Do you remember your first crush? Maybe it was in elementary, or maybe even earlier. It was exciting. You thought she was SO cute. He was SO handsome! And that feeling probably lasted for a couple of weeks, before it faded off into oblivion. How about a High School sweetheart? That probably lasted a little longer, but in most cases, that too passes by the wayside. Why is that so?
In or lives, there are changes that occur in our relationships, primarily for three reasons. Our circumstances may change, we may change, or the other person may change. When that happens, we grow apart and eventually, what was once a close friendship becomes a mere acquaintance. Do you remember your high school or college friends? Depending on how long ago that’s been for you, you probably remember a few of them well, you would recognize a few of them if you heard their name, and there are probably some that you would say, “Who is that?!”
Marriage is different. Let me rephrase. Marriage is SUPPOSED to be different. Through the years, many have said, “I love him/her, I’m just not IN love with him/her anymore.” They are describing that evolution, or rather devolution, of a relationship. However, marriage is a lifelong commitment. It demands that we purposefully overcome those changes in order to not only preserve, but continue to build that relationship.
In Song of Solomon 5, we see this playing itself out in a very picturesque way. Solomon returns home to a locked door. Whether the door was locked for security purposes, or due to a marital spat is unclear. What is clear, however, is that Solomon asks his wife to open the door and she doesn’t open it before he departs, but not before he leaves a fragrant symbol of his love on the door handle for her. She regrets not opening sooner and sets out to find him.
The “police” mistake her for a criminal at that time of the night, and take her into custody. When she speaks to the “daughters of Jerusalem,” she asks them to go out and find her husband. In order to help her, they ask “Does he have any defining characteristics?” She describes him in verses 10-16. In 6:1, they ask where he went. She tells them where he was likely to have gone and they depart.
6:4 brings an abrupt change, as now we hear Solomon’s thoughts or words in the garden. He reminisces of the same compliments he paid her on their wedding night, and expresses his unique affection for her. Although he had many queens and concubines, she stood out above them all. Nothing could detract from his love for her. More than anything, he wants to be with her.
Unlike the other relationships in our lives, marriage is to be cultivated and built upon strong foundations. Each passing day can breed complacency or contempt, or admiration and adoration. Let us learn from Solomon’s example and use each day to take another step toward deeper and more fulfilling relationships.