Song of Solomon- Session 12- 2:15-3:5

Session #12- 5 Keys for Romantic Relationships
Song of Solomon 2:15-3:5

Lesson Resources:

Subject:  Romantic Relationships

Central Theme:  Right for Romantic Relationships

Objective Sentence:  We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Keyword:  Key

  • Key #1- Protection
  • Key #2- Exclusivity
  • Key #3- Timing
  • Key #4- Restraint
  • Key #5- Accountability

 

Introduction:

  • After our salvation, there may be no more important decisions that we make than the ones we make about who we choose to marry and how we maintain that relationships.
  • Romantic relationships are so important to get right if you want to honor God and have a good quality of life.
  • For the single person, how do you handle dating relationships? How do you choose the right person?
  • For the married person, how do you maintain a right, passionate, fulfilling romantic relationship with your spouse?
  • The Bible does give us answers to these kinds of questions.
  • God wants us to have right romantic relationships.

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection (2:15)

Explanation:

  • As we start a study in Song of Solomon it is important for us to know something about the book.
    • The author is Solomon.
    • The genre of this scripture is poetic.
    • They are love songs written by Solomon to a Shulamite bride.
    • Although Solomon is the author, it does not necessarily mean that he is always the voice speaking.
  • Another thing that is important to know is where this couple is relationally throughout the book.
    • John MacArthur proposes an outline of the book based on this reality.  Here is his outline of the book:
  1. Introduction (1:1)
  2. The Courtship: “Leaving” (1:2-3:5)
  3. The Wedding: “Cleaving” (3:6-5:1)
  4. The Marriage: “Weaving” (5:2-8:14)
  • This is a common way to outline the book.  Notice that this week’s passage, which includes 2:15-3:5, is at the conclusion of the courtship section of the book.  This means that this couple is engaged but have not yet gotten married.
  • Now let’s read the text at hand.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

(Song of Solomon 2:15)

  • The person talking in this passage is the maiden, because in the next verse she says “…and he is mine” referencing her beloved.
  • The subject at hand is protection, specifically the protection of the relationship between the maiden and her beloved.
  • The imagery here is of a vineyard.  Their relationship is like a vineyard.
  • Problems that come in their relationship are like foxes that would come into a vineyard, especially close to harvest, to get something to eat.
  • In looking for the fruit they destroy the plants and have the potential, in short order, to ruin the vineyard.
  • The foxes here are referenced as “the little foxes”.  These are relatively small animals anyway.  She references not just foxes, but the little foxes, that can do a lot of damage when they go unnoticed.
  • So, when the maiden says, “take us” she seems to be saying that she and her beloved should pay attention and deal with “the little foxes”.
  • Their relationship is new and young.  That is her reasoning when she says, “for our vines have tender grapes”.
  • In a poetic way she is saying to her beloved, “let us pay attention to the little problems that can come up in a young relationship that if ignored will damage or even destroy their relationship.”
  • She is asking her beloved to work hard with her to protect their relationship and their future from the kind of decisions and problems that will hurt their intimacy in the future.

Application:

  • What is it that could destroy their relationship?
    • As we continue to read through this passage, we will see that what she seems to be concerned about is integrity, faithfulness, and loyalty.
    • Infidelity, impurity, and unkindness can ruin romantic relationships.
    • These acts do not usually begin as raging, ravenous lions, but small, quick, less-notable foxes.  A little flirtation here, a little glance there, a close conversation with someone that you keep hidden from your spouse- these can be the kinds of things that seem harmless but lead to broken and even destroyed relationships.
  • Intimate relationships are based on trust.  A lack of integrity that leads to infidelity can destroy that trust.  Relationships are maintained by taking care of “the little foxes”.

Response:

  • If you are married or dating, what are some “little foxes” that could hinder your relationship?
  • If you are single, is your character such that you could commit to someone faithfully and loyally at this point?

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection

Key #2- Exclusivity (2:16)

My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

(Song of Solomon 2:16)

Explanation:

  • We see here another attribute of a healthy courtship or marriage relationship- the attribute of exclusivity.
    • The young maiden says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.”
    • This speaks to a sort of possession.  They belong to each other.
    • There is an understanding that they now have boundaries wherein they act.  This is not a bad thing.
    • By saying yes to each other they are saying no to others.  There is an exclusion of having the same kind of relationship with other people.
  • She also says, “he feedeth among the lilies.”
    • This continues a metaphor begun earlier that compares her beloved to a gazelle or a deer (v.9) and will again in the next verse (v.17).
    • The imagery here is of a deer eating.  The idea is that he is getting his romantic sustenance exclusively from her.

Application:

  • Courting and Marriage relationships only work when they are exclusive.
  • This is God’s design for marriage.
  • Even in dating we must be careful with the heart and allegiance of another person.
  • Fidelity is of utmost importance.
  • Again, relationships are grounded in trust, and trust is directly connected to integrity.

Response:

  • How should the exclusive attribute of a healthy marriage relationship look?
  • How should the exclusive attribute of a healthy dating relationship look?

