Spousal Intoxication

Should a wife ever let her husband get drunk? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

The Bible regularly warns about the dangers of alcohol. Now I do not take this to mean that one cannot drink. The Bible warns about the dangers of money, but it doesn’t say you cannot have money and does not condemn having money in itself. The Bible warns about the dangers of sex, but it does not condemn having sex. In fact, it blesses it.

Despite this, there is a time when a kind of intoxication is encouraged.

Recently, I was reading through Proverbs and get to Proverbs 5:15-19, which is a passage I think most every man likes to read. This is a passage that celebrates the sexual delight of the union of husband and wife with the advice to the man of not following the path of adultery. Instead, stick with your own spouse. Delight in her always!

Interestingly, the ESV reading says “Be intoxicated always in her love.”

What a powerful picture!

And note, it does not say be intoxicated in the sexual delight of her, though that is a part of it, but be intoxicated in her love, which is expressed greatly in that delight.

So I decided to look up the word for intoxication and see what it said. I was pleased to see that a translation of it that is valid is intoxication, but yet I was surprised to see what else it meant.

The word is shagah and normally refers to sin and ignorance. In fact, the only place you could say it is used in a positive sense that I found was in Proverbs 5:19. In this passage, it is in contrast to the adulterous woman. It is saying instead of seeking after the other side of the fence where the grass seems greener, give that devotion to your own wife.

Again, a powerful picture.

It is our tendency I think as people to focus on the negative, instead of stopping to realize what blessings we have. Readers of this blog know that I did not marry until I was nearly thirty. Ironically, I had seen all my friends getting married around me, but when it came to my circle of friends in Charlotte, I was the first one to get married. I regularly celebrate that I get to enjoy the gift of marriage.

And I wonder how many of us, and this is especially written to the men today, seem to take our spouses for granted. Considering the way a lot of us are, we should celebrate that we found someone who not only puts up with us, but loves us. C.S. Lewis reminded us that we are all very difficult to live with. I know it’s difficult for my wife to have a husband who is a tremendous nerd and always has his nose in a book.

She also has to put up with my constantly sarcastic wit, and at the same time, the fact that I can be very sensitive and prone to misunderstanding when she’s joking about something. She has to learn to manage when I react negatively to seeing dirty dishes or items of that sort, and I don’t mean by dirty dishes, dishes that might have been sitting in the sink. I mean dishes that are dirty because a meal was just finished. It’s part of being an Aspie.

Gentlemen. Just consider what all your wife does for you. This is the person who trusts you more than anyone else. She sleeps next to you every night. When it comes to sex, she is giving you the highest trust that she can possibly give you. All that she does for you, you are to be ravished by that. You are to have it be such a spell on you that you are drunk from it.

Yes. Believe it or not, the Bible gives you the green light to be infatuated with your spouse. In fact, it encourages it. It encourages it for you so that you will seek the good of the spouse and learn to love her more. In fact, I think this is the way God designed the marriage to work out.

In the past, marriages were arranged. The husband and wife might not know each other until the wedding night. How was that love to be built? Well why should the man sacrifice for this complete stranger? My thinking is the obvious reason is he enjoys the sexual benefit of the marriage. That in turns bonds him to her in a hormonal sense that was not understood back then. With that bond, he is to grow increasingly to seek her good.

In turn, the same action is to bond the woman to her husband. Women release a bonding hormone at least two times in their lives. It is released in sex and it is released when it comes to a baby. A woman will just naturally bond with a child that she gives birth to. The more she cuddles with the child, the more she will bond.

So while this is mainly to the men encouraging them to practice marital faithfulness, a word to the woman would be to allow this to happen. Your man is just functioning the way he was meant to be. Of course, this does not mean you are to be just a sex slave or something of that sort for him, but one of the greatest give you can give your husband is to allow him to love you.

We today are troubled by what is happening to marriage in our world. Part of the reason that it is is because we have not shown the rest of the world what marriage is supposed to be. This requires work on our part, but we will benefit as married couples from it, and the rest of the world will benefit when we are truly honoring and celebrating marriage.

In Christ,
Nick Peters