Song of Songs: Day 2

Invitation to Enjoy a Spring Day

by

Today's Text: Song of Songs 2:8-17, Isaiah 62:5, Ephesians 5:31-33

Text: Song of Songs 2:8-17, Isaiah 62:5, Ephesians 5:31-33

I had a death grip on my husband for the first decade of our marriage. So desperate was my craving to see us through “till death do us part” that I white-knuckled it in our relationship. I was determined to hold on tight enough for both of us.

But I could never fully grasp the security I craved so deeply. Holding on that tightly squeezed the love and fun out of our relationship.

Since marriage is ultimately a picture of Christ and the Church, this approach to covenant love has also caused strain in my relationship with Jesus. Always secretly fearful that He would change His mind about me, I have tried to keep us glued together with works well done and duties faithfully fulfilled.

But as desperation and anxiety couldn’t bolt the door on my marriage, striving couldn’t make Jesus love me more. Through years of tender care and collisions with His Word, I am learning that security flows out of devoted love, not anxious control.

In Song of Songs, Shulamith is the soon-to-be bride of wise King Solomon, and she has her own need for security. Right before the wedding, she says these words:

“My love is mine and I am his.”
- Song of Songs 2:16

But, as Shulamith and Solomon’s love story unfolds, her tone begins to shift. After the wedding she says, “I am my love’s, and my love is mine” (6:3). Then, as Shulamith and Solomon mature into an old, married couple, she says, “I am my love’s and his desire is for me” (7:10).

Let’s drag a magnifying glass over this subtle progression.

At first, Shulamith’s security is found in knowing that her man belongs to her. Her possession of him is primary; his possession of her is secondary. (As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve seen what this looks like in real life. It’s not pretty.) Then, after the wedding, Shulamith’s possession of Solomon was secondary: “I am my love’s, and my love is mine.” And finally, it’s gone altogether: “his desire is for me.”

It took decades for the bride in this story to understand that her security did not come from her possession of her groom, but from his devoted love to her.

Song of Songs is much more than a human love story. As is the case throughout Scripture, God uses marriage as an illustration for the love between Himself and His people. God is always represented by the groom and we are always the bride. His love hinges on His faithfulness, not ours.

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

 

  • I needed this today. What joy it brings in my life when I let go and stop striving to gain aproval of those who I know already love me unconditionally. Working to try and “gain” their love (or “more” love from them) is wearing, hurtful and unnecessary. Do I not trust their love for me? I sure act like i don’t when I work so hard as if it’s up to me. :(
    People’s love is not perfect. But instead of trying to make it “perfect”, I should forgive/pass-by/cover those times when their love doesn’t look just like the way I wanted it to look. I cannot let selfishness ruin my relationships.
    I must keep a joyful attitude and look at the best in people!

  • Hi my name is Lex and I am 20 years old. I am in a fairly new committed relationship with a man God has spoken to me about. He is not perfect, but he is a blessing. I struggle with idea of death gripping this relationship. I know I’m not married, and maybe I might not marry this man currently in my life. But…in preparations for marriage I am learning and want to continue to grow in this aspect of “letting go my grip.” Im so excited to see where this study goes and how God speaks to me.

    • Ri

      Something that took me more than a decade to understand: I was waiting for the PERFECT man and ended up looking in wrong places, always disappointed. However, it is more important to find the one that is PERFECT FOR YOU, even when deeply (and humanly!) flawed.

    • Carey Blankenship

      Hi, Lex! I am in the same situation as you. I am in a very committed relationship with a man whom my heart and soul loves. However, I constantly find myself worrying and fretting over the idea that death might tragically end our relationship. I just wanted to reply to let you know that you are not alone and that I believe that God is using us in valuable ways! I think He’ll have a lot to say to us through this study.

  • Akua-Sodio Flanagan

    As a full-time active duty service woman, mama and wife I STRIVE daily in so many aspects of my daily life which leaves me feeling anxious and controlling. Like Erin I too have a death grip on my marriage and family constantly micromanaging everything they do. It’s so stressful and I tell myself that I’m doing it out of love but how can I be? Everything Erin wrote hit home for me but what truly stood out to me was when she said “striving couldn’t make Jesus love me anymore” I STRIVE to be closer to Jesus desperately seeking that connection with him and craving the same thing in my marriage from my husband. I don’t have to fight for Jesus’s love, time and affection. Why do I (we) need to fight with our husbands for their, time and affection. The issue isn’t the lack of love from my hubby but the other things. I think my marriage is mirroring my relationship with Christ how do I fix that?

