The whole point of the Song of Solomon is to show us that God’s way for love and relationships is WAY better than the world’s way.
It’s better than what you see on TV. And even it’s even better than the most epic chick flick.
There are three characters in the Song of Solomon:
- Lover: Solomon
- Beloved: Young Woman to become Solomon’s wife
- Friends: The lady friends of the Young Woman
It starts off when they are dating and moves through the marriage ceremony, honeymoon, and even the struggles that every married couple faces after the honeymoon phase is over.
Song of Solomon 1:1-2 NLT – This is Solomon’s song of songs, more wonderful than any other. Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine.
Solomon loved better than anyone else. And we are not just talking about romantic love, but he was even known for how he loved those around him.
Song of Solomon 1:3 NLT – How pleasing is your fragrance; your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils. No wonder all the young women love you!
You see, when Solomon walked in the room, it was like a sweet fragrance. He didn’t have to say anything. Everyone was just glad he was there.
In other words, he had an epic reputation and everyone wanted to be around him.
Song of Solomon 1:4 NLT – Take me with you; come, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedroom. How happy we are for you, O king. We praise your love even more than wine. How right they are to adore you.
This relationship was so good that their friends would just stand in awe, wishing they had a relationship like that. But the young woman probably just smiled and said, “He’s all mine.”
Song of Solomon 1:5 NLT – I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem— dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.
Today, we admire skin that is nice and tan. But back then, this was not something that was viewed as attractive.
So, the Young Woman is basically saying, “I know, I am not much to look at, but I’m beautiful in another way.”
In other words, she was communicating to her friends that her and Solomon’s love was based on more than just physical attraction.
Song of Solomon 1:6 NLT – Don’t stare at me because I am dark— the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.
Here, the Young Woman is saying, “Don’t stare at the wrong things. Don’t fix your attention on physical attraction. Instead, focus on the right things.”
Song of Solomon 1:7 NLT – Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today? Where will you rest your sheep at noon? For why should I wander like a prostitute among your friends and their flocks?
This girl wasn’t on the sidelines flaunting her body, trying to pick up some man after he was done working. No. She had a real relationship with Solomon.
She wasn’t like the other women. She was a woman of honor.
She may not have been the best looking on the outside, but Solomon knew she stood out from the crowd. And in his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman around.
The Art of Attraction
There are three different ways we are attracted to others. Our culture puts the primary focus on physical attraction.
You got to be on fleek to pick up the man you want. Get your makeup right, wear revealing clothes and spend a few hours on that hair.
And for you men, you better hit the gym and muscle up.
But, here we are, barely into the Song of Solomon, and we’ve already debunked this myth that physical attraction is where it’s at. The greatest of all love stories included a woman who was not much to look at.
So, if not physical attraction, why were they attracted to each other?
Solomon and his gal had something much better they physical attraction. They had spiritual attraction.
One of the most attractive things in any relationship you’re in is how much you love God and have a desire to live according to His purpose.
Men. If you want to light your lady on fire, pursue God’s purpose for your life. Actually, that’s how I got Beth. She didn’t really care much for me until she saw me leading worship for my youth group.
Now, I am not saying that you have to become a worship leader or a pastor. But, here are three ways we can all become more spiritually attractive.
Love and worship God.
Now, this can be a struggle for men. Actually, for some of you out there, the music part of our service every week is your least favorite part. If our band wasn’t so awesome, you might just show up late and skip it altogether.
But know this. Expressive worship will actually woo your spouse. And not only that, but those around you who see you worship God freely will actually respect you more.
You see, our mind likes to tell us that if we sing out or raise our hands, the other men around us will think we’re a wuss. We’ll lose our man card and there will be no coming back.
Funny thing is, the other men are actually thinking, “Man, I can’t believe he is confident enough to do that. I hope I can be that bold one day.”
And your wife, she’s thinking “Oo la la. I can’t wait to get his man home and put the kids down for a nap.”
Alright, the second way to become more spiritually attractive:
Pursue my God-given purpose.
