Eat friends, drink, and be drunk with love
(The Song of Solomon 5:1b).
What do you do about the hindrances to expressing love in marriage?
True love is exciting. The Song of Solomon (SOS) is ripe with provocative imagery concerning love. However, lest we get caught up in the excitement and let down by disappointments, we must learn how to respond to the hindrances of expressing love.
It is clear that there were unrealized expectations in the expression of love between Solomon and his bride (SOS chapter 5).
He came to the door and she was tucked in for the night. Yet when she heard him—her heart was thrilled. By the time she got herself together he was gone. She went looking for him—she wanted him. Her heart was sick with love.
You have occasions like that. You imagine a date, a talk, a walk, a movie, a dinner and other things—but tiredness and other challenges shut the door. You couldn't find a clear pathway to express love. You looked but the opportunity escaped.
During those times you must be careful and not give in to temptation. When your spouse is tired, stressed or preoccupied it is important that you not fall into despair and begin thinking wrongly. Continue to go to the door and think and say sweet things.
SOS speaks of being drunk with love (5:1). Think about that for a moment. It takes time to get drunk with alcohol. It is not typical for a person to take a sip of wine and fall into a drunken stupor. What is the key to drunkenness? Time--that is the key (now of course no one should want to get drunk--that is a sin).
It takes time to get intoxicated. And it takes time to get drunk in love.
Time is what is needed. But not just time. You need to shepherd time.
Dr. Albert Mohler quotes Peter Drucker; Effective executives do not start with their tasks. They start with their time...Everything requires time. It is the only truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time (p. 184, The Conviction to Lead, Mohler).
This is important in marriage because marriage exists to display the gospel. Therefore, wise usage of time is essential. To love your spouse you must make sure that you are engaged in the tender loving care of time.
You are in love with your spouse. You think about and pray for them. But would you say that you are intoxicated with love? It is hard to get intoxicated by love if you seldom drink from love. You have to find ways to uncork the bottle, get the glasses, pour the love and drink (all the while not falling asleep).
I think that is the way it is with romance. Romance does not mean a thrill a day. But it does mean that we take control of the clock. Just as it is important to eat breakfast, wash clothes, teach school, write blogs, and program computers—it is important to take time to drink from the aged and seasoned bottle of love. If we want to be intoxicated with love—we have to drink love. To drink love we have to have time to drink love. To have time to drink love then we must be committed to the tender loving care of time. To have such a commitment we must understand that we are stewards of time and that time must be managed for ultimate purposes.
We have the same 24 hours as Solomon did, as George Washington did, as Ronald Reagan did. Funny thing about Reagan-he worked hard but he had a balanced view of things. He said, “Hard work never killed anyone—but why take a chance?” Yes, work hard. But work is not your only duty. Enjoy work. But work must never become your mistress. All work and no romance makes for a dull marriage. All romance and no work makes for a poor marriage.
So what do we do? When the opportunity to express love escapes we must look for new opportunities with our spouse. We must get out of bed, take a lantern, go out into the city streets and do whatever is necessary to communicate love.
It is important to think the best of your spouse. Even after the chapter five episode in the SOS, the lady said, My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand…His arms are rods of gold…His legs are alabaster columns. His mouth is most sweet and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend (10-16). She still loved and spoke the language of love—even though she (and he) had been disappointed.
When you think of your spouse think of the sweetest things of life. Guys call for your wife. She is your dove your perfect one (5:2). Ladies if he turns away because he thinks that you are too tired or if he is called away for some reason—then don’t give up. Pursue him. He wants your heart to be thrilled when you hear his voice (4). Take time to be intoxicated with love. It starts with one drink but it requires continual trips to the fountain.
The fountain is the gospel. It is in the gospel that we learn what love is. It is there that we see the sacrifice, the commitment, the patience, the mercy, the forgiveness and all of the expressions of true love. Your romance tips and tricks will quickly dry up. The gospel is an ever flowing fountain of love.
I came to the door and you heard my voice.
At that moment you wrestled with a choice.
You were tucked in for the night and what could you do?
Yet your heart was thrilled that I longed for you.
Thinking the time was not right for the expression of love;
I still had thoughts of you, my darling, my dove.
I walked away, into the night.
You came for me but I was out of sight.
We need time my love to drink from the well,
To drink and drink till our hearts they swell.
If sick and intoxicated we are to become.
We must drink and drink from moon to sun.
I long to drink from the well of love.
You are my darling, and you are my dove.
Based on The Song of Solomon Chapter Five