Song of Solomon - Romantic Love

Background/Theme

The main theme of the Song of Solomon is love. The word love in its various forms appear about 60 times in this book. The book describes the love between Solomon and the Shulammite girl.


For the unmarried

The importance of chastity

(Song of Songs 4:12 NIV) You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.

In comparing his bride to a private garden, Solomon was praising her virginity. Virginity, considered old fashion by today's standards, has always been God's plan for unmarried people. Are you even ashamed to be a virgin in today's world? Don't forget what the Bible teaches.

(1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NIV) It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; {4} that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, {5} not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;

Josh McDowell has highlighted in his book Why wait the following reasons for keeping our chastity before marriage.

Physical reasons - sexual diseases, aids, unwanted pregnancy
Emotional reasons - guilt, hardship of breaking up
Communication breakdown - sex becomes dominant and choke out other forms of communication


Do not hurry love

(Song of Songs 2:7 NIV) Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Feelings of love can create intimacy that overpower reason. Young people are often in a hurry to develop an intimate relationship based on their strong feelings. But feelings aren't enough to support a lasting relationship. This verse encourages us not to force romance lest the feelings of love grow faster than the commitment needed to make love last. Patiently wait for feelings of love and commitment to develop together.


For everyone in a love relationship

Think highly of your partner

(Song of Songs 2:2 NIV) Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.

(Song of Songs 5:10-16 NIV) My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. {11} His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. {12} His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. {13} His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. {14} His arms are rods of gold set with chrysolite. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. {15} His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. {16} His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

When we first fall in love we think the world of our partner. Sometimes to the extent that we cannot find a single flaw in the person. As the relationship progresses, the up-in-the-cloud feeling fades away and we begin to see more and more flaws. Later, we may fall into the other extreme and see only flaws in our partner without realizing that he/she also has good points. But the fact of the matter is that everyone has both good and bad points and we selectively focus on either good or bad depending on our choice. But being able to see the good points of our partner is of extreme importance. It is easier to be nice to our partner if we are convinced that he/she has good points.

Let's take a moment to list out all the good points you see in your partner.

Don't just think highly of your partner and keep it to yourself. Tell your partner. Learn the power of praise.

(Song of Songs 4:1-7 NIV) 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. {2} 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. {3} Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; your mouth is lovely. Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate. {4} Your neck is like the tower of David, built with elegance ; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors. {5} Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. {6} Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. {7} All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

Reading these verses always makes me want to laugh. Don't ever tell your wife that her teeth are like sheep and her neck like a tower. Yet these verses teach so beautifully the importance of praise. Most men today would be too shy to say even a short line of praise to their partner. Yet Solomon could came up with a whole paragraph! Are you praising your partner enough?

Think of some things you can praise your partner for?
Ask God to make you sensitive to the good points of your partner so that you can find reasons to praise him/her.
Ask God to give you the courage to overcome the embarrassment of praising someone when you are not accustomed to do so.

Don't bore your partner

1. Be a refreshing spring

(Song of Songs 4:15 NIV) You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.

Do you refresh your spouse or are you a burden of complaints, sorrows and problems? Wives sometimes complain that their husbands don't talk to them any more and would rather read the papers or watch TV. Husbands, on the other hand, complain that when they get home after a stressful day at work, their wives bombard them with complaints and problems. Although I use wives and husbands in this example, the situation may be a reversed one with the husband pouring forth all his problems to his wife.

Partners in marriage should continually work at refreshing each other especially since we now live in a time and age that is so stressful.

Think of ways we can refresh our partner. (Eg an encouraging word, an unexpected gift, a surprise call)

Discussion : Does that mean that we should not share problems with our partner?

Suggested answer : There is nothing wrong with sharing problems with our partner. In fact, no relationship will survive if there is no communication at the deepest level. But there is a time for everything. Make sure that your partner is relaxed and relieved of stress before you bombard him/her with problems.

2. Do things together

(Song of Songs 7:11-12 NIV) Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. {12} Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom-- there I will give you my love.

Many relationships drift into a dull after a few months. When the relationship started, there are so many things to do together - movies, picnics, sports. After a while you would rather just stay at home to watch TV. And couples wonder why the original spark is gone. Of course its gone! How much spark does one start up watching TV and reading the papers at home. It is important to do exciting things together.

Think of some things that you used to do during courtship days but are no longer doing it for some reason. Write them down. What are the things you could resume to put some spark back into your relationship?

If you still cannot come up with enough ideas to do things together with your partner, read on.

(Song of Songs 5:16 NIV) His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Solomon's lover called him her friend. Friendship is exciting and can often last longer than a love relationship. Many people who can't last more than a few years in their marriage have friends that have been with them for decades.

That is also why the initial part of a relationship is so fun. We all love the days we spend with our boyfriend or girlfriend. Friends do so many things together. Lovers think that the only thing they can do together is make love.

There are some people who keep their partner at home but do all the fun things with their friends. That should not be.

Think of some things you enjoy doing with your other friends.

Can you think of doing them with your partner.

Act as if you belong to each other

(Song of Songs 6:3 NIV) I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies.

When you belong to each other, you allow your resources to be used by the other party.

What do you have that you can share with your spouse?

Eg time, money, thoughts

When you share your time, you leave aside ample quality time for each other. Do not spend all your time at work and the remainder of your waking hours in front of the TV or reading papers.

When you share your money, you do not withhold selfishly when your partner is in need. Even the early church believers practice that. How much more couples in a love relationship should.

(Acts 2:44-45 NIV) All the believers were together and had everything in common. {45} Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

When you share your thoughts, you do not keep things to yourself but realize the value of communication.

When you are married, you need also to share your body with your spouse. When you share your body, you use it to please your partner. You don't withhold sex unless it is pre-agreed and for a limited time only (say when you are fasting).

(1 Corinthians 7:5 NIV) Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Sexual attraction is important

(Song of Songs 7:1-4 NIV) How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince's daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of a craftsman's hands. {2} Your navel is a rounded goblet that never lacks blended wine. Your waist is a mound of wheat encircled by lilies. {3} Your breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. {4} Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon by the gate of Bath Rabbim. Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.

(Song of Songs 7:10 NIV) I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.

Solomon praises his lover for her physical attractiveness. Solomon's lover is proud that she is sexually desirable to Solomon.

Don't think that love should go beyond skin deep and focus only on such things as character. It is true that love should go beyond skin deep but don't bypass the skin! It is important to be sexually desirable to your spouse. Many marriages break up because one partner loses sexual interest in his/her partner and goes out to find an extra-marital affair. One sure way to prevent that is to keep yourself sexually appealing.

Look at the mirror. Do we find ourselves sexually appealing? What can we do about it?