Proverbs 5:17

Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

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Bastards are a big problem, especially to kings. Solomon warned his son to avoid whores, lest he corrupt his family tree. A wise man delights in a legitimate family of children, but one consequence of sexual sin can be the painful difficulties of bastards or stepchildren.

Sex is mainly for pleasure, though a church in Rome says differently. Sex is also to reproduce, as a husband and wife can create a family by God blessing their lovemaking. Such a marriage is called wedlock, because other spouses or children are locked out!

Solomon warned his son against sexual sins (Pr 5:1-23). Though the world calls it casual sex, God calls it fornication, adultery, and whoredom, and He will judge every violator (Heb 13:4). As part of the lesson, he exhorted his son to maximize his sexual pleasure with his wife only (Pr 5:15,19-20). He then added the precious incentive of having a legitimate family without any confusion of it by other women or children (Pr 5:16-18).

The plural pronoun “them” in the first clause, “Let them be only thine own,” are the fountains and rivers of waters of the previous verse, which are the legitimate children and descendants of a good and noble man (Pr 5:16). The children must all be legitimate by his lawful wife to maximize the pleasure, peace, reputation, and power of a great family.

Godly men, great men, understand the value of a large, happy, and prosperous family (Ps 107:41; 127:3-5; 128:1-6). They know it is one of the great blessings and goals of life. They are not like today’s perverts, who choose other men for their lovers or use women for sex with neither marriage nor children desired. A great family is a valuable motive for godly men to avoid whorish women. Wise parents will include this in their child training.

The “strangers” of the second clause are whores (Pr 23:27). Kings have had mistresses from the beginning, because of their power and wealth. King Solomon warned his son to limit sex to his wife (Pr 5:19-20). He used the euphemism “strange woman” often (Pr 2:16; 5:3,20; 6:24; 7:5; 23:27; Judges 11:1-2). She is a stranger in that she is foreign to his marriage bed; he has no right to intimacy with her, for he promised all lovemaking to his wife. Though he may know her well personally, she is outside his sexual territory.

God allowed polygamy because of the hardness of men’s hearts (Matt 19:8). Though He could easily have created many wives for Adam, He chose one wife for each man for a very good reason (Mal 2:14-15) – godly children. Polygamy corrupts families, as the Old Testament history shows, even though polygamy actually involved legitimate marriages.

Sarah encouraged her husband Abraham to take a second wife named Hagar. But as soon as Hagar conceived, even before any children were born, the envy and trouble had started (Gen 16:1-6). When each wife had birthed a son for Abraham, the rivalry came out in the open, and Abraham’s polygamous family was ripped apart permanently (Gen 21:1-11).

David’s sons fought among themselves, because David had polluted his family tree by polygamy (I Chron 3:1-9). Solomon had witnessed this deadly conflict personally, when Absalom killed Amnon for molesting his half-sister (II Sam 13:1-39). And he had experienced it himself, when Adonijah tried to steal his throne (I Kgs 1:1-53; 2:12-25).

Adultery is worse than polygamy, for there is no commitment or marriage at all. Children conceived by adultery do not have two loving parents, for one parent is missing from the child’s home, and the stepparent may not have strong affection for the stepchild. It is such troubles of a mistress conceiving that Solomon warned his son and you against.

But how much worse are children stolen from opposite-sex intercourse to provide children for two men or two women in same-sex sham marriages? Even nature itself condemns such unions and denies them ability to reproduce (Rom 1:24-27,31; I Cor 6:9; I Tim 1:10; II Tim 3:3), yet they want the result of opposite-sex love. Solomon never saw such perversity. The proverb applies even more powerfully against such inventions, for it declares, “Let [your children] be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee” (Pr 5:17).

The living and true God, Who limited marriage and sex to one man and one woman, also condemned most divorces – the kind that occur in about 50% of first marriages in America. He hates such divorces (Mal 2:16), and He declared that they are merely a legal fraud to whitewash the terrible sin of adultery (Matt 5:31-32; 19:3-9). These divorces also violate the proverb, for they break up marriages and confuse families with stepchildren.

The children of God should marry godly and virtuous spouses of the opposite sex for life and build great families with legitimate and loved children, whom they train to love godliness and hate this world’s abominations. May such children see the glory, feel the joy, and know the profit of a godly and real family. May they learn to hate fornication, adultery, sodomy, and unscriptural divorce as enemies of the family. May the fountains and rivers of such godly children increase more and more (Pr 5:15-18; Ps 144:11-15).

The God of heaven has His family of children by glorious wedlock to the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 3:14-15; 5:25-27; Heb 2:10-13). All others outside the electing grace of God are bastards, and He denies them His love and chastening (Heb 12:5-8; Eph 1:3-6; Rom 8:28-33; 9:21-24). Jesus Christ guaranteed eternal life to every one of these children (Jn 6:38-39; 10:27-28; 17:1-4), and they shall spend eternity rejoicing in a new heaven and earth with Him and their Father (Ps 16:11; 36:8; John 14:1-3; Rom 8:17-23; Eph 2:4-7).