Recently Shelly and I were super blessed and humbled to share at a Marriage Retreat. We decided to do a summary on three takeaways. Fortified by being Justified. Fortified by being Sanctified. And Fortified by being Crucified. Here are a few things that are crucial for anyone…not just those who are married.
This morning I read Song of Solomon chapters 1-8
If you’re married and want God’s blessings on your Agape and Romantic love, this is a great book to read. I’m so blessed with my wife Shelly – the greatest gift after salvation.
Here are some highlights and thoughts from today’s reading:
The Song of Solomon can be seen as a love relationship between God the Father and Israel, Jesus and His Bride (the Church), or the love between a husband and wife. I leaned towards the latter this time around (for the most part).
3 times in the book we have that exhortation, “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem…do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.” (until the time is right).
• Isn’t that the way it is (should be) for us as Christians? Don’t stir it up. WAIT on the Lord, He will bring that person your way when you’re both ready!
Song of Solomon 2:10, “My beloved spoke, and said to me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’”
• I love that, “Come away…” And together we ride off into life, as husband and wife, the Great Adventure.
Song of Solomon 2:16, “My beloved is mine, and I am his.”
• After marriage we belong to each other, we take care of each other. Paul said the same thing in 1 Corinthians 7:4.
Song of Solomon 3:4, “Scarcely had I passed by them, when I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go.”
• So applicable in marriage – til death do us part, don’t let anything separate you. Also applicable in our relationship with the Lord, hold tight Manny, hold tight, ‘cuz the world is trying to rip Jesus out of your heart.
Song of Solomon 4:9, “You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes.”
• Look what you’ve done to my heart, my sister, my spouse. I’ll never forget the first day I first set eyes on Shelly. I can still see her beauty, her smile, her dimples, her big brown eyes, her thick bushy beautiful brown hair, her sculptured curves – and after just one look, I somehow knew I would marry her.
Song of Solomon 5:16b, “Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend.”
• This must be the heart of our marriage relationship – friendship; the deeper the friendship, the greater the trust, we can tell each other secrets, we can be there and help each other for the rest of our lives.
Song of Solomon 6:9a, “My dove, my perfect one, is the only one.”
• The only one. Out of all the billions of women alive, out of all the fish in the sea, Shelly, you’re the only one for me!
Song of Solomon 8:7a, “Many Waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it.”
• The storms and Tsunamis of life will hit hard, but true love will prevail, endure it all, it is absolutely impossible to drown true love, and that true love is rooted in a true and genuine relationship with the living-loving God.
Song of Solomon 8:13, “You who dwell in the gardens, the companions listen for your voice – Let ME hear it!”
• How many husbands would say that to their wives? “Let me hear it. Talk to me babe, don’t just talk to your friends, talk to me, tell me your heart.”
Song of Solomon 8:14, “Make haste, my beloved…”
• As Song of Solomon comes to an end, I can’t help but shift gears to the other Beloved of the book, how it pictures the relationship of the Lord Jesus with His bride (the Church). In closing we pray, “Make haste, my beloved, come Lord Jesus, “O Lord, come.” (1 Corinthians 16:22b)
When I saw this photo and read this article I immediately thought of Jesus words in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus essentially said that unless we build-to-last, by obeying His Word…than one day that Hurricane will hit…and our home (family) will fall. Here’s the modern day illustration as written in an AOL news story.
How Did Lone Home Survive Ike? (September 18, 2008) When Hurricane Ike crashed ashore in Texas with 110 mph winds, it left almost nothing behind in the small, coastal town of Gilchrist. Aerial photographs taken after the storm revealed that the neighborhood that stretched for miles along the narrow peninsula had been swept away with just one exception: a single home left standing, seemingly untouched. Some viewers of surreal photographs showing the yellow house that remained amid the wasteland argued that it may be fake. In a debate on iReport.com, a woman named Judy Hudspeth jumped in with a stunning statement: “This is my sister’s house. It is real,” she wrote. Hudspeth uploaded a photo of the home taken in May that silenced the skeptics. She explained that her sister and her sister’s husband, Pam and Warren Adams, rebuilt the home in 2006 after it had been destroyed by Hurricane Rita in 2005. Hudspeth said they hired a contractor to build a structure that could withstand a Category 5 hurricane and watched over the process to assure it was done right.
Hats off to a wise family who took the time, invested wisely and ensured that their home was built to survive a Hurricane. God help us to do the same Spiritually. Jesus put it this way, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and winds blew and beat on that house; and it did-not-fall, for it was founded on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24-25
It’s too bad that such “homes” are rare.
“Lord, I pray for my own home, for Shelly, Ariel, Aaron and Me. Lord, help us to be doers of Your Word and not hearers only. Lord, I pray especially for me…the responsible leader in this home. Please grant me grace, fear and wisdom to invest the time, to pay the price, to do everything I can, to ensure that all that takes place in this home honors You. Lord Jesus, I pray that when the hurricane hits (and I know this is inevitable), that our home, Your home, would stand…I ask this in Your name. Amen.”