Song of Songs – Talk About an Earworm!

songofsongs

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.

Who Me? God has to be kidding…

passpursuitbible2

The Lord has a very weird sense of humor, when it comes to the ways He chooses to work through my life.  I also find that when I am at church and our Pastor issues some sort of a challenge…

… inevitably I am about to be moved out of my comfort zone.

The interesting thing to me, is that the more I look at what He is doing the more I realize that it is not something He was suddenly doing in my life.  Instead, the Lord was preparing for me it long before I even knew what IT was going to be.

But, I’m jumping ahead of myself.  Let’s start here….

My Pastor began a series called “If I Wasn’t Afraid” (you can watch each of the messages on vimeo from the link above).

In the course of the series, we were challenged to “Be Brave, Don’t Cave”and:

  1. Accomplish a personal adventure.
  2. Have a God honoring and needed conversation.
  3. Take a step (or leap) toward a God honoring commitment.
  4. Make a God honoring contribution.

Those who know me would hardly consider me as someone who is afraid.  For the most part, I’m not.  As you get to know me though you’ll realize there are many things I can do… there are many situations I’m bold in… there really isn’t a conversation that I won’t have.  I’m not afraid to share my opinions, to try new things, and to even have difficult conversations.

I am, however, terrified when it comes to talking about my personal life.  I can share about how I struggle in my walk as a Christian.  I can share my parenting difficulties and whatnot.  Yet, there is a line.  When we get too close to talking about it… I get uncomfortable.  I’ll change the subject.  I’ll make a joke.  I’ll find an excuse to duck out of the room.

This would be the exact subject that God would call me to conquer in the challenge our Pastor issued.  You see, this will be a personal adventure for me.  I’m about to enter a world that I am terrified of… that one area that has been off limits.  It is going to require me to have a God honoring conversation with myself, my husband, and with women just like me.  It is going to take a commitment to see this through to the end, no matter how many times I want to run and hide.  And, it is going to be a contribution that will hopefully help other women.

By now, I am sure you are all waiting with bated breath for the big reveal….

Ya’ll the Lord has called ME of all people to talk about S… E… X…

Sweet cheese and crackers.

So this week, I’m going to be reading the Song of Songs (aka Song of Solomon).  I can’t lie… this is the only book of the Bible I have avoided.  However if I am going to stand before anyone and claim the authority of the Word of God… that all parts of it are God breathed for instruction and correction… it must include Song of Songs.

All of it… every word… is important.  Whether I ever wanted to admit it or not, God cares about our sex life.  It is no wonder we live in a world of sexual brokenness… when we are afraid to talk about it’s holiness.

passpursuitbible1a

At the beginning of this post I shared that I realized the Lord had been preparing me for this long before my Pastor issued the challenge.  Did you know that the Lord does this quite often.  In the book of Nehemiah, there was a lot of preparation going on between the time the Lord burdened Nehemiah’s heart and when the Lord actually said “GO”…

For me, this process started two years ago when a book called “Pulling Back the Shades” came across my lap.  It was a simple book review, that would have profound impact on me.  A book that would cast off some scales and force me to take a hard strong look at my own past and beliefs about sexuality.  That review would lead to me becoming a part of a launch team to promote the book as the 50 Shades movie was about to release.  Thus, establishing a relationship with @AuthenticIntimacy that would lead me to volunteering for a women’s conference, launch teams for two more books (25 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Sex, Surprised by the Healer), another live event, and then a leaders training.  It would put me in touch with a network of women who have become amazing friends, and sisters in the battle to take back this ground.

I would find myself sharing with women things I never imaged I would share with another human being.  Then, the Lord pushing me out of my comfort zone, to the point that I would be leading a study on sex in marriage… IN MY CHURCH.  Having candid conversations with women in my church about how important this is (and how broken I am) and quite possibly the most awkward email I have ever sent to a Pastor… IN MY LIFE.  Why?   Because, my Pastor recognizes how important this subject is.  For our church.  For our community.

I am afraid, terrified of this subject.  I know that in short order this last hidden part of myself is about to become absolutely transparent to the women who attend the study.  The Lord has a lot to say about being afraid too.

passpursuitbible4a

Isaiah 41:10

It is ok that I am afraid, that I am scared, that I am even terrified.  This means that I am going to be leaning and relying on the Lord more than ever.  Please pray for me, and the women who are going to be walking this journey with me.  Lord, bring healing. Redeem the broken.  Heal marriages.  Amen.