Week 50 Wedded Bliss!

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 50

Scripture Readings: Song of Songs 3-4

Key Scripture Verses: Song of Songs 4:9-10; 16 (NIV, Life Application Bible) HE: “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice!”

SHE: “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.”

In these two chapters of the Song of Songs, Solomon has wooed his bride and their love has blossomed. It is felt that these two chapters reveal the engagement and wedding procession which then take us to the wedding night. We can delight in the model of happy wedded bliss here and the example of the Song of Songs. It is a pleasure to read—read all of it for your own marriage refresher.

The couple cannot get enough of each other and admire each other with flattery and praise. Verse after verse of beautiful imagery is used to exhibit the intensity of their love and admiration for each other.

Solomon has proposed and she has accepted his proposal and invites him to a deeper intimacy. Verse 16 is considered either an acceptance of the proposal or her acceptance of him to consummate the marriage. In the beginning of chapter 5, Solomon responds to her acceptance with: “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk.”

These are very beautiful passages of love and intimacy. These depict the engagement and early wedding bliss that is so strong and inviting, that passion that couples have when they first marry and that most long for when seeking a partner for marriage.

For those of you who are married, do you still see your partner through these beautiful lenses? Does your spouse still see you with such admiration, passion, and desire? Do you remember those early days of your love and marriage that were so full of blissful love that you couldn’t stop thinking of your lover, that you couldn’t get enough of your lover’s attention and time with him or her?

If you don’t still have that giddy love and passion, what would it take to bring it back into your relationship?

The Song of Songs can give us some insight into what marriage was meant to be and how we should regard our spouses and care for our relationships. For example, in the beginning of Chapter 3, the young woman dreams that she cannot find her lover and that he is nowhere to be found, so she must get up and look for him to make sure that he is all right. She has such a concern and love for him that she will do anything to assure that he is safe and sound.

Solomon refers to his bride as a well of flowing water, a “refreshing” fountain, per the commentary footnotes (NIV, Life Application Bible). Happily married couples should find refreshment from the day’s stresses when they come home to each other and reunite. It’s something that most of us have to work at, but it’s worth it to be your spouse’s refresher, encourager, supporter.

Marriage at its best is a partnership of two who work together to support one another and to build up one another in a mutual bond of love, intimacy, connection, and communication.

May we rekindle our relationships, remembering the initial attraction, the love that we could not get enough of when we were falling in love. May we remember to consciously provide “refreshing” for our spouses, creating an environment of love and support instead of nagging, complaining, and hurtful remarks. May we remember to encourage and support each other with tender affection, praise, admiration, and the mutual intimacy for which marriage was designed.

Dear readers, blessings on all of you in your relationships—may they be as happy and blissful as these passages depict.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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