The woman grabbed Joseph’s clothing with such force it was clear that only one thing was on her mind. Joseph’s response was also swift and emotional. He tore himself away, leaving her holding on to his cloak.
Such a powerful emotional response is not simply an academic decision. Joseph’s response was like Job’s. Job feared God and shunned evil. Wisdom driven by emotion protected Joseph.
So, here are three dynamic factors that led to wisdom protecting Joseph:
1.A strong, emotional love of wisdom—so much so that Joseph was driven emotionally to flee from the grip of sexual temptation.
2.Joseph was emotionally tied to the specific content of righteousness. If something was not righteous, it was morally repugnant to him.
3.Joseph was intensely aware of God’s presence.
Without these there things being active in the hearts of your children they will be easy prey for the temptations of sexual sin.
Joseph was repulsed by the enticement Potiphar’s wife offered. He was repulsed by what was wrong. He reacted emotionally in a good way. “How could I do such a thing?” Imagine a young man being repulsed with the idea of having sex by a lust driven woman in our culture! Sadly, Joseph’s response is not one we would expect.
Joseph also knew that God was present with him. God was not an abstract idea that his parents believed in. Joseph was aware of the very presence of God in his everyday life. God was real to him. Joseph knew it was foolish even to consider sinning when he was always in the presence of God (Proverbs 5:21).
Parents, if you want your children to be protected by the love of wisdom you, too, must have this deeply defined, emotional connection to wisdom. If the primary form of emotion that your children see from you is anger or frustration directed at them or at life in general, you are training them to be consumed by their own lusts and desires. Godly wisdom is spurred on by a deep love for God and a hatred of sin. Your children need to see these godly emotions in you.
Proverbs 2 speaks about the love of wisdom. These words are emotionally charged. Solomon is clear: if wisdom is to be had, it must be had with emotion—the same emotion that protected Joseph.
1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
That is how wisdom will protect you and your family!