I want to talk about a subject that needs to be taken very seriously by us as ladies. Most readers are not unwed mothers or practicing harlots. But there is a strong current sweeping through our generation that has affected all of us today to some level, as well as the sin that lies in our flesh hearts by nature. Those two things – the evil within and without – can do much damage to our Christian walk, to our homes and to the body of Christ, if not confronted and contended with.
There are some distinct characteristics of the harlot laid down in the word of God. These qualities all can be manifest to varying degrees of extremity. Our desire as women seeking the Lord should be to eliminate them all completely from our lives, regardless of how seemingly insignificant one of them might be to us. May our prayer be to totally repent of any whorish inclinations or behaviors, and purify our hearts through faith in the statutes the Lord has set forth for us as ladies.
Now, let’s search the Scriptures.
Rebellion against authority
A trademark of all practicing harlots (I say practicing to distinguish the willing from the unwilling) is rebellion. The harlot has no devotion to her father or respect for God’s laws.
“To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.” (Proverbs 2:16,17)
It is especially interesting to note how there is a very clear disregard the harlot has for her earthly father. Though he has been the guide of her youth, leading her through her childhood and into womanhood, caring for her and providing for her, those things don’t matter to her enough to be faithful to him and serve him rather than her own interests. She does not even respect the position of authority he has in her life, because she wouldn’t forsake him if she did. Her deliberate abandonment of her authority figure is motivated by a spirit of rebellion.
Have you ever noticed that women or girls who remove themselves from their father’s sphere of influence over them, perhaps to devote their lives to relationships with friends or chase a job/college degree start showing many of the other characteristics of the harlot, including rebellion? It starts with acting out from under authority. It is guided by that spirit.
The other evidence of her rebellion is the fact that God’s laws do not matter enough to her to be remembered. Unlike the godly woman who cherishes the precepts of the Lord, the harlot forgets them and whatever mercies He has shown her. She despises His grace and has no fear of Him, for nobody would forget the covenant of God if they did fear Him. They aren’t important in her mind. Rather than submit to Him, she chooses to go her own way and do her own thing. She is “her own woman” and she does what she wants. All of her trespasses are without regard to what God would have her to do.
The spirit of an harlot does not cherish the position of authority her father has over her, but resents it. She will roll her eyes when her father asks her to do something, or sass back. His commandments don’t mean anything to her, other than to serve as an annoyance; she always has something more important to do. She’d rather hang out with her friends than spend time with him. She has her own life and he has his, in her mind.
Interestingly enough, the spirit of rebellion (which the harlot possesses) is likened to witchcraft in the Bible. And a direct tie is also drawn between stubbornness and idolatry, which we will discuss more later.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” (1 Samuel 15:23)
Is it any wonder that many harlots are pagans and witches? Witchcraft is also a rejecting of God’s laws or His authority over your life. You may be horrified at the thought of involving yourself in such things, but if you are in rebellion of any form to God-ordained authority, you are in the same boat as the witch according to the Bible. Rebellion is taken to an art form by countless girls of our generation. It is their craft.
Her Dress Betrays her Profession and Inward State
“In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.” (Proverbs 7:9, 10)
What is the attire of an harlot? Some people want to just lock this term away to some obscure time in history, assuming we can’t even know what it was and even if we did it wouldn’t matter because dress has changed so much. While this specific scripture doesn’t say, we can find clues throughout the Bible regarding how the whore dressed. That is a separate study in and of itself, which I plan to cover in another post. For now I want to focus more on the spirit behind the dress rather than her dress itself. She has a rebellious spirit. She has a subtil heart. It bleeds out into the all areas of her life, appearance included. Her attitude manifests itself in what she wears.
What is subtil in heart? Subtil has at least two meanings. It can mean wise (Proverbs 1:4), but I believe here in this context it means deceitful (as in Gen 27:35), and/or sneaky (see 2 Kings 10:19, Matthew 26:4). It is connected with evil in several verses. The sorcerer of Acts 13 who withstood the preaching of Paul and Barnabas was “full of all subtilty and all mischief” (Acts 13:11). The serpent in the garden of Eden was subtil (Genesis 3:1) as was the wicked Jonadab (2 Samuel 13:3). Why say all this? because this is what lies in the heart of the harlot. Trying to do evil in a sneaky and deceitful way might be a good definition. This is interpretation is further solidified by the fact that the harlot is a night prowler. She is active when it is dark. Many times those who are up to mischief are doing so in the dark so they don’t get caught (see Job 24:14-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:7). The bride of Solomon was mistaken for an harlot for being out after sunset (Song of Solomon 5:2-7). That’s because the harlot goes behind the back of the man of the house with evil intentions. She is secretive about her business so she won’t get caught. She doesn’t have open lines of communication with him, no never – another sign of her disjointed relationship to him.
