Review Genesis 1-3 and sex as a god, as gross, or as a gift. The story of 20th century sexuality is the story of a society who has gradually been working out the implications and consequences of God no longer being in the picture of sexual integrity. After years of fighting for sexual freedom and expression, we have all the sex we want and what do we have to show for it. Look at the divorce rates; or other rates such as teen pregnancies, abortions, adultery, sexual abuse of all kinds, and STD’s. But what about the trail of pain and devastation following all this junk. Stats can’t measure that, but we can all attest to the reality of it.
The hurt that results from being psychologically manipulated or used in a sexual relationship is massive! It leaves scars that make the next relationship that much harder to sustain. And then hurt people hurt other people and the problem continues to compound. We have all the sex we want and more pain than anything else to show for it. God’s way still works with sex, marriage and relationships. That’s why we’re preaching this series and addressing these issues. We are far too easily satisfied as C.S. Lewis would say, we treasure and value sex more than the God of the universe!
Solomon wastes no time on bringing us in to the qualities of love that led he and Shulammite to the beauty of their wedding night that we unpacked last week.The very first phrase in Solomon’s song draws us in like the grand finale of a 4th of July firework show. And the shocking thing is Shulammite goes in as the aggressor, 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;
This is Shulammite daydreaming on the night of her wedding and reflecting about their days together and how much she wants him: “I want to make out with you Solomon…I desire to drink of your lips more than anything else!” says Shulammite. She’s thinking about this because he has loved her well throughout their courtship and engagement.
Love produces passion, and passion produces action. If you’re married…kiss, a lot!! If you’re not, feel free not to!! Marriages that kiss, are healthy marriages! Kiss a lot. Kiss often. Let your kids see you kiss each other. Make it a practice to “make out”! Don’t lose that. Don’t let that grow old. Brush your teeth. Floss. Use breath mints! Listerene! Kiss a lot! Do what it takes to make your spouse desire your mouth! Divorce proof the marriage
But I must say something to those who are not married: The tongue and the lips are 2 out 5 of the most sensitive areas of skin on the human body. Therefore, kissing while you’re dating is always a gateway to more!
Shulammite goes on: 3 your anointing oils are fragrant; Dudes, if you don’t smell good, you won’t be making out with your wife much. Be clean. Smell good. Be presentable to your wife. Dress the way your wife likes. Do your hair the way she likes. Wear the cologne she likes. Ask her. SHOW PICTURE OF US AT PROM / Husbands, one of the great questions you can ask your wives on the way home is this: “Is there anything in my grooming that I need to improve so that you would be attracted to me? Do you like my beard, should I shave it? Do you mind food in my teeth, or should I floss more?” Men, you want her to want you and grooming is a big part of it.
Grooming and fragrance is a big deal. When Amy and I first started hanging out, she would get real close to me and I was clueless as to what she was doing. She was attracted to the way I smelled, but she was also attracted to my spiritual fragrance.
What fragrance are you attracted to? Are you attracted to fragrances that are illegal or unhealthy? What’s on your radar of attraction? Are you easy? Will you go for anything, or do you have a picky nose? What fragrance are you putting off?
I would suggest to those who aren’t married to ask God to give you the nose for only those who have the fragrance of Christ. You know what that smells like once you get one whiff. And you know where to find it once you smell it just a little bit. It’s like pulling up to someone’s house for Bible study and you smell a really great BBQ going on. If you follow your nose, you will find it…it draws you to it. You tracking with me?
Paul says this about the fragrance of Christ: 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, (2 Cor. 2:14-15).
If you’re single and you are looking for someone and you don’t really care about what fragrance they are giving off, then you’d better think twice about your desire to link together with someone, and figure out what it is you want out of the next 30-40 years.
She goes on to say, “Your name is oil poured out. Therefore, virgins love you.” As far as dating, she proclaims admiration for everything about him and that he’s the most eligible bachelor. Also, in those days, a person’s name described the very essence of the person.
She loves his character and his integrity. Most of the problems in the bedroom; in the marriage, are not solved in the bedroom. They’re solved outside of the bedroom. If you’re a harsh husband, a lazy husband, a can’t-keep-a-job husband, a gambles-at-the-casino husband, a like work or hobbies more than my family husband; if you’re a selfish husband; if you’re a I-don’t-read-the-Bible-and-pray-with-the-kids husband, you need to understand that a godly woman is not just interested in how you look, how much you make, or how much other people think you’re a pretty neat guy!
She wants to be able to respect you. She wants to say, “That’s my husband. He’s a great guy. He loves Jesus. He loves me, loves the kids. He pays the bills. He reads the Bible. He’s great and I love him.” Most women who are struggling to be attracted to their husband, it’s somehow related to his character. It’s not about getting more techniques or looking better most of the time; it’s about character.
