Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Song of Solomon, Devotion 1

God sets before us a wonderful example of a godly wife and lover in the Song of Solomon. Within the 8 chapters of this book, we see a woman who looks with expectancy toward being with her husband. She delights in him and their lovemaking, and she is an imaginative lover. When they have problems, she examines her attitudes and actions and makes necessary adjustments.
The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.
SHE- Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine, your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers.
OTHERS- We will exult and rejoice in you, we will extol your love more than wine;
SHE- rightly do they love you.
Song of Solomon 1:1-4 (ESV)
The Shulamite begins by thinking about her beloved. How pleasant she finds his kisses and how delightful his love is. She thinks about what makes him attractive to others and her own anticipation of being with him.
Do I think about my husband as my lover during the day? Or, are my thoughts about him bound up in, “he needs to know this…this needs to be fixed…we have to make a decision about…” Perhaps my day is so filled with schooling children, changing diapers, wiping noses, disciplining, cleaning, cooking, etc. that I don’t really even think of him at all, until I hear his truck in the drive. And, even then, perhaps my thoughts run mostly to relief, because now he can shoulder some of my burdens.
But, what if I spend time during the day, while folding laundry or washing dishes, thinking about my lover? How tenderly he kisses me, how lovingly he caresses my body. Then how would I greet him when he comes home?
As the Shulamite thinks about her beloved, she recognizes that others find him desirable and confirms that they are right to do so. Do I see qualities in my husband which others find attractive and admirable? Do I confirm those to him on a regular basis? Do I tear my beloved down, or build him up? “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:11(ESV)
And finally, the Shulamite verbally expresses her desire to her lover. “Take me away with you ~ let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.” (v. 4a NIV) She doesn’t keep quiet with the hope that he will pick up on her mood. She states what she wants, not leaving him with any doubts!
Does my husband ever get a sense of urgency from me to take me to our ‘chamber’ and make love to me? Do I expect him to be tuned into my moods or to understand vague hints, or do I come right out and tell him how much I desire him? “Take me to your chamber ~ hurry!”
For some of us, the thought of being openly verbal with our husband is intimidating and too sensual. We don’t see how being a godly wife and speaking of intimacies or being a passionate lover can go hand in hand. But, God shows us that they do. He graciously gives us the example of the Shulamite, a sensuous, godly woman. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)
It begins with seeing what God, the author of sexual love, has to say about it and then asking Him to renew our thinking. Then, as God begins to renew our mind, it is our responsibility to bring our actions into line with that new thinking. It pleases God as we strive to live within His will for our lives, and as we renew this area of our life, we will find more freedom and enjoyment in the marriage bed.

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