 

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection

Key #2- Exlusivity

Key #3- Timing (2:17)

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

(Son 2:17)

Explanation:

  • There are times as an interpreter of God’s Word where you are confident in your interpretation, and other times where multiple interpretations may seem to be plausible.
  • I readily admit to you that I am not convictional about the exact interpretation of this verse.
  • Rather, I am giving you a plausible interpretation based on the context of the passage.
  • The word translated “until” is also translated “when” in other parts of the Old Testament.  I believe that this is in keeping with this passage.
  • You can tell the anticipation that the maiden has for the coming wedding with her beloved.
  • When they are married there will be a “day break” and the “shadows” will “flee away”.
  • She tells him to “turn” and “be like a roe or a young hart”.
    • She has already alluded to him as a deer, and she does here again.
    • These animals are known for being fast and playful.
  • She asks him to be like these animals “upon the mountains of Bether”.
    • There are no geographical mountains known as the mountains of “Bether”.
    • The word “Bether” means “split”, “divided”, or “cut”.
    • Many commentators see this as a subtle way of the maiden speaking of her own body.
  • This is a poetic way for the maiden to tell her beloved that when they are married, she is ready to give herself fully to him.

Application:

  • There is a timing that is morally correct and honoring to God when it comes to our sexual lives.
  • The Biblical teaching on sex is that God has made the man for woman and the woman for man.
  • God’s plan for sex is for it to be for one man and one woman for a lifetime.
  • Once a man and woman have committed to each other in marriage, they can and should fully give themselves to their mate physically.  The two shall be one flesh.
  • There is an old saying that sex is like fire.  In its proper place in the home, the fireplace, it can pleasantly warm the house.  If it is anywhere else in the home it can burn the house down.
  • Like the maiden here, we must be careful to keep our sexual selves only for our spouse and only in the context of marriage.

Response:

  • Is there any part of your life where you are practicing sexuality outside of the marriage relationship?
  • If you are married, are you being selfless in your expression of intimacy with your spouse?

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection

Key #2- EXCLUSIVITY

Key #3- Timing

Key #4- Restraint (3:1-4)

By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

(Song of Solomon 3:1-4)

Explanation:

  • In this text the maiden has a dream.
  • In her dream she cannot find her beloved.  She is going about the city streets looking to no avail.
  • She asks for others to help her and they do not know about where her beloved one is.
  • Finally she finds him.
    • Notice the passion in her search, and in her finding him.
    • She describes him as “him whom my soul loveth”.
    • She is describing her love as the innermost love that someone can have as it comes from her soul.
    • She says that she “held him” and “would not let him go”.
    • This is a very passionate description.
  • But even with this much passion in her description, notice where she takes him in the dream.
  • She does not take him to her bedroom.  She takes him to her mother’s house and her mother’s room.
  • This demonstrates restraint on her part.
  • She does not yet give herself physically to him.  She is anticipating their marriage to each other, but is restraining herself from getting involved sexually before the wedding day.

Application:

  • So many people tend to think of the freedom as a lack of restraint.
  • But the truth of the matter is that true freedom comes from discipline.
  • Restraint and discipline bring freedom.
  • God’s design for sex and intimacy is to restrain it to marriage.
  • Marriage relationships are based on trust.
  • Would you trust a spouse more who was restrained and committed to you before their marriage or one who was unrestrained?
  • Who would you be able to trust more, and therefore be more intimate with?  Certainly the one who had been trustworthy before marriage.

Response:

  • Is there any area of your life that is unrestrained when it comes to God’s will?
  • Where do you need more discipline in your life?

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection

Key #2- Exlusivity

Key #3- Timing

Key #4- Restraint

Key #5- Accountability (3:5)

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

(Song of Solomon 3:5)

Explanation:

  • Here you see the audience of the poem that started in 3:1-4.  The women of Jerusalem are told of her dream.
  • The idea here is that she is expressing to them her need for accountability in remaining sexually pure.
  • She longs for her future husband but must be restrained before the wedding.
  • All of the expressions of physical intimacy have been veiled up until this point.
  • In verses 3:6 the setting changes to that of a married couple.
    • The verses following in the poem changes to the expressions of a now married couple.
    • After this point the expressions of intimacy are more explicit.
    • Once they are married they speak more openly to each other, as it should be with a married couple.

Application:

  • Clearly, it is important for her not to awaken love until the time is right.
  • It is not good to feed cravings that cannot be righteously satisfied.
  • Accountability is so important when it comes to doing the right thing.
  • When you know that you will answer for what you are doing the chances of you doing the wrong thing goes down and doing the right thing goes up.

Response:

  • When it comes to your purity do you have someone for which you are accountable?
  • Are there any cravings that you are nurturing that cannot be righteously satisfied?  Stop and repent!

 

Conclusion:

We can have a right romantic relationship by paying attention to these 5 keys.

Key #1- Protection

Key #2- Exclusivity

Key #3- Timing

Key #4- Restraint

Key #5- Accountability

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