READ: Song of Songs 6-8
THINK: Does it surprise you that the Bible contains such a positive view of sex? Why or why not? Song of Songs is inspired by the Holy Spirit and included in the Bible to emphasize that God designed marriage as a pure source of human love and joy. This includes the pleasures of a healthy sexual relationship. Though sin has damaged and distorted this important aspect of human experience, God wants us to know that a sexual relationship can be pure and beautiful between a husband and wife within the boundary of marriage. The most fulfilling sexual relations take place between spouses who are genuinely intimate on more than a physical level. Physical interaction should express and intensify the mental, emotional, and spiritual connections that already exist.
RESPOND: At the beginning of chapter 6, how does the groom convey how special his bride is? (See 6: 4 note.) What are the differing views regarding the women described in 6:8? (See 6:8 note.) What do the chapter 7 descriptions of the woman reveal about Solomon's affection? Why do you think the woman uses imagery from nature to ask her husband to spend the night? What does 7:13 indicate about the woman's anticipation of this moment? How can saving oneself sexually for marriage make intimacy after marriage more special? What does it mean that "love is as strong as death" (8:6)? (See 8:6 note.) Why is love between a man and woman who are exclusively devoted to each other so powerful? How and why is true love invaluable and unquenchable (8:7)? Why is marrying for money or trying to buy love a shameful and useless prospect, and what's bound to happen to such a relationship? (See 8:7 note.) What would the women do for their young "sister" to prepare her for marriage someday? (See 8:9 note.) What do "a wall" and "a door" illustrate in regard to how the girl's friends would help her stay pure for marriage? (See 8:9 note.) How did the bride's purity prior to marriage (8:10) make her even more pleasing to her husband? (See 8:9 note.) In what way might the woman's vineyard be an illustration of herself? (See 8:12 note.)
PRAY: Pray for married couples you know, that their relationships would be strong and God would refresh their love for each other. Pray that if God intends for you to marry, He will guard, protect and bless your future spouse.
ACT: Try your best to live, think, talk and behave-in private and in public-as you would want your future spouse to do. Thank or compliment a married couple who sets a good example of marriage and family. Continue to avoid or remove anything that could cause you-or anyone around you-to compromise sexual purity in thoughts or actions.
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