Over the last month and a half I have brought several points to readers concerning God’s design for marriage. I will briefly provide you with a recap. In Pt. 1, from Matthew 22:36-40, I pointed to loving God, loving spouse, and loving self (with emphasis on healthy self-love) as essential to marriage that is not hard. In Pt. 2, from Proverbs 5:18-19, we see that healthy marriage relationships are born out of rejoicing in our spouse. That post went a little long and I had to cut it short and thus write a part 3. So, this post will return to Proverbs 5:18-19 to discuss satisfaction and captivation, all the while relying on the concept of rejoicing for support. Proverbs 5:18-19, from the New English Translation says:
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in your young wife --
a loving doe, a graceful deer;
may her breasts satisfy you at all times,
may you be captivated by her love always.
Verse 19 begins with the poetic description of a spouse who is loving and graceful. If the reader desires to go and read the verses preceding 19, we see a picture of seductive women outside of marriage being, well, seductive. Their words drip with honey and they are smoother than olive oil (5:3)…but that’s not where the teacher stops. Those seductive avenues, who appear on the surface to be so fine, maybe even in the weakness of a moment finer than the spouse at home, are in the end bitter, sharp, and lead to destruction. These points of advice are important and I think they build on each other. The blessing, the rejoicing, and the spouse being loving and graceful are all connected. These points are also connected to satisfaction and captivation.
What does it mean to be satisfied? What does it mean to be captivated? The most basic definition of satisfaction is one who is fulfilled in their desires. Being satisfied (emphasis placed on sexual satisfaction) in a marriage relationship is something that can be easily stolen away in our culture. In the blog posted last week by dad, he discussed connection and how that connection can be subverted. I don’t think that many of us would argue that the world is filled with oversexualized images. Advertising, popular TV shows, movies, magazines, the internet; many of these avenues are highly sexualized, pornified, or actual pornography. Besides visual stimulation, there are also many emotional avenues that can seduce a spouse away from the oneness relationship.
This is an oversimplification due to the nature of a Blog, but when a spouse slips from rejoicing and seeing the other as appealing (taken from loving and graceful), then satisfaction is made vulnerable. If the spouse then seeks satisfaction outside the relationship, there is extreme vulnerability to the mutual captivation that should be a part of a healthy oneness relationship.
When spouses experience a rough spot in the marriage and the flow of blessing, rejoicing, appeal, satisfaction, and captivation is interrupted and the spouse begins to seek, explore, or find satisfaction elsewhere, then ‘marriage is hard’ becomes a reality. The teacher is clear in the Proverbs; if the desire is a healthy oneness relationship, that is not a grueling process of warily giving on some things and greedily taking what is perceived to be rightful, then we must insert our relationship into the flow of these principles.
I will state again that this is a great oversimplification of the relationship that is not overly hard. I have personally spent hours poring over the damning effects of pornography and emotional affairs, and yet it is barely mentioned here. Simply put, rejoice in each other, be satisfied exclusively by each other, and enter into the wonder of mutual captivation.
The Hebrew verb being translated as captivated here has several other potential options; enraptured, intoxicated, exhilarated, ravished, lost in love, and delighted. These verbs are then accompanied by adverbs like; constantly, always, continually, and forever. Our eyes should swell and our hearts swoon when we realize that infatuation and honeymooners syndrome does not have to be permanently extinguished as a relationship matures. So I will again echo the words of the teacher, rejoice in each other, be satisfied in each other, and be captivated by each other! This should lead to a oneness relationship that is a far cry from the difficult marriage relationships touted by our culture today.
Contact Dr. White and Associates, P.C. for Lubbock marriage counseling.