Author: Carter Shuman
What are your intentions with my daughter? That is the question that was asked to a young man who hoped to take a girl out on a date. He sat on the couch waiting for the girl to come down the hall so they could go out to dinner and a movie. While he sat in that awkward place, the young girl’s father issued a preemptive strike against any ideas that the young man might have had involving his daughter. The older gentleman is firm and direct. He wants to leave a lasting impression. The hope is that the young man will have more of him than he has desire to experience any form of physical touch with his daughter. And somewhere in the middle of the situation the question comes out. What are your intentions?
But I have to wonder if that is the right question to ask. Do our intentions determine the things that we do or the road we travel? This section of scripture gives us an insight into the heart of man on a road he has no business traveling. We have no way to determine what the intentions of this young man were. He may have had dreams of being the best husband there on the planet. He may have never dreamed of taking the offer of another man’s wife. We have no way to determine what the intentions were of this young man. But yet we find him on the road toward a place of dishonor. It is dark on the road and the woman is waiting for a man to walk by suitable for her taste. There is no denying her intention in the matter. She has readied her bed to be a place of infidelity. This young man was walking as an ox to be slaughtered and he didn’t even know it.
The truth of the matter is this. Our intentions do not determine where we go. Some of the most well-intentioned, goodhearted people I have ever met ended up in places that they never wanted to be. Our direction is what ultimately determines our destination. It is the choice of what path you take that will lead you to the destination before you. Andy Stanley calls this the principle of the path: Your direction, not your intentions, determines your destination.
So here is the question the father should actually be asking the boy that wants to take his daughter out, “Do you know what direction you are going?” Or better yet, the father should be giving the advice to always take the path that will lead you to the destination you desire.
So what direction are you headed? Does the path you are going down lead to the adulterous woman who will ensnare you, or does your direction match your intentions leading you down the path of righteousness?