So here’s another question for you husbands to ask your wives on your way home: “Is there anything in my character that you find unattractive?” Don’t argue with her. Don’t fight with her. Let her speak freely. Let her help you. She’s a helper. Humbly receive it. Apologize, and change. Your wife will find humility and repentance attractive.
She goes on. She has more to say, as well. 4a “Draw me after you. Let us run. The King has brought me into his chambers.” She wants Solomon to draw her to himself. She’s asking for it because Solomon aroma of deep love and care for her. Guys, don’t use fear, force, or manipulate. Don’t be harsh or raise your voice or withhold something else until she gives herself to you. Make her want you with your character.
Solomon has been a godly man to her and now she is simply anticipating running away with him when they get married, and going into his inner room, the chamber that Solomon went to great lengths to build for her and make love to him.
Now her friends pipe in and show their acceptance of Solomon: 4b We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you.
It’s important to have good friends and family support the man you want and to bear witness of his worthiness to be yours. And dudes, just know, that these friends come with the woman you love. So when you date her, you essentially have to date her friends too, because if they are good friends and don’t approve, you gone bro!
Now Shulammite directs her speech to the daughters of Jerusalem (the court ladies and concubines of Solomon): 5 I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!
Romantic love brings out not only lovely thoughts of another person, but thoughts about yourself. Shulammite is reflecting back at her stay in the palace and the feeling of insecurity next to all the other women with a fair complexion, and seemingly more groomed. Many looked down upon her because of her country girl mentality who is dark by nature and because she has been a laborer in the sun much of her life. The tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon, both display great natural beauty. She is speaking confidence into her own heart & embracing the way she was instead of trying to change. She basically says, “I do not look like the cover of all the magazines. I look different.”
What does this tell us? Well this tells us first of all ladies, that every woman is insecure in her appearance. She was radiant enough to attract the King, and yet she is trying to defend the way she looks. She went from farmer to princess. Every woman has varying degrees of discomfort with her appearance and her body image and certain things about her that if she could, she wishes she could change. This woman says, “I don’t meet the cultural standard of beauty.”
The sun looked upon me. She was put to work by her brothers so much so that she has never had time to care for herself. We know her father to have died when she was younger because she said “my mother’s sons”. So she was not the kind of woman who went through great pains to try to look beautiful, but rather, her beauty was natural and Solomon loved her. So she’s kind of like the biblical Cinderella.
Such judgement and rejection from other women could tempt Shulammite to become self-conscious and doubt her loveliness. But her esteem is grounded in more than the opinions of others. Your outward appearance alone does not define you.
7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?
She’s asking where she can go to find him at lunch time to be with him. Maybe to be comforted by him after the rejection she has experienced by the other women. Maybe she wants to give herself to him after daydreaming about him all day.
This is may also be a picture of her reflecting on that fact that she is marrying a king, who is very busy and knows what he is marrying in to. Solomon’s been gone, occupied with the affairs of the people, and wants to give him a short reprieve in the midst of a stressful day. She knows connecting will be hard, and she wants to play her part well.
If she were to walk around the town at midday with a veil, then she would appear to be a harlot, open to other men like a public park. She is careful not to draw lustful attention from other men including his companions. The very thought of appearing immodest or encouraging the affections of other men is morally repulsive to her. She loves only one man and wants affection from him alone!
8 If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents. Here the young maidens aren’t exactly clear with her as to where to find Solomon. But if you remember last week, during their wedding night, “Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead.” (4:1).
Her hair is referred to a flock of goats prancing down the slopes. So essentially they’re saying, “Take off your veil, let your beautiful hair down, and strut your stuff confidently right past his companions, and as you pass the shepherds field, you will get his attention!” Wives, it’s okay to use your charm and beauty to get your husbands attention, just don’t blackmail him with your body. But if you want him, work it girl! He will pay attention. These are good friends!
No wonder Solomon’s next comments are: 9 I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. Shulammite disorients all his companions much like a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots, and Solomon hears the ruckus only to see his strong, confident beauty.
She was supremely confident walking right by all those men, because she has been loved well! Men, your wife should feel confident and beautiful by the way you love her. Enjoy her. Enjoy your marriage. Have lots of fun. Be free. Be passionate. Trust one another. Grow in your intimacy. Give a lifetime to enjoying one another. That’s God’s design. It is good!!
Solomon’s love for Shulammite transforms the attitudes of those around them, which is the way it should be: 11 We will make for you ornaments of gold, studded with silver. It is clear now, from this first passage, that Solomon not only loves Shulammite, but he likes her. He called her his “darling companion”. Solomon wishes for her to be his best friend, which is another overlooked ingredient in the recipe for healthy romance. Share Amy and I’s break that we took (I journaled and Amy bought gumballs).
