There are some passages in the bible that can be hard to understand. With all the thou’s, thy’s, metaphors, parables, and imagery, it’s no wonder the Lord sent us the Holy Spirit to help us. I’m also a firm believer that we are not meant to understand everything written in God’s word! If we could, what would be so special about God? But I digress.
I don’t believe Proverbs 5 is one of those deep philosophical chapters that you need a master’s degree to understand. Its view on sex, lust, marriage and love is pretty straight forward. It breaks these concepts down to about four main points.
- Verses 1-6 warns against the seductive ways of an adulteress
- Verses 7-14 describes our future if we succumb to lust and follow the adulteress
- Verses 15-20 tells us the right way to live
- Verses 21-23 reminds us that the Lord sees all that we do
Again, I feel that these verses are straight forward and the idea to avoid temptation of sexual nature is a simple one. However, I do want to expound upon verses 15-20.
15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
This is a clever and beautiful way of saying to only have sex with your spouse.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
This is a question worth pondering. Many times it seems like the Bible is full of statements (sometimes called commands), but here is a question. I feel that it is rhetorical in nature but that doesn’t mean we should blow past it. After reading several commentaries, I discovered that the phrase “streams of water” is actually referring to offspring. So in this context, it is asking about illegitimate children of the promiscuous harlot.
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
This statement is to be paired with v16, and is saying that instead of having children out of wedlock, to let those be yours alone, with your spouse of course!
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
The “fountain” here is speaking of your family. May your family be blessed and may you be able to enjoy it with the wife of your youth (meaning, the spouse you married long ago). *Even if you haven’t been married long, this still applies. Generally, promiscuity doesn’t happen early on in marriage (even though it can). I think the point is that it is especially important to remember this after years of marriage have gone by.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
In biblical imagery, a doe is often used to describe a beautiful woman. Her “breasts” are an imagery of her affection. But my favorite part of this verse is the third section that says “may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” Don’t you love that? Think about when you are first dating and you are smitten with your sweetheart. You can’t look away from them. You want to spend every waking moment with them. You can’t even get off the phone without that goofy phrase, “No, you hang up first!” This is what I would call intoxicated! I want my husband to always look at me with an intoxicated affection that he did when we first began courting each other. I know he wants that too!
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
This final verse is another question. He says, why? What is the point of being intoxicated with another man’s wife? How can you ever be satisfied with another man’s wife? You couldn’t! She isn’t really yours, you haven’t made a commitment to her (marriage) and it is blatant sin to engage with her. He is basically helping you see here that it would be pointless.
I want to quickly address the four “phases” of life when it comes to a mate. The singles, the young married and the seasoned married (you thought I was going to say old, didn’t you), and the widowed.
To the singles: I will be honest and tell you that I married at a very young age, so I do not know what it is like to try and date. So I won’t try to pretend. However, can I encourage you today? There is nothing wrong with you if you are not married. You are not incomplete if you are single. I know there must be times where you feel alone and having a companion would make life easier or more enjoyable but know that God isn’t punishing you and He has NOT forgotten about you or your desires. Please don’t forget that your joy comes from the Lord. Your identity is tied with Christ, not another human being. Take advantage of the freedom singleness gives you to serve Christ. Just as marriage can be a gift, so is singleness a gift. Don’t lose sight on how the Lord has called you this day to live for him in whatever situation you are in!
To the young married: I will speak from experience here… do not, I repeat DO NOT, put your spouse above Christ! You may be thinking to yourself, well of course I wouldn’t do that. But let me say that the infatuation you feel to your newly bound love can oftentimes lead us to put them on a pedestal. Can I remind you today that your spouse is not your Christ? They are not perfect. They will let you down. Just as you will let them down. I had to learn that the hard way. By putting my husband on a pedestal and looking to him for my joy, I led myself only to disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is one of the most wonderful, trustworthy men I’ve ever met. He loves me deeply and would search the ends of the earth for me. *HUBBY, if you are reading this, you know I love you with all my heart. But folks, it is not fair to your spouse if you put them above Christ. It’s too much pressure for them to try and live up to a perfect Savior. Let them walk next to you in this life. Lean on each other during hard times. Find a way to encourage each other when trials come. Don’t let the early years of marriage turn you bitter. Let them foster that deep love that will carry you happily throughout your life together.
And to our seasoned crowd: If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to FAN THE FLAME!!! I’ve been married almost 13 years at the time I’m writing this… so I don’t consider myself a newbie, but I know I’ve only scratched the surface of what a life-long marriage can hold. However, after a few years, you end up finding yourself in a routine that can lead to boredom, contempt and flat out ungratefulness for your spouse. So remember to fan the flame. Whatever this means for you… maybe you need a weekend to rekindle the fires of passion. Possibly you need to revisit a hobby that you once shared. Whatever it takes, reignite the embers of love for your spouse. Maybe you need to forgive them or ask for forgiveness. Maybe you need to be more appreciative of all they do for you. I don’t know what it would be for you, but if you don’t, PRAY!!! Pray and ask God to show you. Pray like your marriage depends on it, because it does.
To the widows and widowers… know that the Lord holds a special place in his heart for you. He knows your pain. He knows that it feels like half of your soul has been lost. I pray the Lord gives you comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding.
Whatever season you are in, I pray that the Lord gives you guidance, peace and contentment. What season are you in? Please share your comments below.