Husband and wife.
The relationship that should be marked by oneness and unity... two individual fleshes becoming one. It is the human relationship that is likened to the unity between the Father, Son, and Spirit... separate but one.
It grieves me when I see marriages ending or... just as bad, people settling to live unhappily married with their spouse. God has given us His word, specifically Song of Solomon, to teach us how to live happily together... to grow in oneness... to glorify God in our most important human relationship.
So what does this book that is often overlooked by churches say? What does it teach about sex? dating? communication? character?
1. The book begins in Song of Solomon 1 with the woman flirting or seducing her husband. She draws him in with her words... she is free, not fearing that her husband will call her names or laugh at her. She is free to initiate intimacy because he has encouraged, loved, complimented, and supported her. She did not necessarily look like all the beautiful women of her time but Solomon complimented her which lead her to be free and feel beautiful in her skin (i.e. she had dark skin and in ancient times only peasant girls had dark skin because it signified that she had to work outside... BUT Solomon liked her skin and he told her). Growing up, I did not like my high forehead and often slumped because I felt like I was too tall and lanky. When I met my husband, he found all of those aspects about me beautiful and made sure I knew what he thought. I am his standard of beauty... and his standard of beauty will change as I change. (Husbands, your standard of beauty is your wife...) He continues to verbally praise my body, especially the parts of me where I felt insecure. And the result... I feel free around him; I trust him and I have removed all protective defenses.
2. There are two possible types of people in a marriage: selfless and selfish. Marriage between two selfish people is often marked by unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Marriage between a selfish person and a selfless person often leads to abuse... the selfless person becomes the victim. Marriage between two selfless people is ideal... the way marriage was meant to be. Think about whether you are choosing to serve your spouse in all areas of life... are you choosing to consider their needs before your own or are you demanding to have your way?
3. Look at SOS 2:15- "Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom." The little foxes destroy the vineyard. In marriage, we all have little foxes, that if left alone and ignored, will eventually destroy the marriage. Foxes in the marriage can include things like children, health issues that arise in the husband or wife, or sin. If not brought to the light and discussed, the fox will destroy your vineyard (or marriage). What foxes are in your marriage? I spur you to find the foxes and deal with them now.
4. Remember that you married a sinner... and you too are a sinner. Therefore, may grace abound in your marriage. Jesus died for our sins... so, marriages do not need to die because of sins.
5. People invest so much time and money into a wedding in our culture; however, in the correct perspective, we should remember that the last day of marriage is far more important than the first. On the last day of marriage, what will your spouse say of you?
6. SOS is about King Solomon and his first love. Solomon had more money, wisdom, and power than we could imagine and yet his marriage fell apart. Over time, the beautiful union portrayed in the Song of Solomon crumbled... Solomon took on 700 wives and 300 concubines... What happened? His heart turned away from God. Sin destroyed. Remember, in your marriage, the same thing could happen if you stop walking with God and let sin continue to reign in your life. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy... keep the foxes out of your marriage.
7. In SOS 5&6 we see Solomon get rejected by his wife. He comes knocking at her door and she refuses to answer. Selfishness is a sin in marriage; it divides, not unifies. A constant goal in marriage should always be oneness. Remember to be the servant... and if you stumble into selfishness, I pray that you would confess, repent, seek restitution with your spouse, and reconcile completely with him/her. If you are sinned against, remember that you too are a sinner. Just as you were freely forgiven, you too can freely forgive.
May purity, love, grace, and forgiveness abound in your marriages. If you have kids, I encourage you to talk to them about sexuality and healthy relationships. You have the power to teach them how to relate to their spouse as a servant.
May you strive to have God's best for your relationship...
For more information about Song of Solomon, listen to Mark Driscoll's Peasant Princess podcast. Go to this link:http://www.marshillchurch.org/media/the-peasant-princess
My hubby and Mark Driscoll