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Wisdom Urges Faithfulness in Marriage

Devotions

The state of sexual morality in America is not good. The number of unmarried couples living together has increased at least tenfold since 1960. Casual sex, “hook-ups,” and “friends with benefits” are more popular than ever.

Against this background, the call of Proverbs 5 to faithfulness in marriage is more timely than ever! God has designed the marriage relationship to be exclusive and fulfilling (vv. 15–20). That is, marriage is one man and one woman, for life (Gen. 2:23–24). A man should be satisfied with his own wife and not led astray by the deceiving pleasures of adultery. The imagery in these verses is clearly sexual, as in the Song of Songs. Being satisfied with your wife’s breasts is as erotic as it sounds (v. 19). The sexual intimacy described in these verses is ultimately relational intimacy, “never to be shared with strangers” (v. 17; cf. 1 Cor. 7:3–5).

The temptation to sexual immorality promises much but is empty in the end (vv. 1–14). “The lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall” (v. 3–4). A person of discretion is not fooled. The seductress’s path is crooked and leads only to ruin and destruction. To chase after her is to abandon wisdom and self-discipline. Self-control and a spirit open to correction are key to resisting this kind of temptation (vv. 12–14, 23).

The bottom line is that God sees all and is not deceived (vv. 21–23). Sinful ways are a snare and end in death. Foolishness and a lack of self-discipline lead one away from the path of life.

Apply the Word

One Christian book on marriage is The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller (Dutton, 2011). The introduction states that this book is for both married and unmarried people, because all Christians need to understand what the Bible teaches on this important subject.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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