"Sexuality is a gift from God." "Our bodies are beautiful and should be enjoyed." You have probably heard statements like this, but are they true—for you?
Many people, even Christians, have heard negative messages, sometimes implicit—from their parents, friends or society— which inhibit them from understanding and appreciating their own sexuality. Perhaps you have been told: "Original sin started with Adam and Eve having sex." "Women should be very modest about what they wear, so they won't cause men to lust." "God made sex just so we can procreate." The Song of Songs will give you a new perspective.
Interpreters of the Song of Songs have struggled with whether it is an allegory about God's love for us, or if it should be read as a love song between two people. Understanding it either way can teach us about love. However, the Song of Songs is best seen as both.
How is one to understand the Song in terms of human and divine love? . . . The Bible suggests that these loves are united and not to be separated. . . . The union between man and woman became a primary symbol for the expression of the relationship of the Lord to His People. The covenant between God and His People is consistently portrayed as a marriage. (Roland Murphy O'Carm as quoted in Andrew Greeley, Love Song)
The Song of Songs is written as a play. The voice of the lover is most likely that of King Solomon, and the beloved is the feminine voice. Their friends serve as a chorus, adding dramatic effect, but perhaps also to show the importance of community relationship even in the midst of celebrating the marriage relationship. The first two chapters are the courtship between Solomon and his beloved, and chapter three describes their wedding procession. What follows is their declaration of love and their vows of commitment to the marriage.
It is our hope that these quiet times will bring you closer to God, our divine lover, and help you to understand the place of sexuality within marriage.