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Wedding Night

10.02.2022

64M

Our culture increasingly promotes liberated sexuality that starkly contrasts God’s design for sex. But we are often conflicted because of our own desires and temptations. As followers of Jesus, how are we meant to view sex in this modern day? Ben Stuart continues in our collection by teaching us through the wedding night of the young couple in Song of Solomon and reminds us that God designed sex for our enjoyment within the confines of a covenant marriage.

Key Takeaway

What God has celebrated and planned for your sex life is so much better than anything the world has skewed it into being. As men and women, we can learn to respond to each other in ways that enhance our love for each other in every aspect, especially sex in the covenant of marriage.

When you lose the rules, you lose the game. The Sexual Revolution removed any boundaries from sex. Society has tried to remove any sort of spiritual meaning away from sex. They want you to think that it's just something you do because it's a biological urge you like and nothing more. Now, it's being removed from the emotional boundaries: you can just have sex and not "catch feelings." But studies, stats, and stories show that meaningless, emotionless, commitmentless sex without boundaries has left us with less. It has not been life-enhancing. It's been life-taking. Pornography is another massive element that is breaking the bond of sex down.

What do we do? What is God's intent for sex?

Song of Solomon 3:6-8

  • The woman is talking about her wedding day. He comes to her like a column of smoke in the wilderness. This is taken directly from the Exodus. The column of smoke was God's Presence with His People as He led them to freedom. She sees her wedding day as holy. She sees the man she is marrying as a holy man, a good man who fears the Lord.
  • Incense was used in the temple. God wants it because when His people come to the Temple and think about their covenant with Him, He wants them to smell something sweet. She sees that the man and the holiness of the covenant have the sweetness of the intimacy God made her for.
  • God cares about your love life. He's not the enemy of it. He's not the enemy of your sex life. he created these things and the environment where they could flourish.
  • She feels cared for, safe, and secure. He has men at the ready to protect her. By and large, women want to feel safe. Men have the power to hurt women. The scariest thing to run into in the night is a man with no moral restraint. Women have an intuition about men who have power without Godly restraint. Wisdom gives strength to the wise man. See Ecclesiastes 7:9. She wants someone that's competent. Strength isn't just physical. She wants a man worthy of her trust.

Song of Solomon 3:9-10

  • He's arriving on precious wood and stones like royalty. She is noting that every detail is taken care of with the finest quality. This man is holy, strong, and complete. Every detail tells her that he values her and what she values. He doesn't cut any corners.

Song of Solomon 3:11

  • She tells their friends, "Look at him! He's what you want. Look at me! I'm the gladness of his heart."

Song of Solomon 4:1-4

  • Now, it's his turn to speak. He compliments her. Her eyes are like doves, which implies gentleness and tenderness. The encounter is not rough. Then he moves to her hair. She's let it down, which woman only ever did for their husbands. Her teeth are white and clean. He compliments her lips and cheeks. Her neck is a tower: strength and dignity, regal skilled craftsmanship. She is clothed in dignity. See Proverbs 31:25.
  • In verses 5-11, he continues to compliment her. He talks to her. Sex is not just physical. It's also emotional. We know this biologically. Sex releases hormones, especially oxytocin, that reinforce emotional bonds. He's not just connecting with her physically. He's connecting emotionally. He tells her what he sees and what he feels.
  • Men- this needs to be cultivated in marriage. We are great at this in dating and then slack on the emotional connections once married. You have to keep kindling the fire of affection. Emotional connectedness is often directly tied to sexual fulfillment and satisfaction.
  • Ladies- understand that it can be really hard for men to open up and communicate how they feel about you. Be gentle with their stumbling attempts.

Song of Solomon 4:5

  • When he talks about her breasts, he calls them fawns. This could refer to her youthfulness but also tenderness. How do you approach a deer in the wild? You don't come up quick. You are gentle and move slowly. Gazelle speaks to her grace.

Song of Solomon 4:6

  • He declares his intentions and what he wants to do. You are meant to enjoy the physical aspects of sex. See Proverbs 5:19.

Song of Solomon 4:7

  • He tells her that there is no flaw in her, no blemish or defect. Does she feel that way? No! She's already talked about how she's self-conscious about her body...as almost every woman is. He tells her that she is altogether lovely.

Song of Solomon 4:8

  • He invites her to cross the distance into his safe embrace.

Song of Solomon 4:9

  • He moves from what he sees to what he feels. He is her. The smallest jewel of hers has arrested him. One glance makes his heart skip a beat. He calls her sister because back then, your family was the closest thing to you emotionally. He's telling her that she's family to him. He cares for her.

Song of Solomon 4:10

  • He compares the scent of her body to the best of the best spices. They pale in comparison to her.

Song of Solomon 4:11

  • Her taste is sweet. Its imagery used from the Promise Land, milk and honey: abundance, sweet to taste, nourishes you, requires no death to make it. It's a beauty of nourishment and delight that has no sorrow added to it. It should be life-giving and enhancing to you, not demoralizing, shaming or demeaning. She is the promised land to him.
  • They are kissing now in a sensual way. Be careful with this. Kissing like this is biologically meant to lead you to sex. Don't give your body away to someone not worthy of your trust.

Song of Solomon 4:12

  • This speaks of virginity. Throughout the whole book, her body has been a garden. Now, he describes this part of her body as a locked garden.

Song of Solomon 4:13-14

  • The root of the word orchard is where we get the word paradise. As he moves down to her hips, he says what's before him is paradise.

Song of Solomon 4:15

  • This is an imagery of life. Not only are they where life begins in a woman, but life for her sexually.
  • Since the garden is locked, he's not going to for himself on her sexually. He's told her what he sees; he's complimented her. He's told her how he feels, what she does to him. He's told her his intent; he desires her. But he will not cross the boundary on her sexuality- it's hers to give, not his to take. He's demonstrated his love with restraint of his natural impulse.

Song of Solomon 4:16

  • She fully opens the garden of her body to her husband. He's demonstrated commitment to her financially, physically, and emotionally. So now, she invites him in physically. They enjoy sex with each other without a hint of shame.

Song of Solomon 5:1

  • He calls all of her "mine". He doesn't depersonalize her body parts. Scholars differ on whether it is their friends talking or God, but the point is that whoever is speaking is encouraging the couple and celebrating them.

For those who have not lived this out or previously viewed sex like this...

God does not distance himself from you. He moves towards you. You can mourn the loss of what could have been, but it doesn't doom you to a second-rate marriage or sex life. You can confess, and when you do, He rushes in with mercy, grace, and restoration. That's our gospel. Out of grace came life. Out of death came hope and a future. You're not too far gone. God wants to bless you. You can grieve the loss, but God is too good to let the loss be the end of your story. See Luke 15:11-32.

Quote

"trying to remove sex from these boundaries has not liberated us. It's cost us more than we wanted to give."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • Song of Solomon 3:6-11
  • Proverbs 5
  • Song of Solomon 4:1-16
  • Song of Solomon 5:1
  • Proverbs 31
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.