When you press into God’s purpose for your life, which is much more than showing up on Sunday, the world around you takes notice.
Not only will your spouse love it, but you will find that you have an abundance of meaningful relationships and favor with those around you.
So, don’t just show up on Sunday. Invite Jesus into your daily life.
And when you are here on Sunday, find a place to serve and get involved. Don’t just come here to get something, come to give something.
And when you do this, when you pursue your God-given purpose, your life becomes more than you could have ever dreamed it could be.
The third way to become more spiritually attractive:
Have Godly standards.
You’ve probably noticed that our culture gravitates towards loose standards. It’s pretty much okay to just do anything you want, because, what does it matter.
Those who live with loose standards are supposed to be enjoying their life more. But, I’ve noticed that those who are following this path don’t seem to be enjoying life at all.
They’re upset all the time. They have no peace. They never have enough money or possessions. Their relationships are unraveling at the seams.
But hey, at least they are having fun doing what they want, when they want.
When you have loose standards, you lose your spiritual attraction.
You can’t really put your thumb on it, but all of a sudden, those who mean the most to you don’t want to be around you anymore. The only thing gravitating towards you are other people with loose standards.
So, for those of you looking for a spouse, you need to look for someone who has Godly standards and sets boundaries.
In other words, this is how far we are going while we are dating, and everything else is reserved for marriage.
And if you like my boundaries, then you might just get to put a ring on it.
All of us need to remember that spiritual attraction is the first and most important in every relationship of our life, especially marriage.
Because you are a spirit being. And you will always be a spirit being.
Now, let’s move on to the next type of attraction.
Song of Solomon 1:9-11 NLT – You are as exciting, my darling, as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions. How lovely are your cheeks; your earrings set them afire! How lovely is your neck, enhanced by a string of jewels. We will make for you earrings of gold and beads of silver.
Now, men, I don’t recommend calling your wife a horse. It may have worked thousands of years ago, but it is not going to work today.
But, what is really being said here is beautiful. You see, Pharaoh had the strongest, most beautiful horses. They were thoroughbreds and considered the greatest of all possessions. In other words, they were priceless.
So, Solomon is not saying that she looks like a horse. He is saying that she is priceless, the best of the best. She is the most sought after of all women.
Song of Solomon 1:12-14 NLT – The king is lying on his couch, enchanted by the fragrance of my perfume. My lover is like a sachet of myrrh lying between my breasts. He is like a bouquet of sweet henna blossoms from the vineyards of En-gedi.
Now, I don’t know what a sachet of myrrh is, but I am sure Solomon was glad he was one.
But, basically what Solomon and the Young Woman are revealing in the last two passages is that they were emotionally attracted to each other.
Now, we all need to work on nurturing emotional attraction, although much more challenging for men than women. But, if we work on the emotional side of our relationship, great things are going to happen.
So, here are three ways to nurture emotional attraction:
“I hit the jackpot when I married you, babe! I don’t know how I got the best woman in the world, but I did. You’re like one of Pharaoh’s horses!”
Now, some of you ladies are thinking, “But, he’s not the best. There are way better guys out there!”
But remember our ground rule – this message is for you to hear the things that need to change in you, not the things that need to change in your spouse.
So, let me challenge you in this. If you don’t like what you are seeing, then take a look at what you are saying. Because your spouse will become what you speak.
So, instead of sitting there thinking about how he needs to change, why don’t you lead the charge by thinking about and saying the things about him that you want to see?
Which leads us into the second way to nurture emotional attraction:
Speak life to them.
Have you ever been consumed with what your spouse is not?
Like, maybe they are not a very clean person. Or, they don’t give you enough physical affection. Or, they don’t help with the kids the way you’d like.
Several years ago, I won’t tell you how many, Beth and I graduated high school and got married two months later.
Our dating relationship was a dream. There wasn’t anything about her that I didn’t like. There wasn’t anything about me that she didn’t like, or at least I assume that was the case.
