The Amplified Bible translates this,
(Proverbs 7:25 AMP) Let not your heart incline toward her ways, do not stray into her paths.The idea of the “heart” (3820) inclining caught my attention and I thought about my children. They were home for Christmas and have now gone back to living away from us. My concern for them was what kind of influence I had on their decisions of faith. Yesterday I was reading a father daughter discussion of a book on the faith of teens. The father is at John Meunier’s Blog and the daughter is at Christian Girl in College. As a father of two grown children I am aware of the importance of early inclination. It is a concern of every parent. I have been able to watch that grow and mature in my kids. What troubles me is how much of that inclination is by personality and how much is by choice.
Some translations imply that the heart is passive, such as the Douay,
(Proverbs 7:25 DRB) Let not thy mind be drawn away in her ways: neither be thou deceived with her paths./Others like the KJV and the NASB imply that the heart is controlled by our decisions. Is the heart passive or active? If we had stopped at one child, I would have voted for active. With the second the vote was tied, and I became less strident in my opinions. It just seems that some come to faith with less struggle.
Either way it is clear that our early decisions are important. You may not have young children, but somewhere in your life are people young in life and in the faith that you can encourage and help to incline the right direction.
So pray to be an example. People watch you. They are encouraged or discouraged by how you respond to the trials of life. Your words are important mainly to explain your actions. You actions are the vital testimony. May God bless you today.