When my husband and I moved homes, we found a darling cat purring at our backyard. The prior owner must have been setting out milk. Although we are both dog people, I said, “Ahh, he’s so adorable. I bet he’s thirsty? Let’s put out a bowl of milk!” Surprisingly, Ryan said, “No, don’t ever give him any milk.”
Why? I felt so bad, like I would be solely responsible for starving this cat, if I denied him. It was a plump cat, so I found the strength to somehow walk past the sunroom door and ignore the purring. The next two, three, four nights, the cat pawed, softly. It was really hard for me. The fifth night was a little easier and after some time, it was not hard at all. Soon, I never saw the cat, again.
The same thing can happen in marriage. We can have an adorable little guest suddenly pawing, purring at our relational back door. We don’t want to hurt their feelings, and they are quite adorable. Maybe just a little bit of friendship milk?
Solomon, King of Israel, could have had any woman in Israel [and pretty much did], but he came to a place where he chose one bride, the Shulamite. Scripture shows us what Solomon sought her attention exclusively. As a man who had his undue share of women, he made a strange request of his wife, He said, “[Babe, I want you to] catch the little foxes that ruin our vineyard.” He was saying, don’t let any other foxy man steal your attention or it will ruin our relationship. Earlier in the Song of Solomon, the “vineyard” is shown to be a picture of a body and the marriage relationship. He’s warning her that she’ll need to catch threats to their relationship before the cute little fox becomes a lion overtaking her heart and their romance.
It seems to me Ryan had a harsh but wise order. The best way to free a cat to go somewhere else is to starve it away. Similarly, if we want to keep the little foxes of dangerous relationships out of our marriage vineyard, the we should not set out little bowls of milk.
Men are commanded by Solomon to “drink water from their own [marriage] well (Proverbs 5:15). Opening our screen doors to outsiders suggests to men, “I might have something to drink.” So, girls, let’s give our own man something to drink tonight, right?
Ladies, what kind of cat is purring at your back door? My back door is music or chatting. I can’t open those little screen doors. To me that is sin, my boundary. We’re all a little different… What’s yours?