HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT
The Women’s Fellowship was very good. Today was our first meeting this year. We had a full house. We shared testimonies of God’s goodness and power. We praised God with songs and dancing. We prayed and prophesied over our lives, marriages, children, businesses and ministries. We did warfare: we rejected the evil spirits of empty religion, depression, barrenness, fear, doubt, poverty, sickness and sorrow! We prayed two by two, one for another. We prophesied that the single sisters above 30 shall marry this year. We prophesied that the married women who pray for the fruit of the womb shall be pregnant and have children! In Christ we declared that God has opened a new door for us in 2018. It is a good and great, surprisingly sweet new platform for ministry and family blessings. No devil and no man can shut it. Our testimonies will increase! Our joy shall be full! In Jesus name, amen! Then the sermon came. It was about the joy of an ideal godly marriage. It was inspired from the Song of songs. Our marriages must be better! There is always room for improvement! Amen!
THE WINE, FIRE AND ECHO OF THE SONG OF SONGS
“The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s” (SS1:1)
The Song of Songs is the most romantic Book in the Bible. Most Christians ignore this book because they either do not understand it or they feel uncomfortable reading it. The Song of Songs is a poem written by King Solomon, the son of King David. He describes how he deeply fell in love with a simple shepherd girl, even when he already had hundreds of wives and concubines in his harem. Symbolically, the poem describes the love between Christ and the Church. The same poem perfectly describes the ideal love found in a godly marriage, when both husband and wife are mature believers in Christ. This holy love in marriage has four attributes: Passion, Self-control, mutuality and eternal life.
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS PASSIONATE
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—
For your love is better than wine
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments,
Your name is ointment poured forth;
Therefore the virgins love you.
Draw me away! … The king has brought me into his chambers…” (SS 1:2- 4)
Passion is described as a strong and barely controllable emotion. Love in marriage must be romantic, exciting, full of interesting gifts and sweet surprises. Like wine, it must be intoxicating to the heart and to the brain. Its source is the sacrificial passionate love of Jesus, who died to save His sinful Lovers. This love is jealous and very protective. It fights to death the enemies of love. In this Song, the passionate love in marriage is described in many ways: kisses on the mouth, fragrant ointment poured forth, getting drunk with wine, getting sick with love, going out in the night searching for the offended lover to make peace with him and many beautiful intimate praises poured out between husband and wife. This passionate love involves their bodies, souls and spirits. There is no shame in this love. Their love is a reflection of the original purity designed by God for marriage when: “a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Gen 2:24, 25). The fire of love burns all guilt, all shame and all inferiority complexes. They feel happy and safe to love each other. They are generous with the best they have. There is no fear of betrayal, deception or divorce. Their sexual life is passionate but limited to marriage. There is no wasting drainage to adulterous affairs. The ‘strange woman’ must be disappointed. If your love is holy and passionate then ‘your fountains will not be dispersed abroad and your streams of water will not flow on strange dark streets’ (PV 5: 16). Love’s passion is an anointed overflow able to destroy all the evil plans and opposition of marriage. Lukewarm love is dangerous. It is on its way to defeat. Keep the fires of holy love burning! Quench not the Spirit of love! Let the fire burn, day and night! Be drunk and be filled with the Holy Spirit!
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS CONTROLLED
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
By the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases” (SS 2:7; 3:5 and 8:4)
The beauty of true Christian love is that it combines great passion with great self-restrain. Only the Holy Spirit can produce this unique combination. Flesh is a coward. It always looks for escape in one way or the other. Flesh loves until it destroys itself. It quenches the very life of passionate intimacy. Fleshly love oscillates in between erotic lust and frigid vows. But the love of Christ is both hot and controlled in the same time. Two of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the first and the last, are ‘love and… self-control’ (Gal 5: 22, 23). Mature love is spiritual and balanced. That is why it does not break and it lasts forever. The Bride tells ‘the daughters of Jerusalem’, her friends, to be patient with the manifestation and harvest of love. Lust boils immediately and burns the kettle. But ‘love is patient’ with itself (1Cor 13:4). The passion of love in marriage must increase gradually. Love is wise. Love knows when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’. Like driving a car, love has one speed pedal and two breaks. There is a time to love more and times when you love less, so that you can rest your soul (Ecc 3:8). Going on the high hills and the deep valleys of life, even when stumbling, it must go on, for ‘love never fails’ (1 Cor 13:8). Love in a godly marriage is ‘A garden enclosed… A spring shut up… A fountain sealed’ (SS 4:12). This love has a secret address and a codded password. It is separated from the eyes of strangers. The fence of holy fire around the marriage bed keeps its passion safe. Marriage is a mystery protected by God Himself (Eph 5:32; Mal 3:5).
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS MUTUAL
‘My beloved is mine, and I am his…’ (SS 2:16; 6:3; 7:10)
In a true godly marriage the husband and wife are free to be themselves, free to talk and free to manifest their love to each other. Love is a two way street. Love is a duet. Love is like tango dance! Love is a mutual feeling experienced by both of them. In this poem you see that both the Lover and the Beloved initiate speeches and actions. The leadership of the husband and the submission of the wife were curses placed after the fall, to restrain sinful behavior in marriage. But in this poem we see that agape love equals both players and brings them together unto ‘the hill of incense’ to dance for joy. In a golly marriage there is no violence, wickedness, manipulation or oppression. There is love, trust, purity and peace. Both husband and wife are free in each other’s arms. They give themselves one to the other in a happy and safe surrender. Each one teaches the other how to live, love and laugh. They weep together and they rejoice together. No one is left behind. No one is lonely. The blanket of Love is wide enough to cover both of them. True love is hated by many. In the forests of this world you will encounter many ‘little foxes that try to spoil the tender shoots of springtime love’ (SS 2:15). Both husband and wife are ready to fight the enemies of marriage. They are both jealous over their love and they protect it unto death. ‘Love always protects’ (1 Cor 13:7). Spiritual warfare done in the name of Jesus, in the unity of the Spirit, in a godly marriage is always successful. The devil has no chance here! The monster of adultery dies immediately when marriage covenant partners hold hands in prayer and worship their God.
*LOVE IN MARRIAGE IS FOREVER
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised” (SS 8: 6, 7)
The marriage covenant is done in the presence of God, among witnesses in heaven and on earth. It lasts a life time. After death, the surviving spouse is free to live single or remarry. But the love they had for one another endures beyond the barrier of death. The fruits and effect of their holy love will survive the destruction of their bodies. Their children and friends have been touched by their true passion. Their love will continue to sing its song in the hearts of many, forever! This love cannot be destroyed, quenched or sold for money. It is a proof that Jesus Christ is the Husband of the Church. It is a sign post directing seekers to the sacrifice on the Cross done by our Savior, King and Lover! The color of true love is red for the Lover’s Blood payed its way to the heart of His Beloved. ‘God is Love” (1 Jn 4:16). God always ‘keeps the best for the last’ (Jn 2:10). May your love be fruitful and free!
This is the testimony of agape Love found in Christ alone! May we worship the God who loved us first! May true agape love be found in our hearts! May the Song of Songs echo in our marriages, now and forever! In Jesus name, amen!