READ: Song of Songs 1
BACKGROUND: Erotic love poetry. That’s what this book is. Why is this erotic, sexual, love poetry included in the Bible – the very words of God, breathed by God and given to us to reveal God to us? Some people think that it is purely allegorical – that the whole book is just symbolic of God’s love relationship with humanity. And they’d argue, for instance, in chapter 7 when Solomon is describing her breasts that the breasts are an allegory for the Old & the New Testament. Cause there’s 2 of them so it only makes sense right? Now, in one sense, these people are right and that is this: Human relationships – the intimate love relationship between a man and wife – are, for us, a tangible allegory of the intimate love relationship God wants with us and we do learn about who God is and how he loves through this book. But we learn that by getting a deep look into the love relationship between a man and a woman.
THINK: “Your name is like perfume poured out” – SoS 1:3
I love that this is right at the beginning of the book. Of all the things that attract two people to one another – for better or worse – Song of Songs tells us right off the bat that there is nothing more important than someone’s “name.” This is to say, their character, integrity, and reputation.
How can you take an honest look at your own character or the character of someone you’re possibly interested in falling in love with? 🙂 Here are three simple things to consider:
1. Consider the way you treat people around you. Are you self-absorbed, condescending, mean, dismissive, selfish, or rude? Jesus was the most approachable person in world history. How approachable are you? If you are difficult to approach and the words above describe you then chances are good that your name is not “like perfume poured out.” This will not only affect your relationships with significant others but also your ability to be a witness for Christ in the world.
2. Consider your friends. The people that you spend most of your time with don’t always and can’t always pinpoint your character exactly. But it will usually get you in the ballpark. Who you spend time with and who you trust most intimately affect the way that people think about you. If your closest friends are people with poor reputations then that will absolutely affect the way that people think about you and the level of trust and respect that they have for you.
3. Consider your faith. If you aren’t someone who is comfortable talking about faith or admitting that you love Jesus in public then your integrity is on the line. I know that it isn’t always easy, and I am not advocating standing on the street corner and screaming at people. But if you are ashamed of your faith then it’s tough to be the kind of leader with a great reputation and high integrity and respectable character that God designed you to be.
Do you have a name “like perfume poured out”? What needs to change in your life in order for that to be your reality?
PRAY: Pray that God would help you live with the kind of courage, integrity, and character that makes a powerful impact for his Kingdom on the lives of those around you.