Could you take her for a test run? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We live in a world that tends to worship at the altar of sexuality. We often think we know so much in this area, when really we know so little. It’s one reason there’s so much confusion such that people are having perfectly fine body parts removed from them because they feel like they’re the opposite gender. (As if to say there’s any set way a man or a woman is meant to feel.)
Sex is certainly not sacred to most people anymore and is pretty much a recreational activity. You are attracted to someone, you date, you sleep together, you move in, you could get married. Normally, it’s the woman who wants to get married to have that security, but the man isn’t as motivated. Why would he be? He’s getting what he wants already.
In the ancient world, a woman was to be protected while she was in the house of her parents, and that included her sexuality. In this case, if a man seduces her, assuming she is not pledged to someone else, then he doesn’t get to try before he buys. He has to marry her at that point.
Suppose the father absolutely refuses? The man is still in the loser’s position. He has to pay the bride-price for her. He has damaged the family. In the world of ancient Israel, men wanted to marry women who were virgins. This woman would be less likely to marry as a result of what this man had done.
Now we can be sure if a woman seduced a man, which could happen as we saw earlier with the wife of Potiphar who attempted this, that the law would be understood to apply in an opposite sense, though a man certainly doesn’t have a bride-price. However, most of us realize it makes sense to address the man because usually, the men are the pursuers in sexual relationships.
Overall, this was to be a deterrent to the man. Do you want to sleep with this woman? Really consider how much it’s going to cost you. Can you afford a bride-price? Later on in the Torah, we will get to the case of a man who seduces a woman who is pledged to be married and the stakes are different.
This is one reason also in our society, abortion is not an ally to women, but it is much more an ally to the man. After all, most men don’t really like the thought of paying child support, but if he can get a woman pregnant and she can make the problem go away, then the man gets off free and can do what he wants at that point. Abortion has really been helping women to be used by men as long as it has been around.
Perhaps our society should also learn to not take sex so casually. Maybe we’re really missing out on the joy that we’re meant to have in this area of life. While Christians are not under the Law, we are foolish if we don’t think we can learn something from it.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)