Country music singer, Randy Travis, performs a song entitled, “Reasons I Cheat.” In the song, Travis vividly details a man wrestling with the reasons why he cheats on his wife. Here are the lyrics:

A working day too long when everything goes wrong
And a boss who don’t know I’m alive
I once had a notion I’d get that promotion, but now I barely survive
A wife to demanding with no understanding
Of why I stay dead on my feet
A dimly lit tavern a willing young woman
Are some of the reasons I cheat

The hair that I’m losing and a woman who’s choosing
To lay sound asleep by my side
The bills they are mounting that’s when I start counting
On someone to help sooth my pride
A lady that knows me affection she shows me and a smile so easy and sweet
The dreams that I’ve buried the load that I’ve carried
Are some of the reasons I cheat

My children keep on growing me age keeps on showing
Like all of my old friends I meet
So I’m getting older my life’s growing colder
Just some of the reasons I cheat
Yes I’m getting older my life’s growing colder
Just some of the reasons I cheat

This song illustrates the seduction of sin that must be fought against by follower of Christ. Sin makes promises that it cannot keep. Here are two ways Christians can fight the seduction of sin from Proverbs 5:

First, we fight the seduction of sin by believing.

In Proverbs 5:1-6, we read

1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
listen closely  to my understanding
so that you may maintain discretion
and your lips safeguard knowledge.
Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey
and her words are  smoother than oil,
in the end
she’s as bitter as wormwood
and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death;
her steps head straight for Sheol.
She doesn’t consider the path of life;
she doesn’t know that her ways are unstable.

When Satan tempts us to sin, it is often through a false promise of lasting pleasure being provided by the sin. For instance, a man or a woman does not continue to look at pornography or cheat on their spouse in spite of the fact that it always leaves them disappointed and empty. They commit sexual immorality because it promises to satisfy them, yet it never delivers on the promise and often leaves them feeling empty and longing for satisfaction than before they sinned. This is because sin is seductive. It promises pleasure, but the pleasure never last. Therefore, we fight the temptation by believing the wisdom of our Father, who tells us that the end of sexual immorality is death. As we believe the promise of verses 5-6, the seduction of the sin loses its allure and power.

Second, we fight the seduction of sin by fleeing.

In addition to fighting by believing, we also fight by fleeing. In Proverbs 5:7-14, we read

So now, my sons, listen to me
and don’t turn away from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her.
Don’t go near the door of her house.
Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others
and your years to someone cruel;
10 strangers will drain your resources,
and your earnings will end up in a foreigner’s house.
11 At the end of your life, you will lament
when your physical body has been consumed,
12 and you will say, “How I hated discipline,
and how my heart despised correction.
13 I didn’t obey my teachers
or listen closely to my mentors.
14 I am on the verge of complete ruin
before the entire community.”

As John Piper once wrote, “We must not test our purity in a porn shop.” We are called to “flee youthful lust,” not stand there and battle them. The fight is in the fleeing. We need to be ruthless in this fight, not giving any opportunity for the flesh. This means that we will need to make some principled decisions that might seem odd in our culture. This may take the form of principles about how you relate to others of the opposite sex or how you maintain transparency and accountable regarding your internet traffic. At times, it may be uncomfortable, but whoever promised that fighting the seduction of sin would be comfortable? Anyone who has ever been in a physical fight will tell you, the point is not comfort and convenience. The same is true with fighting the seduction of sin. It is better to be uncomfortable and inconvenience and enter into life than to maintain cultural expectations and be cast into eternal fire (Matthew 18:8). Some will protest that they are strong enough, but Proverbs 5 tells a different story. No one is immune to the “honey dripping lips” of temptation.  As believers in Christ, we should want to “keep far away from and avoid the door” of temptation. If we do not desire such distance from temptation, we will be ruined before the entire community and bring a reproach to the name of Christ.

The point of Proverbs 5 is to stress the destructive power of sin, especially sexual sin and warn us to flee from it. The fleeting pleasures of sin are real, yet they are overcome through belief in the better promises of God in Christ. According to Hebrews 11:24-26, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. For he considered the reproach because of Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward.”

Therefore, we fight by believing that what God has for us is better than what the world has to offer us. The reasons that we are tempted to “cheat,” as Randy Travis would sing, must be combatted with the reasons God’s way is better and ultimately produces great joy and satisfaction! It is not necessarily easy, but it is worth it!