Tag Archives: Commentary on Song of Solomon 8:3

Rise Up, My Love (261): Supernatural Love

Song of Solomon 8:3 “His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.” Let’s think more about how to develop the type of desire for your mate that the bride expresses here. If your natural first response is to blame your spouse, then join the huge club of people (myself included) who like to deny our own faults.  “Well, if he were more —————(fill in the blank with whatever he’s lacking), I would be more drawn to him.” I’ve used the same excuse.  But, let’s stop ourselves right there. None of us is perfect, and most of us are far from it. As certain as the day is long, King Solomon—like every other person living on the face of the earth—was not a perfect man. This bride didn’t simply love Solomon because he was perfect, and even if we study the story with Solomon as a type of Christ—who was perfect—we see that the wife did not always have such a passion for her husband. Remember? She was the one in chapter 5 who couldn’t be bothered to get up and open the door for him!  No, if we want to grow to really love our spouses with passion, we must come from another perspective. Rather than asking God to change our mates into such attractive people that we can’t help but have a passionate desire for them, we need to ask God to change our hearts so that we truly have a pure and fervent passion for our spouse today and every day, not based on our spouse’s perfection, but based on God’s miraculous love.  How does that occur? Well, first, I’m not suggesting that every woman should (or that it’s even possible to) feel ravenous sexual passion toward her husband every moment of her life. As humans, we have natural rhythms of emotion and sexual desire. But, I am suggesting that passion can be both a natural and a supernatural response. There have been many times in marriage when my passion was a natural response, but there have also been many times when my passion was a supernatural response in order to enable me to meet the needs of my husband.  Where did it come from? It was the direct result of prayer. Have you ever prayed or sung the song, “Give me a passion for souls, dear Lord…” In the same way, we can pray for a passion for our mate. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” In Colossians 4:12 we see the example of Epaphras, who was “always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”  If Epaphras could pray fervently for the Colossians to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God,” then certainly we can labor fervently in prayers so that we might love our spouses fervently, which is also the known will of God for us! Isn’t that true? I am not suggesting that husbands use this as a club to hang over their wives’ heads: “If you’d just pray hard enough, God would make you amorous tonight!” The Bible is clear that the husband is to love the wife and live with her “according to knowledge,” (and I presume that means a knowledge of her needs, capacities, and natural desires as well: Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19; I Peter 3:7). But, I am suggesting that the wife, out of a desire to love her husband, can utilize the resource of prayer and may discover (as I have on many an occasion) that God will supernaturally grant her a passion that is not naturally within her.  It is an amazing experience to feel the miraculous filling of the Lord to become a conduit of his love. What is the spiritual application? Know and rejoice in the fact that what you have done for “the least of these my brethren” you have done unto Christ. Do you love Christ? Then you have every reason to love your spouse, regardless of the limitations in your relationship. You can love him as a way of living out your love for Christ and mirroring to the world the love of the church bride for her heavenly husband. (PS—I hope these photos made you smile, but I didn’t intend for them to in any way be demeaning of men!  Most of the images—including the mastodon—are from the Rochester Museum and Science Center in New York, taken during a recent trip to visit our son Stephen, who’s at Eastman School of Music [hence, the bust of Beethoven].  There is also one of our son Michael, who was [at the same time] visiting Martin Luther’s home in Germany and posed behind one of Martin’s robes. The stained glass of Jesus and the Lamb is from Stephen’s church, where he serves as pianist.)

Rise Up, My Love (260): What Do You Want Most of All?

Song of Solomon 8:3 “His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.” This verse is almost an exact repeat of 2:6, where the wife says, “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” The only difference is in the verb. Here in 8:3 it is “should be…should embrace” rather than stating the fact that he “is.” The first three verses of this chapter are all in the subjunctive voice, expressing a desire for something to be true which has not actually happened up to this point, but the present tense, imperative charge in verse 4 makes it evident that the bride’s wish for communion did at last come true.

What a blessed thought that the Lord honors our ardent spiritual desires by eventually making them into spiritual realities. If we desire no barriers…there will at last be none! In our earlier discussion (2:6) the emphasis was on the spiritual nature of this loving embrace, and well it should have been, since the Song of Solomon, as the only biblical picture of the mysterious relationship between God and Israel (as well as the mystery of Christ and his bride), is ever and foremost a guide to spiritual love.

However, with this expression of a desire for the experience to be repeated, let’s consider the physical relationship as well. What exactly was Solomon’s bride wishing for here? It is obvious from this verse that the wife desires to intoxicate her husband not only with those loving preparations meant to relax him and bring him joy, but also with the expressions of her love in the deepest sense…to partake of him and give back to him…to become one with him with the intimacy only allowed in marriage.   Many of life’s most beautiful thoughts are conveyed in the unspoken eloquence of silent action, and I truly believe that for the great majority of men, the most profound way for a wife to express her love to him is through giving and accepting sexual pleasure, which is what we see developing in this verse. If the physical reality is that the wife is wishing for sexual communion with her husband, what does that say for us today, and what are the spiritual implications of that wish?   First, it seems that this is the perfect time for every wife (and husband too, really) to take a personal inventory of her-his secret “wish list.” If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be? What is your heart longing for most of all? Is it something material: a new house, a new car, a cottage on the lake, a special vacation…new clothes, a new appliance or power tool, new jewelry or sports equipment; new music? Do you want something more, or just something different? Maybe new friends, a new church, a new school situation for your family, or a new job situation? Oh, there are so many things we could wish for.

Dig deeper. Is there something even more important that you’re wishing for? Maybe a better relationship with someone you love…or don’t love? Maybe restoration of a broken friendship, or the healing of a strained relationship? Or, do you just long for more of a good thing…more happiness, more joy, more peace, more love…to know God better and love him more dearly…to understand your spouse better and love him with a deeper, sweeter, purer love?

The Song of Solomon records the cry of the wife’s heart, and it is to love and be loved by her husband in a very tangible, literal, physical way. Is this the cry of your heart? If it is, then praise God for such heat! If it is not, and rarely ever or never seems to be, then ask God why, and ask him how to change your heart so that you do truly have a passionate desire for your spouse.