    • I can totally relate to where you – and am still working through it. As women – moms, wives we try and control because if outcome is not good we believe it is direct reflection of who we are and our failures . Not true ! God has His Will for us – we have to be open to what He is doing In-N-Out families and in our lives and join Him. A daily reliance on Him – talking with your husband about the struggle you feel – I am reading phenomenal book that helps to relate the two that Has been life changing for me – the Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller. How our relations with with Jesus and our spouse coincide – and where the truth is – not what society and we believe is a success !

    • Kayleigh

      I read the 5 love languages, and one of the tools he suggested was to imagine you have a love tank, like a gas tank. It can be empty, full or in between and needs to be replenished regularly. Being aware of how loved I feel has helped me see how that impacts my actions, helps me ask for love when I need it, and helps me understand what love satisfies the most. This has helped me loosen up my grip on my relationships a little bit, because I have to admit my needs, and let’s the other person (God or my fiancé) fill them. Hope it helps!

  • I too struggle with accepting the Love of the Father. I find myself working so hard just hoping HE is pleased with the work. I know in my head the truth and speak it often to others. But in the honest moments, it is a thought that plagues my mind. Great reminder this morning!

  • My security lies not in my love for him but in His devoted love for me….wow, what a freeing and mind-blowing concept. I would have never gotten that from Song of Solomon but what a beautiful picture. This completely transforms the way I look at not only my marriage but my relationship with God. Thank you! And praise God that when my security is in His love, I can be confident it will never fail!

  • Amen :)

  • This post really struck me this morning. I grew up watching my mama feign security through control… bless her heart, she had the most imperfect set of circumstances that left her feeling like control was the only way she could have security… but, unfortunately for me, that was how I thought it was done. So… that’s how my marriage and my relationship with Jesus started out. In my marriage, I held on too tight, and I wasn’t able to enjoy my sweet man… and I had no reason to hold on so tight… I had no reason to not trust!! With Jesus, I just never felt like I was good enough, and of course I wasn’t, but I wasn’t really grasping that it wasn’t about me. I have learned, and I am still learning, so much; but I can say, by God’s grace, my mindset has changed and I have learned how to let go. I won’t say I’m always good at letting go, but I do much better than I used to. And… God is using what He’s teaching me to teach my mama.

  • “…I am learning that security flows from devoted love, not anxious control.”

    This hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. I frequently find myself controlling things around me for my anxiety about the unknown. I will not find seciurity in micromanaging all aspects of my life, but will find the security I long for by wholly trusting the Lord with the plans he has for my life. I am grateful to serve a God who never loses hope on me and shows me the most amazing unconditional love!

    • Abby

      Yes! This is what stuck out to me as well. You expressed it well.

    • Akua-Sodio Flanagan

      Thank you for your comment it resonated with me as well.

    • Lara

      Wow, how powerful! I understand that “death grip” on relationships, especially my marriage. The Lord has blessed me with an incredibly patient, faithful man and a very happy marriage, but I somehow manage to work myself into fits of anxiety when I feel out of control. I have daily struggles with anxiety in every aspect of my life, but I can see it creeping into my marriage as well. For example, I have started to feel very anxious on our date nights because I feel like he won’t find me as interesting as he used to since I don’t have much to say that he doesn’t already know. I am letting my need for control make me anxious instead of resting in the assurance of his devotion to me.

  • “Always secretly fearful that He would change His mind about me, I have tried to keep us glued together with works well done and duties faithfully fulfilled.”

    Wow. This was me for so many years. I spent so many years doubting my salvation and doing more and more “stuff” in hopes of pleasing God, but not doing what He truly desires of me – spending time in His presence. Only now am I finally learning that “security flows out of devoted love, not anxious control.” Now, the works that I do are rooted in my love and devotion to God, and not an attempt to earn the salvation that could never be earned to begin with.

    I am so grateful for God’s patience and love towards me as I made (and continue to make) this transition. I’m so glad He didn’t give up on me, and that He always knew what I didn’t – that I am His and He is mine.

