Thursday, August 21, 2008

Song of Solomon Devotion #6

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song of Solomon 2:7

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song of Solomon 3:5

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.
Song of Solomon 8:4

Three times within the Song, the Shulamite warns against awakening love too soon. This is a real danger within the society that we live. Many things can ‘awaken’ love too soon, and, as a result, pervert our view of true love.

We live in a society full of pornographic or near-pornographic images used to sell everything from toothpaste to auto parts. Although it is true that men in particular are targeted with this type of advertising, women are not immune to it. Women are also susceptible to other forms of ‘awakenings’, through the written word, and through relationships. We fall prey to images and ideas put forth in movies and on television. We wait in vain for our knight in shining armor, and when a good, and decent man comes our way, we don’t recognize him for what he is, because of what we have filled our minds with. We are bombarded by thoughts and images of what our society deems to be sensual, and because of that, we have a view of marriage and sex that is far from God’s design.

Some of us have had relationships before our marriage that were sinful. We thought God’s order was ‘old fashioned’ and we knew better. Living together seemed like a good idea at the time, and besides, everyone else was doing it. Maybe the man we lived with is the one we married, and yet, there are consequences to live with because we stepped outside of God’s will. We took His good and perfect gift of sexual love and contorted it into something it was never meant to be.

Emotional purity is just as important as physical purity, and yet, we often overlook it. Emotional purity is what we damage when we take in ideas about love and sex that are unbiblical. Emotional purity is destroyed when we look at other men, real or fiction, and desire for our husband to be more like that, instead of being satisfied with who he is. Emotional purity is damaged when we have unreal expectations for our marriage that come from books we read, or shows or movies we watch, or radio programs we listen to.

As a married woman, it may be that it’s too late for you to come to the marriage bed pure, but you can take steps to regain a position of purity and maintain it. Remember, emotional purity is damaged by what we choose to read, watch, and listen to. Do these things meet the requirements of Philippians 4:8? “Finally,brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever ispure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence,if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

What are you reading? Do you read romance novels? Do you realize what they do to your emotional purity? Secular romance novels, in particular, are little more than pornography for women. Many describe sexual scenes in detail. You may think, “Yes, but I’m just reading.” Would you walk into someone’s bedroom or stand at their window and watch while they were making love? Then why is reading about it okay? Romance magazines and the like are little better. Even some Christian novels set us up for emotional impurity, causing us to want our husband to be something he’s not, or to be someone that God never intended him to be. Evaluate your reading material against biblical principles and if what you’re reading doesn’t match up, toss it.

What do you watch? What kind of television programs? Soap operas? Once again,they are little more than pornography. Even if they weren’t, they are full of ungodly attitudes and relationships. Do you watch sitcoms? Do they show wives that are submissive and respectful? If not, beware your own attitude. What kind of movies do you watch? Are they full of adulterous relationships? Do they show marriage relations in an ungodly or unrealistic way? One other thingto be aware of, if you have a problem with body image, it is not going to be helped by watching any of the above.

Finally, what are you listening to? Do you listen to secular music that speaksof love gone wrong or of love outside the bounds of marriage? Maybe you listen to talk radio. What are they saying? Are you being encouraged to be a loving, respectful wife or to be the one who runs the show? Once again, I will give caution. Even listening to Christian radio will not ensure that what you’re hearing is biblical. How can you know? By opening up your Bible and being familiar with what it has to say.

You need to come to a place where you expect the Lord to fulfill your needs, and not expect your husband to be the be-all and end-all for you. You need to be satisfied with the husband God has given you, and you need to be content in your role as wife and, if God blesses you with children, as mother.

It is necessary to recognize the importance of emotional purity. I have spoken to women over the years who have been grieved by the fact that they were virgins only in the physical sense when they met their husband. All purity and innocence had been lost. If we have daughters, we need to jealously guard their purity, so that years from now they will not be filled with regrets. For ourselves, God is more than capable of renewing our minds and restoring us to purity.
Father God, I come before You, a holy and righteous God, and I ask Your forgiveness. Father, I realize that I have not kept my heart pure, and I know that grieves You. I see the effect that my sin has had on my marriage relationship, and it breaks my heart. Father, I ask that You would restore my heart to purity. I pray that You would enable me to be ever diligent over the things I read and watch and listen to. Help me Father, to avoid that which is damaging to my spiritual well-being and that which is displeasing to You.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the rebuke & reminder that maybe I'm dissatisfied b/c of what I choose & have chosen to put in my mind. I could give a whole long testimony to support the truth of what you said. :( But God can help me overcome through His power. Thank you dear sister.

Michael Johnson said...

Very nice words