February's economic crown jewel is Valentine's Day. The merging of fact and fiction connected to St. Valentine is difficult to navigate, nevertheless, the venerable Saint is now forever connected to love. Regardless of whether St. Valentine was truly notable for love, or not, the day that bears his name can serve good purposes. As a friend of mine often suggests, "leverage the holidays."
That being said, I have decided to offer 14 brief posts about love. Allow my thoughts to stir up the creative juices in your tired brain and encourage you to a more romantic life. Over the next 14 days I will help you to get started, but after that its up to you. The Song of Solomon will serve as my primary text to draw a few points of application.
Day One: What is The Song of Solomon? This is not a trick question. The Song of Solomon is a song! Solomon collected and wrote a lot of songs: "He [Solomon] also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005." (I Kings 4:32). Most of Solomon's songs are lost to us. However, the most played song on his ancient I-Pod was The Song of Solomon (SOS).
Here is what I want you to do today. No excuses. Write a love song to your spouse. You do not need to be conversant with the rules of poetry to do this. You will not likely submit your song to a Nashville publishing house. Your love song is just between you and your beloved. Following are a couple of suggestions to get your started:
1. Read from The Song of Solomon (do a quick read of portions of the first seven chapters). Note creative phrases used by both the woman and the man. To the guy his special girl does not just have lovely eyes but he her eyes are "doves." (4:1) To the girl, her manly man is not just a sweet guy but: "As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men." (2:3). Saturate your mind with lovely expressions that are found throughout SOS.
2. Write. Borrow from Solomon or, better yet, create your own expressions. An example from Victorian England is helpful. Arguably, Charles Spurgeon's favorite book of the Bible was SOS. Spurgeon was a very Solomon-like character. Trees, animals, and birds fascinated Solomon (I Kings 4:33) as they did Spurgeon. Solomon knew a lot about romance. So did Spurgeon. Enough is known about the romance of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon to make one blush. However, unlike Solomon, Spurgeon was faithful to one woman. During one of Spurgeon's many trips away from home, he was missing Susannah. He wrote her a song titled, "Married Love." Here is stanza one.
Over the space which parts us, my wife,
I’ll cast me a bridge of song.
Our hearts shall meet, O joy of my life,
On its arch, unseen, but strong.
Susannah was impressed. She said of Spurgeons poetry: "I was far more proud of them[Spurgeon's "sweet verses."] than I should have been of chains of gold or strings of pearls."
You don't need to spend a lot of money this Valentine's Day. Just pick up a pen and write your beloved a love song. Though I cannot make any promises, chances are that they will treasure your sweet words.
See you tomorrow!
See you tomorrow!
Ray Rhodes, Jr. is president of Nourished in the Word Ministries (NITW) and author of The Marriage Bed. With NITW, Ray teaches for marriage retreats and Bible conferences.