Tuesday, March 29, 2016

fidelity... and much more

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;
he grazes among the lilies.
Song of Solomon 6:3

Song of Solomon celebrates marriage. It may be the poetic rebelling of a relationship, but it anchors in a solid biblical reality of marriage: oneness. Husbands and wives who live out a singular commitment to one another are following God's plan, despite the difficulties and challenges of life. Marriage is about oneness... two people become one flesh. They do so as God draws them together. Marriage encourages, demands, and celebrates this oneness.

The irony of this song is that the Shulammite may have been the one woman that polygamous Solomon truly loved. He found this love after messing up in every conceivable way. But when he found her, he was delighted, and hence this song. He compares her to "sixty queens", "eighty concubines", and "virgins without number', and those just may have been actual numbers and not just poetic hyperbole (see Song of Solomon 6:8-9). The king is smitten by his bride's love.

Despite the obvious flaws in Solomon's life, the Holy Spirit so superintended the writing of his song that biblical truth and God's design stands out. The call to fidelity and marital oneness still holds true. And that design must guide all sinners who commit to one another in holy matrimony.

Those of us who are married are very much still sinners, even Christians who are redeemed sinners, and we need God to continue to redeem all the daily moments of our lives together. We need the reminder to set aside selfishness and live as the gift of God to our beloved. We need the gospel to be our heartbeat for our spouse.

I know I need the gospel to be the focus of my marriage so that I give myself to my wife like Jesus does for His bride, the Church for whom He died. That is my hope and goal for a truly satisfying and delightful marriage. It is how we celebrate oneness, with Jesus and the Church and the gospel in the very center of our hearts for one another. And this is love that celebrates that I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.

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