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February 23, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“May you always be captivated by her love.”—Proverbs 5:19b (NLT)
Do you know what I find sad and startling? According to a 2015 study, approximately one out of every five married people in America have admitted to having an affair.
Pulitzer Prize winning writer Junot Diaz calls marital infidelity a “terrible, terrible betrayal that can tear apart not only another person, not only oneself, but whole families.” This sentiment is not lost on King Solomon. In fact, Proverbs 5 reads like a warning against adultery. Throughout the chapter, he warns of being seduced into an affair, advising us to “drink water from your own well.”
Then, in Proverbs 5:18–19, he advises his “sons” to rejoice in their spouse, to allow her to be a fountain of blessing from which he drinks, to delight in her, to be satisfied in her love, and more so, to be captivated by her love.
Now, what I love and find immensely powerful about this is how the analogy of the wife as a fountain is sprinkled throughout! Why is this so significant? Because water was deeply important to the middle Eastern culture. It was a special and spiritual thing to these people, because in a land subject to drought, water was a cherished gift of God. So, to compare a wife not only to water, but to a fountain . . . a place where water flows and we can come back to it over and over again, is quite a statement.
But then in verse 19, he takes it in a very interesting direction. Did you know that a more literal translation of “always be captivated by her love” is “may you always be intoxicated by her love”? Here, he’s describing the entire fascination and exhilaration a husband is to have toward his wife using the verb shagah, which means "to reel under the influence of wine."
This is interesting because of the contrast he creates in verse 20 regarding the adulteress. In general, drunkenness is seen primarily as gratification of the appetite, as a reckless pursuit of pleasure at all costs. But here, we see the idea of drunkenness being used to describe the satisfaction of marriage done right, similar to what Paul does in Ephesians 5:18 as it pertains to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Solomon is basically telling us to be drunk in our love, always intoxicated by our spouse, whose love is like a fountain.
Herein also lies the secret to maintaining intimacy, keeping the passion alive, and for me, to fidelity: keep coming to the well! Keep that friendship going through the years, spend intentional time together daily, constantly share the things you love and appreciate about them, be spontaneous and adventurous together.
DIG: How much intentional time do you spend daily with your spouse?
DISCOVER: How can you make more time to pour into your spouse and have your spouse pour into you each day?
DISPLAY: Sit with your spouse and share a list of the things you love and appreciate about them—both big and small.