Proverbs 5:18-19

The Wife of Your Youth

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth . . . may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.  From Proverbs 5:18-19

Buried in Proverbs 5, among the negative comments and warnings against sexual immorality, is a spicy, almost R-rated blessing. And this is probably addressed to a man who is no longer young. Blessing, rejoicing, satisfaction, intoxication … always. Wow! If we fully grasped this description of married love, how different would our marriages be?

Patient, persevering love is to be valued over kisses “dripping with honey” and speech, which is smoother than oil at first but later becomes “bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword” (v. 3). Exclusive love and lifelong companionship are better than love (better defined as lust) that is temporary or shared (v. 17).

God blesses the persevering older couple and fills them with rejoicing. We mellow with age; our values change. Exchanging loving praise of the good we see in each other can be intoxicating at any age. Recently I asked my husband, Ken, what he liked best about me. His answer was not what I expected: “your brain.” But as I thought about it, I liked it. He has always encouraged me to read, study and dig deeper. Not that I needed encouragement, for I love to do these things. And I’ve encouraged Ken to keep growing, pursuing his dreams, and trying new learning experiences now that he’s retired.

I’m glad Ken didn’t say “your youthful figure,” for keeping extra weight off becomes harder as we age. But 1 Corinthians 7:4 reminds us that our body belongs to our spouse, and so it addresses our need to take care of our appearance as much as we can in spite of gravity and aging.

Faithful, tested love and commitment require forgiveness. We also should lay down our lives in service for one another without complaining out loud or under our breath (John 15:12-13). “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:9-10).

May God bless our marriages, including those which are yet to be.

DIG DEEPER:

Contrast the paths and evil deeds of the wicked described in Proverbs 5:21-23 and the paths of the godly described in Proverbs 4:11-18.

Song of Solomon has numerous descriptions from both the man and the woman that can be translated into modern language and to refer to people of any age. Husbands, how would you  describe your wife besides “a loving doe, a graceful deer”? Wives, what would you use to describe your husband’s most lovable qualities? Singles, what should you look for in a potential mate?

What are we told about loving and forgiving  in Hosea 3:1, Ephesians 4:2, and 1 John 3:18?

Contrast the description of godly love as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 with the love of a wayward woman as found in Proverbs 5.

Nancy J. Baker

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