We used to live out in the country where you could burn your paper trash in a fifty-five gallon drum out back. I needed to started a fire but I had no matches and we lived about ten miles from the nearest store. There is a right way and there are dozens of wrong ways to start a fire. The way I chose was entertainingly bad.
I had a wicker waste-basket full of trash to burn. I lit a scrap of paper with the coils of the electric stove and grabbed the wicker waste-basket on the way out the door. The paper leaped into flame so I tossed it into the basket. When I reached the outdoors I was still fifty yards from the burn barrel out on the margin of the field to the west. The wind was blowing–acting a bellows. The flames quickly roared through the contents of the basket by the time I was only a third of the way across the yard. Now I was in trouble.
By the time I was halfway across the yard, the basket itself was burning in my hands, and I do mean burning as if it was soaked in kerosene. I ended up getting about ten yards from the burn barrel and throwing the flaming ball. Arcing into the dusk it must have made an impressive sight, because when I turned around toward the house the children were behind me and they all exclaimed their approval.
“Wow, Dad, that was neat.”
“Can we do that again.”
When I got back into the house I soon realized the Lois must have seen my little pyrotechnic display. Unlike the children, she was not impressed or amused. She said; “I liked that waste basket.”
A years ago I was called to a children’s hospital to visit two boys who make the mistake of using gasoline to start a brush fire. The has severe burns over 70% of their bodies. They would be scarred for life and they would never fully recover from their devastating injuries. Sex outside of marriage is like plying with fire. Indulgence in explicit material is like soaking in gasoline and hoping no one lights a match.
When you are dealing with fire its a good idea to plan ahead a little and act with special caution.
The Proverbs of Scripture are collected wisdom for young men. They paint pictures of money and friends, of work and sexuality, the kinds of things that make or break young men. When dealing with matters of moral purity special caution is in order. Whole lives can burn to the ground if we’re not careful and sometimes they will see the smoke for generations.
Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?