Personal Admiration- Song of Solomon- Week 13- Day 4

My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven. His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set. His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh. His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires. His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Song of Solomon 5:10-16

Explanation:
In response to the question of the daughters of Jerusalem, the wife gives an admirable and beautiful description of her husband, going from head to toe and then back to his mouth. It is clear that she knows, loves and reveres her husband.

Near the end she calls him both “beloved” (“lover”) and “friend.” She knows him and admires him physically, emotionally and relationally.

This description of the husband is not unlike the descriptions in other parts of the book of the wife by the husband. There is a mutual admiration and submission to each spouse in the book.

Application:
One can be faithful to their spouse out of mere duty. The best marriages though exhibit faithfulness to each other out of delight.
The pursuit of our spouse ought to be of top priority for husbands and wives alike. When we admire our spouse with the right attitude, it produces a love and a longing for them that helps the marriage relationship. We must find our sole romantic delight in them alone. If we don’t “feel” this way we should “act our way into that feeling.”

Response:
• How can you express your admiration for your spouse to them this week in a fun and unique way? Do it!

Public Proclamation- Song of Solomon- Week 13- Day 3

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

Song of Solomon 5:8-9

Explanation:
Here the wife is talking to the “daughters of Jerusalem”, a group that she has spoken to before (3:1-5). She asks them to convey the message to her husband that she is sick because of the amount of love that she has for him. She loves him, but he is gone. She longs for her husband, and wants others to know about her desire for him. She is not worried that other women know how much she loves and longs for her husband.

In the other instances in Song of Solomon when the daughters of Jerusalem are spoken to, they seem to help or to buy into things. Here they question her back. What is the question? In essense they ask, “What makes your beloved so special, that you ask us to help you?” They seem to possibly have a different perspective about her husband than she does. Again, this is a good thing.

The wife then sees this then as an opportunity to describe her husband in a way that she would not be able to describe any other man. Again, there is an exclusive, intimate relationship not like any other relationship in her life.

Application:
The public position that a spouse should take about their mate is one of love and respect. Here the wife is making it clear to others that she thinks highly of her husband.
It is important that we not put our wives or husbands down privately or publicly. Publicly mocking or teasing our spouse can be problematic for the intimacy of the relationship. Publicly admiring and praising our spouse can be healthy and prevent problems down the road.

Response:
• What would others give as evidence of your love and admiration for your spouse?

Public Gaze- Song of Solomon- Week 13- Day 2

The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

Song of Solomon 5:7

Explanation:
In the previous search found in chapter 3:1-4, the watchman were questioned, but could not help in her search for her beloved. In this text they are hurting her. They are wounding her. They took away her veil. What does this mean? There are several considerations we must acknowledge.

First, we must remember that this is poetic, possibly the description of a dream, and not the documentation of a historical event.

Second, she has gone from the privacy of the marriage bedroom, to the public venue of the city.

Thirdly, these are the only other men in this passage. There is the contrast of her husband with the watchmen. Her husband is altogether lovely, and treats her sweetly. He is the best. The watchmen beat her, wound her, and leave her feeling exposed.

Lastly, we see here the intimacy of marriage contrasted with her relationship to the outside world. In her husband she finds security and safety. In her husband she finds beauty and her needs are satisfied. In these watchmen she finds exposure and danger.

Application:
Wives and husbands should have a contrasting relationship with their spouse than they do any other relationship. Their relationship should be unique. It should be exclusive. The public relationship to other people should be wholly different than the intimate relationship with the spouse.

Response:
• Is there any way in which your relationship with the outside world is effecting the intimacy of your marriage (either present marriage or future marriage)?

Physical & Emotional Distance- Song of Solomon- Week 13- Day 1

I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Song of Solomon 5:6

Explanation:
The key factor in interpretation is authorial intent. What did this mean to the author and to the original audience? One of the factors that governs and impacts this question is the genre of the scripture we are are reading. Poetic literature like the Song of Solomon is different than didactic literature like the epistle to the Romans. A poem uses metaphor, simile, and figurative language to convey ideas and emotions.

This being the case means that taking a conclusive definitive stand on what every word means to the author and his audience in this passage is difficult. Yet there are some principles and applications that we can draw from these verses.

This passage mirrors the dream passage of 3:1-5 that we studied last week. She opens the door to her bedroom thinking that her husband is there, but he is gone. She had heard him speak, but when she opened the door he was gone.

Similarly to the last dream, she sought passionately for her husband, but she could not find him. It is clear that she missed her husband. It is also clear that she reveres her husband. She uses dramatic language to describe the effects of his words and his absence on her.

Application:
The husband and wife relationship should be one that is close and intimate. One of the dangers that happens in marriage is when there is an emotional distance. Husbands can pour themselves into their work or their hobbies and can become distant from their spouses. Wives can focus on the children and lose the passion for their marriage. Either spouse can lose passion for their mate when they allow for romantic intimacy in some other relationship. All kinds of things can rob us of intimacy. Entertainment, Social Media, Smart Phones, TV’s, Hobbies, and the like all vie for our time and attention.
Husbands must not let these pursuits stop them from continuing to pursue their wives romantically. Wives must continue to revere and respect their husbands and long to be with them.

Response
• Are you available to your spouse?
• Are you pursuing your spouse?
• If you are single, are you maintaining your relationships well, or focused on your own personal satisfaction to the exclusion of others?