What Does the Song of Solomon Teach us about Relationships and Sex? – Part 3

Another thing our culture will tell you is that sex outside of marriage is fine, if not necessary. You wouldn’t commit to buying a car before test driving it, the idea goes, so why would you commit to someone in marriage before having sex. But the biblical idea is much different.

(3) While the world tells you to try it before you buy it, the Bible tells you to wait.

That means that sex should take place within the bounds of the marriage covenant. In the Song of Solomon waiting isn’t seen as a negative, but a positive. Just before they consummate the marriage, the groom says starting in verse 9 of chapter 4,

“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed. Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices— a garden fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon.” (So 4:9–15)

Reading this, the first thing you’ll notice is that he’s definitely using different language than we would use, but what he’s getting across is his love for her and how much he values her purity. He compares her virginity to a locked garden, a sealed fountain, after which he lists a number of unique and valuable items that are set apart from everyday use in order to communicate her value. So apart from the world’s concern, we see that the groom was satisfied with his soon to be wife, even praising her for her virginity.

He was satisfied with her and will continue to be satisfied with her because he actually built a relationship with her. It wasn’t all about the physical act of sex. That wasn’t what drove their relationship. Instead, their relationship was driven by a desire for one another that transcended sex.

Their relationship, then, not only teaches us that we should reserve sex for marriage, but it also teaches us that we must build our relationship on something other than sex.

Question for Reflection

  1. How are you working to build a relationship that’s not centered on sex?

Resources

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Post developed from my sermon What does the Song of Solomon Teach us about Relationships and Sex?

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Fathers, Direct Your Kids Toward that Which Matters – Part 4

Solomon, one of the wisest kings ever to live, at the end of his life wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. He wrote not only to his children but to his kingdom and us as well. The book itself consists of Solomon’s learned wisdom. Wisdom he seeks to pass down so that we won’t waste our life chasing after that which doesn’t matter. In doing so, he continues to be a vessel of living water to all who read it.

Fathers when you think about deliberately writing to your children. Whether it be in the margins of your Bible or in a short book like Solomon has written. When you think about it, what advice, what wisdom, what direction would you give your children?

That’s a big question, a deep question, one that requires a lot of thought. In order to help get the juices flowing, we’re going to look at some of the wisdom Solomon passes down. Wisdom that’s lost in our current cultural moment. The topics we are going to explore are pleasure, career, and money.

That’s our roadmap, so let’s dive in.

What can provide ultimate meaning, satisfaction, and purpose in life?

What should we chase after? And what should we encourage our kids to chase after? At the end of the book, Solomon says this in verse 13 of chapter 12,

“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ec 12:13)

Serving God and living as He commands is the only activity that’s going to provide ultimate meaning, satisfaction, and purpose in life. And that’s because God has created us for that purpose. When we live in the way God has designed for us to live, when we have a right relationship with Him, then and only then will we experience and gain that for which we long.

I know you all have heard the saying,

“You have a hole in your heart that only God can fill.”

And that’s true. Money, pleasure, career, and anything else we want to try and fill that hole up with won’t satisfy. It will always leave us empty and grasping for more. So we should heed Solomon’s counsel, his advice, his wisdom, and pursue God above anything else this world has to offer. God is the only One that will ultimately satisfy.

Conclusion

And that — a life dedicated to God — is what we must ultimately pass down to our children. So fathers let today be the day that motivates you to be the spiritual leader in your family, to point your children to the things of God instead of the things of this world. Not only will their life on earth be better for it, but they will experience true meaning, satisfaction, and purpose that will transcend this world and provide them with eternal life.

Quit chasing after the things of this world and start chasing after God!

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you understand that God is the only One who can provide you meaning and purpose?

Resources

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Post adapted from my sermon: Fathers, Direct Your Kids Toward that Which Matters

Fathers, Direct Your Kids Toward that Which Matters – Part 3

Solomon, one of the wisest kings ever to live, at the end of his life wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. He wrote not only to his children but to his kingdom and us as well. The book itself consists of Solomon’s learned wisdom. Wisdom he seeks to pass down so that we won’t waste our life chasing after that which doesn’t matter. In doing so, he continues to be a vessel of living water to all who read it.

Fathers when you think about deliberately writing to your children. Whether it be in the margins of your Bible or in a short book like Solomon has written. When you think about it, what advice, what wisdom, what direction would you give your children?

That’s a big question, a deep question, one that requires a lot of thought. In order to help get the juices flowing, we’re going to look at some of the wisdom Solomon passes down. Wisdom that’s lost in our current cultural moment. The topics we are going to explore are pleasure, career, and money.

That’s our roadmap, so let’s dive in.

(3)  Money can’t provide ultimate purpose, meaning, or fulfillment in life (vs. 5:10-17)

You guys have probably all heard the saying, “Money makes the world go round.”

But what does that mean? A quick google search turned up this definition of the phrase, a definition that reveals how our culture thinks of money.
One person says,

“The expression “money makes the world go round ” means that money is very important, it is the most important or one of the essential things in life, a lot of events could not happen without it, money solves lots of (or all) problems,…”[1]

But is that true? Is money the most essential thing in life? And can it solve all our problems or does it create more problems for us?

Solomon certainly has a different take on money than this writer. Starting in Ecclesiastes 5:10 he writes,

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them,” (Ec 5:10–11a)

You see, while money is important — it allows us to buy and sell, and to provide for our family — it is not everything. It doesn’t solve all problems. In fact, it can create more problems than it can solve. Case in point here with Solomon. He has observed that

Those who have money also have more people knocking on their door seeking help. 

But not only do those who have money constantly have people knocking on their door, they also:

Have to spend time, money and energy guarding their money,

which leads Solomon to say in the second half of verse 11 on into verse 12,

“…and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.” (Ec 5:11b-12)

Though they might not be hungry or cold, the rich might find that their sleep evades them, which is sweet and is to be prized over riches.

But that is not all the difficulties that money brings with it. Those who have money, Solomon tells us

May lose their money. 

What they have might disappear over night due to a bad venture or a disaster. Which results in the father not having anything to pass down to his children. And ultimately it results in loss, not just of money but of house, health, and friends. Solomon says in verse 17,

“Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.” (Ec 5:17)

The picture Solomon paints for us, then, is far from the idea that money solves all problems. We see that money can bring with it even greater problems, as well as the loss of it, can bring about loneliness, bitterness, and anger.

All that is not to say that having money is wrong. It’s not. But we have to recognize money’s place in our life. It is a tool that we use to buy and sell, but it’s not something that can provide ultimate meaning, satisfaction, or purpose in life.

So fathers, we must teach our children how to properly think about money. That’s what Solomon is trying to do, so that’s what we should try to do too.

So we see that pleasure, career, and money can’t provide ultimate meaning, satisfaction, and purpose in life, which means we mustn’t chase after them. So what then? What should we chase after? We will discuss that next time.

Question for Reflection

  1. Are you hoping money will provide you meaning and purpose?

Resources

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[1] https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-meaning-of-the-phrase-money-makes-the-world-go-round

Post adapted from my sermon: Fathers, Direct Your Kids Toward that Which Matters