  • I am having trouble understanding the shift from primary to secondary, it seems her statement is the same “my love is mine.” Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

    • Anna

      I think it just which way around both sentences are. First it’s my beloved is mine and I am his. Then it’s I am my beloved’s and he is mine. She is less focused in having him as hers.

  • God’s love for me hinges on his faithfulness, not my own. What a sweet sweet thought this is .

  • I wasn’t really sure about doing this study cuz I didn’t really feel anything pulling me in like most of them do. But I did it anyway because I’m really spending this year focusing on dedicated daily studies. I’m really glad I did because the line “security flows out of devoted love, not anxious control” really jumped out at me. I’ve been struggling lately with issues of rejection and I’ve taken steps to figure out which parts are actually just me worrying too much about things I don’t need to worry about. This definitely helped with that.

  • I posted a little Valentines Day post for all my wonderful sister here in this community and for anyone you may know who might need a little encouragement:)
    @amor_colombiana

  • Love this song by Ellie Holcomb!! You are Loved: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZUqg0oLjOM
    Have to remember that Jesus’ love hinges on His faithfulness, not ours!!!! Wow

    • Julie

      Yes, this song has been speaking to me big time lately! Check out “wonderfully made” as well.

  • The verse “Arise my darling, come away my beautiful one” jumped out and grabbed my heart. What a beautiful picture of the pursuit of Jesus. I was dead in my sin and he called me beautiful, gave me life and asked me to follow him. We are loved, rejoiced over and redeemed. Praise His name.

  • “His love hinges on His faithfulness, not ours.”

    Woah. This is wrecking me this morning!!
    As I sit here and throw a little bit of a pity party in my singleness, I’m stiff-arming Jesus as he wants to tell me of how much he loves me….Instead of being sad as I see flowers delivered to my coworkers and feeling lonely this day, I need to remind myself of His faithfulness to me!! His love for me! Praise God that his love hinges on HIS perfect and unfailing faithfulness, and not mine! Oh my unfaithful spirit…

  • Keri McCue

    I think one of the biggest blessed I ever learned was that God was my ultimate love. This takes the pressure off my husband. He will fall, and so will I, but it will not destroy us because we are full only in Him, not in each other! I love the last line of today’s reading, “His love hinges on His faithfulness, not ours.” So undeserved!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Alexandria

    On this day of love, knowing we are not guaranteed a future husband, but surely guaranteed His everlasting love, help me Lord to take comfort in You, that You’re the one I chase after diligently more than all else and restore the fire in me.

  • “Security flows out of devoted love, not anxious control.” What truth this is. Lord, help me let go of the things I am trying to anxiously control, and allow me to love, and trust in your faithful love.

  • Diane Huntsman

    For those in good strong healthy marriages, praise the Lord! For those in struggling to survive marriages, cling to the Lord! For those the survivors of broken marriage ending in divorce, find restoration in the Lord! Marriage should be a depiction of the bride Christ and the groom the church, but real sinful humans mess up that cool story.. it’s a devastation to be sure and it wreaks all kinds of havoc..so if you’re in the midst of a failing marriage, do all you can to hang on to it, pray pray and pray some more.. but if it fails, life is not over for you.. healing of heart happens slow but sure.. God loves you no matter how you’ve messed things up in your marriage, He loves the covenant of marriage yes, but He loves you even more.. hold tight to Him.. own your wrongs, repent of the mistakes you’ve made.. forgive if you’ve been wronged which is easy to say hard to do and yet necessary for healing and moving forward.. married or not, our real Love is first and foremost Jesus.. understanding and receiving His love is going to enable us to better love others.. we can all agree we aren’t worthy of His love sure, but we have it, it’s ours, and there is great power in claiming His love and living loved. Hugs and prayers to all who struggle today with human love.. the love from above is perfect, matchless, unconditional, and all yours.. bask in it today! You are Jesus’ Valentine!

  • Thank you for always making these about HIM and not about us! So thankful that it’s HIS love that abounds forever.
    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Ugh, this is so beautiful <3 even though I'm a little sad I'm single on this Valentine's Day, I have the most important love I could have and that's Gods <3 for my sisters who may not have a boyfriend or husband, I pray that today and until you meet your special man, that you feel Gods love and remember He is always there watching out for you and loving you unconditionally. To never feel alone or abandoned because He is always there protecting you. He LOVES you and that love will never fade.

