Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth
by John Wright
On August 6th, Carla and I celebrated our 30th anniversary. Thirty years may not be a huge milestone, but it is long enough that I had a number of people comment about how rare it is today for couples to stay together so long. It may be rare today for a couple to stay together, but it is still the ideal, and respected when accomplished. There is a proverb that Solomon wrote that I have been chewing on for about twenty five years. It is a proverb that speaks about how much a family suffers when the ideal arrangement of one man one woman for life is not adhered to. This Proverb has meant a lot to me because I have always tried to interpret it from the life experience of the writer concerning things he did, and the things he experienced growing up in a very broken and dysfunctional home. Remember that Solomon's Father, David was a great King, but his family life was broken primarily because of David's sin, and his many wives. I think it worth mentioning that the scriptures tell us in 1 Samuel 18:20 that Michal, David's first wife was in love with David. I do not know anywhere else in the bible where a woman's love for a man is recorded, but tragically they never lived as a married couple in love. Listen now to what the proverb says: Proverbs 5:15-18 (NIV)
15 Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? 17 Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. 18 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
I have read this proverb many times over the years and I know that the context is about avoiding sexual sins, but when I read it, I detect an emotion of regret that is heavy on the authors mind when he penned this. I think it is fair to ask: where is the wife of King Solomon's youth? 1 kings 11-3 tells us that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and these women turned the heart of Solomon after other gods. There is a saying "it's good to be the King," but a life of excess also leads to a life of regrets. King Solomon knew how his father's life ended. The details of King David's days are described in 1 kings chapter 1. David had a entourage of servants and advisors to care for him, but apparently there was no family around to care for any of his intimate needs. David's servants found a beautiful girl to attend to the King, but this was a futile gesture. Where was Bathsheba, Solomon's mother? The text tells us she was alive and well. She was busy making sure that her son got the throne over any of Solomon's step-brothers.
What does all this say about a happy marriage? Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well is speaking about being happy with your wife and enjoying each other all of your days. Yes there are things that are private and only shared between man and wife. The strong assertion is that marital bliss is to be private and yours, alone.
All young married couples should read this proverb, because its lesson is to be happy now and this will give you happiness later, yes much later. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't emphasize that my point is that I am fortunate to still be rejoicing in the wife of my youth whom I am still in love with, more and more with each passing day.