One of the current thoughts on marriage, if you were to ask culture, or the family or friends maybe around you, is that a husband and wife get married, and then they spend the rest of their lives trying to endure one another. For the most part, they begin to tolerate and put up with one another, but the romance, intimacy, and affection for one another basically begins this downhill slide following the wedding and honeymoon.
We often heard when we were dating, ‘Oh just wait’ till you get married.’ As if when you get married, then all the romance is obliterated. That is not the picture we see here in Song of Solomon. Will Solomon and his bride experience conflict? Yes. I’m not saying marriage is void of conflict. Actually a sign of a healthy marriage is one that experiences conflict, but deals with it in a God-honoring way.
What Scripture, through this book is saying is that a lifelong, husband and wife marriage does not have to be joyless, sexless, romance-less, love-less, or tender-less. That your affection for one another can grow, and should grow over the years.
In our world, we have cheapened the significance of the wedding itself. The normal thing to do is to date, then move in together, and then eventually, at some point, when we get around to it, we’ll actually get married. And all the stats point to that when that is the track the relationship runs on, the likelihood of divorce is greatly increased. Because what we have done is lowered the significance of the marriage itself. We have removed the beautiful mystery and exploration of a man and woman, joining together in marriage, and then beginning to live under the same roof and enjoy life together. And live ‘The Adventure’ of marriage, together as one flesh, no longer two.
All that mystery is removed when we do it our way, and just move in together. And we flip flop this, and say, well, God, I think your ideas and words on marriage are decent, but I’ve got a better way. We elevate our ways higher than His ways, and in doing so, reveal that we are in sin, and not walking in a way where He is Lord over all our lives.
Solomon and his bride…we’re seeing their love for one another grow, this couple has been patient, and you see the flower of their love blooming, and today, we find ourselves at their wedding.
It is clear that she respects her man. She respects him because of how he treats her. She is publically esteeming her husband to be.
Wives, are you both privately and publically esteeming and demonstrating respect of your man? In public or on social media, do you knock him, poke fun at him, make light of his quirks, demean or put him down? When you are with your girlfriends, do you spend time kind of sharing war stories of how bad, stupid, or silly your husbands are? You can’t expect to disrespect him when you’re away from him, and then have it not show up or impact how you interact with him when you are with him.
What about in front of your kids? If the two of you disagree about something, maybe how to discipline your child, do you disagree right there in front of the kids or in a private conversation alone? Are you ever tempted to get around sisters in Christ, a women’s Bible study, and you need prayer for your marriage, but you seem to spend less time praying, and more time just ranting or complaining about your husband? And it leads to this mutual time of dogging on one another’s husbands?
Solomon’s bride respects her man, both privately and publically. And here we see that respect shown to him through her words. Wives, ladies, your words carry weight. Whether those words are said to him or about him, when you are with him, or away from him, so choose them wisely.
In this short passage, we’re also going to see how Solomon loves his bride. How he is lavish with his love for her. What we see on display is them playing out the Biblical truth of Ephesians 5:33 which says, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Here is one way we know he loves her. The groom and bride are approaching the wedding day, and here is one thing we know about the groom. He has a job. He is loving her, because he has a plan. He is going somewhere. He’s going to be able to provide for her. This is one very practical, yet important way that a man demonstrates his love for his wife. It speaks security, love, and affection to the woman. You see that here. She is secure in his love, and respects her man. And he loves his bride.
This is a reoccurring theme…the man protecting his wife. 60 groomsmen armed with swords. These were the best of the best. He is not just going to provide for her, but going to protect her as well. And this is not just physically, but spiritually as well. To pray with, for, and over your wife.
I’d say next to your birth for obvious reasons, the biggest day of your life is the day you give your life to Jesus. The day that Jesus steps into your life and saves your heart, and makes you new is the most significant day in your life. I’d say that if you are married, or will be married in the future, that the second most important is your wedding day. Because it is the day where it becomes official who you will spend the rest of your life with.
Salvation day is giving your life to Jesus for the rest of your life. Wedding day is giving yourself to your spouse, for the rest of your life.
Do you remember the vows you spoke to one another on your wedding day? In those vows, we are saying before God, and those who have gathered, that I will give you my life for the rest of our lives. I will lay down my life daily, to demonstrate my love to you. I will put your interests before my own.
Mutually, that for the rest of your life, despite circumstances, whether you feel like it or not, the particular situation you are in at the time, the conditions that may be present, whether you are with one another, or apart, that you will take on the attitude of Christ toward one another. (Philippians 2:3-5)
Jesus is who we are growing to become like, and we are called to model and reflect Him beginning with those closest to us. So we love, forgive, serve, hold, cherish, care for, not in order to get anything in return, or because our spouse has done it first. But because Jesus has done it first, and calls us to follow.
Because if you are IN Christ, if you have given Him your life, one of the most incredible and powerful pieces of truth is that for the rest of your life and forever in eternity, despite circumstances, the particular situation you are in at the time, the conditions that may be present, He is a God who will keep His promise.
Praise God that believers in Christ are in a covenant, not a contract, but a covenant relationship with our God. Where He is forever faithful, strong, powerful, loving, good, and gracious. And in marriage, we are to reflect that covenant relationship. Not a contract where we wait on the other person to do their part, or if they don’t do their part, then we don’t do ours, but a covenant relationship
No longer two, but one flesh, no longer living for myself, but for the other. For the rest of our lives, in order to reflect the glory of God in our marriage.