Words Worth Heeding.
“Drink water from your own well – share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone?” – Proverbs 5:15-16 NLT
These are the passionate words of a father to his son. He is pleading with him to remain faithful to his wife. It would appear that his son is not yet married, but that as a father, he is trying to teach him the time-tested value of faithfulness. As a man, he knows the temptations his son is going to face. And if this particular proverb is being written by Solomon, he of all people knows quite a bit about unfaithfulness and a whole lot about marriage. The book of 1 Kings tells us that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. In spite of God’s prohibition against kings multiplying wives for themselves, “Solomon insisted on loving them anyway” (1 Kings 11:2b NLT). Solomon didn’t just have sex with just anyone, he practically had sex with everyone. He was far from faithful to his 700 wives and 300 concubines. So it is a little ironic that he is giving his son this counsel, but we have to recognize it as the wisdom of God. Solomon, while not exactly an icon of virtue when it came to marriage and fidelity, was still the wisest man who ever lived and knew that he didn’t want his own son following in his footsteps.
Yet even today, Solomon’s words sound old-fashioned. He sounds so out of touch with reality. When he says, “Drink water from your won well – share your love only with your wife” (Proverbs 5:15 NLT), it sounds so antiquated and puritanical. In a do-whatever-feels-right kind of society in which we live where everything is driven by our passions, it comes across as so restrictive and unnecessary. Faithfulness has seemingly become a thing of the past. And Satan is constantly attacking marriages in an attempt to thwart God’s plan for faithfulness. We see it modeled for us on TV in the fictional lives of the characters and in the tabloids in the real-life experiences of celebrities and stars. Unfaithfulness is big news and a popular pastime among all kinds of people. Yet God has called us to live out our lives in faithfulness. And He is watching. “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes” (Proverbs 5:21 NLT). God is aware of not only our unfaithful actions, but our unfaithful hearts. He sees our adulterous behavior, but also our equally adulterous thoughts. And He knows that both are driven by ungodly desires and aided by our lack of self-control. Left to our own devices, we are no match for the sinful passions that are hidden away in our hearts. Faithfulness can’t be manufactured. It is a gift from God. Recognizing our propensity toward unfaithfulness and our own lack of self-control, should drive us to God for help. He alone can make us faithful. He alone can give us the love for our mates that we need to remain at their side through thick and thin. He alone can provide us with the strength to say no to temptation and to refuse the urges to give in to our sinful desires. Faithfulness is a gift from God. It is part of the wisdom He provides as we learn to seek Him and serve Him. He teaches us the value of faithfulness and then equips us with the strength to live it out in our daily relationships. It isn’t old-fashioned. It’s a new way of living life provided by a loving God and made possible by the Spirit of God living within us.
Father, I want to remain faithful to the wife of my youth. And I know that only You can make that possible. I admit to You my need for You. Open my eyes to my own weaknesses, and draw me closer to You for strength, wisdom and the desire to live in faithfulness in every area of my life. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men