**Please remember that topics like the following post are expected due to the nature of the message coming from Songs of Waiting.**
Song of Solomon is a beautiful book of the Bible. It is a raw expression of love between a bride and groom; sometimes graphic and awkward, but always real and telling. The book takes us on a journey of their relationship- from before marriage, their wedding day/night, and even their first fight. We see her admiration for him, and his for her, and it is something so incredibly special.
The groom, a king, fell in love with a lowly country girl. She was forced by her brothers to work in the fields and was raised without a father. She was so tan from working in the sun, it set her apart from the other women who were fair-skinned, showing their privilege and her poverty. However, her darker complexion didn’t set her apart in a negative way, not to her husband anyway. He laid his eyes on her and was instantly in love.
The way the groom describes his bride reveals her beautiful face, form, and being. She is incomparable to all the other women. His sole desire is for her and only her. Throughout the book we see her self-esteem improve as he praises her beauty and comforts her in her insecurities. He absolutely admires his woman, and she describes him with the same admiration and desire. There is love and admiration flowing back and forth between the two lovers, and one of the most important qualities in the bride is her purity. The bride was a virgin, and to her groom that was one of the most beautiful and admirable qualities about her, and it was also just as special to her.
Three times in this book, the bride tells the Daughters of Jerusalem (The Daughters of Jerusalem are either members of the royal court or the young unmarried women of Jerusalem) to not awaken love until the time is right:
“Oh, let me warn you, sisters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, yes, by the wild deer: don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe- and you’re ready.” – Song of Solomon 3:5, MSG
Three times (vv. 2:7, 3:5, 8:4) she makes this point.
NKJV reads, “I charge you…”
NLT reads, “Promise me…”
AMP reads, “I command that you take an oath…”
The joy and pleasure of intimacy is portrayed all throughout this book, and if you’ve ever read it, it’s a bit intense, but it’s beautiful and part of our human nature. The thing about it, though, is that everything described in the book is in a very specific context. It’s in the context of marriage. This is about the relationship between husband and wife. In the context that God created.
So she charged them. She warned them. She commanded them. Do not awaken love. Do not stir it up. Do not excite it. Don’t do this until the time is right.
I believe that making the point of waiting to the Daughters of Jerusalem was so important to the bride because she knew exactly how it was to wait. She desired her man, and reading how she spoke of him, it’s safe to say that she was very much excited for her wedding night. He desired her just as much, but they both waited until they were married. The bride knew how beautiful this kind of love is when it happens at the right time. She knew the beauty, sacredness, and value of waiting, and she wanted the other ladies to know it and experience it.
Granted in her time things were different. There was sexual immorality, but nothing like it is today. Her words and this story is very much relevant to this day. Times have changed, but God’s purpose for marriage and sex hasn’t. Waiting is still beautiful, sacred, and valuable, and the kind of love the bride shared with her groom, after keeping herself pure for him, is still possible for people today.
Throughout the book her purity is likened to flowers, gardens, and fruit; all beautiful imagery describing the value of her being untouched and kept. The groom recognizes her worth and beauty. He pursues her with honor and integrity. He respects her, protects her, and loves her passionately. Again, I believe that the way the bride was loved by her husband moved her to warn the Daughters of Jerusalem not to be haste in intimacy with a man, but to wait until they find a man who loves them the way the groom loved her.
Ladies, we are the modern-day Daughters of Jerusalem. Wait and pray for the man who will love you like this. If there are any men reading this, this kind of marriage is something you can and ought to strive for. Pursue her with integrity and honor. Waiting for marriage is for both men and women!
So take an oath. Promise yourself and promise God. Don’t stir up love until the time is right. Don’t excite it. Don’t be in a hurry to have sex. Don’t force intimacy. Wait, because when the time is right, this kind of beautiful, God-centered love will be the fruit of your work. You will reap what you sow: sow purity and reap the blessing.
See you next week,
Love, Sarah Lynn
God, I thank You for Your purpose for marriage and sex. You created it and want us to experience it in the beautiful and natural way You intended, so I pray that You help us strive for this kind of love. Help us set godly standards and keep them. Put in us a desire for this kind of intimacy, but also make us hungry for You, so we seek You above all else. Make our desires toward You. Guard our hearts and minds. In Jesus Name I pray, amen.
If you haven’t read/studied Song of Solomon, I encourage you to do so. There is just so much I simply cannot cover in one post. It is also said to be an allegory of Christ’s love for the Church, which is just beautiful.
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