Song of Solomon 5:2 “I sleep, but my heart waketh.” Washed, clean and purified, the bride falls asleep waiting for her Lord and master. Isn’t this our experience? The Lord saves us, makes us beautiful and spiritually fruitful, and then we lose interest in working with him. We grow contented. Oh, we still long for his company…on our terms. We want his fellowship “in bed.” To me, this speaks of private worship, or perhaps even corporate communion in the church, but only where it’s safe, clean, and comfortable! I’ll consider teaching a Sunday school class, but don’t expect me to go down into the slums and teach a good news club. Well, I might be willing to sing at the church…but don’t ask me to go down to the rescue mission. Pass out tracts? Hardly! Well, possibly in the church’s neighborhood, but not down in the red light district! Witness to my neighbor? Maybe sometime I’ll invite him to a special meeting at church, but I sure won’t offer to help him fix his flat tire! And, really, I’m too busy and too tired to do any of these things. Really, I need more sleep at night because my job is too demanding, and my children are so needy. Don’t bother me now…how about in a few years??? until…I’ve worked so hard that I’m burned out. I’m too old. Let somebody younger do it!
“I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh.” Like the lackadaisical church of Laodicea, the pattern of many mature believers individually and corporately…the pattern of wives (and all too often husbands also—but this is not the issue here) in marriage… is to lose the fire of their first love and grow contented, cold, and indolent. “I sleep.”
Sleep is a low state of life. There is no true enjoyment of life in sleep; no exercise of the senses; no outward activity or productivity. The one good aspect of sleep is that it is a time of restoration and recovery…a time to become refreshed and strengthened for future work and experience. There is a time and place for sleep; it is necessary and good, but for the married couple, it is usually and ideally at night, together, in one another’s arms.
If you are a married woman, do you wait up until your husband can go to bed each night so you can go to sleep together? Unless you or your husband has a job which requires working into or through the night, arranging your schedule so that you can spend time together every night at bedtime talking, praying, and exchanging expressions of physical affection before you sleep is one of the most important gifts you can give each other.
Studies reveal that men typically rate sexual fulfillment with an attractive mate as their greatest need in marriage (Harley, His Needs, Her Needs), and a truly satisfying experience requires time and energy! The bride was attractive enough…as revealed by the bridegroom’s pet names for her in verse two and her own description of herself in verses three and five. She was well prepared to receive him joyfully into her arms…well prepared on the outside, but not on the inside. She was a “sleeping beauty!” Pretty to look at, but unwilling to sacrifice herself to meet his needs.
Dear virtuous wife, have you become a sleeping beauty? Full of every good work but saving time to love your husband? Dear saints of God, have we all become sleeping beauties? Washed, pure, and clean, but sound asleep spiritually?