Focal Passages: Song of Songs 5:6-8; 6:1-3; 8:4-7
Several years ago I heard Dave Ramsey discourage co-signing a loan with someone, because the cosigner may get left holding the bag. Both business and marriage show that bringing a third party into a two-party agreement invites trouble. Most extramarital affairs begin in stupidity, not infidelity. Traveling, eating lunch or talking at length with someone of the opposite sex may unwittingly invite a third party to compete for your affection. Marriage presents enough difficulties when a husband and wife are committed to each other without distraction. If the husband decides he’d rather spend time with or talk to his female coworker, the wife unknowingly fights a relational undertow. No wonder the Shulammite woman declared, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3). Your love for your spouse should be surpassed only by your love for Jesus.
Fidelity in marriage should be demonstrated and taught to our children. The older I get the more I am aware that I have less than 20 years to teach and model the Christian life to my children. I don’t want my daughters to begin thinking about God-honoring romance and marriage when they turn 16. I want to lead them to think about it in elementary school, while they are paying attention to Dad’s every move. If parents neglect this responsibility, their children will see love through the distorted lenses of cultural norms. They need learn why “love is as strong as death” and “jealousy is as strong as Sheol” (Song of Songs 8:6) from a biblical perspective.
While our culture writes books and makes movies about forbidden love and crimes of passion, the Bible teaches us that love is not an untamed emotion. Rather, it is a demonstration of the very nature of God who is love (1 John 4:8). He is jealous for the love of His people with a holy jealousy, and will not compete with idols for their worship (Exodus 20:5). In a similar way, husbands and wives must love each other with a holy jealousy that fights for their marriage and against all intruders.