In the Old Testament the book Song of Solomon (Song of Songs) offers us an intimate view of what God designed true love to look like between husbands and wives. The author speaks in imagery that is foreign to us but I suppose was more commonplace to the day. It’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around such statements as “Your hair is like a flock of goats,” or “Your teeth are like a flock of ewes,” and then there’s “Your navel is a rounded bowl,” and “Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies.” Since none of those statements conjure up images that speak of love to me, if Jim were to say them to me, I don’t think that I would be “feeling the love.” Now if Jim were to say to me “my heart skips a beat when I see you in a crowd,” or “I love the feel of your hand in mine,” well then that’s some imagery to which I can relate. I love when my husband looks at me at a random moment and says “I love you Mrs. Read.” There is a certain statement in Song of Solomon that still resounds with many of us today and that is “I am my beloved’ and my beloved is mine,” it is repeated in a similar fashion two other times within the book. This “beloved” statement is indeed beloved by many, and is often used within marriage ceremonies, I have even seen the statement engraved on wedding rings.
In the early stages of our relationship and marriage, I felt somewhat insecure, I’m not even sure if Jim knows that. I simply wasn’t sure that I was worthy of him, and I couldn’t believe that he chose me. Perhaps he felt the same way. We both know that this relationship, this marriage, is a rare thing, that our love is rare and precious, because we’ve both faced the disappointment of failed marriages before. So the simple things that we do for one another, the kind things that we say to one another, the loving gestures that happen between us, mean ever so much more than words can convey. In a society where relationships seem to be tossed away as easily as a wrapper from a package, we know what a blessing our marriage is. We have often wondered what our lives would have been like if we had been together right from the start, and not when we are approaching our senior years of our lives. We take time to invest in each other, and to invest in our marriage. I love those little things, those tender moments, that quickly translate out to “I love you.” It’s deeply satisfying, and ever so precious. It’s also something that neither of us want to lose sight of, nor take for granted.
The love that I experience with my husband warms me to the very core. And, I know that however “perfect” our love is, it can never compare with the love that Jesus has for us. His love is more pure than the most perfect form of love that is displayed between Jim and I. Just as Jim is my perfect mate, Jesus is the perfect bridegroom to us, His Church. His love is intense, intentional, unconditional, peaceful, comforting, true, pure, patient, kind, and I’m sure that you could add many more adjectives onto the list. We indeed are not deserving of a love like this, however, God decided that He would bestow this love and affection on us nonetheless. It’s an utterly amazing and awesome gift that God gives to us. And, one for which I am eternally thankful for each and every day.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;” (Song of Solomon 6:3, ESV)