Yesterday at Sojourn Community Church, Pastor Daniel Montgomery continued the series through the Old Testament with a sermon on Song of Solomon. His approach and the structure of the sermon provided a means to understand and apply the teaching of this book of the Bible.
Sex is not a human invention. It is God’s design and gift. Therefore it is good, as the Song of Solomon attests. Like all of God’s good gifts, sex can be sinfully abused. We are built to be lovers. We can choose to be submissive or selfish lovers. Submissive lovers experience the joy of God’s design. Selfish lovers experience broken hearts.
The structural theme is built around the imagery of caring for a garden or vineyard.
1. Build the Wall
The ultimate goal is to enjoy the fruit of one’s garden or vineyard. Prior to this is the necessary preparation. We are taught to build a wall around the field which will be our garden. For single people this means to not awaken nor arouse love before its time.
Sex is not for boys and girls. It is for married men and women. The prescribed pattern is for a godly man to purse a godly woman in a godly manner to a godly end. Sex is sacred and it is serious.
For those who are married but did not build the proper wall, a rebuilding process is necessary. Each garden should have a strong wall protecting from outside forces.
Submissive Lovers – Recognize that God gave sexual desires and therefore has the best design for them. They find joy in this fact.
Selfish Lovers – Ignore God’s design and only pursue what pleases them in the moment.
2. Cultivate the Garden
We cultivate our gardens with our speech. A strong connection exists between how we speak to our spouses and our sexual relations with our spouses. Husbands should speak lovingly and avoid harsh language. The words and the tone should demonstrate spiritual leadership. The wife’s words should demonstrate respect for her husband.
Submissive Lovers – Express admiration through encouraging words and actions.
Selfish Lovers – Tear down their mates with critical looks, words and actions.
3. Enjoy the Fruit
This is the sex part. Solomon writes that we are to be drunk with love. Enjoy loving intimacy with your spouse. Be a lover that gives to your partner rather than seeking to get what you want. In a joyous relationship, sex is neither demanded nor withheld.
Submissive Lovers – Seek to make sexual love a place of refreshment for their mate.
Selfish Lovers – View their sexual relationship as a place for simply satisfying their own desire.
When two people are giving and seeking the pleasure of the other, sex will be much more enjoyable than when two people take and seek to satisfy themselves.
4. Catch the Little Foxes
The enemies of the cultivated garden are the little foxes. They burrow into the roots. This action will eventually rob the gardener of the fruit.
What are the little foxes that run and burrow in your garden? They could be pornography, lustful thoughts, harsh words, stress, misuse of time or something else.
My wife, Suzie, and I made a list of the little foxes that either do run around or potentially could run around our garden. We are determined to catch them and be fox-free.
This part will require vigilant work. The covenant relationship between husband and wife is a weighty matter. Word hard at it…and enjoy it.