The wise father, warning us about sexual sin, tells us not only what to avoid but what to embrace. In Proverbs 5 we hear the counsel: embrace your wife. He provides a few reasons for this and a few details about what’s involved in doing so.
In verse 15 he says, embrace your wife because she is your permanent source of satisfaction. He says, “Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.” It is clear from the verses following that this well is a picture of a wife. In the same way a well supplies a home with satisfying water, so a wife supplies her husband with satisfying sexual love. The fact that the picture is one of a well and not a vessel or a cup is significant. The wife is not merely a paper cup to be used and discarded. She is the well-water system. She herself is the very source of sexual love and satisfaction for her husband. Ask yourself how important the water source for your home is. Without it, you die. Then you’ll know how noble the wife is as the permanent source of satisfaction for her husband.
The father also says to embrace your wife because spending your sexual love on other women is a defiling waste. Verse 16 says, “Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?” The picture is one of a precious resource ruined. When a spouse goes astray, the intimate passion once enjoyed in the marriage union is spilled out in the filthy streets. One of the most precious gifts God has given has been scattered on polluted street corners. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Let the marriage bed be undefiled.” This is no arbitrary rule. It is the wisdom of God. He wants his children to know the joy of going to an undefiled marriage bed in covenant love.
The father says to embrace your wife for you are now one with your spouse in an exclusive sexual union. Verse 17 says, “Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.” These waters of intimate love are not for strangers. These waters are to be enjoyed by husband and wife, best friends in covenant with each other before God. Christ says in Mark 10:7, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.”
Embracing your wife includes rejoicing in her verse 18 says. You should be happy in your wife. Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Can you even begin to measure the gratitude that we should have for our wives, men? Can you imagine that God our Creator could give such a precious gift to us dirty, rotten, scoundrels. Your wife is hand-crafted by God as a helper fit for you.
As we rejoice in our wives, the father gives us further instruction saying, “be intoxicated always in her love.” Verse 19 says she is “a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” The Bible forbids drunkenness and commands drunkenness. It forbids being drunk with wine and requires that a man be drunk in the love of his wife. He is not only to be intoxicated every now and then, but always.
The son is encouraged to embrace his wife because embracing an adulteress is stupid. That’s the point of his question in verse 20 where he asks, “Why should you be intoxicated my son with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?” The answer is, there is absolutely no reason why. It is a senseless thing to do. She cannot provide satisfaction, but only a bitter death.
Here is the loving father’s wise command: embrace your wife.