Have you ever wondered how a woman could breakup someone's marriage and still sleep at night? The answers are found throughout Scripture, but a total absence of human decency is a major component. As the "last days" are vividly described in II Timothy chapter three, we see a particular description in verse three that is a characteristic of the adulteress: "Without natural affection..." (2 Tim. 3:3a) Not all women would be categorized as such, since there are some who "wander" into an adulterous situation without evil intentions in advance. Women who are genuinely repentant and who turn away swiftly from the sin of infidelity are demonstrating that their hearts have not turned to stone. Those who are without natural affection are hard-hearted, and that's who we're referring to in this article.
When you add up all the other perils described in II Tim. 3:1-5, it's easy to see how and why we are facing an epidemic increase in adultery today. These are "perilous times" because people are sinfully perilous! If you are expecting an adulteress to feel even remotely sorry for you as she lures your husband away from you and your family, you're expectations are noble but mistaken. Since the adulteress is without natural affection, you are not in her thoughts. It's all about her.
Here are just five of the common devices of an adulterous woman (there are more, but we have space limitations):
1. FLATTERY: Since the adulteress uses flattery as her main power tool (if you guessed it was her body, that's a secondary tool), we need to be mindful of women who seem to be too dependent upon our husbands, especially those who give abundant praise and admiration. "With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him." (Prov. 7:21) Once and a while, a sincere compliment is normal and is not out of line. Continual flattery from another woman crosses over into the "vitamin P zone" and no woman but the wife should enter that zone. That's our very personal zone where we build up our own husbands with the "vitamin" of PRAISE. The key is to be on guard for the repeat offender. The harlot in Prov. 7 didn't use just a little flattery; she used "much fair speech" plus flattery.
2. FLESH: If the adulteress is physically attractive, she will use her body as "bait" to lure men. This is the woman who likes to "make an entrance" by arriving late to functions (including church!) and then taking the long way to her seat, so that she can be admired and observed. Men are urgently warned to "Lust not after her beauty in thine heart: neither let her take thee with her eyelids." (Prov. 6:25) Wise men know not to satisfy this kind of woman with attention; men who are "void of understanding" not only look longingly, but they may even entertain fantasies about having such a woman. Notice the wisdom of Job: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid.?" (Job 31:1) I'll leave it to my husband to talk to men about the immense danger of going down such a path. As for us as wives, we need to employ alertness and keep this kind of woman away from all the men in our family (even our young adult sons).
3. FLIRT: The adulteress is an experienced "hunter." This reminds me of my fishing technique: to attract the attention of the largemouth bass, I wiggle the tip of my rod just a little, to make the bait dance in the water. The adulteress wiggles her bait, too! "For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life." (Prov. 6:26) This woman is flirtatious, and she is on the lookout for a man who appears to respond favorably to her attempts at seduction. "Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee." (Prov. 7:15) Notice that she is brazenly candid about her intentions. Flirting with men is not at all out of line for the adulteress. It's just part of the hunt.
4. FOR SALE: The adulteress knows how to use clothing to send signals. "And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart." (Prov. 7:10) Both then and now, there is a uniform that says "body for sale." When a woman lacks understanding about biblical modesty, we must be on guard against her potentially hazardous behavior. If her clothing is inappropriate, her behavior may match it. This is also a good reason to teach our daughters about the effect of sensual clothing on men. Garments that are tight or otherwise revealing send signals that are designed to provoke a response. Let's be honest.
5. FAKE: While she may have you guessing at first, the adulteress eventually makes her motives clear. "Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves." (Prov. 7:18) At this point, if a man has lowered his guard, he is headed for destruction: "He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life." (Prov. 7:22-23) When boundaries are repeatedly crossed, it's just a matter of time before two people who don't belong together convince themselves that they are made for each other.
This is just a snapshot of the maneuvers of an adulteress. Scripture has much more for you to study in Proverbs chapters 5, 6, and 7, in addition to other references. As society continues to decline in their regard for marriage and the family, we are going to have to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Pray for the Lord to protect your marriage from this predator, and be alert to her tactics.
"Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness." (Prov. 30:20)