Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Be a Hedge-Builder

"And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home; now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait. She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him, "I had to offer sacrifices, and today I have paid my vows, so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen; I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home, he has gone on a long journey; he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home." With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him." Proverbs 7:10-21

As I read this portion of Scripture this morning, I was struck by the lengths to which the adulteress goes to to seduce the man. And God spoke to my heart and said, "There is nothing new under the sun." The adulteress is still lying in wait. Most men who are working outside of their homes are confronted continually (intentionally or otherwise) by "seductive" women. Women who are hungry for the attention of men. Perhaps they flirt, maybe they innocently seek advice (and in so doing, show honor and/or respect), or they may be dressed in such a way that can potentially cause a man to stumble.

And then the question came to me, "Am I willing to go to the same kind of lengths to keep my man happy at home? Am I willing to be a 'hedge' of protection for him?" I don't mean acting or dressing like a prostitute, but as I read these verses, I see things that the adulteress is doing that I could/should be implementing within my own home.

"She seizes him and kisses him..." I need to be physical with my Beloved. Hugs and kisses when he gets home from work. Rubbing his shoulders after a hard day's work, or just sitting next to him and laying my head on his shoulder. As he 're-enters' the home after being gone all day, am I helping him reconnect to me in a physical way?

"...now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you..." This ties in with the above. Does my Beloved know that I eagerly await him? Do I stop whatever I am doing when he arrives home and greet him at the door ~ or maybe even greet him before he gets to the door? If he finds me in the laundry room, folding clothes, instead of at the door, do I convey joy at seeing him? Do I show an interest in how his day has gone or do I start in with how my day has gone? Piling more upon him instead of helping to lighten his load of cares.

"I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen..." What does my bedroom look like? Is it the depository for every "orphaned" article in the house? Are there piles of laundry (dirty or clean) lying about? Is it neat and tidy? Is the bed made, or is it a pile of rumpled covers? Are the bed linens in good condition or are they thread bare? I need to do what I can to make my bedroom a sanctuary ~ a romantic hideaway. This doesn't mean that I spend lots of money, but good quality (or at least, good condition), sheets, blankets, etc. can be found inexpensively anywhere from ebay to thrift stores to yard sales. It means that I am going to make the effort to keep our room peaceful. That may mean that I have pegboard on the walls to organize his tools, or it may mean that I have lush fabrics and lots of candles, to anything in-between. Neat, tidy, peaceful ~ these things will be more conducive to intimacy and will let my Beloved know that he is a priority to me.

"I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon..." Do I engage all the senses? Scent can affect us in different ways. It can make us queasy, it can make us hungry, it can repel us, it can draw us in, it can make us feel romantic. Am I seeking out scents for my bedroom that will encourage intimacy? Room sprays, candles, potpourri ~ perhaps even a late evening dessert of tea and a delicious treat that not only tastes good, but smells heavenly as well. Vanilla and cinnamon have long been considered aphrodisiacs, so maybe some cinnamon rolls are in order?

"Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love." Am I willing to spend long periods of time making love to my Beloved? All night? In the morning? Do I delight in his love? Does he *know* I delight in his love? Or does he think that it's a chore for me; one more thing to check of my "to-do" list? I struggle so often with this. As a homeschooling Mama of 8, 2 of which are nurslings (who don't sleep through the night!), and not as young as I used to be, I often find myself tired, and just wanting to sleep when I get to bed. It is difficult to keep a good attitude and delight in my Beloved. God has really been speaking to me about this lately. I need to get back into the Word, and see what God says about marriage and intimacy. I need to pray more about my attitude; I need to ask for His enabling when it comes to my marriage relationship. My Beloved needs to know not only that I love, honor and respect him, but that I desire him. He needs to know that I am doing more than just meeting his needs, but that I am delighting in our lovemaking. I need to be a hedge-builder because I love him so deeply.

Father God,
I pray that You would enable me to love my Beloved as You intend. I ask that You will help me to have more than a good attitude, that I would not just be meeting the physical needs of my Beloved, but that I would long for times of intimacy with him. Make me the wife he needs me to be. Let me be a deep well, from which he is continually refreshed. Infuse our marriage with love, respect, and passion, I pray.

I ask this in the Precious Name of Jesus, amen.


Looking Heavenward said...

Just found your blog. Thank you so much for doing this. God has really been opening my eyes to these realities and privileges of married life recently, and I have been married 20 years! I so wish I had understood these truths sooner. Thank you again, and God bless.

Mrs. Dole said...

I understand. We have been married for 19 years, and it is only in the last several that God has really been showing me what it is to be a godly wife. I am so grieved when I look back on how I behaved in the early years of our marriage ~ and thankful that my Beloved put up with me! Isn't it lovely that God is always ready to teach us and that we get to start fresh with Him?