“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine, He who pastures his flock among the lilies” (Song 6:3)
The Song of Solomon is one of my favorites books in the Bible. To me, it is always strong and fresh, exciting, inviting, fragrant and romantic. It speaks of the eternal love between Christ and His Church. It also testifies of the true love in a godly successful marriage. This Song helps me to be a better Christian and a better wife. By reading its beautiful poetic lines I am challenged to walk closer to God and to make my marriage better. What are the requirements for a godly successful marriage?
4. TRUE LOVE
“He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins,
Refresh me with apples,
For I am lovesick” (SS 2:4-5)
As pastors, my husband and I meet with many couples who struggle in their marriages . We also witness pure holy love that make the marriage strong and happy. There are many books sold in the Christian bookstores written about the secret of successful marriages. Only very few quote scriptures from the Song of Songs. What a pity… In this Book we see how two young people fall in love, date each other, have their wedding, pass thru the struggles and the testings of love and finally come to the place of fulfillment in their marriage.
These days we are inundated with negative images about sex and fleshly passion. Most people, young and old, are ignorant about true love as it is found in the Bible. Let me say this: It is a beautiful thing to to see a man and a woman fall in love in the presence of God! It is a beautiful thing to witness the wedding of a man and a woman who love each other passionately with the Love of Christ ‘shed abroad in their hearts’. God is love and God gives love to be shared among men. Next to your relationship with God, loving your spouse should be the priority of your life!
Here we see true love displayed between a young man and a young woman. Some say that it is the story of King Solomon falling in love with a simple ‘village girl’. First if all it speaks of the love Christ has for His Bride, the Church. It is also a guide to true love in marriage. We can learn so many lessons about love in this wonderful Book.
The first lesson is this: these two people are passionately in love with one another. This attraction and this passion is mutual. Both of them talk. In fact, the Beloved talks more than the Groom. We should come to worship God with words!!! These two are not ashamed of each other or about their love. This is a warning: if love is very strong but it is coming from only one direction, that marriage cannot last. If one of them talks all the time and the other keeps silent to ‘avoid trouble’ that marriage relationship cannot last. A bird needs two wings to fly. Even so love must be mutual and balanced to grow!
We see that the groom brings his bride to the ‘banqueting house’ and decorates that house with a big banner saying LOVE! A banner is like a big flag indicating the identity and the location of the people under that banner. For example, each tribe of Israel had a banner lifted high in the wilderness. In war it gives courage to the people under that banner. There was the banner of Judah, of Benjamin and so on. If a man got lost in the desert, he will look for the banner of his tribe and go there.
The groom openly displays his banner of love so that everybody knows that his Bride belongs to him and that she is safe there under his protection. If a husband is ashamed of his wife in public that marriage is in trouble. If a wife mocks her husband in public, that marriage is falling already. The banner of love shows that what is in your heart is also on your lips and displayed in your actions! You must feel love, speak love and act love for that marriage to grow!
This is a good counsel: if as a prodigal son or daughter you get ‘lost’ in the desert of this world, and you desire to come back, do not look at men’s faces or at your circumstances! Look for the banner of Jesus! God loves you! Go to the Cross and you shall find there the eternal source of all true love!
This is my testimony: I never wake up in the morning with fear that Jesus will ignore of abandon me today. I am sure of His love for me. I do not doubt His love for me. Try to imagine being married to a man who loves me like Jesus! In the past I was foolish enough to sometimes doubt my husband’s love for me. But I was wrong. Thru the study of the Word of God and prayer, we both grew in the security of our love for each other. We do not exchange bad words in our house or in public. We do not threaten each other with divorce. We do not mock or insult each other, not even jokingly! We help and encourage each other to be like Jesus! This is our attitude!
“Catch us the foxes,
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes” (SS 2:15)
Love is like the tender grapes. Love is like a baby. Both the husband and the wife need to care for that ‘baby’ so that it matures into a strong and fruitful son. The little foxes of foolishness, greed, lust, quarrels and ambitions can damage the roots of true love and spoil the vineyards, destroy what love can be. Careless words hurt the relationship and forgiveness is so difficult to find. You must be jealous with the testimony of your passion. If not, the tender love displayed at the wedding day fails to mature into a vineyard of sweet harvest in the old age.
My children, please, do not take love for granted! Do not misuse God’s gift of marriage! Do all you can to protect it from internal and external enemies! This is my prayer and my wish for you: May your marriage be strong and happy to the end! In Jesus name, amen!