Married Under the Influence

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)

Anna was listening to a radio program the other day, and shared with me a great point that the speaker made. It goes something like this, “Satan does everything in his power to get us to be physically intimate before we are married, and then everything in his power to break that physical intimacy after we are married.” So true.

The passage above in Proverbs talks about being intoxicated. We can be drunk and led astray into the arms of forbidden love, or we can be drunk in love of our bride. God created the sexual relationship to be very fulfilling, to draw us closer to our spouse than we are to anyone else on the planet.

That is why this union is designed exclusively for marriage, when it is taken outside of marriage, it defiles everything and everyone it touches. When it is kept within the covenant relationship of a husband and wife, it brings joy, unity and an intimacy unparalleled in human relationships.

Solomon is directing the husband’s senses (ears, eyes, hands, nose, mouth, etc.) to be directed fully toward his wife. When he starts looking at other women, smelling their pretty perfume, and listening to their flattering words, he will become drunk in other women’s love. His hands and arms are to be devoted to his wife, not to any other woman. Just read the first 7 chapters of Proverbs to be reminded of how Solomon teaches and warns about sexual sin.

But in those warnings are also passages like the one above that talk about the joy and intoxication that can be found within a committed relationship between a husband and his wife.

Have you lost that at home? If so, what happened? And then, how can we get that back again? There are no quick easy answers to these questions. If you have been married long enough you have more than likely found yourself in the situation where the sexual relationship is not the joyful union God designed for you to have.

There are a lot of reasons this happens in a marriage. Health reasons, life stresses, past hurts, arguments and bitterness piled up, unrealistic expectations, the kids, or we are just flat out tired, etc. It also could be that other people have drawn away our affections in some way. Can we come back from these things that have tried to destroy our physical intimacy with our wife? Yes. Otherwise passages like Proverbs 5 wouldn’t have been written.

The question is men, what will you do about this? Have you sought out wise counsel on this matter? Are you directing all your senses toward your wife, or are you being pulled away in your affections to other things and people?

Think about what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7

But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,
(1 Corinthians 7:33)

I don’t believe Paul meant this in a negative way. It’s just a reality. If you are married, your attention should naturally be toward how to please your wife. Included in that is the sexual relationship (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). It is your job and your life, and God wants it to be your joy. Seek to please your wife, all the while seeking to please God as well.

Showing Endearment

Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife (Genesis 26:8).

Isaac went into Philistine territory, and was afraid that the men there would steal his wife and kill him, so he lied about being married to Rebekah. However, in time, he could not hide his affection for his wife, and he was “caught” showing affection to Rebekah. Other versions say Isaac was “laughing” with Rebekah (ESV), or he was “caressing” her (NASB). Young’s Literal Translation says he was “playing” with Rebekah.

I love the next verse where Abimelech king of the Philistines said, “Quite obviously she is your wife” (Genesis 26:9). Quite obviously. Something to think about men, isn’t it?

In years past, I’ve heard preachers ask the question, “If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Great question, but I want to take that concept and apply it to our marriages. Would you have been “caught” showing endearment to your wife? I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about intimacy, affection and tenderness. Two people who truly love to be around each other. A man who is madly in love with his wife, and he can’t help showing it to her.

Showing Endearment

Is your wife your sweetheart? Rebekah was Isaac’s sweetheart, and that fact could not be hidden, to Rebekah nor to others observing. Do we play with our wives? Are we daily showing endearment to our wives?

A man told me one time that he could go into a restaurant and tell you which couples were dating and which couples were already married. His observation (right or wrong, it was his observation) was that the couples who were dating were looking deeply into each other’s eyes and talking and laughing. The married couples were just looking down and eating, with the occasional word to each other. Now I know that is not true for all couples, but there is some general truth in this observation.

