One of the great things about studying the bible is that there are so many characters, emotions and circumstances that we can relate to even in this day and age. It can be a great encouragement and it can also be a humiliating and humbling eye opener as we watch our own lives unfold in the passages of history.
One book I have dabbled in in the past was Song of Songs. I looked at it, read bits and pieces and found it appealing in some ways and also a mystery in many. It sounded pretty, it sounded erotic and it filled the senses with longing. Then recently I went back to study it more in depth.
Over the course of this past year I have embarked on a journey of self awareness and betterment. I have lived a life of insecurity and self-doubt. I have lived on guard and with my defenses always at the ready and my defenses were always strongest with those I knew who could hurt me the most if they ever found ill favor with me, or if their opinions differed from mine and I allowed myself to feel undervalued. But let me tell you, that is NO way to live!
I am so grateful that Solomon wrote this book! I don’t agree entirely with the man that he was…I mean, he had an entire haram of wives and concubines. He walked away from following God and CHOSE to worship false gods and to do the wrong things for a time. He wasn’t the most outstanding citizen…but then we can argue, who is?
However, Solomon understood women! (I would sure hope so since he surrounded himself with hundreds of women. Just like I pray our son understands the female mind better than most men because he is stuck in the middle of 4 sisters!)
God commanded men to love their wives because men were not created to lead from the heart. They were created to provide and protect and those things are lead from reason. Women were commanded to respect their husbands because women live from the heart and are driven by love. Respect forces a woman to lead with reason rather than emotion. Both are difficult tasks for the respective sex and this is why God made sure to command it over and over in the bible. Both are equally important! Just as men still need love and women still need respect.
Song of Songs is the one book in the bible that is written primarily from the woman’s point of view. Which, in that time was uncommon since a woman’s “place” wasn’t always that of prominence. God created man to rule, not woman, but the fairer sex still has a very important role in life and much can be learned from how a woman gives of herself.
It includes her emotions, her thoughts. It does an EXCELLENT job of showing men exactly how a woman thinks and lives. From the heart. In the state of love. Since the beginning of time, women desires love and they live TO love and to be taken under the wing of a man she chooses to love and be faithful to. It is all consuming for a woman and Song of Songs lays it out perfectly. It takes you into the mind and heart of woman. And in return, it shows how a man is meant to love a woman in return. As Christ loves the church.
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 3:16
Song of Songs depicts a woman who set her eyes on a man she chose to love and how her heart longed for him and for his love in return. However, she was a woman who was also insecure, as most women are. She neglected finding confidence in herself and in her purpose because she was so desperate for love and consumed by it.
The “Bridegroom” would tell her time and again how he adored her. How he was pleased and enamored with her and how he found her more lovely than all the others. She was one of a kind. But even though he would tell her exactly what she longed to hear, her insecurities and lack of confidence in herself caused her to not hear him. In Song of Songs 4:16 she prays that the wind will carry and make known the pleasures she has to offer to her love…even though just verses before the man clearly praised her for having those qualities.
It wasn’t until the very end of the book that she finally finds her confidence. She recognizes her value and she says, “Here I am husband. Come back to me.”
Love is the most precious of gifts that anyone could posses. That is made clear all throughout the bible. Everyone longs for it everyone enjoys it, but not everyone appreciates it for what it is until they fully understand how important it is in our life.
Set me [referring to love] as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. Song of Songs 8:6-7
Meaning, you will never be able to get “enough” of love and at the same time, all the treasures in the world can not compare to it’s strength and power. However, because it was not meant to be the only thing that sustains us (Sorry J. Lennon), it is also important for us to not be jealous of the other things that were meant to be a part of our lives. Like respect, patience, self sacrifice, service, and above all else, obeying God.
Love reaches into so many areas of our life and it empowers everything that we do and everything that we think or feel. It is either present or it is absent in the individual actions or thoughts. It is not always present but it is always available to be called upon. It is something that we as humans have tried desperately to understand and to harness or control, but let me say this. Love is not something we can always control because there is a value to love that is not of us…it’s of God and him dwelling within us. It’s his fingerprint on our soul, and THAT can not be controlled. Just as we can not control God.
There are times when we can control love, though, and we are commanded to control it. Such as infidelity. Giving love…or rather, lust…to another person will cause your soul to wage war upon itself and will cause great destruction. Loving your enemies, which is also commanded, because we are still supposed to show kindness (love) to ALL people, just as Christ did. Loving yourself and not giving in to the fears and insecurities because you are also commanded to be thankful and praise God for his creation….you. And most importantly, to love the Lord your God with all of your heart and soul. He will not force you to love him or obey Him because then it’s not true love. He desires a real relationship with you and that has to be your choice. You have to make the decision to give love. To give love to him and to give love to others. Once you decide to give it though, then it is fueled by the part that is uncontrolled. It’s the part that lives within you….the spirit.
God created woman to live and lead from the heart and that is what I intend to do. Without barriers, without hesitation, without fear. Because that is who I am and I find joy in it. Joy means to triumph, and I will triumph in my life when I live in confidence and without shame of who I am. I will show love to those that show me love AND I will show love to those who could care less for it. For my worth, my love, is of great value and I will share the love that God has given me.
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