“It isn’t good for man to be alone,” God proclaimed right after He created Adam and placed him in the Garden.-Genesis 2:18. And so God immediately created a wife for Adam. One of the very first gifts God gave mankind was the covenant gift of marriage. And what a good gift it is! God wanted His children to belong to one another, to love and be loved, to share, be intimate and to be family. It doesn’t get any better than that!
And as always God had lofty ideals and dreams when He gave this amazing gift. Romance and intimacy, commitment and true love were all tucked into His plans when He ordained marriage. Each and every couple down through all the ages could enjoy their own unique attraction to one another, share their own special romance and chemistry, and write their own love story. And God would be there standing behind every marriage union and blessing and upholding each one. It doesn’t get any better than that!
The book in the Bible that perhaps best describes God’s ideal for marriage is the Song of Solomon. This whole book is given over to describing the passionate desire and love relationship between a man and a woman. These two lovers are referred to as the ‘Beloved’ and the ‘Shulamite’ woman. The Song of Solomon employs exotic symbolic language to describe the romantic and sexual exchanges that transpire between this bride and groom. Some believe that the imagery in this book that portrays this ideal marriage may also be describing our mystical covenant relationship with Christ as His bride.
The bridegroom in the Song of Solomon is described as a king and the Shulamite woman is portrayed as having had a difficult life. “My mother’s sons were angry with me. They made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept.” Song of Solomon 1:6. The ‘Beloved’and the‘Shulamite’are caught up in a whirlwind romance. They can’t get enough of each other. The Shulamite tells everyone that will listen that her Beloved is the most wonderful man in the world. And the Beloved never stops praising everything about his lover.
The book begins with the Shulamite proclaiming that her Beloveds’ kisses are better than wine. Throughout the whole book both lovers never stop telling of their love and attraction for one another. They continually talk about the magic of their intimacies. True love is a banner flown high for all to see.
And I believe God wants all of our marriages to be just as grand and glorious as the one portrayed in this Song of Songs. Millions of husbands and wives today are blessed with such great love stories and live out their lives together enjoying marital bliss. Perhaps these romances are somewhat overlooked and invisible to society today. It seems that Hollywood and the news media only broadcast stories of divorce scandals, lurid affairs, unfaithfulness and broken dreams. And with the bad news of what can go wrong in marriage ever before us, it’s no wonder that many young people are cynical of true love and.afraid to commit to marriage.
The God who planned and ordained marriage has much to say about it in His Word. First of all the Bible tells us to be faithful to our spouses. Indeed the seventh commandment instructs us not to commit adultery. In this competitive society some persons never fully commit to their spouses and forever continue shopping around for another partner. True love has a hard time blooming in such relationships where faithfulness and trust are lacking. In describing the unfaithful wife, Scripture tells us: “With her own hands the foolish woman tears her house down..”. Proverbs 14:1.
Scripture tells us to be kind to one another and forgiving, to be loving and respectful of one another. Indeed these traits are all the building blocks of true love. Selfishness and trying to control the other partner have no place in a good marriage. The Old Testament tells us that Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of heart of the couple divorcing. Num. 13:14. Hardness of heart is the great enemy of love, since everything depends on receptivity,freedom and openness in a good marriage.
Throughout the book of the Song of Solomon the lovers are shown continually affirming and praising one another. The whole book is filled with the lovers’ proclamations of desire and love. Partners in good marriages have learned to affirm one another, to see the good in the other, and to take time to express their love and appreciation for the other. Scripture instructs us to: “Most important of all continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” 1Peter 4:8. When we see a marriage dissolve we often learn that one of the partners has consistently criticized the other over a long period of time.
God has given us the institution of marriage. All of His gifts are good. He promises to be with us and help us create our own unique and beautiful love story. But we have to do our part .Let’s learn to be faithful and kind. Let’s respect our partner and find new ways to show our love. With Gods’ help we too can have true love. It doesn’t get any better than that!