The Shulammite Woman is part of an ongoing series, Portrait of a Godly Wife.
The Song of Songs is a saucy book of the Bible. It contains the romantic, intimate exchange between King Solomon and his beloved Shulammite woman. Through their flirting, love making, and pillow talk, we can explore ways to honor God through our sexuality within marriage.
This is a topic we don’t visit often on Sunday mornings or in our small groups. It is crucial, however, that we discover sexual intimacy as God intended it before the enemy mutates it into something ugly and shameful.
God created sexual intimacy to be a glorious exchange between a husband and wife. As committed lovers, we can get lost in one anther without shame or reservation. The Shulammite woman and King Solomon give us four ways to approach married sex.
I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking. (5:2)
Reading Song of Songs from start to finish, it is unmistakable that the Shulammite woman thinks about her man when he is away. She longs for him, dreams about him, searches for him. In the busy rush of our lives, desire can escape like air from a slow leak. The anticipation you felt as you walked into your honeymoon suite is replaced with the stress, frustration, and fatigue.
Great sex starts at the coffee pot in the morning. Flirtation, words of affirmation, and a 3 second kiss lay a fiery foundation for your night.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine. Song of Songs 1:2
Skip the peck on the cheek and try to lock lips for 3 seconds every morning, every afternoon; I dare you! Married love becomes better throughout the day as you anticipate oneness with the man that knows you better than anyone on earth. Being “in the mood” may take all day. Let it build. Remember an intimate moment. Think about the things you love about your husband. Then, enjoy the culmination of that anticipation!
I looked for the one my heart loves…I held him and would not let him go (3:1, 4)
Fidelity was not one of King Solomon’s qualities. He was a wanderer (Song of Songs 2:16-17). The Shulammite woman did not let this deter her. She sought him out wherever he went. In his book, Making Sense of the Men in Your Life, Kevin Leman says, “Sexual fulfillment for a man requires far more than a willing wife. It requires an aggressive, eager, and fully engaged wife.”
Your spouse is not distracted by 500 wives. But, he does get lost. He may get lost in work, television, a hobby. Fight for his attention; be jealous for it. When you make the effort to pursue intimacy with your husband, you will encourage his affection toward you. Then, both of you win!
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. (2:15)
These two–the greatest of lovers–protected their intimacy. The enemy will try to discourage and weaken intimacy in a marriage. In that weakness, he can lure you and your husband toward unhealthy ways to fulfill your desires.
Foxes can come in many forms. Perhaps it is fatigue as you battle to get kids in bed and save enough energy to wash your own face before collapsing in bed. Maybe you spend the day thinking–and saying–negative things about your husband. He may be lost in his work. You may be lost to your past. One or both of you could be trapped in erotica or pornography, creating a fantasy in your mind that your spouse can never recreate for you.
Take action to protect your love. Consider ways to trap those foxes. A power nap to get you through. Skip mindless internet time in exchange for a few extra minutes with your husband. Esteem your husband in your mind and in front of others. Ask for help to deal with the demons in your head. It is worth more than “all the wealth of [your] house!” (Song of Songs 8:7).
I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. (8:10)
Read this book, ladies! The Shulammite woman held nothing back while in Solomon’s arms! Chapters 4 and 5 give us a glimpse into the mutual enjoyment that is possible in the marriage bed. He adored her, even though she she had physical flaws (1:5-6). She delighted in him despite his imperfections. They found solace and acceptance as they shared God’s precious gift of intimacy.
Through anticipation, pursuit, and protection, we can find greater enjoyment in the bedroom. That’s a good thing. It’s a God thing. He created it for us to enjoy. It is worship. When we delight in what He has given us, He is glorified.
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