- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:3
"Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which destroys kings"
Remember that the first part of this proverb is written to those who would be leaders for God. It was written by a king who calls himself Lemuel, which is "for God." He was a man who saw that God had called him to leadership and was recording the best advice he received as a child. It was from his mother and was either God-breathed from her or God-breathed in his recollection or God-breathed in the recording. But now it is inspired instructions for leadership.
Verse 3 is the opening command. It is negative. Don't get disqualified right out of the gate. Do not give your strength to women. Clearly this is a reference to not spending mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual energy on chasing or impressing women. It also seems to imply that the king who had a position of power should not be involved in the party scene and carousing just because he could. It is this dissipation of strength that is being outlawed. Too many great leaders with good ideas have not been able to control their appetites and have diminished, if not destroyed, the impact of their leadership for God.
When a person becomes a leader, they have offers open to them that are not open to more normal folks. These offers could be monetary, privileges, favors, social, sexual, or any number of desirable commodities. These are the ways which destroy kings.
If you are a leader for God, then you are to get about the business of leading for God. But instead, the world system and the Devil would seek to distract you from the goal of accomplishing great things for God. If you are thinking about making sure that no one finds out what you did or how you can hang on to that pleasurable activity or gain a piece of the money you oversee for yourself, then you have succumbed to the temptation and cannot as effectively lead for God.
Notice that the proverb doesn't say that a leader cannot enjoy nice things and has to live like a monk. But instead they cannot give their ways to these pursuits. There are many wonderful things in this world that are not sinful or destructive. But if you begin to spend leadership time to planning how to pursue these things instead of what God has asked you to do, then it will begin to destroy your leadership.
Many Christian leaders do not reach the level of impact that they should because they fall victim to these temptations. The church in the Middle Ages suggested that these temptations would revolve around money, sex, and power. Watch these; don't give your strength to them. Give your strength to pleasing God with your leadership decisions.