We complete our readings in the Song of Solomon with today’s Bible reading*. The lovers continue their love song. Solomon and his wife exchange compliments and express their desires for each other.
As I said the day before yesterday, we should celebrate this gift that God has given us! And celebrating this gift — singing our love song — involves our physical bodies, and it includes our emotions and desires.
Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, marital love is not able to be expressed in physical ways. Perhaps there’s been emotional trauma. Perhaps age or medical conditions have prevented a married couple from being able to join together as often, or in the ways they used to.
This is when communication is so important. Even if a physical union isn’t possible, a couple can still express their love for each other in affirming words, gifts, acts of service, spending focused time together, and meaningful physical touch, much like they did before they first physically consummated their union.
According to author and counselor Gary Chapman, each of us has a primary “love language”. Oftentimes the spouses’ love languages aren’t the same. If the husband is always trying to express his love by giving his wife gifts (his primary love language), she won’t feel most appreciated if her primary love language is acts of service.
Chapman recommends that we study our mate and learn to speak his/her love language. By speaking our mate’s love language, we are able to better sing our love song. Seeking to love our spouse above all things is part of loving Jesus above all things.
I encourage you to look into Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages and learn your spouse’s primary way of singing his/her love song.
It’s interesting to note that today’s psalm (Psalm 45) is a Maskil. You may remember from previous devotionals, Maskil psalms stimulate the mind and kindle the affections. And this one is no exception.
I remember a conversation in college with a young woman who was desperate for a man. She asked me for my opinion on how to find the right man to marry. In wisdom beyond anything I would have come up with on my own, I suggested that instead of looking for the right mate, that she work on being the right mate.
Evidently, it was the right thing to say. She took to heart what I said and began to grow very deep in her walk with Jesus. Not long after that, she met a young man whom she later married. And, as they say, they lived happily ever after.
If you’re married, spend a few minutes talking with your spouse today about what makes them feel loved the most. Affirming words? Gifts? Acts of service? Focused time? Physical (non-sexual) touch? Ask God to show you ways you can speak your spouse’s love language so you can sing your love song together.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Song of Songs 5:2-16
Song of Songs 6
Song of Songs 7
Song of Songs 8:14