August 16, 2020 | Books of the Bible | Song of Songs by Nicole Caldwell
Song of Songs 3:1-5
The Bride's Dream
On my bed by night
I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not.
I will rise now and go about the city,
in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.
I sought him, but found him not.
The watchmen found me
as they went about in the city.
"Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"
Scarcely had I passed them
when I found him whom my soul loves.
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 who conceived me.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love
until it pleases.
As we journey through this poetic text celebrating the nature of romantic love and the gift God gives man in marriage and intimacy, we encounter a dream in chapter 3.
In this part of the Song, the woman describes her eager anticipation of the approaching marriage between her and her beloved. This dream outlines erotic longings and a tone of desperation, as she is unable to find the one her heart longs for.
As we read, we can feel the panic rising while the woman searches for the man. When she finds him (verse 4) she will not let him go. Following this statement, we see a reference to a Hebrew tradition. When a young Jewish couple would first marry, they lived in the bride's parents' home for the first season of their life together. In saying, "until I had brought him into my mother's house," the woman expresses her deep desire for the time of the marriage to arrive. She is ready for the commitment. She is longing for the marriage.
The poem's dream section ends with caution in verse 5: "Do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." The woman adjures the daughters not to force her love's progress and avoid these consuming desires. Why is there a caution? Isn't this type of romantic love a gift from the Lord? Absolutely! Yes!
We must also remember the warnings the text brings. While it is most certainly a gift from the Lord, the type of love described is powerful.
Romantic love can easily consume us. We are created to enjoy the love of the marriage relationship. We are also created with a deep yearning for eternal fulfilling love.
The man or woman you marry will never be enough to fill your soul. Your spouse cannot fill those deep longings, no matter how hard he or she tries. Be warned that placing such an expectation upon your spouse can wreak havoc on your marriage, much like ones of the one of the foxes described in Song 2:15, "...the little foxes that spoil the vineyards."
Expecting a spouse or a marriage to fill the deep longings of your soul will invite the fox into your vineyard.
The love of a spouse is a beautiful gift from the Lord. However, when you seek final satisfaction and fulfillment in your spouse instead of God, you will love them in God's place. When they fail (and they will) to meet those lofty expectations, you will find yourself broken and bitter.
The deepest places of our soul were made for God and Him alone. This ultimate, satisfying, eternal love our soul longs for is found in Christ. "For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things." (Psalm 107:9).
- Have you placed unrealistic expectations on your marriage relationship?
- Who do you expect to fill the longings of your soul?
- Pray that the Lord would help you find your satisfaction in Christ and pray that He would help guard your relationships against unrealistic expectations.