Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman? For your ways are in full view of the Lord , and he examines all your paths. The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. – Proverbs 5:15-23
I was not able to “get on the water” yesterday due to a combination of illness and demands from my role as the faculty director of our study abroad program here in Ghana. I am back on the water today though to reflect on an interesting passage here in Proverbs.
“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well”. This is clearly meant as a metaphor to say in essence — “don’t sleep around”. In a broader sense, it is also a warning not to squander the intimacy reserved for your spouse (specifically your wife here) with someone else — “may you rejoice in the wife of your youth”. In other words, your true “trophy wife” is the one from your youth rather than a newer, younger, model.
“May you ever be intoxicated with her love”. It seems like as we grow older our relationships can either mature like a fine wine or cheese, or they can grow bitter and sour like vinegar. The difference is in the care with which the relationship is forged and maintained. A fine wine is not the result of chance. It requires hard work and great skill. A marriage is no different. In order for our marriages to mature like a fine wine, we must work hard and acquire the skills to maintain a healthy relationship as our bodies change and grow older.
The end of the proverb reminds us that God knows our hearts and even if we attempt to hide our feelings and actions God knows them. He is the God who sees us, not because God wants to be a celestial cop, but rather because He loves us and wants to prevent us from becoming “ensnared”. God promised to free us from our snares, but I think it is better to avoid becoming ensnared in the first place by faithfully following Him.
Prayer: God help us to honor our commitments, vows, and the ones we love.