Thursday, March 24, 2016

Balancing Relationships

Song of Solomon 8:1-7

“O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.  I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.  His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.  I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please. ” (Song of Solomon 8:1-4)

When a couple come together in marriage, there are always conflicts as a result of their different family cultures.  The woman wishes she could have known him from his very birth sharing his childhood experiences and having the same teaching and examples to minimize the conflicts.  Then she would know how to meet his desires even better, and would be even more able to accept his love and embraces without reservation.  She loves the thought of cuddling with him and doesn’t want anyone to disturb them. 

“Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee. ” (Song of Solomon 8:5)

She had been brought up in a loving home with few problems, yet loving and being loved has dramatically changed her.  Her whole attitude has changed and it is visible as she comes from a walk in the country or dessert with her lover’s arm around her.  Even her family hardly recognizes her.  

“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.  Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned. ” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

Sarah and Abraham had lied to Abimelech about Sarah being Abraham’s wife.  As a result he got involved with her, and was hurt to learn the truth.  In Genesis 20:16, he told her, “…behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.”  Her love for Abraham should have prevented her from even looking at another man, and should be obvious enough to keep others from thinking she would consider it. 

Love is a powerful force in person’s life, and jealousy is a cruel emotion to inflict on another person, especially one you claim to love.  It is almost like torturing them by shoving their arm into a fire.  Fortunately, love is so strong that no amount of water can quench it, and as I Corinthians 13:8 says, “Charity never faileth…”  Contrary to popular belief, people do not simply fall into and out of love.

The sex act produces a powerful emotional bond that is often mistaken for love, but real love involves making a choice.   This is obvious when Paul commands, “Husbands, love your wives,”  in both Ephesians 5:25 and Colossians 3:19.  In Titus 2:4, he commanded the older women to “…teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,” making it clear that love is not something that just happens.   

When both the sexual bonding and the will are involved the love that results is nearly unbreakable.  If either is neglected, the love is greatly weakened.  The strongest defense against an ungodly, promiscuous lifestyle is the development of a strong healthy love relationship, as described in I Corinthians 7:2-5.  “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.   Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.  Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

For the proper relationship, there must be both the strong love or benevolence in which we choose to show the respect and concern for the other person, and the proper sexual element.  If either is lacking the marriage is weakened dramatically.    Unfortunately, in both the religious and the secular world, there is a tendency in modern society to focus on one or the other, leaving the relationship out of balance.  

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