An Introduction To The Song of Songs
The Song of songs is a Bible book that is as inspired as Daniel and Revelation. Its messages are as relevant as any Bible teaching, particularly as we draw towards the end of time. The book focuses on the nature of God given human love, as played out by a man and a woman in the book. Friends of the couple also feature in the poetic exchange. The book has an outline that (according to Introduction notes of the book in NIV Bible, International Bible Society – Africa, Christian Art Publishers, South Africa, 1999) has what seems to be courtship, marriage, expression of love, conflict and its solution, more expression of love and then the end.
The book has proved difficult for those whose extremist views of purity and holiness include inability to fall in love, and dry boring approach to love with opposite gender. Many extremists who feel holier than others, find falling in love to be akin to sinning and backsliding, they find appreciation of the beauty and handsomeness of the opposite gender to be bordering blasphemy. Therefore in oder to accommodate this book of the Bible whose reading drives them nuts, they come up with a theory that, it is an analogy of the love of Christ and the church. The analogy theory works well until, you have to interpret individual verses where the lovers are describing each other in detail, then you get stuck on where Christ and the Church fit in, in those descriptions. God created human love and admiration for each other. God therefore offers guidance on how this human love ought to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Guidelines begin with love that has sexual admiration, apart from being reserved for marriage, it is also for members of the opposite gender. The two lovers we meet in this book are a man and a woman. Love between same gender is unbiblical and unnatural and it is a spiritual problem, that needs a spiritual solution.
Next we find the lovers proud of themselves openly (Song of songs 5:8). Love that is hidden has issues. True love is proud of the object of their love. We find the lovers praising their beloved before others. If you are in love and it is secret, you are in trouble, there is a problem, you are not following biblical guidelines. Love that comes out openly is committed love. Public display of affection is not a synonym of love and can be offensive and insensitive. Expressing love for your beloved can be done without publicly displaying affection that is reserved for privacy. We need to be in open, unhidden love relationships. That is the second guideline in this book of the Bible.
Another guideline is that lovers have a strong admiration for each other (Song of songs 4:1-5). Physical admiration. They describe each other in detail that can be disturbing to those who find love for opposite gender being unchristian. Marry someone of the opposite gender and whom you also admire physically. What God placed physically to be seen, needs to be admired and appreciated. God hid livers, kidneys, brain, etc. But the same God put out beautiful faces, figures, bulging muscles, eyes, skin colours, etc. These are to be admired and appreciated within the context of love that leads to or is in marriage. Be happy the way the Creator of variety created you, don’t try to be someone else. Maintain your skin colour, body size, etc. Too much chemical and other adjustments to what God gave you is unchristian and contradicting the Creator. Be grateful for what God gave you. We can improve ourselves and maintain ourselves, but seeking to make complete changes is not right. Extreme use of jewellery and changes of our outward look is not right. Be proud of who you are, and true love will admire who you are.
Another guideline is that the beloved and lover, or the two love birds, have friends (Song of songs 1:4,8; 5:1,9; 6:1,10,13; 8:5,8-9). Being in love does not throw out friends. In fact, we should be cautious of falling in love with lone rangers. Be careful about people who have no known friends. People who keep to themselves without friends completely can be dangerous to relate with. They could be having mental illness, which needs medical attention and not a love affair. They non-friendly could be criminals in hiding, or they could be hiding dangerous behaviours and attitudes. Some of the lone rangers are difficult to part with, when it is necessary to end the relationship. When you attempt to part with a non-friendly person, they can kill you and themselves. Having friends is key indicator that you are tolerant of people including me. Be cautious of falling in love with persons who are not friendly.
Another guideline is that conflict needs resolution, for it does happen even where love is true (Song of songs 5:2-6:13). The two lovers in the book seem to experience conflict and one leaves and the other goes to search after. disagreement is normal in a sinful world. What is abnormal is refusing to find a solution. When conflict occurs, one of you must be sensible enough to seek out the other. Love depends on one being sane enough to forgive and pursue the other one. The one being forgiven and pursued must also be sane enough to respond and therefore cause a resolution.
May God grant it that we will enjoy the human love He put in our hearts, and that in it, we will find fulfilment, joy and happiness, in Jesus name. Amen! (C)firstname.lastname@example.org (do not delete any part of this post, including this. You are free to share these posts, but don’t edit the authorship or content…thank you and be blessed!)