I read this, and I can't help but wonder just how many people the father had seen fall to adultery. You can hear the pain in his voice, the pleading. "DON'T DO THIS!" is so blatantly spelled out here, can you imagine the son falling? Yet he might have. Why? Why do we fall into sin when we know its dangers?
It's time. That we have to see things in the scope of time weighs us down and keeps us from really seeing things. We see the immediate consequences so clearly, and the long-term ones get fuzzy. The eternal scope is often completely lost on us.
Take adultery for an example. Rod Loy, pastor of First Assembly of God in North Little Rock, Arkansas, used the acronym HALT in reference to fighting temptation. He pointed out that temptation comes when we are:
When those feelings are affecting us, we tend to look for the immediate solution to them. We choose to eat wherever, we do what we need to given with the cause of our anger. We want to alleviate loneliness. We just don't want to feel tired, and the tiredness clouds our judgment.
How to fight it? First of all, like the speaker here is trying to help his son fight it. We fight by considering the consequences before the decisions present themselves. We move our decision process back from the immediate, and consider the long-term consequences. Honestly list out for yourself what would happen if you chose a certain path.
Second, and this is also important, look at Proverbs 7:25 (NLT) : the warning is here to avoid putting yourself in the position that the temptation comes. If you're an alcoholic striving to recover, avoid hanging out in bars, where the temptation is stronger. If you're tempted to be unfaithful to your spouse, avoid traveling alone as much as possible (and avoid traveling with someone you're tempted by!). If money is a temptation, establish controls.
This is what the writer of Proverbs 7 is calling out for his son to watch for, to avoid. Don't let it happen to you, he pleads. May we all heed his warning.