Week 51 Happily Married in His Love

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

Week 51

Scripture Readings: Song of Songs 5-6

Key Scripture Verses: Song of Songs 5:16, Song of Songs 6:3 (NIV, Life Application Bible)

SHE: “His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.”

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.”

Solomon and his bride have given themselves to each other without reserve. There is a deep bond between them and they are not only lovers in a sexual sense, but are deeply committed to each other in mind, body, heart, and soul. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

The bride says that Solomon is her friend. She not only adores him, finding him admirable and physically attractive, “altogether lovely,” she regards him as her close confidant and friend. This is the relationship we should have with our spouse—our spouse should be the closest relationship we have. Parents and close friends cannot compare with the love bond that we are to have with our marriage partners. The marriage bond is meant to be so close that it is as if the “two become as one.”

Any friendship takes a while to develop, so it is best to get to know each other well before marriage. When the relationship is already strong before marriage with a bond of true friendship and the couple is committed to giving themselves to each other without reserve, totally and solely, love can flourish. Total commitment to each other is God’s plan for a healthy marriage.

May we remember that God gave us marriage and it was meant to be pure and holy. Healthy marriages include God in the center as the glue that bonds the two together in a close friendship and love relationship, so that as spouses work together they know the source of their love and where to seek help when life gets difficult. Our marriages can be very fulfilling and the most special of our life’s human relationships—they are happiest when God is remembered in all of our decisions as couples. May we guard our marriages with the love that God has given us.

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 for “expectant hope.” 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, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. 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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