Read His Words Before Ours!
The mere word evokes images of a hunt, doesn’t it? It brings to mind words like… desiring, chasing, overtaking, capturing, conquering.
There’s a reason such great emphasis is placed on “playing hard to get” in current culture. The human race has placed immense value on being the individual who is sought after, regardless of the situation or relationship dynamic. Whether we are interviewing for a new job, foraying into a new friendship, floating a corporate merger, or attempting to infuse “life” into our marriage, we have bought into the belief that the individual who is not easy to “win” holds a loftier, more powerful status.
But what if that narrative doesn’t exactly line up with what our Father shows us?
Song of Solomon is a beautiful portrayal of the joy, desire, and intimacy God has given the human race in the form of sex. We witness the intense desire, breathless longing, and yes, pursuit, of each party, laced across every page of the book. Physical pleasure aside, what do we see here?
I see a woman who longed for intimacy with her lover, but she didn’t merely pine away for him; she pursued him. She roamed city streets, looking for her love. She asked passing guards if they had seen him. When they told her they hadn’t, she kept looking. She didn’t give up until she’d found him.
And when she found him, she did not let go.
The words are stirring, because we each long to be pursued like that, don’t we? We long to be so passionately pursued, so sought after, so desired, so wanted.
Before marriage, pursuit is mainly surface-deep. We show our beloved we are interested in all kinds of little ways. We learn more about the things they are interested in. We communicate many times, each day. Sometimes we choose clothing, or makeup, or jewelry, or hairstyles we know are appealing to them. We pursue their interests and desires, and in that pursuit, we assist them in pursuing us.
When we enter into marriage, the dynamic shifts. The “newness” begins to fade, and it’s easy for us to believe the pursuit actually ended with marriage.
Beloved, this isn’t so! Throughout the New Testament, marriage is repeatedly held up as the embodiment of Christ and His Church. Husbands and wives are exhorted to mirror Christ in the way we love one another. To submit to each other in love, not so one can lord their power over the other, rather, in this loving deference, Christ alone is glorified.
But what does this look like, five, ten, fifty years in? What does it look like beyond spontaneous romantic encounters and flowers for no reason?
Sometimes, it looks like waking up early to make him coffee.
Sometimes, it looks like showing up for his parents in their time of need.
Sometimes, it looks like slipping a hand in his when his voice wavers.
Sometimes, it looks like reminding him who he is when it seems he’s forgotten.
Sometimes, it looks like going to marriage counseling.
Sometimes, it looks like driving him to every treatment.
Sometimes, it looks like being silent when you want to scream.
Sometimes, it looks like recounting all the times the Lord has seen you both through, when it feels like all is lost.
Sometimes, it looks like following him down a dark road you never expected, taking him by the hand, and walking back into the light together.
Sometimes, it looks like staying when you want to leave.
Beloved, how many times has your Shepherd Bridegroom carried you back when you’ve wandered far? Has He found you, when you’ve tangled yourself in all the places you never belonged? Has His voice been gentle as He quieted your fears and brought you back to His fold?
He invites us to love our husbands this way, too. To pursue them, gently, completely, guilelessly.
Marriage is not an end to an exciting pursuit; it’s an open invitation into the lifelong adventure in the pursuit of our lover, and to being pursued in return!
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!