Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Expressing Love

Song of Solomon 7:1-13

“How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.  Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.  Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.  Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.  Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.  How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.  I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. ” (Song of Solomon 7:1-9)

Proverbs 27:5 tells us, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.”   Solomon makes it a point to remind the Shulamite woman how much he loves her and how attractive he finds her.  He describes various aspects of her appearance and figure, then expresses his wish to touch and hold her.  Kissing her is one of the most satisfying things he can imagine. 

Unfortunately, as a relationship matures, there is a tendency stop expressing these feelings, assuming that our mate already knows how much we love them.  Far too often we only talk about the things we don’t like and after a while our mate begins to doubt our love for them.  Though they still love us, they cease to express their love, feeling that we don’t care.  This leads to our feeling they don’t care and the problem grows, feeding on the actions of both parties. 

In order to maintain that first love we once experienced, it is necessary to focus on the things we find attractive and pleasing rather than the things that are wrong.   We can never sort out all the things that are wrong and properly fix the blame, but by focusing on things that we find attractive, we can move those irritants to the background where they have less impact.   We make the final decision as to the attitude within our relationship.   Too often the decision is made by default, copying what we saw our parents or others do rather than making a conscious choice.  Once again Solomon has shown us the proper way. 

“I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.  Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.  Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.  The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. ” (Song of Solomon 7:10-13)

Assured of his love, the woman wants to go with him, doing the things he enjoys.  Instead of focusing on going to the opera or to some big event, she wants to go camping, go out and work in the garden with him.  It is in these mundane, everyday activities that real love is best communicated.   

The modern focus on getting more things and participating in parties and romantic getaways often creates an emotional illusion that prevents demonstrating or developing real love.  This is shown he constant breakups and remarriages of those involved in the entertainment industry and the very rich.  If romantic dinners, exotic vacations and nice homes produced real love these people would never get divorces or switch partners.  Clearly the entertainment industries depiction of love isn’t very satisfactory. 

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