Previously, I presented Proverbs 5 as God’s design for husbands to make sense of sexual temptation in marriage, and to further discover an effective antidote to the experience. The first design antidote is to choose to rejoice in your wife. Proverbs 5: states ‘may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.’
Rejoicing is not a common term for most of us in today’s culture. What does this really mean in the Hebrew context in which it was written? We need to know the meaning in order to live out the design. Rejoice means to feel or to show great joy in or delight in something. In Hebrew it also includes the experience of satisfaction in that rejoicing. I would define it as developing satisfaction in something that delights my wife and then demonstrating that delight to her.
Think of it like this: We men experience great joy and satisfaction in the experience of accomplishing something in sports, outdoors, or some other effort. How does it make us feel when our wives make a big deal out of our accomplishment and brag about it to others? It makes us feel loved, honored, important, etc. There’s the goal; to show love, honor, importance to her. In general, what does a wife do who feels loved, honored, and important? She reciprocates. God designed our relationships to work.
In application to your own wife, what is it that she does or represents that brings her joy? Some ideas are her healthy practices (gym workouts, diet, etc.), career/academic accomplishments, style choices, wisdom, talents, or traditions. Find something about her to make a big deal out of, to enjoy in a satisfying way. If this doesn’t work, ask your wife ‘what is it that brings you joy that you would like for me to rejoice in?’ Over time the husband who spends time focusing on the joy that he takes in his wife will empower God’s design and disempower the sexual temptation in his environment.
God designed our relationships for success. A wife whose husband rejoices in her will likely have a positive response. See Part 3, Struggling with Sexual Temptation as a Married Man? for the next design parameter.