By CRAIG HARRIS
Song of Songs 1: 9-17 (NIV): (Lover) I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh. Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. (Beloved) While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. (Lover) How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. (Beloved) How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. (Lover) The beams of our house are cedars; our rafters are firs.
God invented love and romance. He not only approves of it, he wants us to enjoy it. He is the one who gave us the feelings of attraction we feel for one another. He wants us to be full of joy, to be satisfied and fulfilled. One of the best ways to experience such joy in this life is through a wholesome romance. A romance that God approves of and blesses. And God blesses us when we do things his way.
We bring such hardship and heartache on ourselves when we do not follow his ideal. God's plan has always been for one man and one woman, living together in the bond of marriage for life. He will forgive us when we deviate from this ideal, and he will even bless us despite ourselves, but God's way is always best. Yes, Paul said he had the gift of being single, but most of us desire romance.
Solomon praises his bride for her beauty in this passage. Men, our wives need continual praise from us. They need to hear how beautiful they are. Over and over. And the bride praises Solomon for his looks, personality, and how alive their bedroom is. Women, a man's ego is a fragile thing. We need constant encouragement from you.
This chapter ends with him saying their house is strong — with wood beams in a land where most people live in tents. When we follow God's plan, our home will be strong and secure, full of joy, fulfillment, full of happiness and love. When we follow God's plan, the honeymoon doesn't have to end.
Craig Harris is an author, journalist and minister. You can see more of his Bible studies at http://threeminutebiblestudy.blogspot.com