“She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:” (Proverbs 7:11)
Thoughts on Loud
Quietness, gentleness and a soft tongue are characteristics of the virtuous woman. Not so with this lady. She is a loud-mouth bossy-britches, in true feminist flavour. You hear her voice over everyone else in a group of people. The volume on her voice box is perpetually turned up. After all, what she has to say is more important than everything else! This stems from her presumptuous, selfish, prideful heart. She isn’t worried about broadcasting herself for all to hear, regardless of the possibility she might be wrong. Oh, no – the whole world needs to hear what she has to say, there are no doubts in her mind about that. She is confident and brassy (see Proverbs 14:16). The concept of “toning it down” is not on her agenda.
A loud mouth is reflective of a woman’s heart that is not in submission. Such a voice is exalting the one who possesses it among others.
In strong contrast to loud and stubborn, the virtuous woman is meek and quiet (1 Peter 5:4).
Thoughts on Stubborn
While flirtatious, loose or immodest are all words we associate with harlots, stubborn might seem an unusual adjective to us for one. But it actually is a central point of her character.
Headstrong and adamant, she wants her own way. She isn’t open to listening to direction. No flexibility, no submission… she is bent on what she wants and nothing else and is defiant of anyone who would tell her otherwise. She’s an arguer who fights back rather than gives in. Her will is strong, not broken, and therefore her heart is not right before God.
“And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.” (Psalm 78:8)
A stiff neck and a hard heart are manifest in her life by her independence and self-assertive attitude. She wants her own way and won’t listen to anyone who says otherwise. She gets angry or pouts when someone resists her or tries to impose boundaries. She won’t be told what to do – she’ll be bucking that authority over the littlest matter. No warnings, no pleadings, no firmness, no gentle persuasion, no amount of reasoning will change her mind. The thought of being obedient actually offends her.
It’s a serious matter to be stubborn, in the eyes of God. Do you have the stubborn spirit of an harlot? I have to continually be attentive to myself in this matter too.
The virtuous woman, on the other hand, is submissive in all matters to her authority (that do not require her to sin). She delights in obedience, and finds great joy in pleasing him, knowing that she is doing so as unto the Lord.
Thoughts on Feet not Abiding in the house
“Now she is without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.” (Proverbs 7:12)
This is a very controversial one, but there is a clear tie drawn between a wanton heart and wanton feet. Whereas the virtuous woman is “by the sides of thine house” and is busy keeping it, this lady is off pursuing her own agendas outside of the protection and place of her home, leaving it to be prey for the devil. She prefers not to be “tied down” to her home and family. Children, household duties, etc. all seem dreary to her. She’d rather be out in the world waiting to make a man fall in love with her or pursuing her own dreams, as Dinah (Gen 34:1).
The harlot does not have her home at the center of her motives, but her own self-interest. She’s a wanderer, wandering away from her home like a bird from the nest. It makes her feel relieved to get away from her “overbearing” husband or father. She’d rather go to the market or to the mall, or for that matter abandon her home altogether and live on her own so she can be in control.
That’s not to say a woman can never step outside of her house for any reason. The virtuous woman can and did do so on occasion, as did the woman of Proverbs 31. But why? It was always for the cause of her house, be it bringing home rare food, seeking materials for spinning, or investing in and planting a field. Unlike the harlot, the virtuous woman finds great joy in being a keeper at home.
The godly woman has a desire to be hidden, quietly living her life and doing her duties behind-the-scenes, so to speak. She is shamefaced, bashful and shy and would never dream of speaking or behaving boldly around any man – she exemplifies shamefacedness and sobriety (1 Timothy 2:). In stark contrast stands the harlot, whose behavior, conversation and appearance all proclaim the unspoken message: notice me. Look how pretty I am. Give me attention.
