Verse 8 offers the most basic guidance about a relationship with such a woman – stay away from her! “Keep a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house” is about as clear as it gets. One of the reasons most of us get into trouble is simply because we get too close or comfortable with things that are inappropriate for us.
Then, father suggests to son some consequences of not staying away and they are severe. To “lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel” was the ultimate disgrace in the Biblical world (see 22:1) and still is in much of the Middle East today.
If losing our reputation isn’t enough, this son is also warned “lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another.” Not only my honor and dignity, but all my stuff – everything I’ve worked for – could be gone, too.
Admittedly, just time spend with this woman is probably not how this all happens to me. But it may well come later via her (or her friends!). Or it sets me up for a lifestyle where this takes place somewhere else, with someone else.
When I was little, my grandmother used to give me the same kind of speech. “If you play with fire, you will get burned!” I always thought that was stupid.
Lots of times I played with matches or lighters and nothing happened. But there was that one time with the car lighter…so painful and really embarrassing!