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Is the Bible prudish about sexual relations? Not at all. The emotion of romantic love and the ecstasy enjoyed between a man and a woman are gifts from God. However, this intimacy is to be enjoyed only by marriage partners. So to a married man, Solomon gives this exhortation: “Drink water out of your own cistern, and tricklings out of the midst of your own well. Should your springs be scattered out of doors, your streams of water in the public squares themselves? Let them prove to be for you alone, and not for strangers with you.”—Proverbs 5:15-17. “Your own cistern” and “your own well” are poetic expressions for a beloved wife. Experiencing sexual enjoyment with her is likened to drinking refreshing water. Unlike the water supply in public places, a cistern or a well is considered private property. And the man is counseled to father children at home with his wife rather than scatter his seed in public squares, that is, among other women. Clearly, the advice to a man is to be faithful to his wife. The wise man continues: “Let your water source prove to be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth, a lovable hind and a charming mountain goat. Let her own breasts intoxicate you at all times. With her love may you be in an ecstasy constantly.”—Proverbs 5:18, 19. “Water source,” or fountain, has reference to the source of sexual satisfaction. Sexual pleasure with one’s marriage mate is “blessed”—God-given. Hence, a man is exhorted to rejoice with the wife of his youth. To him, she is as lovable and beautiful as a female deer, and as charming and graceful as a mountain goat. Solomon next poses two rhetorical questions: “So why should you, my son, be in an ecstasy with a strange woman or embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?” (Proverbs 5:20) Yes, why should a married person be lured into sexual intimacy outside of marriage through contacts at a place of work, at school, or elsewhere? To married Christians, the apostle Paul gives this counsel: “This I say, brothers, the time left is reduced. Henceforth let those who have wives be as though they had none.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) What does this entail? Well, the followers of Jesus Christ are to ‘keep on seeking first the kingdom.’ (Matthew 6:33) Therefore, married couples are not to be so absorbed in one another that they give Kingdom interests a secondary place in their lives.
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