Joy in marriage (Proverbs 5 v 15-23)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

Even while the world around us is obsessed with immoral sexual pleasure, Christians sometimes feel unnecessary awkwardness or shame about the good gift of marital intimacy. But Solomon holds out the beauties of sex in marriage as a vaccine against the poisonous attractions of immorality.

Just the two of us
Read Proverbs 5:15

• What does Solomon point his son to (v 15)?
• What is this an image of (v 18)?
• What is the best way to avoid ruinous adultery (v 18-19)?

Solomon asks rhetorically how the young man would feel if his wife cheated on him (his springs overflowing in the streets, v 16). With that in mind, he is called to be faithful to his wife at times.

Intoxicating love
Read Proverbs 5:18

Solomon tells his son to rejoice in the beauty and physical joys of being with his wife. The Bible says that sex between a man and his wife has many purposes, and one of those is straightforward pleasure. For example, in the Song of Solomon we see the virtues of sex extolled with no embarrassment or prudery. Solomon fights the destructive pleasures of adultery with the godly pleasures of marriage.

And forsaking all others
Read Proverbs 5:20

• What reason does Proverbs give us for avoiding adultery here?

Notice the use of the word “captivated” up in v 19-20. While love in marriage can be an intoxicating journey to pleasure, adultery traps us and leads only to misery. It may start out pleasurable, but it ends in death (v 23).

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TIME OUT
Read about David’s adultery in 2 Samuel 11:1 and his reflections on it in Psalms 51:1.
• How does his experience confirm the wisdom of Proverbs 5?
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APPLY
The world around us thinks that what happens behind closed doors is morally neutral, a private matter.
• How does verse 21 challenge this?
• How will this truth prompt wise living?
• Is there anything in your life that you'd rather God didn’t see?
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PRAY
If you’re married, pray that God might enable you to be delighted only in your spouse.
If you’re unmarried, ask God to help you resist temptation and stay pure.
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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Originally published March 24, 2012.

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