One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Song of Solomon. This sensual poem is, perhaps, the epitome of romantic marital expression. Solomon and his bride hold nothing back. They openly express their desire for one another and offer advice and hope to those observing their love story. It’s this kind of love that can serve as an example for us all.
Solomon, the wisest of wise men and the third sovereign of the Kingdom of Israel, did not lack female attention. This son of David is said to have had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Yet, with all of those women, many of whom were no doubt beautiful, it would appear that Solomon still had not been satisfied with love. He’d married so many women in order to solidify treaties and trade agreements with neighboring and foreign nations. These were political marriages. Love wasn’t in the picture. Though he was within his cultural right to acquire many wives, the presence of these women simply wasn’t enough for Israel’s king.
And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart1 Kings 11:3
Called Lemuel by his mother, Bathsheba, I believe Solomon was always searching for who she called “The Woman of Virtue”. In Proverbs 31 Solomon recounts the advice Bathsheba gave him regarding the woman he should desire; and, at last, he finds her.
Through these eight chapters of passion, Solomon and his beloved shower each other with compliments. He describes her in glorious detail and exclaims that she stole his heart with one look (ch. 4 v1-15). She speaks well of his form and declares that even among ten thousand men she’d still be able to pick him out (ch. 5 v 10). These ancient lovers sing of searching aimlessly for what they have finally found in each other. They know that a love like this is truly one-of-a-kind; only a fool would let it go.
Even More Beautiful
Even more beautiful is the sound advice that the bride offers to the young women who have been inquiring of this romance. Taking a break from singing about the way her man loves her and handles her body with tenderness and care, she charges the eavesdropping women to wait patiently for this kind of love; not to rush into what they’re not ready for (ch. 8 v4). Solomon’s sweetheart sounds a lot like Luther Vandross in his 1985 song “Wait for Love”.
Rabbis 21 Day Challenge
Now, here comes the Rabbi with another twenty-one day challenge!
Couples, for the next 21 days sit down together and write an affirmation everyday for your relationship; and write them as if they’re already done (i.e.: We read the bible everyday together… We communicate effectively, openly, and peacefully… We travel the world together regularly… Our marriage is an example of Kingdom love).
Singles, for the next 21 days sit down and write affirmations everyday for who you want to be and what you desire in a spouse; and write them as if they’re already done (i.e.: I lead [men] /submit [women] according to the word of God… I pray daily for my marriage and family… My heart is open to godly love… I am free from past hurt).
Shalom v’ahava (Peace and love).
C. P. Griffin