1. Don’t pursue a relationship until you’re ready to marry. It just doesn’t work to be in a relationship if you are not ready to marry. This applies to you if you’re lazy, living at your parents house, smoking weed, sleeping around, addicted to drugs or porn, etc… If you don’t listen to me, then you will learn the hard way. Mark my words!! And when you’re ready to date, dudes treat her like a sister in the Lord (this includes the way you touch her).
2. Men, ask her out. Lead the way. But respect her and respect her answer. If they say no, don’t be a weirdo and start being all stalky. She’s not the one for you or she’ll have a change of heart.
3. If you’re asking, how far could we go before it’s sin?, you’re asking the wrong question. You want to know what is and is not acceptable so as to get as close to sin as possible without a deep concern for the hard motives that drive your ethical decision making. Which is like asking, how much can we sin until we’re busted? If you are trying to see how far you can get, then you are already in sin and need to realize that your pursuit is wrong. You may need to check your heart. Are you using sex to substitute for an emotional need? Do feel like you just have to have it? Are you using it to control or coerce? Get help. Repent for your sin. Turn to Christ.
4. Instead, here are questions you should ask yourself about your sexual involvement while your dating: Do I have the right motives to be physical with you? Are we emotionally ready to deepen our relationship and commitment? Will it enrich our emotional and spiritual intimacy? What happens if one of us wants out after we start being physical? Can we trust each other to be faithful for 40 years if one or both of us can’t control our passion now?
Questions for men and women to ask before you think about getting married:
1. How is your relationship with Jesus? Are you close to Jesus?
2. Are you believing any cultural lies? What influences your view of dating, sexuality?
3. Do you accept that marriage is for holiness and happiness, but holiness first?
Questions for guys regarding dating:
1. Are you a good Christian guy, or a you a man who pursues God more than your next sexual thrill?
2. Are you overlooking good women? Sometimes the good women are single moms. Some of them are divorced because their husband forsook his responsibility. Sometimes they have lost their husband. Don’t overlook any Christian woman who God has put in your life. Maybe you overlooked a shy woman, etc..
3. Do you honor these godly women? Are you respectful to her friends, family, etc…?
4. Are you looking for modest women? Women who love men and thus respect them by not dressing inappropriately are the ones you should have an eye for. Women who are showing off too much of their body because she likes the attention from men will not be a great wife for the long haul unless she grows in that area.
5. Is she a woman of character that is respectable? Does she love God, people? Does she represent the Lord well?
6. Can you provide for her basic needs or lifestyle that she deserves? (1 Timothy 5:8)
Questions for ladies regarding dating:
1. Are you a neat Christian girl, or a woman of God who passionately loves Jesus more than attention from boys?
2. Is he tough enough to endure hardship? For better or worse takes a tough man. When it gets tough, will he do his job? As the leader and head of the home, can he carry the load?
3. Is he considerate and gentle with you? How valuable are you to him? Does he scream at you? Because if you are dating, then he is on his best behavior and it will only get worse. If you’re not safe or don’t trust him, leave him now! Is he willing to sacrifice and change (for the better) for your sake? Men at Kineo, die first. We treasure women and serve them like Christ Jesus served the church and died for her. Make the man earn it. If he’s a man, he will. If he won’t or can’t then you he won’t be a great husband anyways…
4. Will he be a good daddy? Does he love kids? Will he partner with you to raise them, shepherd them, train them, protect them, etc.. If he doesn’t like kids or is socially awkward with kids, chances are he has bigger issues and you may not want to journey with him during his healing?
5. Is he a one woman man? Is he’s flirtatious, stares at other women, looks at porn, cheats on you (emotionally or physically). If he loves you, he’ll be all about you.
6. Do you want your sons to be like him? Would you want your daughters to marry a man like him? Your husband will set the spiritual tone of your home; choose wisely!
Pursue your pleasure in Christ alone! Abstain from sexual intimacy. Treat each other like brother and sisters treat each other. More and more young people are destroying their intimacy with God because they are dating people they never should have dated or been with.
Some of you need to break up with the people you’re with because you’ve done it all wrong and you need to get healthy. Some of you need to repent for your past behavior. Some of you need to repent to your spouse. Some of you men need to start leading. Some of you women need to start following your man and let him lead.
The good news is that Jesus redeems and makes things new. He will do it for you if you haven’t done it right thus far. Jesus wants the best for you and will do all that it takes to give you the best. That’s why he has you here tonight. Q & A time with Amy