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. (Proverbs 5:18-19, NIV)
Have you ever been accused or convicted of “loving under the influence”? No, I didn’t say driving under the influence. I said loving under the influence. This isn’t a flippant question that minimizes the seriousness of drinking and driving. Nor does it downplay the grave consequences of abusive behavior while intoxicated. I’m simply wondering whether you’ve ever loved and been loved so overwhelmingly as to feel intoxicated.
Affects of Intoxication
The negative side to being intoxicated is the drunken stupor brought on by excessive alcohol. This usually impairs judgment, motor skills, and balance. As a result, drunks lose physical and mental control. Intoxication also loosens inhibitions. Intoxicated people usually end up making fools of themselves.
But there are also positive “intoxicated” feelings. For example, overpowering exhilaration or excitement. Granted, people experience such exhilaration at differing levels and in a variety of settings. For some, it may be while watching their favorite sports team win the championship. For others, when they finally get promoted at work. Sometimes, euphoria engulfs us when reunited with dear friends or family we haven’t seen in a long time. We also feel it while watching small children sleeping peacefully. Then, there are those moments when sharing a romantic sunset.
Different biblical translations of the NIV’s word “intoxicated” yield broader meanings. The NASB shows it as “exhilarated” while the AB version states “transported with delight.” The NLT translates it as “captivated.” My personal favorite, the KJV, uses “ravished.” Other words and phrases include “enraptured” (NKJV), “filled with great joy” (NLV), “lost in her love forever” (HCSB), and “taking delight in” (The Message). They all help discern the depth and power of such out-of-control, influential love.
Have you ever experienced this kind of love? If still single, are you preparing for this type of marital interaction? When your mind is preoccupied with this person (in a non-obsessive way, of course!). You have the desire to be around him or her 24/7 (in a non-stalking way, of course!). You’re aware of your bodily presence but you’re tingly all over. You think you’re in control, but your drool and sappy grin betray you. This mesmerizing ocean of “feel good” emotion floods your entire being.
God’s Intended Effect
This mesmerizing effect is specifically the loving intoxication God intended for a husband and wife. When Solomon wrote Proverbs 5, he not only gave wise parental instruction to his sons (v.7). He also shared sound biblical instruction about marriage. His stern warnings against adulterous behavior prompted his insight into intimate marital interaction. The reciprocal sexual intimacy between a husband and wife is so powerful–intoxicatingly influential–it protects the relationship from potential infidelity.
Two words in verse 19 deserve our attention. Satisfy. The quenching of thirst. Satiating an appetite. An abundant filling of something strongly desired. Intoxicated. To be captivated or mesmerized. Brought under the spell or intoxicating influence of something. Both words describe powerful influencers. This is the effect physical love should have each spouse.
Affects Both Spouses
While Solomon wrote this marriage guidance, he approached it from a husband’s point of view. However, the instruction applies equally to both spouses. Yes, verse 19 says the husband is ravished, enraptured, and intoxicated with his wife’s love. Yet, it is hard to imagine only the husband enjoying such intimate, fulfilling pleasure while the wife simply endures it. God never intended this nor would He subject us to such frustration.
This “loving influence” affects both spouses. They both please and enjoy each other physically, with intoxicating passion and quenching satisfaction. Being so captivated, they have no interest in sexual pleasure outside the marriage. Premarital or extramarital pleasure cannot match the ravishing satisfaction God intends for marriage.
To be clear, marital love includes both spouses loving in all four aspects of life. God intends physical love to be fulfilling and satisfying coupled with emotional connection, intellectual commitment, and spiritual unity. Actually, the power of the physical aspect finds its:
- Core connection in the emotional aspect
- Commitment in the intellectual aspect
- Blessing in the spiritual aspect.
Intoxicating sexual intimacy doesn’t just involve a husband and wife’s bodies. It also engages their hearts, souls, and minds. Tangible, physical love fully expresses intangible spiritual, intellectual, and emotional love. And it all takes place within the security and commitment of marriage.
So, if you’ve never been accused or convicted of “loving under the influence,” why not drink deeply from that fountain today?
Editor’s Note: Some comments / quotes are excerpted from author and speaker Nate Stevens’ book “Matched 4 Life.”