Today we come to chapter four of the Song of Solomon. It’s one of the most intimate sections of the entire Bible and there for a reason. God put it there because He doesn’t think of our lives like we do. “There’s the sacred over here, there’s the secular over here, there’s sex here, there’s God there and never the two shall meet.” God looks at life as a whole. He created all of it. The Song of Solomon is an important part of the Bible for us to understand.
As we do, we notice in a healthy marriage and in sex that he responds to sight. Men are wired differently. We’re called the “opposite sex.” It’s why we don’t see a Victoria’s Secret for men’s lingerie! Women are wired differently. What he’s going to do in the Song, chapter four is he’s going to describe what he sees in his wife from her head all the way down. He starts in 4:1, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.”
What is that about? This is an ancient, near east description of a woman. They use different metaphors. They have different images than we may have in the western world. What he’s saying is that her hair is beautiful. Gilead was one of the most beautiful places in Palestine. To see a flock of black goats come down off Mt. Gilead with their hair flowing in the wind would have been an impressive sight. Probably what’s happening is she is letting her hair down. He says, “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mt. Gilead.” You have to be cautious how you use this stuff at home.
“Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone.” He’s saying, “My girl has white teeth and she has every one of them!” “Your teeth are like a sheep that’s just been washed.” They are white. And look…they are all aligned and not one is missing! In the ancient world they didn’t have dentists to go to to get the perfect smile. This was a big deal.
Then in chapter 4:3 he describes her lips. He says, “Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon, your mouth is lovely.” He goes on to describe her temple coming down her cheek and her neck. He describes some other parts of her body in very intimate ways.
So he responds to sight. She responds to sound. His primary wiring is motivated by his eyes. Hers more by the ear, the emotional, the mental and all of that. Chapter 4:7, “How beautiful you are my darling. There is no flaw in you.” Do you know what I love about this whole description of her? He never really tells us what she looks like. We don’t know what her actual appearance looks like because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t matter to him. She is his one and only.
Solomon, in the Song of Songs, has described how beautiful his wife is and then he issues an invitation to her. He invites her to be intimate with him. It says this in Chapter 4:8, “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, come with me from Lebanon. Descend from the crest of Amana, from the top of Senir, the summit of Hermon, from the lions’ dens and the mountain haunts of the leopards.” Basically, it’s imagery. The idea is he is inviting her to be with him. It talks about mountains and lions’ dens. It was a place of danger. He is saying, its ok, I won’t harm you, you will be safe.
Chapter 4:9 he says, “You have stolen my heart my sister, my bride!” By the way, that’s not his actual sister. This is not an incestuous relationship. It’s a term of affection. “You have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!” He opens up about how he feels and he’s meeting her emotional needs. She’s going to ultimately respond to that.
Chapter 4:16 this is the center of the Song of Songs. It’s the pinnacle. A hundred and eleven lines in Hebrew before this verse and a hundred and eleven lines after. Here is what she says in the first time we’ll hear from her this weekend. She says, “Awake north wind and come, south wind! Blow on my garden that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Don’t think we need a lot of commentary there, do we? You pretty much get it, don’t you? The idea is the climax of the Song of Solomon is when the bedroom door shuts and this couple is intimate together.
He Responds to the Opportunity for sex and what He Sees
As we see Solomon begin to talk about his bride as she lets her hair down. They are preparing for an intimate time together. Remember men have physical needs. It goes beyond just wants, it’s needs. In a dating relationship, sexual purity is important and is God’s way. Once you are married the whole dynamic of a relationship changes.
Think of it like this: Let’s say that the husband needs a drink of water. A glass of water represents sexual fulfillment for him. The husband comes in at night and says, “Hey honey How about we spend some time together?” She says, “Not tonight. I’m not in the mood. I have a lot of stuff going on.” He says, “Alright. It’s okay.” But several days go by and he comes back. “Hey honey, how about you and I tonight?” She says, “I have a headache. Not going to happen tonight.” A couple days go by and he’s dying of thirst at this point. “Honey, can I PLEASE have a drink of water? My body needs the water. You are the only one that has the water!” She turns to him and says, “You are not getting any water with that kind of attitude.” He comes back a few days later and says, “Please, can I please have a drink? Can I please have a drink?” She says, “OK! you can have a drink – here drink it!”
Now he’s drinking the water but the whole time he’s thinking, “Man, I’m going to get thirsty again. What am I going to have to go through then?” It’s a need in his life. The question is, are you going to be the one that fulfills that need in his life? Or will he turn to pornography or any number of other things? Who’s going to meet the need? A wife will say, “I want to be the only one that you look at. You should only have eyes only for me.” Then she continually rejects him when he makes advances to her. Do you not see how that can cause problems?
Here is what rejection does for a guy. On the surface, Ladies you may think, “It’s no big deal. I’m just not in the mood. Maybe next time.” But that’s a primary way most guys receive love. He takes that as rejection. “She doesn’t love me.”
