Coaches are always trying to teach players to think ahead, to develop instincts, to make wise decisions. If you listen, you’ll hear coaches trying to teach this. “Think about what you’re going to do with the ball before it’s hit to you…If THIS happens, what would you do next? Always think about four plays ahead. Be prepared.” Coaches know that players need great instincts to be great ballplayers. Otherwise, they’ll fall apart when it matters most. Otherwise, their future won’t be very bright.

Thinking ahead isn’t something we do naturally. Honestly, most of us simply do what pleases us in a given moment. Proverbs 5 contains the wisdom of a father guiding his son to avoid disasters and to develop godly instincts for living, particularly in the realm of women.

After instructing his son about the kind of woman to avoid, the father makes a great point in Proverbs 5:16–“Should your springs be dispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets?”

The father knows that a son without godly instincts will simply operate on impulse and ruin himself, his marriage (or future marriage), and many others, if he is undisciplined and chases the wrong kind of women. Is that what you want to happen?, he asks his son? Don’t you see what will be the result of a life spent without instincts?

Just like compounding a mistake on the baseball field can make a player look foolish, a lack of godly instincts can ruin a person.

Three questions to challenge us toward developing and maintaining godly instincts:

What kind of man do you really want to be? When was the last time you stopped to consider the condition of your soul, your mind, your heart, your will? Those who are lazy in these areas will drift through life, never becoming the kind of people they really want to be, the kinds of people God wants them to be. If you’re a young man, do something bold and unique: think about who you really want to be. Most of your friends won’t ever do that. They’ll just figure it out as they go, which is foolish. Decide now to be a godly man, fill your mind with wisdom, and walk that straight path with Jesus. If you’re down the road a little, it’s not too late to ask the Holy Spirit to develop in you godly thinking and character.

What kind of husband do you want your wife to have? Some reading this are not married, but odds are you will be one day. Walking down the aisle, what kind of man will your bride arrive at the altar to find? A man of purity, integrity, honor, ethics, and holiness? Or a man who simply does whatever he feels like doing, is undisciplined in love and sex, and who has no instincts for living? Your choice. For the married guys, how far have you drifted from the man you want your wife to have? Repent, humble yourself, seek forgiveness, ask for God’s empowerment, and choose a different path today.

What kind of wife do you want to have? Proverbs 5 is about avoiding promiscuous, flirtatious, and immoral women. How’s that going? If a woman is promiscuous (or adulterous) with you and others, flirtatious with anyone, and generally immoral, what kind of wife will you have if you pursue her? By implication, Proverbs 5 also points to the kind of wife you want to have: a woman whose sexuality is reserved for her husband alone, a woman more concerned for her character than her looks, a woman who lives under the authority of God. If you’re unmarried, pursue that kind of girl (trust me, it’s worth it). If you’re married, nurture that kind of woman in your wife (recognize and praise those things in her).

Asking ourselves these questions routinely will help us develop the kind of godly instincts needed for navigating the world of relationships and sexuality. Over time, we’ll see God’s reward.

Lord Jesus, give me godly instincts and wisdom regarding women. I want to be the kind of man Jesus was. I want my wife to have the kind of husband you are to your people. I want the kind of wife whose heart is set on you. Amen.