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Love, romance, sex, and what makes for a strong marriage
Song of Solomon

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 7

Today we are going to do a 1 week study of the Song of Solomon.

-the book is attributed to King Solomon
-It is a love story/poem
-It is a sexually charged book
-It features a mixed marriage (He being Jewish, she being a dark skinned Shulammite whose father was a prince 7:1)
-It has a plot that revolves around a newly married man and woman (ch.4 indicates so), full of desire and love. Yet there is a problem: The husband has gone missing and she wonders where he is. This tension drives the storyline of the rest of the book.

Some neat features of the plot

-her friends are aware of the problem. They encourage her to go and find him- for her marriage and relationship is celebrated and approved of by them
-her attempts to find him are matched by his attempts to go to her
-Some of their attempts to get together are frustrated and so they miss each other (sometimes by inches and seconds)
-One of her attempts to see her husband results her getting beaten up by the night watchmen of the city
-Along the way we learn for why he is away (It's not another woman, it's his work 6:11-12)
-By the end of the book, the love sick and romantically inclined couple is together again. Their marriage is strong. The couple is happy, those around them are satisfied and a second honeymoon is embarked on.

When it comes to love, sex, marriage, and romance, our culture and we are very messed up. While our culture knows a lot about sex and it's mechanics, most folks know next to nothing when it comes to understanding love, romance, the proper expression of ones sexuality, and what makes for a strong marriage.

Hence the love story that is the Song of Solomon is of great value to us- for it offers a corrective view as it regards love, romance, the proper expression of ones sexuality, and what makes for a strong marriage


Read Song of Solomon 1

Love, romance, sex, and what makes for a strong marriage

Note: Our understanding of love, sex, romance, and marriage is not limited to the Song of Solomon. The Bible is full of passages that address and augment the principles of the Song of Solomon

1. Sex is a beautiful thing that God has made to be enjoyed in marriage

The key is to attend to the proper expression of this love and the proper sequence of things. i.e sex is for marriage. Marriage is not something that one should rush into either.

2. When it comes to relationships and the prospect of marriage, the counsel of trusted friends and family is to be valued

Throughout the text we see the support of the couples friends (1:4. They celebrate the love of the couple. They rejoice over the marriage and love that exists between the couple.

When it comes to love and marriage, while they are not the final say, you might want to know what your close friends and your family think.s It just might be that they have some insight that you are blind to.

3. If you want to marry someone of a different skin tone or from another place, go for it

As you may have noticed from chapter 1:5, the woman is dark skinned and a Shulammite. Solomon was Jewish.

It is terribly racist to say that people of different skin tones should not marry each other.

When it comes to marriage this is what's important in the Bible

1. A man marries a woman (not a man and a man or a woman and woman)
2. Marriage is for life
3. One is supposed to only have one husband/wife at a time
4. A follower of Christ is to marry a follower of Christ ( 2 Corinthians 6)

4. Regular sexual activity is a natural and expected part of marriage

The Bible (1 Corinthians 7) counsels regular sexual activity within the bonds of marriage.

In the book of Song of Solomon, sex is on the mind of the couple. It is something that is anticipated, done, exclusive between each other, and it wasn't just for the purpose of making babies-- it was for pleasures sake.

Our culture is so messed up that it counsels sex outside of marriage. This leads to venereal diseases, heart break, the cheapening of sex, and ultimately poorly established marriages.

5. When it comes to sex, crudeness is out, romance is in. Figure out the difference

The Song of Solomon is filled with beautiful and erotic language, and yet it is not crude. In fact, one can read the book at the dinner table in front of children-- with the effect that the children are not grossed out corrupted-- and yet the point is still made.

One thing that men don't do very well is romance. Men/husbands often fail by their crudeness.

One of the things that the Song of Solomon teaches is the art of romance. Romance works. Crudeness and rudeness is a losing proposition. Learn to be romantic.

6. Further tips to keeping a marriage strong

a. If you are married, keep your marriage strong by taking some time for romantic time together 6:10-12. Do fun stuff together, just the two of you.

b. Keep the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4)

c. Do nice things for each other

d. Say nice things to each other

Throughout the Song of Solomon the couple are extremely complementary of each other. Even in the midst of some confusion, their words are not nasty or destructive.

e. Appreciate each other

f. Have eyes only for each other.

-Note what 7:10 says "I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me." Note also 6:3 says "I am my lover's and my lover is mine"
-Don't turn to porn, etc


7. Attend to the small problems that are in your relationship so that they don't become big problems 2:15

In 2:15 the man says to the woman "catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom."

Now, in thinking about this, I don't think he was literally saying to her, "Let's go on a fox hunt. Foxes are known to wreak great damage to vineyards - chewing the flowers and leaves, digging holes, etc. Get your gear and let's go."

Rather, I think what's being spoken of here is the attention that is to be given in a marriage and relationship to the little things-- the little problems that if left unattended will eventually cause great damage.

8. Take the risk. In marriage you are to trust the other person

Note how she trusts her husband even though she doesn't know where he is or what he is up to. Note how she is not filled with jealousy, rage, or anger.

See 1:7; 3:1

Note: Don't violate the trust that is given.



A warning: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. 2:7; 3:5; 8:4

We are not to encourage sexual behavior in other people

We must be careful to guard our minds and the minds of our children

Don't dress your 7 year olds or any of your children in sexually provocative clothing

Be careful of your speech when it comes to sexual matters

Bottom line: We are not to encourage sexual behavior in people who not married.


CONCLUSION

Sex is a beautiful thing that God has made to be enjoyed in marriage.

-If you are having sex and being sexually active outside of marriage, understand that this is against God's will and hence a sin. Stop, repent, and commit yourself to sexual purity.

The Song of Solomon contains a number of very important principles as it regards having a strong marriage

-Crudeness is out, romance is in. Want to learn how to be romantic, read and contemplate this book
-Do nice things for each other
-Say nice to and about each other
-Have eyes only for each other
-Have regular sex
-Take care of the little problems so that they will not turn into big problems
-Learn how to fight fair
-Take the risk, trust each other. Intimacy goes up where there is trust

And remember:

Sex is not to be pushed in other people's faces. We are not sin as our culture does in sexually charging the atmosphere. There is a proper time for love, we are not to arouse it in others-- and so we are to learn modesty and care.