December 31, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 8

This is the final chapter of the book and it ends pretty hot and heavy. As you have read through this book it has been pretty obvious what the main gist of it is:

God made love, sex, and intimacy as a good thing to be between and husband and wife.

And, as you just read, this chapter was no different. The imagery of what is going on in this chapter is definitely intimate and sexual. They leave no room here for allegory or imagery other than that.

The message of this book is certainly contrary to our culture’s view of sex. In today’s world sex is seen as a common place desire that can be fulfilled at any time with anyone you want so long as it is consensual. The sanctity of marriage and sex has been stripped away and the beauty and blessings from those have been exchanged for a cheap thrill. What God has given us as a picture of enjoyment and ultimate expression of marital love between a man and woman in marriage has been turned into a marketing strategy. Most Christians and churches, for that matter, don’t say much about these issues, especially sex. The church usually blushes red and whispers something under their breath while the world is yelling and screaming and posting billboards with what they think it is all about. Well, God’s word seems very clear that sex is good in the right context and we need not be afraid to stand on that.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd

December 30, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 7

Well, another day…another chapter about sex. It is hard to write much more about the subject however, one thing did jump out to me in this chapter that I want to throw to the husbands out there:

Husbands need to complement their wives and romance them often.

The bulk of this chapter is Solomon giving wonderful complements to his wife. It is easy when you are dating, engaged, and newly married to see the good things in your spouse and tell them about them. As time passes the things you used to be so enamored with become common place and we often take them for granted. We forget to tell her that her hair looks nice or that her dress makes her look hot. We forget to tell our wives they still look good to us. Hopefully, today’s reading helps spark in us a desire to let our wives know that they’ve still “got it” and that we are still crazy about them.

So, here is the challenge for guys today (and if your wife reads jumpstart you better do this). Get your wife some flowers, candy, or some other thing she might like and, either write her a note or tell her in person how much you love her and how attractive she is to you. Then, remember to repeat this every day for the rest of your life and things will go well for you.

Posted by:Robbie Byrd

December 28, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 6

A Woman Highly Respected…

While reading up on this book (as a whole) and these chapters, I read some great insight from the ESV Study Bible that I thought would be great to share…

It describes one of the purposes of this book as “to show marriage as a gift from God.”  The book also describes marriage to be founded on loyalty and commitment.  WHEN THIS HAPPENS…it allows delight to flourish.  When sexual intimacy and delight occur in the right framework (marriage), God’s people honor Him and commend Him to the world by demonstrating with their lives that obedience brings genuine delight.

To summarize:  We obey God in purity before marriage.  Then, because marriage is founded on loyalty and commitment, sexual intimacy in marriage can occur and it brings delight.  When the world sees the delight that comes from marriage, it is a testimony that obedience to God actually brings blessings, delight, and joy.

I couldn’t help but think about how some, who are not married and are actively pursuing sexual intimacy, cannot truly enjoy the blessings that come from God in this area…because the loyalty and commitment level could fail at any moment.  Oh, how glorious the black-and-white commitment level is inside the covenant of marriage.  And what a blessing it is that our delight in marriage is actually a testimony to the joy that comes from obeying God.

Sorry for the detour… ok, on to our passage…

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

In today’s passage, we see the man and woman sharing their love for one another, and I just want to briefly point out one thing.

We can gain insight into the personhood of the woman, from the description of the man.  And in verse 4 he describes her “as majestic as an army with billowing banners.”  If you can think of the movies…armies with banners are usually those of profound respect.  They are usually armies that are poised, well organized, disciplined, have great leadership, and because of these things, have great victories.  But overall, they are armies of respect.

While reading this, I couldn’t help but think of our culture and how the most important attribute seems to be “beauty.”  It is a type of beauty that is fleeting and failing.  And just to alleviate some pressure for our ladies…what our world needs is more woman who are as majestic as an army with billowing banners.

And overall, I think this can be an encouragement to both men and woman, to not let yourself be defined by the standards that the world prescribes, but by the values that God describes…men and woman of godly respect.

Posted by:Sam Cirrincione

December 27, 2013

Today you should read: Song of Solomon 5

This chapter is the only chapter of this love story where we see the reality of a good biblical marriage and that’s this: Christ may be in the center but it’s two sinners married to each other and things (even in good Christian marriages) aren’t going to be all romance, poetry, and good sex when you have to use fruit and animals as illustrations.

In this chapter we see Solomon coming home late and trying to get into his bedroom to see his wife and that he is quite excited to see her. However, for whatever reason, she does not feel the same toward him. All of that talk in the last chapter about necks looking like ivory towers to climb, breasts looking like two fawns to prance in the field with, and having their pick of each other’s choicest fruits, has been forgotten as we read of a husband knocking hard on a locked door to make love with his wife. Instead she comes up with excuses about why she won’t let him in. Excuses such as… she doesn’t want to dirty her feet and that she’d have to put her clothes on (which according to his interests in v. 2, really should not be a problem). Later she feels bad and finally answers the door only to see that he has gone.   She then goes out to search for her beloved complimenting him in the remainder of the chapter.

I don’t know about you, but as a husband who tries his best to be a leader, sacrificial lover, protector and provider, I am quite relieved to read this chapter because I know that I fall short in my marriage and these roles. In Danny Akin’s (president of Southeastern Seminary) book God on Sex, I relate well with Solomon in that she was probably upset with him already for either not coming home on time or being a king and having to put other priorities over her. There’s much to read into here but we know that Mr. Husband of many wives and concubines failed in this role many times in his life and God still used him to write a book on what a biblical marriage can and should look like, even in the hard times. His wife is obviously convicted for her excuses and actions as v. 4 says, her heart “seethed” and she soon ran after him.

So after reading through the one chapter where we see that even the “perfect” marriage is really not so perfect here are a few questions we can ask ourselves concerning our marriages or future marriages:

1.Am I person of my word? Are you home when you tell your spouse you’ll be home? Do you do what you say that you’ll do?

2.Do I make excuses? As a spouse, are you a person who will make excuses to try to get out of lovemaking instead of communicating what’s wrong? As a potential future spouse do you make excuses instead of communicating the hurt or need?

3. Do I try to make our wrongs right? “Immediately the wife chased after her husband trying to make her wrong right.” Do you extend grace freely in your marriage? Do you seek and ask for repentance when wrong?

Posted by:Erik Koliser