Proverbs 5:18-19 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.
Every once in a while the Bible is distinctly PG! Verses 15-17 are an explicit admonition to avoid casual hook-ups, and here we have a barely poeticized description of physical satisfaction in marriage. That said, this is actually a very important subject that is very often thought of and even discussed, yet rarely in “polite” company. When we make sex taboo or shameful, we are inviting its degradation into the mess that is so common today, with pornography and human trafficking and all the rest. Sexual reproduction is something we have in common with all animals, but if we leave it on the animal level we are degrading ourselves horribly. Various Christian writers have tried to reclaim the idea of marital sex as both pure and delightful, but the devil puts out huge effort in the opposite direction, and he is all too successful a distressing amount of the time. When God has called the Church the Bride of Christ, (Revelation 19:7; 21:9) and Paul, though single himself, famously interlinked marriage and the relationship of Christ to the Church in Ephesians 5:22-33, we urgently need to reclaim marriage, and the sex that it includes, as the holy and glorious thing that God created it to be. At this point we are a long way from this description in Proverbs. The Japanese translates a line in verse 19 as, “May you get drunk on her breasts.” You aren’t likely to hear that read from a pulpit!
I require a session of counseling before I will do a wedding. Since in Japan a religious ceremony has no legal significance, well over half of the couples I deal with are already legally married, and in current society, people having their first intercourse on their wedding night is almost totally unheard of, much less expected. I am very blunt, pointing out that society is sexually saturated, so no one is without temptation, but that adultery brings loss to everyone involved, even if the partner is a “professional.” (The emotional loss from treating your own body and sexuality that way is something no amount of money can replace.) I tell them that intimacy is an essential part of the marital relationship, but without heart intimacy, you quickly tire of physical intimacy. However, when the heart intimacy is secure, the physical intimacy is delightful “icing on the cake,” and something you never tire of. Various studies have shown that there is far more satisfaction, on various levels, in good marital sex than in any other kind. I am very grateful to be able to confirm that, after 50 years of marriage! I feel like I fit this passage in Proverbs very well, having gotten married at the ripe old age of 20, and I am very grateful.
Father, thank You for marriage, and everything involved in it. Some of that is more pleasant at the moment and some less, but it is all for our benefit and blessing. Thank You indeed for the “helper suitable for me” (Genesis 2:18) with whom You have bound me, and for the 50 years we have had together so far. May we continue to be what You intend for each other on all levels, as an example to those who are watching us and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!