The Seventh Part of an Eight Part Series on The Seven Rules of Life Which Began on March 21, 2016
Solomon gives us Seven Rules of Life in the first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs. The First Rule is the most important: Never Forget God. Rules Two through Seven involve factors that enable a productive life. The Sixth Rule is critically important:
Love One Woman
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.
Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?
Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.
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.
Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? Proverbs 5:15-20
Of the first nine chapters of Proverbs, two and a half are devoted to the serious topic of faithfulness in marriage: chapters five and seven, as well as half of chapter six.
In chapter five, Solomon writes a beautiful appeal for marital contentment that shares a similar tone with his book The Song of Solomon, describing the passionate mutual love of a man and woman.
The man is encouraged to rejoice in the wife of his youth – the one he married and committed himself to for life. To always find joy in her beauty and be “intoxicated” in her love. And by keeping his focus on her, he will allow his fountain to be blessed.
This fountain is described in a number of ways as streams of water, springs, a well, and a cistern. Water is essential for life and anything that grows. Experts say that we can only survive three days without water. “If you’re ever stuck out in the wilderness, remember what survival experts call ‘the Rule of Threes’. You can live 3 minutes without air, though we don’t recommend trying. In a harsh environment — it’s snowing, say — you have 3 hours to survive without shelter. After 3 days, you need water or you’ll perish. You can make it 3 weeks without food, though we promise you that won’t be fun.”
Solomon is saying that just as water is central to life and should not be wasted in the streets, neither should a man’s love be wasted on a stranger – a person who is not his wife.
Jesus said: “. . . a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh . . .” Matthew 19:5
The Sixth Rule of Life: Love One Woman
Dr James P Porowski Licensed Psychologist Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Raleigh NC April 5, 2016