Read His Words Before Ours!
Studying the Song of Solomon gave me a fuller perspective on marriage. The book describes the relationship between a man and a woman from its beginning, into marriage, and thereafter. All along, their relationship was marked by romance.
Their love was radical; it was original.
It was God’s kind of love, which is unconditional.
The couple compared the strength of their love to fire, saying many waters cannot quench it nor can rivers drown it. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
No force, or condition, would alter their decision to love one another.
This is a picture of the marriage relationship God wants His children to enjoy.
He desires marriage relationships soaked in a deep friendship, emotional bonding, and physical pleasure; this is an enduring marriage. Though misunderstanding and disagreement arise, these cannot quench the love of a husband and wife who are committed to the perfect plan of God.
Marriage, we know, was instituted by God Himself with the command for two becoming one flesh. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper corresponding to him.” (Genesis 2:18) When the man saw the woman, he exclaimed, “This one at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken from man.” Therefore, Scripture says, a husband leaves his parents to be united to his wife. Here within the mystery of radical love, God binds two into one. (Genesis 2:23-24)
God’s handiwork is marvelous! He made them two kinds, one man, one woman, but one pair with one intention. Our differences as individuals help us acknowledge we are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator. (Psalm 139:14) Though two kinds, we complement each other, and our union achieves something altogether unique.
Oneness doesn’t mean sameness!
Within the context of marriage, God designed individuals to create a single bond together. We can celebrate our Maker God and His creativity on display in marriage!
Unfortunately, sometimes we fail to appreciate
the beautiful combination of our differences crafted by God,
instead elevating ourselves over our spouse.
We wish our spouses were more like us, so we could get things done our own way.
We want them to think our thoughts, follow the direction we go, and do what we want.
We forget our Maker crafted us as individuals to complement each other and fulfill His perfect plan for us in marriage, as opposed to our plan in our way! The apostle Paul told the Corinthian church regarding unity, “If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be?” (1 Corinthians 12:17)
If we want all things done our way,
we miss the beauty of the union.
Furthermore, it’s difficult to celebrate God’s creativity in crafting us as individuals
unless we first pursue a deep relationship with Christ.
Only in Christ, can we find our true identity and deepest delight.
We were once in darkness, following the inclinations of our sinful nature. Our Plan. Our Way. God the Father sent Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God. Our faith in Christ has made us new creatures in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21); this is our new and true identity.
Finding our identity in Christ is one thing, choosing to remain in Him is another. The Lord Jesus said we must remain in Him, because without Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5) When we fail to remain in Him, we hold on to our old, selfish nature of sin.
This selfish nature is all about having our way, even if it is wrong.
But if we choose to remain in Christ, He fills us with His radical, sacrificial love.
This is the love that drove Him to the cross to pay for sins He did not commit.
He willingly put Himself in our place, receiving the punishment meant for us,
so we may have fullness of life in Him.
We must learn sacrificial love from Him.
According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, His love is patient and kind,
it is not jealous or boastful, proud, or rude.
It does not demand its own way, neither is it irritable nor keeps a record of wrongs.
It never gives up, never loses faith, but is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
This is the love expected of us whose Master is the Lord Jesus.
As I was preparing to write this study, I spoke with my husband, and he said something that hurt me deeply. I almost reacted negatively, but immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me love is patient and kind, and not easily provoked. I was humbled and quickly refrained from being angry. The Bible says love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
When we surrender our control to the Holy Spirit, our pattern of thinking changes.
Radically, we begin appreciating one another as individuals. When we look at our spouse through the lens of a lovingly handcrafted being with unique gifts, talents, and insights, our appreciation for God and our spouse both broadens and deepens.
When we firmly root our identity in God,
appreciate our spouses as individuals,
and share a common aim of pursuing and honoring the Lord together,
our relationship allows radical romance to thrive in our marriages!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!