Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Proverbs 5 Part 2: Love the One You're With!

I looked up the definition of adultery and saw that the word comes from a French word, that also comes from a Latin root, meaning to corrupt. The definition given was “voluntary violation of the marriage bed.” When someone commits adultery, he is violating or corrupting what God said was good, the marriage bed. We have already read in Proverbs Solomon’s warning to stay away from the seducing adulteress and his contention that adultery leads to destruction and death. Then in his final verses on the subject, he turns to his son with some positive advice: appreciate what you have in your own home! Stick with the wife of your youth and the blessings of her love:

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 captivated by her love. (Proverbs 5:15-19)

There is a book, originally published in 1979, titled Do Yourself a Favor: Love Your Wife, by H. Page Williams. It’s a humorous book with serious advice that still resonates. The author writes to men that if they find themselves married to a “hag, a bag, and a rag,” it’s because the husband has not been loving his wife. This book is still available, so download it on your Kindle or order up a copy from Amazon.com today! It’s a quick read, but so spot-on!

As the head of the household, the husband has the greater responsibility for how things are going in the home. And, in fact, even though Solomon seemed to be blaming the seductress for adultery, he ends this chapter with the observation that, in the end, the man must take full responsibility:

For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord,

    and he examines all his paths.  
The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;

    the cords of his sin hold him fast.  
He will die for lack of discipline,

    led astray by his own great folly. (vs. 21-23)

Did you see in verse 21 that God sees everything we do? Even that “secret” adulterous affair is in His full view ! He knows every way we turn and He knows exactly how we got there! The reality is that the man and woman who get caught up in adultery have made conscious decisions all along the path to stray. It’s our own “folly,” or vanity, or desire that has pulled us away from the marriage bed. Men, love the wife of your youth! This is not an appeal to emotion, but action. Love your wife as Christ loved the church! It’s in your own best interest! It’s essential that your children see that you cherish your wife.

Women, be captivating! Don’t forget to keep fanning the flame in your own bedroom! Somehow, after the children come, we tend to focus solely on their needs. I’ve seen many women become so completely absorbed in their children’s lives that they have no time left over for their husbands. Do not neglect him, because there will always be someone else waiting in the wings to take your place! It is in your children’s best interest that the relationship between Mom and Dad be the priority.

The call here is to be proactive and intentional in AVOIDING the trap of adultery. Solomon had gained his wisdom the hard way - we don’t have to. Above all, remember that God is in the business of redemption and restoration. He can resurrect even a dead marriage - one that’s been torn apart by adultery. He can heal and give us the strength to forgive and move forward if we’ll let Him.  

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