The Water that Brings Life.
by Kevin Probst
When Jesus met the woman at the well (John 4) he had a private conversation with her. She was amazed he was willing to ask her for water and to even speak to a Samaritan woman! As the conversation progressed, it was obvious she wanted to talk only of surface issues and then be well on her way. But Jesus wanted to dig deep into a heart that has been made cold and calloused by years of serial relationships that had left her empty and void of any feeling.
They talked about water, living water. She had no understanding of such a concept. They talked a bit about the religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans. She told him how much she hated hauling all her water pots to the well every day in the mid-afternoon heat. Then, rather abruptly, Jesus asked her a question that made her feel very uncomfortable….it was a “let’s put it all out on the table” kind of question. “Will you go get your husband and bring him here?”
She had learned some things in life the hard way. She had learned that real satisfaction doesn’t come from sexual relationships. She learned that some men try to validate themselves by pursuing attractive women but after each conquest they get bored with her because the world is filled with thousands of attractive, sensual women and so off he goes to find his next conquest. Her lifeless eyes and her pre-maturely aged face indicate a heart that has been wounded over and over and now the remaining scars make it very difficult for her to feel emotions any more.
The males in her life were seeking satisfaction in sexual relationships. It’s like the water Jesus was talking to her about. You drink deeply from the well at Sychar but you will come back again and again because your thirst always returns. You can drink from other wells, you can choose to use other vessels but the thirst relentlessly returns. A man’s true self-worth is found in the love and respect he gets from his family. Men were created to be monogamous. A man who has learned to be content is one who has learned the mission God had in mind for him when he put him on this earth and he is diligently working to accomplish that mission.
She sometimes gets so wrapped up in the cultural deception that if she is beautiful enough and sensual enough he will love her and stay with her forever. But, there are millions of beautiful and sensual women in the world. If that’s all she can offer he will get bored eventually. Her real beauty and her sustaining attributes are her warmth, her sensitiveness to the needs of her husband and her children, her grace and charm, her modesty and her love for her Creator. These features are God-given and they are the ropes that bind her to her husband and family.
He will go to the gym daily and endure long hours of painful workouts in order to achieve the athletic look that will catch her eye. There is certainly nothing wrong with staying healthy and strong. But, there is a reason for the ‘dumb jock’ syndrome. She will eventually get very bored with a good looking jock who only has one thing on his mind. Our culture is filled with sexual nomads who are frustrated because real, true satisfaction in their lives is so elusive. They haven’t the time for building relationships and eventually marrying.
I thought it was downright pitiful a few years ago when I read in a book written by a prominent FOX news correspondent his braggadocious claim to have bedded hundreds of women. About that same time a very famous professional basketball player also wrote of his multiple conquests. They thought this was reason to be admired. They’ve certainly drunk often from the well but they’ve never drunk the living water that satisfies forever the thirst in an empty soul.
She is not looking to be a number on his list. She wants a monogamous relationship. She wants to trust a man who is dignified by his trustworthiness. The relationship or the marriage will struggle when it’s all about him or all about her. The true secret to successful marriage is to make it all about God. When God is centered in the marriage then the two of them can build a web of love around their family and friends that is enviable and indestructible.
Is not the chief end in marriage to present to the world an earthy display of the divine love Christ has for his church?