A Proverb about adulterous women may seem completely foreign to children. This is just not something they have to contend with in most cases. In this post, we look at some key points of wisdom that are in this passage.
Proverbs 2:16-17: “Wisdom will save you also from adulterous women, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.”
Focus on The Description
The actions of an adulterous woman are where we can find our wisdom for today. The highlight includes seductive words and ignoring her promises. We can distil these to be flattery and keeping a promise. On an adult level, there is far more at stake when we break promises and oaths. A divorce or other outcomes from adultery can be expensive, time-consuming, and leave lasting scars. We do not always consider the consequences of these actions, but they are unquestionably bad.
Flattery and Contracts
Children are not usually comfortable with what contracts are. However, they understand promises at an early age. The impact of, cross my heart and hope to die, may not register with a kid, but it is often spoken. We can all agree that the promises we make are important. Those that regularly break their promises will often struggle in both their personal and professional lives.
Flattery and buttery words are not always easy to detect. We do not like to be influenced through these avenues, but they are still the most practical tools out there. Most advertising includes promises of a better life (healthier, sexier, happier, etc.) or tells us we are “worth” an indulgence. We see these attributes all the time and from a wide variety of sources. However, we also know that these approaches can be a warning sign of someone trying to manipulate us. Manipulation is not always going against our better interests, but more often than not, it is.
Teaching Children this Wisdom
These concepts (promises and flattery) tend to be a bit big for children. Instead of addressing them directly, I find fables and stories to be better ways to teach these concepts. The good news is that these things are common themes in stories for children.
Many stories include a character that treats someone nice (seductive words) just to use or abuse them. In fact, the “bad guys” in shows and books often try to seduce the heroes to the side of darkness. You can find great examples in children’s series like “Harry Potter,” “The Hunger Games,” and The Divergent series among others.
Broken promises are often treated in complex ways. We see characters in stories that break vows to save their friends and also those that lose everything because of those actions. There are hours of thoughtful family conversation that can come from these two sides of the action. There are also many examples of the impact of broken promises. The Lord of the Rings trilogy shows the value of keeping a promise while Braveheart (although not a great kid movie) explores both sides of this in depth. For kids, take a look at the Peanuts and how Lucy handles getting Charlie Brown to kick the football for a quick introduction to this topic.