This devotional series examines a verse or two from each chapter of Proverbs each day of January 2017.
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. ~Proverbs 5:18-19
Proverbs 5-7 provide several strong statements against adultery. But, Solomon does not simply say what we should avoid. He also reminds us what to honor and embrace: Sex within the covenant love between a husband and wife.
In the Christian worldview, marriage is a picture of the gospel story—a visible example of the love and faithfulness that exists between Jesus and his church (Ephesians 5). This is why anything that violates the sacredness of marriage, especially adultery and divorce, is spoken strongly against (even when divorce is allowed by God in certain cases).
Part of the sacredness is the physical intimacy shared between husband and wife. In the Old Testament, the word often ascribed to the sexual union is “to know.” Indeed, if a man and women commit only to share their bodies with one another, they come to know the other in a special way the rest of the world does not.
The physical side of marital love, then, helps to create intimate knowledge with another. Another part of this, in usual circumstances, is to create a new generation of human beings who will hopefully one day also follow Jesus.
Still, another part is as Solomon described to his son: shared joy and pleasure.
The bond of love between a husband and wife should be strong. Desires should be present for one another that are aimed at no one else. This is why Solomon told his son not to concern himself with or chase after other women. Instead, let joy and delight be found alone in his wife. Let love be so intense toward her that it truly is intoxicating.
This also is a gospel mirror. Jesus came to make his joy full in us (John 17:13). We are to be so moved by God’s love for us that we delight in him like we do no other. Such unending and full joy will be with us always in eternity with Jesus. The present gift of joy in the relationship of marriage is simply a small, yet powerful taste to point us to the Great Gift-Giver.