Ladies, just imagine what it would be like if he didn’t talk to you for three days or three weeks? Ladies, who are married please, take initiative. Approach him sexually, it will go light years in your relationship. You might have to get the defibrillator out and bring him back to life!
Women can use sex in a relationship to manipulate. Truthfully, this is an area where we need to serve one another. In the New Testament, it says, “Do not deprive each other sexually or Satan will tempt you”( 1 Cor. 7:5) We need to reach out and meet their needs. We need to surrender some of our own perspectives when it comes to this. Meet his physical needs.
Men love every opportunity to have sex with their wives.
Also in Sex, he responds to What He Sees.
He reminds us that he is wired visually. I think the point of this particular section of scripture is this: For all of us to remember in a relationship to take care of our appearance.
When we are dating, she’s taking care of herself, taking care of her body, cares about what she wears. She looks awesome. She does her make up, she gets her hair just right, and she cares and wants to be attractive for him. Then we get married, the focus might change to the kids or something else.
Men don’t expect a supermodel; do the best with what you’ve got. Take care of yourself. That applies to guys just as well. One thing I’ve seen in ministry, in working with different couples and people, is too often a couple will go through a relational crisis and their marriage will break. I will see him and I will see her six months later. Now they are dating other people. They look like different human beings. She’s lost twenty pounds. She’s hitting the gym and looking good. “Why wait until the relationship broke down to take care of yourself?”
What if the relationship I’m in now if I took care of myself?” Take care of yourself.
Ok, let’s look at what she responds to. Niki helped me write this part for the ladies….
- She Responds to Affirmation of Her Physical Attributes and to Being Treated Like a Princess.
Guys we have to take care with our words. Men, the ladies in your life will be shaped, by the words that we speak to them. It’s not just our wives, it’s our daughters as well. We better be really cautious to pour into them what they need to hear.
I want to pour into Niki’s life. I don’t want my wife to get more acceptance from a female friend or a male friend or from anyone else other than me. I don’t want my wife to feel more accepted, more loved or more valued from anyone else other than me. Guys, it’s a huge deal. Solomon compliments her, he talks to her and tells her how beautiful she is.
An article in Newsweek was called, “The New Infidelity.” It said, “To office affairs, to internet hookups, easier to cheat than ever.” You know what? Have an affair with your spouse! If you are going to have an affair and go through all that work, cover it up, hide the romance on the side, live two lives, be a paranoid schizophrenic. If you were going to do all that for someone else, what would happen if you took all that effort and energy and poured that into your relationship with your wife. Have an affair with your spouse. The grass is greener where you water it.
You’ve heard the old analogy that men are like microwaves and women are like crock-pots. Men fire up quick. You plug a crock-pot in and it takes a long time. Meet her emotional needs. The way he responds to her is that he doesn’t stop wooing, he doesn’t quit complimenting, when you think he’s done, he says even more. He opens up about the relationship. Put the ingredients in the crock pot.
Women need us to meet their emotional needs. Let’s take our water illustration. First it served for the sexual need in a guy. Now it serves for the emotional need for the woman. He’s in a unique position to meet her emotional needs. She comes to him and says, “Honey, I’m really thirsty, can we talk? Can I please have a drink of that water? He grunts or ignores his wife. She says, “I’m really thirsty. Can I please have a drink of the water now? It’s been awhile.” He says, “Mmmm-Hmmm…whatever. She says, “No, look! I’m talking to you. I’m dying here. Guys, we ignore the emotional needs of women. It’s a huge need in their life. She will get that need met. Are you going to meet that need or is somebody else?
We meet their emotional needs. Talk with them. Open up about your feelings then they respond mutually.
This whole area of sex that God wired up to unite us, too often divides us and tears us apart. We get on a “spin cycle.” He won’t meet her emotional needs because she won’t meet his physical needs. She won’t meet his physical needs because he won’t meet her emotional needs. Round and round and round it goes. You’ve got to come together mutually.
Here is what that means. Each of us in the relationship has to surrender and begin to say, “How can I meet my partners needs?” When you do amazing things will begin to happen.
In our text, they respond mutually. God responds too…
- God Responds with Approval and Encouragement.
Chapter 5:1, this is awesome, “Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.” Now commentators have argued over who this is speaking here. It can’t be the refrain of the friends in the love song. They weren’t in the bedroom with them. In fact, no one was in the bedroom with them except God himself. A lot of commentators say this is like a divine stamp of approval. It’s a divine refrain in the Song of Songs after they’ve had this intimate moment. Right after the pentacle of the Song, the middle verse comes this phrase: “Eat and drink; drink your fill, O lovers.” It would be just like God to do that because God invented this whole area. It was His idea. He wants couples to enjoy it within the proper framework and to have fun with one another. When we begin to meet one another’s needs, God can do amazing things.
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