We would follow each other around at school. We would eat lunch together. She would send me off to work after school and I would call her on my way home from work and we would talk for hours.
Then, we got married and moved in together. All of a sudden, all these new things started to come out of the woodworks.
She left her clothes on the floor. She thought she had to tell me how to cook. She was never ready in time when we needed to go somewhere.
And me? I was in a bad mood all the time. I was selfish and not willing to compromise and do things Beth’s way instead of my way.
We spent months trying to change each other. We were focused on fixing the things we didn’t like about the other person. Until one day, we were both introduced to the most profound thought:
We get married because we love the other person. And then we spend our entire marriage trying to change them into someone else.
We’ve all been there, but we don’t have to stay there. I challenge you and myself today to always focus on who they are, not what they’re not.
Forget about all the things you want to change about them and accept and celebrate who they are.
Does this mean they are always perfect? No.
But make a choice to speak only positive over them. Throw the negative thoughts in the trash, and see them as who they are going to become as they grow in their relationship with Jesus.
This brings us to the third way to nurture emotional attraction:
Think good thoughts about them.
Take captive the negative thinking and turn it around to positive thinking. Even if they haven’t given you a reason to think they are awesome, do it anyways.
Even if the last positive memory you have of them was years ago, pull it out and think on that. And set your imagination towards what they are going to become.
Envision them the same way Jesus sees them.
He sees us through eyes of love. He forgives our every mistake. He believes in who we can become and He is extremely patient as we make the journey towards that.
So think about your spouse the same way. And treat them that way. And speak to them that way.
Before we move on to the next type of attraction, let me give you a few insider tips. Women, they like to be admired for who they are. Men like to be admired for what they do.
So, all you ladies out there, there is really no need to point out how handsome your husband is or how loving he is. Instead, ask him about his accomplishments at work.
Express your gratitude for how he works so hard to support your family.
And, when he is done mowing the lawn, take notice. Let him know how good it looks. Go out and admire the garage when he is done cleaning it out.
And men, quit getting hung up on what you wife does or doesn’t do. Maybe they didn’t cook the best dinner, but don’t say anything. Just keep smiling and point out how thankful you are that she is such an amazing wife.
Let her know how much you enjoy being around her.
Take some time to listen to her, like really listen, not just pretend you are listening. And then pull out the most profound response: “And then what happened?”
Because here’s the deal, if you don’t do these things, someone else will.
Adultery happens not because of physical attraction, but because emotional attraction didn’t get nurtured. There was a vacuum in the home, an emotional need not being met, and someone else met the need.
Alright, men, if I lost you in all of that emotional stuff, we are about to transition into the physical stuff. So, you might want to perk up.
Song of Solomon 1:15 NLT – How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves.
Now, I want you to notice that Solomon didn’t start by pointing out her boobs or her butt. He started with her eyes. Men, we probably all need to write that down.
Song of Solomon 1:16-17 NLT – You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words! The soft grass is our bed; fragrant cedar branches are the beams of our house, and pleasant smelling firs are the rafters.
Oh man, she’s talking about how inviting the bed is. It’s quite obvious that things are starting to get a little steamy.
They moved from spiritual attraction to emotional attraction, and now the physical is coming in to play.
But, what’s all this talk about beams and rafters?
Basically, what’s being said here is that physical intimacy is a beautiful thing. It’s like the most beautiful house you’ve ever seen.
Notice that they are not relating physical intimacy to a shack or a slum, even though many Christians believe that’s how God sees it.
But, no. God created physical intimacy and it is a very good thing.
But, it has to be built on a solid foundation. It has to be built with strong materials – with cedar beams and fir rafters. It has to start with spiritual attraction and then emotional attraction has to be nurtured.
And this is what sets the stage for physical attraction. We’re not going to dive into this one today, because in two weeks it is going to be the entire message.
But, Solomon and his gal did things so right, the God way, that the most profound thing happened with the Young Woman.
Song of Solomon 2:1 NLT – I am the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley.
