Yesterday evening, I completed Song of Songs. Talk about an earworm! I can’t get these words out of my mind. Whew, that is some steamy stuff. As Dr. Juli Slattery pointed out at an Authentic Intimacy event…. Proverbs 31 Woman has nothing on the Bride from Song of Songs! This Shulammite Bride is a hot mama, who is hot for her hubby…. and vice versa.
These scriptures are beautifully written illustrations of their love, affection, devotion, and desire for each other. It was also quite revealing to the fact that many of us as wives are no different than she is. When we first meet “our man” we see all the dazzling things about him, and we fall head over heels. Then, we get married and it’s exciting and new. But there comes a point where we are just “too tired” and “too burdened” by our daily lives that we just can’t… we are not interested. We send this man away, and unfortunately even if we recognize our mistake… it may be too late. But not always… we can rekindle those feelings for him. We can seek him, reconcile to him, and restore the relationship to what it once was… and even better.
Last week, in an entirely unplanned but related sermon topic, my Pastor said that when counseling couples… when he can get them to start talking about what first drew them to each other, he can see their body language change. The folded arms will drop, the sour faces disappear, the distance between them will close, and they soften to each other. However the point is not to restore the relationship to just before things went south. Instead, it is to reconcile them both into a place where they want something even better.
I’ll be honest, there were definitely moments throughout the reading where I felt the sting of conviction. I have had my moments where I turned my husband away. Probably more than I realize, and without a doubt more than I’d like to admit. If you asked us how many times, truthfully my husband’s account would stand more accurate than my own. It is really easy to justify the why nots…. too tired from a long day, too stressed out from rearing the kids, etc. Even the Shulammite Bride had her excuse, she had already gotten herself ready for bed.
This is not to say that there are not times that we legitimately have reason. It is also not to say that this gives a man (even our husband) an excuse to not respect our wishes. In Song of Solomon her hot hubby didn’t pressure her… or force himself on her. He didn’t make her feel bad, or less than a woman for it. Her regret for turning him away was from within her and not out of a sense of duty unfulfilled… but deep love for him. She felt so bad, she went off to find him and was broken when she couldn’t.
I’ve felt that way before too.
What is interesting about this for me, is that when she does find him… it’s an immediate reconnection. He doesn’t hold it against her, but instead affirms his love for her.
Now think about all of this in our intimate relationship with God.
We are drawn to Him. We love Him. We desire Him in our lives. We boast to others about Him.
But do we not make excuses for why we couldn’t go to church, pray, or read His word? Too busy? Too tired? It’s too late… or too early. Not enough time? Too many places to go? Too many distractions to tend to?
Then, we recognize our mistake and we run after Him. When we are reconciled to Him, God doesn’t hold it against us. He welcomes us back into His arms and loves us. God is only as far away as we want Him to be.