Years ago I read and memorized a passage from Proverbs 5 that warned about adultery. I was a young father and husband so I took the words to heart. “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well” (v 15). Then verse 18 reads as follows, “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” I took this to mean that God had provided a fountain for me in my relationship with my wife, Judy. I have the joy of drinking deeply from this well. This means not only emotionally but also physically. I am to find fullfillment for my sexual desires through my relationship with Judy, who is “a loving doe, a graceful deer” (v19). This has been true now for 47 years.
I was reminded of this passage when I read Eric Metaxas recent post on the Breakpoint site for Oct 8th. I got both angry and energized as I read his post. Angry because of our culture’s deeply flawed worldview, which has caused so much harm in sexual relationships and energized to encourage men to drink deeply from their own well, that is, their marriage. Men, we must never neglect to remember that God’s moral laws, similiar to the laws of nature, cannot be broken without consequences. God tell us not to commit adultery. Just as we cannot brake the law of gravity without harm so to with the moral law of God, articulated in the 10 commandments
Metaxas referred to a recent article in the New Yorker that described a new stain of gonorrhea that is resistent to the only class of drugs that can “reliably treat” the disease. For 18 centuries the disease was a constant reminder of the dangers of promiscuity. One 18 century writer called it a “memorandum of vice.” It will soon be spreading to the U.S. In the words of the article, “Whatever freedoms were won during the sexual revolution, bacterial evolution promises soon to constrain.” So there you have it – our human freedom is limited by nature, not by moral choice. This is regretable if you have a faulty world view. The article goes on to says, the “primary hope for stemming the expected epidemic…lies in persuading people to alter their behavior.” The implication of this attitude is not being “chaste” but rather “practicing safe sex.”
Metaxas notes, “The Sexual Revolution may have lost the war against micro-organisms, but its’s still prevailing among public health officals…These are the same people who, rightly, tell us to eat less, exercise more, quit smoking, etc. In other words, in the name of public health they won’t hesitiate to ask for radical changes in behavior to combat obesity or hypertension….But when it comes to sexual behavior, they somehow believe that asking for a measure of self-control is asking a bit too much.”
I assume I am writing to men who are married. While the philosophy expressed in the New Yorker angers me, I am motivated to encourage and stand by Christian men of conviction who want to be “a one-woman man.” We each have a strong sexual drive with a lot of energy. The passage I quoted from Proverbs expresses this energy as “running water” coming from our well. Men, I need all the grace and strength God gives me to keep the flow of this energy channeled in the proper stream. If I let myself go, the stream will disperse into wrong places, thereby dilating my sexual energy. God help us to be “chaste” men. Men who are faithful to the bride in our life, who have made a covenant with their eyes, and a committment to keep the water from well flowing in a godly manner.
Proverbs 5:16 questions us men, “Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?” Sexual freedom for a chaste man is found in heart relationship with Jesus, who gives a man the spiritual strength to keep our sexual energy flowing in the proper stream, not “overflowing in the streets.” To “drink from our own cistern” will not be easy in our permissive culture. I am a man – I know. My greatest help has come in being open and vulnerable to the Lord in my struggle and shame, knowing that in love He is there to give me strength to “drink from my own well.”