Remember when the Young Woman was saying that she was not much to look at? Now, she is likening herself to a beautiful flower.
And this isn’t because she went for a botox treatment, but because she discovered her beauty from the inside out. And this happened because their relationship was built the right way.
It started with spiritual attraction and then they both invested in emotional attraction before ever venturing into physical attraction.
Song of Solomon 2:5-6 NLT – Strengthen me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples, for I am weak with love. His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me.
Now, you may be wondering how raisins have anything to do with physical attraction. But, back then, raisins were seen as something that enhanced the intimate experience. Kind of like lighting candles or having a glass of wine.
So men, the next time you want to have a romantic evening, try pulling out the raisins and seeing what happens.
We can see here that these two were HOT for each other and looking for ways to fan the flame.
Song of Solomon 2:7 NLT – Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
And, things start to cool off. The Young Woman is reminded that they need to cool their jets, because it is not quite time for physical intimacy.
They’re still in the dating relationship. And, although physical intimacy has its place and it’s REAL good, it is not yet time.
Bottom line, God created sex. He didn’t look down at Adam and Eve in the bushes and say, “Oh I god. What are those two doing?”
He created the beauty, the passion, the enjoyment, and everything that is good about it. But, if you let it get out of its place and time, it will be the most destructive thing in your life.
That’s why in two weeks we are going to spend time talking about how to keep sex in the right place so that you can enjoy all of its benefits.
After all of this, you may be thinking, “Yeah, but you don’t know my husband. You don’t know my wife.” or “You don’t know my past. I’ve already messed it all up.”
“Kade, you’re painting an ideal that is not even possible. It doesn’t even work that way!”
But, I want to challenge you to remove all those negative thoughts. And look at this from the perspective of the love God has for you.
When I came to God, I was immoral, unfaithful and a mess. Yet, He loved me and accepted me as his own son.
There was nothing about me that was attractive, but He kept His eyes focused on who I would become in Christ and never held my past against me.
God had every right to say, “I don’t really want that relationship. Kade has too many things to work on, and I just don’t know if he is going to become who I need him to be.”
But instead, He decided to love me. He decided to be patient with me.
And He walked alongside me as I made progress and even picked me up when I slipped back into old habits.
We often think we need to point out mistakes, and confront the things we don’t like about someone else in order for them to change.
So, we think this is how God deals with us. But it’s not. Yes, he wants the destructive things out of our life. But He loves us and gives us the power we need to overcome, rather than continually pointing out where we fall short.
And understanding this great love is the only way we can really love others around us, even the ones that are hardest to love.
So, if all this sounds impossible, it is, without God. But, when we let God guide our relationships instead of looking to the world, everything starts to fall in place. Take a look at this quote:
You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing the imperfect person perfectly.
That’s how Jesus fell in love with you. And this is also how to have the best marriage that ever existed.
Before you move on to whatever is next, I want to ask you two questions.
Do you find yourself in a position today where you know about God, but you don’t really know God?
In other words, there is something drawing you to a relationship with Him, but you don’t yet have that relationship.
If that’s you, if you are ready to move into a real relationship with God, acknowledging that you need God is the first step.
Take a moment to just speak out loud and say, “I need you God. I want a relationship with you. I don’t want to do this on my own anymore. Thank you Jesus for what you did for me. I acknowledge you as the one who saved me from my destructive life. I now live in you.”
The second question I want to ask is:
Do you find yourself in a position today where your marriage is falling apart?
Or, maybe you want to be married, but you can’t seem to figure out what needs to happen next?
I’m not going to ask you to raise your hand, but I am going to encourage you to take all that weight you are carrying around and give it to God. And I challenge you to make a decision today to let Him handle it.
Today marks the end of you trying to fix your marriage on your own. No longer are you going to let yourself get consumed with everything you don’t like about your spouse. Instead, you are going to love them like Jesus.
And those of you looking for a spouse, today marks the end of you trying to find them on your own. Instead, you are going to trust God to bring the right person at the right time.
Because I can promise you, He wants to do that for you.