May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. (Proverbs 5:18 NIV)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28 NIV)
If only Solomon had applied the wisdom that he possessed to his own life. Instead, he destroyed his own life and a kingdom pursuing pleasure with women. As I read this chapter I can only imagine that he wrote it early in life when the one woman in his life was the one described in the Song of Songs. There is the possibility he wrote it late in life looking back at what might have been, but it is much harder to imagine.
I wonder what he would write today. Our world is obsessed with sexual pleasure and it is available at the swipe of a finger, the click of a mouse, or a voice request to your television remote. The temptations take different forms and Jesus makes clear his expectation of us in the passage from the Sermon on the Mount.
I think the solution to all of this is simple, at least for those of us who are married. Rejoice and celebrate the person you are married to. Delight in your spouse. Enjoy the time you spend together and spend as much time together as you can. Acknowledge that the person you are married to is an incredible gift from God. I know I don’t always do this and I know I should. I’m grateful that God continually reminds me where I’d likely be if he hadn’t brought her into my life. Before we got married I was headed in a very bad direction. I was wandering, and the destination wasn’t going to be good. God caught my attention through her and brought me back to the right path. I wish I could say that once on the right path I stayed on it, but that isn’t true. Staying on the right path requires intentional effort, what Solomon calls discipline.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
From a very practical perspective, be very selective about what comes into your life. Install filtering software on your media devices. None of the software is perfect, but I’ve found it to be a great reminder that there are things I need to guard against. However, if in guarding your heart the focus of your heart turns to what you are guarding against you are likely to be defeated. Instead, keep your heart focused on the person God has given you to love and cherish. The distractions and temptations will never completely disappear, but their power and attraction will diminish the closer you are to the husband or wife of your youth.
For my grandchildren:
Say thank you to your Mom and Dad for the limits they put in place on your access to media. When you get older you’ll be glad there are things you never saw.