The harlot desires to be seen and admired. She especially wants attention from men and dresses accordingly. It pleases her to draw their eyes. “Is he looking at me with interest?” she wonders. “How can I put myself in his way so we can talk?” The gears of her mind are constantly turning with such schemes. Her mentality is one of the huntress.
“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows.” (Proverbs 7:13, 14)
Her attitude with men is flirtatious. She teases them playfully. She flatters with her lips, showering them with compliments. She exaggerates her facial expressions and voice tone as they talk when she probably doesn’t care two cents about the subject (subtil). She is physical with men and can’t keep her hands to herself (or lips, for that matter). She clutches at him like a cat toying with a mouse. She’s always putting herself in his space.
Her face itself is impudent. Her attitude is written all over it, but it is primarily the eyes which give this away. The haughty, rebellious women in Isaiah 3:16 have “wanton eyes.” What do wanton eyes look like? First, there is where they look. The virtuous woman is shamefaced, meaning she has bashful, downcast eyes, but this woman is brazen. Her gaze is direct at authority, unwavering, unashamed. She is without fear of God or man and her pride shows in her lack of respect in her demeanor. Locking eyes with men betrays her rebellious heart.
Then there is how they are decorated. The eyelids are specifically mentioned with regards to the strange woman (harlot) and warned against (Proverbs 6:25). A whorish, proud witch of a woman, Jezebel, was clearly mentioned in the Bible painting her face. How does this apply to today? Look around and you’ll find some things have never changed. Mascara. Eyeliner. Eye-shadow. Even false lashes. All of these things are painted onto the eyes of girls by the millions every day, many by design, some out of ignorance. But it used to be only the custom of harlots to do that. The connection between harlots and makeup is a separate article in and of itself, but show me a harlot and 9 times out of 10 you’ll show me a woman with her eyes caked in that stuff. If you ask them why they do that, they will tell you it is to frame their eyes or it is pretty. In other words, to draw attention. What God gave them naturally wasn’t good enough. They think they can make it better than He did. You’ll never see a virtuous woman in the Bible doing that, but you will find evil women and eye-makeup connected many times. Yet in our society women of all statuses and backgrounds are expected to do such things whenever they enter the public eye. We live in dark times.
Motivated by selfishness
The harlot has no concern for others, only her own pleasure and enjoyment. It never worries her how her lifestyle affects her family, or that she is bringing a bad name upon them. She doesn’t care about her own children, because if she did she would not bring them into the world without a husband and caring father. That is why many harlots impose methods of abortifacient contraceptives or perform abortions. Her actions have consequences which she very well knows, but she is willing to accept them to have what she wants at that moment – it’s only about the now for her.
Obsessed about Beauty
Inward beauty is of no consequence to her. No thought is taken for character or soul – only the things that can be seen matter because that’s what gets the attention of carnal men. Virtuous women attract men who are looking to be godly husbands and heads of families. She knows the cheap shortcut to winning the hearts of men: looking attractive. She thinks about her figure, her hair, her skin, her eyes. She spends hours looking in the mirror, fussing and primping and adorning. Because, after all, who would want her if she didn’t? And she knows what great power she wields in her good looks. They are her weapon. So every detail must be perfect!
Christian lady, if this sounds like you, I pray you to search your heart. The mirror can be a useful thing, but it should not be used for vanity. Anything beyond using it for cleanliness, health and feminine neatness and order is crossing the line into harlot territory. I know I’m not going to make a lot of friends for saying that, and most women of our day who profess the name of Christ would balk at this, but I want you to stop and think about the seriousness of what you are doing.
Her Interest in Men is Recreational
The soul of a man, his deep thoughts, his visions and aspirations, his heart and mind are boring to her. His good looks and flirtations are far more appealing. After all, they won’t love her for who she is inside – why should she develop any deep level of intimacy with them? Relationships are for whatever emotional pleasure they afford at the time, nothing more. She doesn’t want to be tied down, she wants to move on whenever she feels like it. It only amuses her to break their hearts (or so she likes to think).
And she certainly doesn’t want them ruling over her – she wants to rule over them, controlling them, making them do her bidding. A strong, spiritual head? Preposterous! She wants to call all the shots. By wooing them and luring them with her wiles, she’s always the boss. She is a feminist.
