The power of love
Song of Songs 4: You looked at me, and I fell in love. One look my way and I was hopelessly in love!
Previously I mentioned that some Christians have made this book into an allegory of Christ’s love for the Church. As I said then, I’m not all that convinced, although passages like this do remind me of scriptures like Ephesians 4 where I’m told that: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy…and to present her to himself as a radiant church… holy and blameless.” That passage describes Christ’s passionate love for the Church, a love that takes him to the cross. In the portion of Song of Songs that’s before me today, the man describes the power of his love for the woman. In Ephesians I see the power of Christ’s love for the Church. Whether or not Song of Songs is intended to connect me to Christ and his love for us, I’m reminded in this passage of the power of love and the sacrifice one who loves is willing to make for his beloved.
Take Away: “Love” is, ultimately, an action word…real love takes action on behalf of the one who is loved.
Song of Songs 8: Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold.
Romantic love is one of the highest of human emotions. The Song of Songs is a testimony to the power of romantic love plus sexual attraction. The opera pictures a man and woman who are irresistibly drawn to one another. She can’t sleep for thinking about him and he daydreams only of her. The imagery here is compelling and sometimes “R-rated.” The woman observes that love like this can’t be found in the marketplace. That is, it doesn’t come along every day. Our society has separated sexual attraction from real love and has, in fact, mislabeled it alone as “love.” The truth is that sex without love and commitment cheapens rather than elevates life. Song of Songs gives us the whole package. Since it’s all dressed up as an opera we might be tempted to dismiss it as unrealistic. It probably is unrealistic to envision the average guy and gal singing opera to one another; at least it doesn’t happen at our house! However, it’s right on in its depiction of the power of love, romance, and sex as God intended it.
Take Away: Sex without love and commitment cheapens rather than elevates life.
Don’t just fall in love with being in love
Song of Songs 2: Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe — and you’re ready.
The woman, who co-stars in the opera, is speaking to her “sisters in Jerusalem” and she has some good advice for them. She tells them to wait for the right time and for the right person to be sent into their lives before falling in love. Sometimes young women are more in love with the idea of being in love than they are actually in love. They get emotionally involved with someone who has a very different agenda than they do and the result is, at best, disappointment and a feeling of having been used and cheapened. Song of Songs is a celebration of human love and sexuality — and the two are very much linked. The woman who is loved by the King says, “The real thing is worth waiting for — don’t sell out too soon.” Young women across the ages have faced the temptation to do otherwise but to do so is to accept a cheap imitation that won’t last. In Song of Songs, the opera about love, we’re told: “wait, you’ll be glad you did!”
Take Away: The real thing is worth waiting for — don’t sell out too soon.