Sunday, February 28, 2010

Relationships: Beloved {Part Two}

Relationships here to read the overview.


"He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love." Song of Solomon 2:4

So in the last post we talked a little about the difference between "L-longing O-obsession" and LOVE. You need all four letters for LOVE. L-longing O-obsession V-validated E-equally. To be "in love" the feelings need to be reciprocated from the other person. So what I want to discuss in the post is a couple that are committed to one another but not married. They are in a committed relationship with one another only.

The Song of Solomon is a beautiful poem of the deep intimacy and love that God desires for us to have with one another. The first three and a half chapters of the book are the courtship between the two lovers. It is the conversations of the two pledging their love to one another and also pledging their intimacy to one another. So what does it mean to be intimate with someone prior to marriage? These days when people hear the word "intimacy" they automatically think of sex. While sex is the most intimate act that God created for two humans to experience; it should be the celebration of an intimacy already in place.

Intimate is defined "to make known innermost parts" "related to or indicative of ones deepest nature." So this relationship should really be a graduation from the last{Kindred Spirit}. That you have chosen someone that you already have that deep, intimate connection with. But now it is coupled with a deep passion as opposed to affection. It is coupled with exclusivity with plans for oneness. So the courtship is the preparation for the culmination of God's deepest intimacy between two people.

"May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine...Draw me after you and let us run together!" SoS 1:2,4

"Let his left hand be under my head, And his right hand embrace me." SoS 2:6

The lovers have declared to one another that they are in fact the only one. Not only that but their love better than any other pleasure. It has become the most important pleasure. It has become the most satisfying pleasure. The second verse tells of the sensual connection and the emotional protection of one for the other.

"O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely." SoS 2:14

Again the lovers are revealing the secret hidden things only to one another. Trusting one another with their innermost being. Again celebrating the beauty of one another spiritually and physically. So you are starting to see that this relationship is a little different than that of the Kindred Spirit. Remember Jonathan and David...the commitments that they made to one another were always in the open field. Their commitments were before God in the spiritual and never the physical. With the relationship of the beloved the combination of the physical and spiritual create a hidden place; and intimate place. So in a sense the value of this relationship has hit a new level and needs to be treated as such. It needs to be hidden and protected. Now who are they protecting their relationship from?

"Catch for us the little foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes." SoS 2:15

Who wants to destroy intimacy? The devil. How does he destroy intimacy? He gets you to do things that are contrary to the truth and principles of God. So that you compromise your intimacy with God as well as intimacy with you beloved. Its interesting in the scripture there are things of the righteous that are hidden in God. Then there are the things hidden from God that are the deeds of the wicked. The beloved needs to be hidden in the righteousness of God. Usually in the relationship of the beloved the spiritual aspect has been hidden but the physical still lays exposed. The sensual or sexual aspect of the relationship are the tender grapes. They are the fruit that is not ready to eat until after the joining together as one. But the devil tricks us into believing that sex prior to marriage will deepen the intimacy between the two people. But it doesn't. It is the little fox that steals the grapes! More on this here.

So the key to courtship is deepening the spiritual and physical aspects of the relationship. Then it is hiding that relationship in the righteousness of God. So in regards to sexual attraction don't let the enemy destroy the grapes. That doesn't mean you can't be sexual attracted to your beloved! God made you to have that sexual attraction. I think it is even OK to explore that sexual attraction during the courtship. The trick is not getting yourself into a situation that with compromise the protection of the relationship from the enemy. So that means you as a couple need to set boundaries with one another. Do not stir up physical feelings that cannot be righteously satisfied as an unmarried couple. To put it bluntly...don't get so hot and heavy that you can't stop. Set limits before getting there! Again Solomon puts it best.

"A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a garden locked and a fountain sealed." SoS 4:12

So keep that secret garden closed till the wedding night! Then it will be your beloved that has the only access. Not the destructive plans of the enemy. Protect your intimacy. Protect your relationship by hiding it in the righteousness of God.

Next we will unlock the garden for "The One".

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