I once saw a cartoon of a pastor at his pulpit with a paper back over his head, with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth. A man in the front pew whispered to his neighbor, “Uh oh, looks like the Pastor’s going to preach on Song of Solomon again!”
Have you ever blushed while reading God’s word? I sure have! In various places and in various ways, God has embarrassed me by what I read – whether by content or conviction, reading his word can be very emotional. But the MOST I’ve ever felt awkward, embarrassed, and flushed was when I read Song of Solomon. In fact, every time I read it, I feel that way. It never goes away. Why do I keep reading it? Besides that it’s God’s word, it’s also a very encouraging book.
The world has so tainted and twisted sex and romance that it’s often easy to dismiss it all and say that it is all bad – but it isn’t. God created sex; and he created it for people who are married. Song of Solomon is an example of how romance should be – and how beautiful it can be if it’s done God’s way.
I daresay that Song of Solomon is the most romantic book ever written. The book is mainly the words of a man, presumably King Solomon, and his bride, a peasant girl, and her friends. The book is quite short; we read of their wedding day, and how beautiful the bride is. We read of her inviting him “into her garden” – and also of her admonishing other women not to invite love too early. We read of their hardships and of their loving times together.
Throughout the book, sexuality is expressed in the right way that God intended – between a husband and wife. And that is a beautiful thing. It also expresses the seriousness of love, and the commitment needed to make a relationship work. We are warned not to “awaken love before it so desires.” Through it all, we catch a glimpse of what awaits us, daughters of the King, if we save ourselves to give wholly to our husbands.
Song of Solomon is an encouragement to me that not all is lost; not all is evil; and that living a pure life will bring a reward. Romance isn’t a myth – it’s even in the Bible. God knew that we, as young adults, would struggle with purity, romance, and all the crazy things tied into that, so he made sure there was a place we could go to whenever we might feel feelings of doubt or frustration to be encouraged to do what is right.
Because the end result will make it all worthwhile.
“Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.” (Song of Solomon 2:2)