Men, in most marriages, for many different reasons the intimacy and tenderness may have been lost, but it can be rebuilt. Fight hard for this in your marriages, men, make your wife your sweetheart again. Don’t forget to notice her perfume. Compliment her genuinely. Come up behind her and just hold her. Touch her lovingly and tenderly. Find ways to “play” with her; just have some fun together. Be creative. Keep your eyes on her, and only on her.

Rebekah was “quite obviously” Isaac’s wife.

Many waters cannot quench love

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised (Song of Solomon 8:7).

The love song of Solomon and his bride is beautiful. As husbands, it is good for us to revisit this book on occasion with our wives. We can learn a lot about intimacy, communication, and the sexual relationship from this divinely inspired marriage manual.

This love, that a man has with his wife, has incredible strength and endurance. The floods and storms of life come against it, and yet cannot quench nor drown that love. In fact, when we are walking with Christ side by side as husband and wife, those storms make our marriages even stronger.

Solomon also said in the above verse that the value of this love, this marriage relationship, is inestimable. Would you rather have billions of dollars or a great marriage? I’ve seen couples with a great marriage with not a lot of money in the bank. It is clear they would rather have the marriage than the money.

Here are the lyrics of an Alan Jackson song, “Livin’ on Love.” Great lyrics and ties in well with the above passage.

Two young people, without a thing
Say some vows and spread their wings
And settle with just what they need
Living on love
She don’t care ’bout what’s in style
She just likes the way he smiles
It takes more than marble and tile
Living on love
Living on love, buying on time
Without somebody nothing ain’t worth a dime
It’s like that old fashioned storybook rhyme
Living on love
It sounds simple, that’s what you’re thinking
Love can walk through fire without blinking
It doesn’t take much, when you get enough
Living on love
Two old people, without a thing
Children gone but still they sing
Side by side on that front porch swing
Living on love
He can’t see anymore
She can barely sweep the floor
Hand in hand they walk through that door
Just living on love

 

Intimacy

We as guys often get sex and intimacy confused. Sometimes guys want the physical relationship, but we forget the importance of all the things we say and do throughout the day. A lot of guys can turn on the sex switch instantaneously, and do not keep in mind that our wives may take a lot of time to “warm up.”

Typical scenario: Here is how the day has gone for a lot of guys. The women in our lives went through this day, too.

You wake up asking her to do things for you. Breakfast. “Where’s my socks?” “Why aren’t the jeans washed?” “Are we really out of bread again?”

Maybe through the day, whether you are at home or talking to her on the phone from work, you find yourself:

  • Putting her down and teasing her about things.
  • Being her teacher instead of her peer.
  • Being her father instead of her friend and companion.
  • Correcting her grammar and choice of words.
  • Complaining about the food she makes.
  • Talking about how the great qualities of other women.
  • Picking on her about what she likes, her family, what she does with her time, etc.
  • After all of that, you do not apologize for how you have mistreated her, instead you just expect her to move along and forget it.

Now, evening comes and you want her to be “intimate” with you? What you mean is, you want her to have sex with you. You want her to “perform” for you. But, where was your “intimacy” earlier in the day?

You want her to be on fire for you, but you have thrown water on her all day long.

What, most likely, is she thinking while you want her to be your partner in love in the bedroom? “You made fun of me for this…and now you want that?” “You were looking at those women…now you want me to believe you think I’m beautiful?” “You treated me like a dummy in front of your friends…and now you want me to be your lover?” “I wanted to spend $20 on X and you said, ‘No,’ but you spent $1,000 on Y.” “Do you really value me?” “Do you really hold me as special?” “Am I your friend and your sweetheart, or am I just useful to meet your needs?”

God has blessed the wives in our lives with a long memory. What will they remember? Better yet, what should they be remembering? Shouldn’t they remember that we honored and valued them? Shouldn’t they see through the day that we see them as our sweethearts, and not just at night when we want something?

Remember intimacy. Show her that she is precious to you at all times. God calls you to honor her, to cherish her, to praise her, to hold her up as special. That’s how Jesus sees her. That is intimacy.