American culture and media is saturated with stories of sexual escapades, secret rendezvous, and extramarital affairs. The movie 50 Shades of Grey, based on the book, came out this year promoting and celebrating a bizarre and immoral perspective on sex and relationships. The Ashley Madison hook-up web site, which unabashedly promotes itself with the motto, “Life is short, have an affair,” recently came under fire for revealing the names and personal information of nearly 37 million account holders after being hacked. People want sexual freedom, yet their pursuit of sex with no boundaries chains them with addictions and leaves them emotionally unfulfilled, ending in broken hearts and hurting relationships.
The Old Testament book Song of Solomon is a moving love story about a young country girl and King Solomon. In delicate poetry, the lovers express intense passion and deep longing for each other. Solomon likens his bride’s beauty to picturesque gardens and delicious fruit. Yet even in this eloquent expression of the passion between a bride and a bridegroom, there is an exhortation to remain sexually pure before marriage (2:7) and throughout marriage. In this way, the book celebrates human sexuality within the marriage relationship. Even though God’s name is not mentioned in the book, it is obvious that Song of Solomon reflects God’s plan for love, relationship, and marriage.
As the poetic message of Song of Solomon describes the beauty and intimacy of married love, it teaches that a lasting marriage requires dedication, commitment, and strong loyalty between husband and wife. The song also presents an idealized picture of how human love can be expressed under God’s blessing. Some accuse Christianity of taking the fun out of marriage saying that the Bible is against sex; however, Song of Solomon refutes that accusation by reiterating that the most fulfilling sexuality is expressed within a healthy marriage relationship and all that relationship entails, not outside of it.
At the end of September I will begin a 6-week sermon series addressing the topic of godly relationships and godly marriage as we study the Bible’s Song of Solomon. The Song is necessary reading not only for the married, but for all who want to understand God’s design for love, marriage, and healthy relationships. Be sure to join us on Sunday mornings for worship starting at 10:30, and invite your friends for this special message series. Our Sunday night life-groups will further discuss this topic as they watch video episodes of the movie The Song, listen to the teaching of Kyle Idleman, and work through The Song Journal.
Working with you to honor marriage God’s way,