    • Amber

      Amen! My heart needed to hear this today. Thank you for your encouraging words.

    • Marytony

      I understand and I join with you on your prayer for all our SRT single sisters. Actually I am a little sad myself on this day. I recently broke up a 1 year relationship, so I am in the middle of the “grieving process”. I was very hesitant about participating in this study (Song of Songs on Valentine’s week after a break-up? That didn’t sound enticing at all!). But I thank you for bringing back the focus to the greatest love we will ever know and we will ever need. Know that in this Valentine’s day you are loved and you are prayed for. ;)

      • Katalina

        I’m very sorry to hear about your break up and believe me I know what it feels like, it’s definitely tough, but God is going to send you the perfect person who will love you as much as He does and value the amazing woman you are. Just have faith and know you are not alone. I can relate :*

  • I was once in a relationship that I felt I had to try to control because I never felt secure in that relationship. After many years of trying to keep it together, I didnt believe in divorce. I realized these are things both people have to want. He didn’t want to be true to one person. We divorce. Sometime later the Lord brought man into my life that is devoted and loves me for me. I don’t have to change myself to please him. I don’t need to cling to him. I am secure in our relationship. Praise God I have peace in our relationship and feel valued as a woman.

  • This is why I love SRT. I have always avoided Song of Songs (and the like) because it all seems like sappy poetry to me and that’s just not my cup of tea. I would have never seen the subtle changing of the bride’s language and recognized the significance of her words as a reflection of her security. As a woman who considers herself in a healthy marriage I can also recognize my deep doubts and my need for control to feel a false sense of security. When I am obedient and brave enough to surrender control I always experience such freedom in Christ. I am thankful this morning for new mercies and that even though I’m a repeat control-freak offender Christ’s unconditional love for me is assured.

  • Tochi Heredia

    His love for me is rooted in Himself. There’s nothing I can do to deserve that love, there’s nothing I can do to make Him stop loving me.
    What a relief!

  • Anna Kate

    This is so comforting to remember His unconditional love! Thank goodness it does not depend on me!!

  • It is always about Him. And the more I can learn about Him, the more I can know Him, the better. This is what He has been teaching me and I am just loving this idea that even His relationship with me is about Him. I cannot hold our relationship together, I cannot be good enough or follow His direction enough. All I can do is lean on Him, lean on His faithfulness.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing this. I have recently gone through a season of learning this lesson precisely, although in a different situation (friendship), and reaching that final conclusion about God’s love like you did (that it’s about HIS faithfulness, not ours! How beautiful and humbling and peace-giving!) was such a big deal for me. Reminds me of Hebrews 5:13-15, how God “swore by himself”, resulting in our hope “as an anchor for the soul” in verse 19. So wonderful!!

  • Once again the Truth shows me that it’s all about Him and not what I have done or What I can do to earn His love. He Just Loves no matter what!

  • Churchmouse

    In this portion of Song of Songs, verse 15 stood out to me. “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming.” What little foxes are infiltrating my relationship with my spouse, my family, my friends and my God that have the potential for destruction? Is it inattention, selfishness, busyness, countless distractions? Are there little foxes encircling my relationships and instead of addressing them and removing them, I’m merely ignoring them? Have I opened a door for injury and even death of the relationship? Sobering thoughts this morning. Lord, make me aware and root them out.

    • Steph

      I needed this comment. That verse definitely stood out for me. Thank you.

    • Bethany

      My Sunday School class just finished studying then book Love and War by Jon and Stasi Eldridge, and there a chapter that talks about the little foxes in your marriage. So very important to be aware of them and stop them in their tracks!

    • Jesus Girl

      You are so wise my friend! We must always check our motives to be Christ-like. I need to check my heart more often!

    • Tori

      Love this. Will definitely reflect on this some more!

    • Anna

      This is a good thought. I never saw tjis before Thanks! :)

  • “His love hinges on His faithfulness …” This brings last Sunday´s sermon to my mind. We had sung a song where it said “Lord, I thank you that you know me and love me nonetheless”. The preacher said that this was not exactly correct. It´s often our perspective – we are so sinful and yet He loves us. But in God´s sight we are beautiful and precious, because He made us and we are His. So he doesn´t love us “inspite” but “because”. What an uplifting thought. :)

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