I was going through a drawer at my mom’s house looking for a scratchpad when I came across a small vinyl record. It was in a cardboard sleeve addressed to my mom and dated 1950. It was a recording my dad had made for my mom when he was in the Korean War, the first year they were married.
He talked about how much he loved her, couldn’t wait to be with her again, and how much he missed her.
And honestly, I was shocked.
See my parents had a very troubled relationship from as far back as I can remember. They fought both verbally and physically my entire childhood. I heard words a child should never hear and saw violence a child should never see.
From what I could remember, my parents didn’t even like each other, much less love each other.
I listened to that scratchy recording, held the envelope in my hand, and wondered, how in the world did this happen? How did this couple who obviously loved each other in the beginning of their relationship, end up disliking each other so much years later. How did “I miss you, and I love you,” turn into “Get out of here, and I hate you?”
How did that happen? How does that happen?
Maybe you’ve wondered that same thing about certain relationships in your own life…marriage or otherwise.
Because of what I saw in my own childhood, I was determined to do everything in my power to have the best marriage possible. I quickly learned that “in my power” was a problem. I didn’t have it “within my power” to have a great marriage. I needed help. God’s help. I became a woman of prayer who prayed Scripture over her marriage and her man from head to toe.
But it takes more than prayer. It takes intentionality and ingenuity to keep a marriage strong. Click & Tweet! As James 2:17 tells us, faith without works is dead. It takes serving one another with humility and love. That’s what we see in the Song of Solomon with Solomon and his Shulammite bride.
In Song of Solomon 7:1-2, we have a beautiful picture of what serving one another looks like.
How beautiful your sandaled feet,
O prince’s daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
the work of an artist’s hands.
I want you to picture him on his knees, holding her sandaled feet in his hands, as she sat on the side of the bed. He did not literally worship the ground she walked on, but he certainly loved the feet that did the walking.
Historians point out that only those who were trusted to leave the palace and return again wore sandals. Those who were not trusted, such as slaves and women in harems, were often kept barefoot. The fact that Solomon’s wife wore sandals shows that he trusted her implicitly. She could come and go as she pleased.
He was not concerned that she would one day walk away and never return. This reminds me of another verse many scholars believe was penned by Solomon’s mother about the sort of wife she hoped her son would find: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11–12). Click & Tweet! That’s the kind of wife I want to be. That’s the kind of friend I want to be. I know you do too.
He didn’t have to worry that she would embarrass him in public or make fun of him in front of his family and friends. He wasn’t concerned that she would keep secrets or hide things from him. If they’d had the Internet, he wouldn’t have wondered if she was contacting an old boyfriend or striking up an inappropriate relationship on Facebook. He trusted her with his kingdom. He trusted her with his heart.
In no way do I think this serving one another was a one-way relationship. All the way through the Song we see that she served him as well.
The rest of chapter 7 is quite steamy, but this is where passion begins…serving one another in love and humility for a lifetime.
Lord, thank you that Jesus gave us the example of what serving others looks like when He put on the towel and washed His disciples’ feet. Help me to serve others with joy and humility as You have beautifully demonstrated for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What are some ways that you can serve your husband, friend, or neighbor today?
For too long, the church’s message about sex has been “don’t do it” before marriage and “don’t talk about it” after. As a result, we have generations who are confused about what God really intended. The Song of Solomon is a beautiful picture of intimacy between a husband and a wife that helps us see intimacy from God’s perspective, avoid the dangers of growing indifference, and commit to a forever kind of love. You’ll find yourself saying, “Is that really in the Bible?” Yep. It certainly is. God made sure of it. Check out Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon. Click here to watch several videos, read a sample chapter, and much more.