon Jezebel’s beauty, and toy with Delilah, though you won’t commit wickedness; you may handle the gold with Achan, though you will not steal it. Scripture commands us to shun the occasions of sin as we would a serpent in the way. He that would not get burned must dread the fire. To venture upon the occasion of sin, and then to pray, ‘Lead us not into temptation’, is like one who thrusts his finger in the fire and then prays that it might not get burnt. There ordinarily is no victory over sin without also avoiding the occasion of sin. To play sport with sin is to be conquered by it. God will not remove the temptation unless you turn from the occasion. To rush upon the occasion of sin is both to tempt ourselves and to tempt Satan to tempt our souls. It is seldom that God keeps the soul from the acts of sin, when they do not keep far from the occasions of sin. Remember how frequently you have been overcome by sin when you have played with the occasion. Consider the precious saints who are now victorious in heaven that have turned from the occasion of sin as from hell itself. Joseph is famous for his virtue in getting himself out of temptation. The devil knows that a fit opportunity is half the conquest. He knows that our flesh is fertile soil when close to some sinful opportunity. A bird aloft is safe, but is in danger by drawing near to the snare. The shunning of the occasion of sin renders a man most like the best of men. O that the examples of those worthy saints, David, Joseph, and Job, might prevail with your soul to shun and avoid the occasion of sin!
Many young parents today are beside themselves with anxieties about their children, and, sadly, confusion too about how to nurture them. The ongoing addiction of our times to the heresy of modernity and its proud rejection and ignorance of the tested and tried wisdom of the past, inevitably leads to dysfunction in home and family life. Sadly, the older, wiser counsel of God’s Word, and especially of the book of Proverbs, is unknown or neglected. Yet Proverbs was composed specifically as a manual for home and family instruction, and to prepare us for life in the world. It is a divinely given handbook to help parents.
Proverbs and Ken Wingate following them shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters too.
Here then is a book for parents to read on their own; for teenagers to read on their own; for parents and teenagers, who are willing to take the family challenge, to read round the table after dinner or on other occasions. It points us to Gods way. It promises us God’s grace. What could be better for us than that?