Summary: Dealing with our sexual lives is an issue at any age and life-stage. God made us as sexual beings, and how we behave sexually is a spiritual issue.
The last time I did a series on sex was over 5 years ago. If you are married, and can count the number of times you’ve had sex since then, there might be a problem. If you aren’t married and can’t count the number of times you’ve had sex since then, there might be a problem. Why another series on sex? Dealing with our sexual lives is an issue at any age and life-stage. God made us as sexual beings, and how we behave sexually is a spiritual issue. Since we live in a sex-obsessed society, it is a challenge to keep the right perspective.
In 2009, a study explored the effects of pornography on marriage, children, and individuals. The primary source for the information came from divorce lawyers. Citing the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the study noted that 56% of divorce cases involved "one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites." 68% of divorce cases involve one spouse having an affair with someone they met over the internet.
That illustrates just a couple of the many challenges faced by every single one of us. We are trying to navigate the lure of pornography, the message of “Friends with Benefits,” the routine of married sex, the culture of adultery, the sacrifice of abstinence, the preoccupation with lust and fantasy, and the basic inability of men and women to understand each other. Few admit it, but many of us are challenged by the temptations of lust and infidelity and inappropriate intimacy. Students face incredible pressures and expectations about sex, far beyond anything I went through as a teen. The soaring rate of divorce has caused great concern in young adults enough to postpone marriage later and later, or avoid it all together. But that seldom includes postponing sex. Those who get married might have an expectation of an incredible sex-life, and trouble-free relationship. Then become disillusioned with the quality or frequency or boredom of sex in marriage. This contributes to divorce as they seek another partner who brings excitement. Then there are those who stay married and don’t cheat, but who an informal peace agreement, where they seldom, if ever, have sex. It is no longer part of the relationship. When you mix in factors such as the instant availability of every kind of pornography, the ease of finding sexual partners through social networking, and it is no wonder that these are difficult days. So over the next several weeks, we are going to listen to biblical wisdom on sex. I’ve called the series Sex-Wise, because it comes from the OT wisdom book of Proverbs. Proverbs was written by King Solomon, a man who had all kinds of sexual encounters.
In Proverbs 5, King Solomon talks about seduction and infidelity. The wisdom he gives relates to sexual temptation and to the marriage relationship. Solomon writes as a father to his son and offers an antidote to sexual temptation. We are all his children today as we hear this wisdom from God.
v.15 “The cistern” represents the son's wife, with "water" symbolizing the sexual satisfaction she is capable of supplying. This is the first of several metaphors. The wife is a storehouse of sexual satisfaction. The antidote to sexual temptation, to promiscuity is to enjoy the sexual satisfaction marriage offers. You might say, “That’s the whole problem. My marriage doesn’t offer any of that. There’s not enough sex, or it’s no good.” Others of you might think: I’m not married, so does that mean I can’t have sexual satisfaction?” Biblical wisdom says: GOD’S PEOPLE DRINK AT HOME. Don’t satisfy your thirst in the street, which means outside of marriage. Husbands, rather than drinking your fill with another woman, drink at home. Wives, instead of indulging your fantasies with another man, drink at home. There is a reservoir there for you. God created marriage to be the well, the source where sexual thirst is quenched. Not on images or fantasies, not in dating relationships or affairs, hook ups or serial monogamy. As the Proverb progresses notice that the metaphor keeps changing. Even v.15 shifts from a cistern—which simply catches runoff water—to a well. The difference is the well contains fresh water supplied by underground streams.
Men, after you’ve been married awhile, you can be stuck on the idea of your wife as the familiar cistern that contains the same old water. But the proverb says the wife is capable of more than that. Fresh water can flow from far below the surface. You might be making it very difficult to reach that fresh water, but it is there. Biblical wisdom says you can draw from more than what you imagine, beyond what you see, and find satisfaction. If there is a lack of freshness in your marriage, if there is a lack of sexual satisfaction, you can solve that without finding a different well or new cistern. If you don’t, here is the caution.