“Imagine! His left hand cradling my head, his right arm around my waist! Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you’re ready.” Song of Solomon 8:4 (MSG)
Last month my wife & I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary (first marriage for both of us). On our wedding day we prayed from that day forward, our love would grow stronger each and every day as a married couple. So far, with God’s help and blessing, that has been true.
We recently read the Song of Solomon together. As we discussed our relationship, my wife pointed out what was most important to her. She said it was that I had resolved, even before we were dating, how I would act as a Kingdom Man towards her. Early in my Christian walk and while still in College, I heard from several men who looked me in the eye & said to learn from them and to promise to not repeat their mistakes, and to keep sex as intended: only within marriage. They emphasized, the guy is responsible for two hearts: his AND hers, especially when dating: you need to legitimately build her up and not tear her down. I took their messages to heart, deeply. When it was my turn “at bat”, though the temptation was quite strong (& compounded by unusual circumstances), I respected her maidenhood until we sealed our commitment within the marriage covenant. Now 5+ years later my wife’s recent response, “That is how I know I can trust you”.
My wife’s experience with Song of Solomon started differently from mine in that she studied it in school, as literature. Now as an adult her biggest take-away is that some guys could feed all kinds of lines to a girl (to stir up passions). Her advice to young women is to know, deep down, that you are beautiful even on the inside, without need for external validation. If you try to please other people, in the end you won’t please them or yourself. Biblically, for guys, you need to legitimately build her up and not tear her down. Even Solomon overlooked flaws in his bride (1:5-6; 2:1).
Now in marriage, my wife & I noted several additional “nuggets” from reading the Song of Solomon together. Identify habits (“little foxes”) that would harm your marriage and rectify them (2:15). Surround yourself with people who care about you and your marriage; Solomon’s mother obviously approved (3:11). Be quick to offer forgiveness (6:1-7). Love within marriage (both intimate and casual) should be expressed in both “old and new” ways (7:13). Never stop dating (8:13-14).
Kiss frequently & passionately: How did Solomon know that honey and milk were under her tongue (4:11;7:9)?
Daily Battle Order:
For men not already in a relationship that may lead to marriage, resolve NOW how you will act (otherwise, when in the moment it will be harder than you realize to do the right thing).
For you husbands & wives (or fiancé’s), today take our example and together read Song of Solomon AND take the time to write down for yourselves what nuggets of gold you find together. (Simple yes, but profound).