This devotional was originally published on February 6, 2019.
God has intentional thought and plans for what love and sex are supposed to look like. In Song of Solomon 4:1-16, we take a look at the way Solomon and his bride speak to and behave around each other when it comes to their relationship. One of the common themes throughout this passage is the affirmation and lifting up of one another within their marriage.
Solomon begins this passage by telling his bride how beautiful she is to him. He talks about her eyes, her hair, her smile, and so on. He says:
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead.
— Song of Solomon 4:9–10
He is intentionally building up his wife, letting her know that he finds her physically attractive. But then Solomon goes on to speak about who his wife is, rather than just what she looks like:
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.
— Song of Solomon 4:9–10
Solomon is intentionally speaking of the permanence with which he has fallen for his wife. In the middle of a moment of passion, he takes the time to reassure her that he has completely committed and devoted himself to her. Solomon has shown the value of security and affirmation, even in the middle of intense passion.
Something that is so important to remember as believers is that Solomon loves his bride so well, but Christ loves his even more. In Ephesians 5, Paul writes:
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
— Ephesians 5:25–27
This passage from Ephesians about how Christ loves his bride echoes how Solomon views his wife when he says:
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
— Song of Solomon 4:7
As believers, we can take such comfort and encouragement when we remember that the intense, passionate, all-encompassing love that Solomon has for his wife is the same love that Christ has for his Bride, the Church! Solomon views his wife as beautiful and without flaws, and Jesus has chosen to present us in the same way through the mercy of his sacrifice. The same devotion, security and affirmation is presented to us as the bride of Christ as well. It is only from filling our cups with that love, that we may be able to pour it back out on our spouses as Paul told us to do in Ephesians and as Solomon exemplified through his actions.