I’ve been just as confused as inspired by verses in Proverbs 5, concerning, on the surface, the nature of a man’s relationship with his wife.
I think it is a strong message to men, even though in principle it applies to women as well and to situations in life other than marriage.
“Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad and rivers of waters in the streets.
Let them be only thine own, and not for strangers with thee,
Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times, and be thou ravished always with her love.
And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?” Proverbs 5:15-19 AKJV
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings.” Proverbs 5:20 AKJV
The part… that doesn’t seem so confusing anymore… is the wisdom being imparted to drink from one’s “own cistern” then saying “Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad…then …”Let them be only thine own, and not for strangers with thee…”
It sounds inconsistent, contradictory?
A man looks into the eyes of his bride and looking straight to her heart speaks his pledge to her that from that moment on she alone would be the intimate one in his life. It would be her he comes to and shares his physical affection. It would be her he shared secrets of the heart that he would share with no other. It would be her, her character and honor he would protect. It would be her whose well being he would work for, from the roof overhead to food on the table, from care giving in ill health to making her laugh in all occasions. It would be her who gets the back scratch under the blouse or a foot rubbing when something else more appealing comes to mind.
So then, what does it mean “…Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad and rivers of waters in the streets”…but that they…”be thine own, and not for strangers with thee…”?
Could it be that this love the husband has for and reserves for his wife…that from that… is an overflow of sorts as in
“…my cup runneth over… Psalm 23:5 AKJV
an over flow, not of those things reserved for his wife, but of a spirit of peace and good will that a man can have towards others because of the good he has in that love and intimacy and stability with his wife?
That makes sense to me. There are things I share with my wife and not with any other… (“…not for strangers with thee…” in the intimate things all others are as strangers compared to my wife)… but the outcome of that is that I have something good to share that will be blessing to others, the smile, the hug, the listening ear, the physical helpfulness, in an appropriate spirit that expresses heartfelt love from which one can enjoy clean gratification.
My wife told me once that there is a certain look that one has and another looks for that, without words, communicate opportunity for strange relationship. And it’s true. Sometimes it’s just playing with a thought. Sometimes it leads to real actions.
Either way it is sin against God’s good and harm to those affected.
Life stresses. A mind can self deceive. A destructive decision can be made.
For the sake of the good a man commits to… face to face… with his bride… in the presence of God… and to protect and preserve the value of it that was truly believed and expressed to one another, a man must be on guard always and severely deny thoughts and actions that could, even for a moment, betray that trust.
Because all things are known:
“…For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He pondereth all his goings…” Proverbs 5:21 AKJV
Look back. Remember the beginning.
“…casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5 AKJV.) defeat the sin that so easily besets us.
Father…praise be to You for the power You give us through Your Word, the way it teaches what is right and equips us to be able to keep it.
Thank You for our spouses, and that good times and hard times are worth it for the love and trust, self worth and confidence and security we have in that union with one another.
When we fall short Father, as we do do, we pray for true forgiveness Father… Yours …and theirs.
And we pray willingness in ourselves to forgive… and forget… as well.
May the intimate love we nurture in ourselves and our mates overflow in peace and good will to those around us.
Father help us to do these things we cannot do on our own.
May You be glorified Father… in it all we pray…in Yeshua’s name…
May God’s love be in us all.