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Lasting Love



The desire for marriage is strong in many of our lives, but it comes with a fear that the spark of love will fade away. How can we cultivate intimacy in our relationships that will continue to flourish over time? This week, Ben Stuart picks back up in Song of Solomon and demonstrates some of the principles that will help us deepen our marital love through the years and help us avoid the slow disintegration of relationships we see in the culture around us.

Key Takeaway

You can have a successful marriage and keep the fire going. When you commit to personal growth, celebrate the other, and keep your covenant, then you are able to cultivate the relationship into a long-lasting, nourishing gift in your life.

Most marriages end because of a breakdown in communication, "growing apart," or infidelity. The tide of culture moves towards disintegration slowly by biting away what we hold dear.

Top 4 Marriage Desires

  1. Totality: I want someone who wants all of me. I don't have to edit myself.
  2. Children: love that becomes life and lives beyond me to have a legacy.
  3. Permanence: In a world of impermanence, I want something that will last.
  4. Sexual Fidelity: to have complete vulnerability and faithfulness.

So, how do we cultivate a love that deepens over time? Let's continue to look at the book of poetry.

Song of Solomon 7:1

  • They've had a fight, but they're coming back together.
  • On their wedding night, he started describing from her head down. Now that time has passed in their marriage, he starts from her feet and moves up.
  • As he compliments her, it's not just her beauty; it's her nobility. She's expertly crafted by God.

Song of Solomon 7:2

  • "Never lacking mixed wine"- he's saying that her body satisfies him. She's a constant source of delight to him. It's just as true on day one as it is further into their marriage.
  • Wheat was a staple crop in their culture. Wheat = life. Her body is life to him. Wine means she's fun. Wheat means she's fertile. It's natural to compare eating and sex together. Both are nourishing and satisfying.

Song of Solomon 7:3

  • He brings back the language of their wedding night. She still has a youthfulness to her.

Song of Solomon 7:4

  • He references her neck as an ivory tower this time, representing strength and dignity.
  • "eyes are like a deep pool," meaning there is a depth to her. Heshbon was a Moabite city, so he may mean there is a mysterious exotic-ness to her that he likes chasing.
  • "nose like Lebanon" again speaks of dignity. Lebanon had a protective role. He feels safe with her, and he knows she's looking out for him. He can trust her.
  • Carmel was a mountain range. She crowns the land. There's a dignity and provision to it. He finds her captivating.

He does mention her body and breasts, but he lingers on her neck, eyes, nose, and hair. He has always thought she was attractive, but he esteems her, and that esteem has grown over time. Familiarity had not bred content. Marriage has not diminished her in his eyes. It elevated her.

How do you have a relationship that endures?

A commitment to personal growth. The infatuation fades pretty quickly. Some find out their spouse is anxious, proud, inflexible, demanding, undisciplined, unreliable, oblivious, a perfectionist, irritable, highly independent, keeps secrets, miserly. So what do you do when you realize that you married a sinner? You will be comforted if they are a person committed to personal growth. This is why it's so important to marry a Christian, you both have the Holy Spirit in you, working in you. You grow together.

Celebrate the good on the other. Admiring can be silent. Celebrating is speaking. Human nature is to focus on flaws, so don't neglect what's beautiful about them. What's celebrated is usually repeated. Don't let the compliments fade. Throw wood on the fire. Admiration leads to affection because you feel safer.

Song of Solomon 7:6

  • He compliments her again.

Song of Solomon 7:7

  • He returns to her breasts. As he compliments her, he's getting excited.

Song of Solomon 7:8

  • No explanation needed. It's the language of love and delight.

Song of Solomon 7:9

  • Generally, women need to feel cherished and valued. Men want sex. Both want both things, but they tend to want one more than the other. So can you serve your mate in a way that you know will meet their needs? It communicates value.

Song of Solomon 7:10

  • "His desire is for me" She sees that he takes his desires and aims them at her. He's not looking elsewhere.

Covenant commitment. It's looking each other in the eye and saying that we belong to each other forever. Malachi 2:13-16 teaches that it is treacherous to say "to death do us part" and then depart from them when they become inconvenient. See Proverbs 5:15, 19. Aim your desires at your spouse. The grass isn't greener on the other side.

Song of Solomon 7:11-12

  • She wants to steal away and see if the buds are budding. Is there still a life and freshness there?

Cultivate it and make it the best that it can be. You make decisions to be together. Go on date nights, make plans, spend the time and money to invest in each other.

Song of Solomon 7:13

  • Mandrakes are aphrodisiacs. She brings along the old and new fruit, meaning that she brought along some time honored expressions of love, but also some new to keep it fresh and exciting.

Song of Solomon 8:1

  • Public displays of affection were not acceptable unless you were family. Family would hold hands and kiss in public. She's saying that she wishes he were family so she could kiss him out in the public square.

Song of Solomon 8:2

  • She implies they need to leave a get a room.

Song of Solomon 8:3

  • This is a sexual position. But notice, when she said it before, she said "let him," and now it's in the present tense. They are married and enjoying what God has put together.

Song of Solomon 8:4

  • Again, she tells the young maidens to wait for this. Wait for the man who is committed to spiritual growth, who becomes more and more a man of integrity and compassion, who celebrates the good in you, who makes a covenant to go nowhere without you. When you have that, then cultivate and deepen the relationship to flourish.

If you haven't done it this way and ruined all your past relationships...remember Hosea and Gomer.

Gomer was unfaithful and ran as far as she could from Hosea. But her lust didn't fill her. It took everything from her. When he finds out that she's being sold and can't even get the going price for a captive, God tells him to go and redeem her and pay over asking price for her. This is what God has done for us. He didn't leave us, He redeems us. His son, Jesus, paid the full price for us. God turns a valley of trouble into a doorway of hope.


"A beloved is not someone you just live with, but someone I live for. And they live for me."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • Song of Solomon 6:13
  • Proverbs 5
  • Song of Solomon 7
  • Song of Solomon 8:1-4
  • Malachi 2:13-16
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.