Last month, we looked at eight male characters – specifically, four chauvinists and four cowards – from the Marriage & Men sermon. Today, we'll look at the female complement: six negative women, as described in the book of Proverbs. The following is excerpted from the 2002 sermon from the original sermon series on that book of the Bible.
Ladies, here are some women in Proverbs – some really negative women in Proverbs.
The Foolish Woman
"The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing."
Loud and foolish. You put those things together, that is a bad résumé. This is a woman who thinks she knows what she’s talking about. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but, she’s so loud that it almost is convincing. Some women think, "If I yell and scream and chuck stuff and declare war –" Proverbs says that is just foolish.
She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,
"Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!"
And to him who lacks sense she says,
"Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
But he does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
This woman has a home where she opens it up and she welcomes everyone over to listen to her ranting and raving. She invites all the dumb people to come to her house for Bible study and says, "Let’s just sin." And if you open the door to her basement, it’s Hell. And that’s where she takes you.
And some of you women care too much about the opinions of other women and when the woman folly shows up and says, "Hey, don’t get married. Hey, sleep with him. Hey, it’s not good to be a mother. Hey, you don’t need to depend on any income other than your own." The woman folly is so loud that some of you give her more credence than she is due.
The Promiscuous Woman
The funny thing with this woman is sometimes she thinks that if she has sex with a man that he will love her, which is insane. If he loved her, he wouldn’t have sex with her until he had covenanted with her. And these are women who give themselves to men, hoping that one of them will stick.
"My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways, for a prostitute is a deep pit and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Like a bandit, she lies in wait and she multiplies the unfaithful among men."
Some women are like prostitutes. They are cheap. They are easy. They are quick. And for some reason, these women think that men appreciate them and like them. And you should be in on the conversations with these men when they are not in the presence of those women. They do not say nice things about those women. They do not esteem them and affirm them. They talk about how easy they were.
There are also women who are very expensive.
"A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth."
Some women love to play men for money. They’re gold diggers. These are women who, they don’t care how old he is, what he looks like. He could look like Chewbacca. He could be illiterate. He could be 175 years old. But if he has a lot of money, she loves him, or rather, she loves his credit card. These are women who play men for money. If they’re really beautiful, they’ll get a car, or a house, lots of nights out, new clothes, fun vacations, and they’ll play men.
The Quarrelsome Woman
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."
We call this the Pitch-a-Tent club. Those are guys who go to REI looking for camping gear, not ‘cause they’re going in the woods, but because they’re going up on the roof. They’ve given up. They’re gonna put a ladder on the side of the house, climb up to the top, and then pull the ladder up.
She’s not really quarrelsome, right? She just has strong opinions, they say.
"A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping."
Drip, drip, drip. Going nuts yet? Fifty years of that, you will be. These women say, "Well, he just needs to know how I feel." By looking at you, he can tell what you’re thinking. You don’t need to say it. He knows. He fully knows. The handgun gave it away.
Meet the embarrassing, moody, and flirtatious women after the jump:
The Embarrassing Woman
"Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."
Some of you ladies are beautiful and you know it. And you use it. And you get away with murder because you are beautiful and men will enable you to do and say embarrassing things because they’re hoping to take you to bed. And you think, "Oh, they really like me." No. No. As soon as a man conquers a woman like that, he checks her off his list and moves on to the next one. But, some women are allowed to say things and do things and have character flaws that are embarrassing because they’re beautiful.
The Moody Woman
"Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and fretful wife."
Moody. Other translations say "ill-tempered." The guy walks in the door. Okay, he’s looking. "Which woman do I get tonight? Do I get the nice woman or do I get the wicked witch? Which one is home tonight? Oh, for the love of God. There she is. I’ll be at the pub."
"She’s not ill-tempered," they say. "She just has strong opinions and strong emotions." "She’s Italian." "She's Greek." "She's Irish. Man, don’t be so hard on her."
No, she’s just moody.
The Flirtatious Woman
And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
This woman maintains her femininity, but abuses it. She’s like gravity. She just pulls men in. These are the women, when they walk in the room, every guy just hones in on her. She has found a way to attract all attention to her. And the guys never see it – they’re always like, "She is so nice
." No, she’s not. All the women are like, "That’s a demon in a dress."
For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil.
Oh, she’s smooth. She’ll walk up to a guy, "Oh, you look really nice. You losing weight? I like your haircut. That’s a nice looking outfit." On the job: "You did a really great job. Man, I’m really glad I work with you. You’re so good at what you do." Flattery. Proverbs later says
, it’s like an ox being dragged off to a slaughterhouse. "Oh, where are we going?"
These women, they are smooth. You ladies know these women. You have certain friends who you would not let your boyfriend or your husband talk to. There are certain women, you go into a room and you see that woman sort of walking toward your man, and you know she is nothing but trouble. Some women play men like instruments with their words. Get ’em to dance and do anything, because men are dumb.
If a woman says, "You are so good looking, and you’re strong, and I feel safe when I’m with you", a guy says, "Well, of course you do. It makes sense that you would think those things around me." And she’s just reeling him in.
Now, if you’re married, ladies, flattery is a great skill. The woman in Song of Solomon, Abishag, says
, "My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among 10,000 men." But, you’re not supposed to say this in the club. This is just supposed to happen at home.
But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol;
she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.
She is gonna kill you. Her feet go down to hell and her steps lead down to hell. Some women use their body to suck in attention, and to suck in men, and they are death.
In Proverbs 31, we’ll end with a little more optimism with the woman who is the embodiment of wisdom. You can listen to the original full sermon, this article was adapted from, "Women and Femininity," on the MH website, or download the mp3.
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