Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water form your own well… Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth…be intoxicated always in her love.
Proverbs 5:15, 18, 19 (ESV)
Fatherly wisdom encourages us to embrace the gifts that God gives us and to refuse to settle for the substitutes offered by the deceiver. This is especially true in relation to marriage and the alternatives that compete with it. The temptation to adultery appeals to our selfishness. After all, we shouldn’t be expected to be limited to just one sex partner, should we? There just seems to be great adventure in stepping outside of moral constraints. Sadly, our contemporary culture glamorizes sexual exploits before and outside of marriage and often mocks those who insist on following the advice of eternal wisdom. Movies are made portraying adult virgins as naive and even weird.
If we take seriously the instructions of wisdom in Proverbs chapter five, we will see that adultery is foolish, costly, and regrettable. More is involved than just sexual adventure. If people are free to tell the truth, they will lament the choices they have made to ignore the order of God in marriage and sexual faithfulness.
The Father created our sexual desires so that we could approximate in horizontal relationships the intimacy between the persons in the Godhead. When two become one there is a physical, an emotional, and a spiritual component that requires a mutual commitment of man (husband) and woman (wife). Without the covenant bond, the intimacy is redefined. What a lie we have been told that couples can live together without marriage in order to prepare for marriage. They sometimes say that they are practicing marriage so they will be better if and when they decide to tie the knot. Actually they are practicing divorce. They are living as two people trying to figure out how to maneuver instead of living as one new union learning how to bless the other.
Wisdom instructs: “Drink from your own cistern.” It is your stewardship. It is the best possible drink you can get. Stealing from the cisterns of others will bring all kinds of conflict and complications. You have one spouse that you can serve. As you make that your priority, you will find satisfaction welling up in you. She is not your servant. You are hers. Rejoice in her. Let your joy in serving become an intoxicating elixir. Why compare her with others? She is uniquely created and specifically waiting for you to make her the queen of your thoughts and actions.
This is how the ultimate groom relates to his bride. He loves her not because she is perfect or effectively meeting his needs. He loves her in whatever defiled state she is in and washes her with his love. You have that same love in you as a believer in Christ. You share his life. You really can love your wife as Christ loves the Church. And Christian wives have the same life and can rejoice in the love and leadership of their husbands just as Christ does toward the Father.
Wisdom is right again. God’s gift of marriage is designed to be intoxicating to both parties. Embrace it! Protect it! Be grateful for it! If you have already failed in the stewardship of your sexuality, you qualify for the grace that Jesus has already provided through his sacrifice. You need not live another day in condemnation or regret. He loves you because you are part of his bride, and he has already provided the cleansing. He rejoices in you as one who intoxicates him. Let him love you.