TO CHEW ON: "Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm
For love is as strong as death..." Song of Solomon 8:6
The Song of Solomon when viewed as a poem about marital love—which it is—can give us many pointers on courtship and marriage.
In the area of courtship:
- It speaks of not awakening love too seen (Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5). I shudder when I think of how we have violated this principle in our society with sexually charged images and language targeted at even preteens. Then there is the whole area of child sexual abuse—taboo, but still happening way more often than we acknowledge, taking away innocence and robbing kids of the beauty and goodness of this relationship for a lifetime.
- Christian families should get involved in the development of children's views and choices (Song of Solomon 8:8,9).
- Wedding day purity is the ideal: "You are all fair my love and there is no spot in you...A garden enclosed ... A spring shut up" - Song of Solomon 4:7,12.
Once love has been awakened and marriage established:
- We move from a mindset of "me" and "mine" to "we" and "ours" (Song of Solomon 1:4, 16-17).
- We enthusiastically acknowledge the rightness of this relationship by:
- Expressing love to our partner verbally in positive and creative ways (Song of Solomon 5:10-16; 7:1-9).
- Giving free rein to the physical expression of our love (Song of Solomon 1:2-13; 4:9, 11; 7:6-9).
- Being available to each other (Song of Solomon 5:2-8).
- Getting away together (Song of Solomon 7:10-13).
- Remaining faithful to each other (Song of Solomon 8:6-7).
- Staying friends, not only lovers (Song of Solomon 5:16).
(These points adapted from "Truth-In-Action through Song of Solomon" by Leslyn Musch, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, pages 868-869.)
I love how Ms. Musch acknowledges that for some of us this is only an ideal. For those who have violated these principles she says:
"Keep yourself sexually pure .... If it is too late for that, ask God to forgive you, purify you and redeem what has been lost. Ask your fiancé or spouse for their forgiveness too. Seek godly counsel, if needed, to work through this potentially difficult issue. Pray together and ask the Lord to restore and heal your relationship" - L. Musch, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 869.
PRAYER: Thank You, God, for this beautiful love poem that affirms Your plan for love and marriage. Help me to take its lessons to heart in my own marriage and as I give direction to others. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.