Love your spouse! Proverbs- Week 5- Day 5

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.  (16)  Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.  (17)  Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.  (18)  Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 

Proverbs 5:15-18 

Explanation:

The passage this week has dealt with the danger of sexual immorality.  There is a danger in thinking that God and wisdom is against all sexual activity.  We must remember that God designed human beings to enjoy sexual intercourse. This is His idea.  He designed it to be pleasurable and intimate.  It is not a bad thing.  Between a husband and wife in a lifelong monogamous relationship it is a very good thing!

The father tells his son in this passage to “drink waters out of thine own cistern”.  This metaphor of the quenching of thirst is speaking to the natural satisfaction of sexual urges being appeased in one’s own spouse.  He is telling his son to love his wife and to satisfy his sexual appetite through intimate and loving sexual intercourse with his wife. 

The metaphor continues of water running in the streets, speaking of the offspring that comes from the sexual union.  He is telling his son in verse 16 and 17 that his offspring ought to be the fruit of his own marriage relationship.  There is a much pain that can come from there being questions about maternity and paternity.

Verse 18 declares it simply.  If you want sexual satisfaction without all of these dangerous and undesired outcomes, follow God’s plan and design for marriage and family.  Commit yourself as one man and one woman for one lifetime, and enjoy the family life that comes as the blessed result.

Application:

The biblical language is clear and vivid, but is never crass.  Think of the joy that can come from the physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy that can happen between a committed husband and wife.  The man who avoids the strange woman, and finds his satisfaction and intimacy in his wife alone, will have blessing and joy from a lifelong relationship with her and his offspring.

Response:

  • For the married, what is a way that you can invest in your spouse and love them well today?
  • For the unmarried, what do you need to do to invest in your future relationships?

The Cost of Regret – Proverbs- Week 4- Day 4

And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;  (13)  And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!  (14)  I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly. 

Proverbs 5:12-14 

Explanation:

The father further elaborates to his son the loss that will come from adultery and sexual immorality.  In these two verses he says that regret will characterize his life toward the end.  The probability of his life being characterized by disdain for wisdom and instruction beyond the issue of sexual behavior goes up.  The restraint of fellowship with God’s people and habitual public worship is in danger of being ineffective for the person that is sexually immoral.  This is dangerous because of the deadening effect it has the conscience.  Hypocrisy is bound to reign.

Application:

Regret is part of the price of the unrestrained, unwise path of the adulterous.  If you want a life that avoids regret we must allow God’s wisdom and God’s Spirit to guide us down a wiser and different path.

Response:

Have you recently found yourself despising wisdom, teach or instruction?  Regret may soon follow.  Repent and go a different direction!

The High Price of Low Living- Proverbs Week 5- Day 3

Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:  (10)  Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;  (11)  And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, 

Proverbs 5:9-11 

Explanation:

What is the outcome when you give yourself over to the “strange woman”?  What is the probability that will occur when a young person gives themselves over to sexual immorality?  Here the father continues to talk about this idea and he gives four specific losses that are incurred.

1. A loss of honor. “Lest thou give thine honour unto others…”.  The word here for honor is a word that is also translated glory, majesty, beauty, and comeliness.  The idea is that you are giving the best of yourself to a person that you don’t really love for the sheer pleasure of a moment.

2. A loss of time.  “and thy years unto the cruel…”.  As is common in Hebrew poetry, there is a parallelism to the previous phrase about honour.  The idea is that the sexually immoral young person can give the best of their years physically to those who are cruel.  For example, many have experienced both a loss of honor and a loss of time in dealing with the physical consequences of sexually transmitted diseases

3. A loss of wealth.  “lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of a stranger…”.  Again, the probability that this kind of behavior will cost you financially is high.  People pay a high price because of sexual infidelity.  Think of words like “child support”, “alimony”, “court costs”, “lawyers’ fees”, “doctors’ fees” and the like.  Not everyone will always have all of these issues, but almost no one that participates in adultery plans to pay these costs, yet many do.

4. A loss of joy.  “and thou mourn the the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed…”.  The physical, relational, temporal, and spiritual cost often leads to an emotional cost.  Many people have dealt with the high cost of the loss of joy as a result of just a few moments of physical pleasure. 

It is because of these losses that the father in this passage is warning his son.

Application:

If you find yourself thinking “this seems a little over the top.  Not everyone who has a little fling has all of these problems”, I want to warn you.  Everyone who has ever participated in these kinds of behaviors and suffered these kinds of losses thought some version of that idea.  “That won’t happen to me.”  “No one will know.”  These are the kinds of lies that we tell ourselves.  These are the thoughts of scoffers who often must deal with the consequences that they never thought they would see.

There is a high price to low living.  We must decide to live lives of integrity now before the temptation is in front of us.

Response:

  • Have you ever personally seen anyone deal with these kinds of consequences?
  • Where in your life have you told yourself, “no one will find out”?   Stop! Repent! Warning!  It’s time for a course correction.
  • There is hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  Find out more about how to be made right with God here.

Guardrails- Proverbs Week 5- Day 2- Proverbs 5:7-8

Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.  (8)  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house: 

Proverbs 5:7-8 

Explanation:

We read in the previous verses about the contrast between the attractiveness of the “strange woman” and the danger that participating in adulterous and illicit activity with her brings.  In verses 3 through 6 we were told that her words would seem like honey and her mouth like smooth oil.  Yet at the end her words are more like wormwood and swords, and her end is instability, death and hell.

Now that the framework for thinking about this kind of extra-marital sexual activity has been laid, the father, speaking to his kids, pleads for his children to listen and obey what he is about to say in verses 8 and following.  Notice what he says:

(8)  Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

Is this a biblical law saying that it is breaking God’s law just to be near a sexually promiscuous person, or to go even in their yard?  If that was the intent and we were to follow it to the letter of the law we would need a background check on every neighbor before we bought a house.  We would have to be very careful about going “door to door” and hanging invitations to church on people’s houses because we could be in the yard of a promiscuous person.  No, this is not the intention.

The idea that the father is proposing is the idea illustrated by guardrails.  Guardrails are on highways and roads simply because running into them would cause less damage than going beyond the guardrail into the ditch, ravine, or other potential hazard that lays beyond it.  The father is pleading with his children to decide beforehand to not even go near the temptation that this kind of person represents because the hazards that lay beyond are too great.

Application:

In application it doesn’t mean that we cannot be nice to or have compassion for those who are sinning in this area of life.  The idea is that wisdom can be found in avoiding tempting scenarios that would cause us to be tempted.  We should decide before the temptation comes that we will avoid certain scenarios.

In my case, I am never alone with a woman other than my wife.  I don’t go out to eat with another woman.  We don’t ride in the same car.  It is a guardrail.  The potential risk is not worth it.

Response:

It is wise for us to think about how and where we consume media, who we meet with and why, and how we conduct relationships with others.  What guardrails do you need in your life?   Are there any relationships you need to change or even end?