Song of Songs 1:1 Solomon’s Song of Songs.
This book celebrates romantic love as one of God’s best gifts. It was probably written by Solomon around 950 BC. The title means it is the best of songs, which is appropriate given the rapturous experience it describes. The language is surprisingly sensual, but its inclusion in the Bible shows that God approves of sexual expression in marriage. It is never quoted or alluded to in the New Testament, but marital love does reflect the love of Christ for his church (Ephesians 5:32).
Song of Songs 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.
Most of the song is written from the perspective of the woman, and here she expresses her powerful longing for the affection of her husband. She is not passive or shy, but surprisingly forward and clear.
This reminds us of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame (Genesis 2:25), wrote Moses. God designed them for physical union, and they were happy being naked. After they sinned, they covered themselves with fig leaves (Genesis 3:7), but at first, they ware unashamed. This is God’s ideal for marriage.
Song of Songs 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.
Foxes are pests that will destroy a vineyard if they are not stopped; and little problems will destroy a relationship if they are not resolved. Relationships are not only ruined by big problems, but by many little problems that are not taken care of.
Husbands and wives should be open about the little ways they annoy each other. Neither should assume the other knows what is troubling them—that is not fair or reasonable. Little annoyances should be expressed without nagging (Proverbs 21:19), and then resolved. Good relationships can become even better by eliminating little problems quickly.
Song of Songs 4:1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from the hills of Gilead.
The husband often extols the beauty of his wife with images that do not translate well into other cultures. Both were apparently beautiful, and he gave her the approval she desired.
Relationships can only flourish through positive reinforcement. One study showed that it takes nine compliments to offset every criticism. This is why few things are more important to being happily married than expressing appreciation. Wisdom finds the best qualities in a spouse, and reinforces them constantly.
Song of Songs 4:16 Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.
Again the woman is surprisingly forward in her request for sex. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife (1 Corinthians 7:3-4), wrote Paul. Sexual attentiveness is important to marital happiness.
Song of Songs 7:10 I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.
The exclusive nature of this couple’s relationship gave them reason to rejoice. She belonged to him alone, and he belonged to her alone. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), wrote Moses.
Many find happiness in marriage they could not find anywhere else. It is the most binding of human relationships, and provides the needed security for love to flourish. That is why marriage often begins with vows to love, honor and cherish until death.
A Christian man married a delightful young lady who was struck by lightning on their honeymoon. She was suddenly paralyzed, but due to their vows, the marriage was secure. They remained together until she died, thirty-nine years later (BB Warfield and Annie Kinkaid). Marriage is a commitment for life, and should not be entered into without this kind of resolve.
Song of Songs 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Love is so strong it cannot be quenched, and is better than wealth by far. It is why Jesus left his throne in heaven to die on a cross for our sins. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us (1 John 3:16), wrote John.
Even the best marriage is only a faint reflection of the love that Jesus has for his bride. There will be no marriage in the age to come (Matthew 22:30), because the church will be married to Christ. [A]s a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5), wrote Isaiah. The deepest longing of our hearts will be fulfilled, and our passionate love will never fade.
Reflection and Review
Why is marriage the best context for sex?
Why should little problems be settled quickly?
How can sinners stay happily married?