**Warning - This post will be very different from others. It is not an exposition on scripture but rather a collection of thoughts. Thought’s that have been brewing for the past year. And after reading through Song of Solomon I felt compelled to write those thoughts down.**
I just finished reading through Song of Solomon. And while there are some things I don't understand (like how in the world telling a woman that her hair resembles a flock of goats is actually a compliment... and there is plenty more I don't claim to get either), one thing was very clear. Solomon and his 'beloved' truly loved each other and built each other up with their words.
Some may argue that it was simply young love or that they didn't have a grip on reality. That may have an element of truth to it, however I don't believe it completely. You see I was/am blessed with the opportunity to grow up underneath two (sinners saved by grace alone) godly parents who love and have continued to love each other. I can honestly say that I have not once in my lifetime heard my father speak a negative word about my mother, not to her, not to us nor to anyone else. The same could be said for mom in regards to dad.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I have worked with men would continually complain about their wives (and weren’t afraid to do it even to their wives). I've heard the names they called them, I heard the insults they would hurl about their appearance, character and more. So what is the difference between those men and Solomon or those men and my father? While there are many differences no doubt, I believe the primary difference is simply this. Love.
You see love is not physical attraction or emotional fuzzies. Love, true love (or "Wuv, twue wuv" if you prefer The Princess Bride) is the sacrifice of one’s wants and desires in order to serve another. Biblical love is radically different, it calls us the denial of self and to the service of another. That is what my father has emulated so well, that is what I desire to live out as well.
Having a hard time coming to terms with the above definition of love? Look no further than the cross. John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Christ loved his bride (the elect or church) so much that he laid down His life for her. I cannot read John 3:16 without coming to the conclusion that real, biblical, God-honoring love is anything short of self-denial and the sacrificial serving of others.