Again, is this the attitude of the godly woman? Rather, the opposite. The godly woman knows man and woman relationships of love are meant to be a depiction of Christ and the Church, not a string of flings, not a reversal of God’s design. She admires a man who leads with strength, with Christ as his head, spiritually mature men, and wants to do all she can to build up the man in her life to that position, all the while underneath his authority. It is a joy to her to do his bidding and honour him.
Virtuous women pursue a heart of humility and meekness, putting the needs of others first and themselves last, thinking only of how to please the Lord and do His will. They are not afraid to position themselves in a place of submission, or being lowly as the world would despise – rather, they embrace it.
Contrast this with the harlot. In her every attribute we have looked at so far, underneath each one lies pride. Rebellion. Feminism. Me-first. Loud-mouth. Disobedient. Abandoning. Deceitful. Look-at-me. I know better than everyone including God. Nobody deserves to tell me what to do.
Her body movements are lewd when walking, her dancing vulgar, her tongue suggestive. Her sensuality comes across in her voice tone, facial expressions and words. She likes worldly music. She likes clothing that highlights and flatters the most sexual parts of her body. She wants men to undress her in their minds. A perpetual pleasure-seeker, she continually desires to feel emotions and sensations that make her feel good regardless of how illicit they are. She wants other women to look on her with envy.
I find it interesting that whoredom and harlotry are often connected with idolatry in the Bible. “Playing the harlot” was a term for turning after false gods (Jeremiah 2:20-23, Ezekiel 16:15-34).
She is a Buddhist, a Catholic, a new-ager, a yoga-practicing, chanting, transcendental meditating hippie or wiccan. She has contact with the spirits and practices all kinds of divination, from reading tea leaves to superstitious rituals. Maybe she has a thing for magic. She likes to manipulate people and wants to acquire supernatural powers of persuasion. She reads books on the human psyche. She doesn’t know the God of the Bible. Her Jesus (should she claim the name) is another Jesus, her gospel another gospel. There is no love for the Lord in her heart.
Shallow and Fickle, Flimsy Character
“How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord GOD, seeing thou doest all these things, the work of an imperious whorish woman…” (Ezekiel 16:30)
She is not serious. She’ll say anything to get what she wants, whether or not she means it. Her virtue is as deep as a parking lot puddle, her character the equivalent to a shriveled up, dry dead plant. Consequently, any little thing will throw her for a loop, losing control at the drop of a hat. While she may be without blemish on the outside, inside she is full of ravening wickedness, faults and spots. She grieves those around her. She thinks her good looks will let her get away with evil in all situations and has no repentance – she makes no effort to change. Perhaps she even takes pride in her stubbornness, her pride, her rebellion, her bad attitude.
In contrast, the virtuous woman is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. Her roots run deep. She knows that the beauty of the inner man is the only beauty worth pursuing, and cultivates it over the years, perfecting her character daily by the grace of God.
The harlot is the daughter of the devil.
Now we come to the pinnacle. Though the harlot attempts to fiercely guard her independence to the death and defy anything that hints of authority in her life, she is the greatest slave of all. She follows the devil’s doctrine on each point. His pride is an integral part of his character. Rebellion is strictly the territory of Satan, is it not? He was the first rebel, and he has been instructing the wayward in that art ever since his fall. An inversion of authority roles is his goal, a perversion he delights in. Idolatry in all its forms pays him homage. Exalting that which is seen with the eyes of the flesh rather than with eyes of faith prevents men from ever considering that which truly matters. Deception? his expertise. Wandering? walking to and fro, seeking whom he may devour like a lion, with the world as his playground. But the sorry thing is, though she may copy him in these things, he is her master. In all of the ways she thinks she is serving herself and being her own person, she is really just a puppet doing his pleasure and his will for her life, helping to bring more down to his kingdom of eternal torment as his assistant and sealing her own damnation. She is working for him every step of the way. Her wickedness and sin only brings him more glory, but will only end in her heartbreak and destruction. He gives her her hour of pleasure on the earth, her temporary thrills and gains, but ultimately he will demolish her too. In all of her endless searching she will never find true peace or happiness. Her way is forever cursed.