We sometimes think the grass is greener. We only see that person at their best. We see our spouse at their worst. The grass looks greener. We ought to fertilize and water our own lawns. We have responsibility to nurture our relationships and rejoice in our partners.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
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.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?
21 For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.
Proverbs 5:3-4, 15-21
The end of this proverb is probably the place to start. Our ways are in God’s full view. He examines all of our paths in life. We live in that context. We can say what we like and we can live how we want, yet none of it is outside the view of our Lord, who sees it all. Enter adultery. Adultery is committed under the cover of darkness, behind another person’s back, in secret places with secret people. Yet God sees.
I cannot recall a single instance of adultery I have heard about, which did not end in heartache for the people involved. Add children into the mix and the potential for harm explodes.
This isn’t God’s plan for us. We can see, ever so clearly, that God’s plan is for us to enjoy the partner of our youth: “yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”
That’s God’s plan. The language could be flipped around to rejoicing in the husband of your youth. Adultery is equal-opportunity. The temptation is there for both. And we sometimes think the grass is greener. There are many reasons we think it is. The adulterous partner is mysterious, exciting, new, and we only see that person at their best. We see our spouse at their worst. The grass looks greener.
I think one of God’s points for us here is that we ought to fertilize and water our own lawns. When God says ‘rejoice’ in the spouse of your youth, it’s a verb. It’s an action word. We have responsibility to make ourselves worth rejoicing in, and nurture our relationship.
And if that’s not enough, just watch Fatal Attraction. It’s not worth it…