I’ve been reading through my bible starting in the old Testament. As Ecclesiastes came to a close and Song of Solomon came up, I determined I was going to see what God’s heart is in this obscene book. I read through looking up in my notes all the oddities but it still seemed way past anything I could comprehend. So I thought, “oh well. Next time, God. I’ll get it next time.”
But God laughed. Not a week or two after I read it, I was volunteered to lead a discussion on this very book for my young adults small group. A knot formed in my stomach at the thought of this. First of all, I didn’t understand the book whatsoever. Second, I’d be talking about sex and intimacy to a group if mixed genders that I didn’t know on a deep level. How awkward!
Thankfully, God didn’t leave me to figure this out on my own. Between a podcast and a book, I slowly began to see through the odd compliments and descriptive sex scenes that made me uncomfortable. Despite my apprehension, this has become one of my favorite books of the bible.
Song of Solomon is literally a song which rhymed poetically in the orginal Hebrew language it was written. We lose a lot in the translation and because we don’t understand the similes used in that time. But this book was so erotic that young people couldn’t read it until either they were married or the age of thirty. The culture didn’t want them reading a song so raunchy that they would be unable to contain their sexual desires.
This almost makes you think, “man, why would God put something like this in the bible even? How can a text on sex and marriage tie into the law and gospel message?” This is an underlying thought of most Christians as they read Song of Solomon. This was my thought initially.
Yet, it was claimed to be the best song Solomon ever wrote. In 1 Kings 4:32, it says Solomon wrote 1,005 songs, and in Song of Solomon 1:1, he claims this as his best. Clearly, there’s something we need to pay attention to in this rhyming song describing wedding night activities and romantic getaways.
Marriage is a God ordained covenant that has so much to teach us and areas for growth in it. It actually makes sense that he would have a whole book in his word devoted to how to live it out. God loves persuit, marriage, and sex. We assume he doesn’t because he commands us to abstain from sex outside the context of marriage, but in reality he created all things including intimacy. When done correctly, love, marriage, and sex have the potential to drive us closer to God and shape us into the people we were designed to be. The Song of Solomon displays what God’s heart for a romantic relationship should look like in every aspect from sex to forgiveness.
In addition to instructions on living out a biblical marriage, it is also a reflection of our relationship with God himself. Repeatedly in the bible our relationship with God is compared to a marriage relationship. We are truly in a covenant with God himself. While I do believe that the Song is speaking literally as a marriage between a man and woman, we can also look at it in a divine aspect. God, our bridegroom, loves us unlike any carnal relationship we will ever experience.
God really spoke to my heart in multiple ways in the study of Song of Solomon. I’ve narrowed them down to seven biblical points I will elaborate on in this new series I am calling “A Better Wife.” The points that are driving me to be a better wife are in the areas of pursuit, friendship, the bedroom, intimacy, conflict, the long run, and discipleship. My hope is to share with others how to be a better, godly spouse and Christian through the teachings in Song of Solomon.
I feel unworthy to write on such an in depth book. I’m still basically a newlywed and have so much growth potential as a spouse. But I do feel regardless of my age or years married, God has laid it on my heart to share how he’s shaping me into a better wife. So I ask that you have grace with me and lean in as I share my studies on the intimacies of this part of the bible.
This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other.
Song of Solomon 1:1