My husband and I spent the weekend at our church's annual marriage retreat. We spent the weekend watching the ocean, eating, laughing and learning. Mostly we paused. Retreat is a time to step out of our crazy schedule and remember. Oh yes. I know you. I picked you. I love you. We spend time watching other couples. Hearing their stories. Knowing their stories. It helps me to watch those around me. Sometimes that can reflect where I am. The whole weekend is an investment. It takes time to know my relationship matters as more than just a household partnership.
The Song of Solomon. Oh Lordy. Sex. Marriage. Love. Touchy topics there. No pun intended. My ten–year-old, my mother and my husband all read my blog. This post makes me want to hide in the closet or turn pink. And for that very reason I love the book of Song of Songs. For the truth is that those hide and blush or strip and shock reactions are not what God intended. Sex is a gift. Romance is a beautiful picture. Both are holy. And fun. God created sex in all its measure. Partly for creating children for sure. But partly for binding hearts, healing pain, comforting and enjoying each other.
My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. Song of Solomon 5:10
The Song of Solomon is a book of poetry that describes the emotional and physical attraction between an engaged couple. It's full of steamy scenes and weighty emotion. Through the years, this book has been banned, edited, misunderstood, skipped over and explained away. But it's a powerful book.
Hudson Taylor, the great missionary, says Song of Solomon is all about union and communion.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Song of Solomon 2:4
Song of Solomon reminds me that God is all about relationship. He's comfortable with emotion. He doesn't want stale or boring to be words that describe our human relationships or our relationship with him.
Song of Solomon also runs straight into the bedroom. Lots of people want faith in God to be a part of their lives but they build a brick wall around their sexuality and post signs that say "Not Welcome". "Not Here". "You don't know what you are talking about". I think people are scared if they agree to let God be God of everything, including their sexuality, that they will lose out. Truth is Song of Solomon makes it very clear that God's isn't out to wreck anything. He's out to save everything. Including our identities, expressions, relationships and sexuality.
OS Guiness in the book Fool's Talk describes the way that our problems start when we begin to suspect God of wrongdoing and our views as correct.
"On the one hand, for each of us, sin is the claim to the right to myself, and so to my way of seeing things, which - far more than class, gender, race and generation - is the ultimate source of human relativity. On the other hand, sin is the deliberate repudiation of God and the truth of his way of seeing things. If my way of seeing things is decisive, anyone who differs from me is wrong by definition - including God. No, especially God, because his way of seeing things is more powerful and therefore more threatening than anyone else's. His word, our interference."
When we cheapen sex to a visual or a one night stand or refuse to seek God's guidance in all areas of our sexuality, we cheapen the gift. It's like drive-by faith. Sunday morning confessions that mean nothing on Monday. A marriage is supposed to be a way to live out the picture of the gospel. And so the Song of Songs encourages me. The faith is supposed to be deep and fun and joyful and life long. It's supposed to be emotional and passionate. To know and be known.
My beloved spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me." Song of Solomon 2:10
The Song of Solomon challenges the idea that God's view of sex is boring, wrong, outdated, restrictive or wrong. Read the book. It's beautiful. It's a gift. I'd challenge you to shift your heart. Invite Him in to shape and guide your relationships and your sexuality. You can trust him.
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of Solomon 8:6
Date your Spouse! Need ideas? Check out the Date Box.
New Spring Church has a full list of devotionals HERE.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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