Proverbs 5:15 captures the words of a father sharing somewhat cryptic wisdom with his son: “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” Let me rip off the bandaid… “the well” is a metaphor for sex. With that in mind, we turn to John 4 where we find Jesus, alone for a moment, encountering a woman who has shown up at a well to draw water at an odd time. Spoiler alert: This woman was well acquainted with RISK. The stage is set.
Jesus strikes up a conversation.
She had to ask herself: Why had other men spoken to her? Perhaps they preyed upon her, starting what sounded like an innocent little chat and turning it with innuendo and sweet-sounding words that landed her in the same place, over and over. Or maybe it was the other way around. Whoever “started it,” it takes two to tango, right? It’s not difficult to surmise that her wounded heart heard a different kind of invitation than the one Jesus was ultimately offering.
It’s curious, in light of the fact that Jesus was usually extremely gentle with wounded people. Was her tone sultry when she said, “I don’t have a husband.” [wink,wink] Jesus suddenly uses a severe tone, and she pulls up short. His response removes any potential of misunderstanding His intentions. He makes it clear He is not interested in seducing this woman… Sure she doesn’t have a husband! She has welcomed five “husbands” into her bed. (Ouch!)
When Jesus decisively draws this boundary, first the conversation is transformed. And then the woman is transformed. And, fast-forward: Her entire community is transformed. A whole new trajectory was launched when Jesus took His stand and clarified His intentions, precisely defining the conversation and, thereby, their relationship.
We can do the same to guard our hearts and relationships. It all starts with a couple of decisions. One, decide to lean into God and His leadership in your life so He can transform your desires. Second, decide in advance to run from the risky temptation of lust when you stumble into its pathway. Third, resolve to be crystal-clear in your communication, not dabbling in flirtation or double-entendre in conversation with the opposite sex. Steer clear of the snares and stay back from the edge of the cliff. You’ll be glad you did.