Passionate Marriage Advice From the Song of Solomon

Next year, my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage, and I want to testify: it’s never been better. I feel like that’s not the message going out these days. In the movies, online, or late-night comedy sketches, the memo is: young love is passionate and old love is stale. But our experience has been quite the opposite, so I’m adding my voice to the conversation and sharing what we’ve done to keep our marriage exciting.

In Song of Solomon, we are encouraged to be responsive (Song of Solomon 4:16), adventurous (Song of Solomon 7:11-13), expressive (Song of Solomon 1:16, 2:3), and sensuous (Song of Solomon 5:10-16.) We have been given permission to be passionate about and for our spouse.

3 Marital Truths from Song of Solomon

1. Marital pursuit is intentional.

Marriage has the shared goal of connection, oneness, and relationship. Song of Solomon 2:15 says: “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom.”

The vineyard represents our bodies, and while they might enjoy being in “blossom,” there are threatening foxes scaring us to shut down. Some foxes are innocent, like busyness or fatigue, while others may require more work to get rid of – body image, expectations, hurt, fear, or shame.

My husband and I talk regularly about what threatens our relationship, confessing our sins and insecurities to one another. All that emotional intimacy leads to better physical intimacy. Making space and being intentional in the pursuit of connection leads to greater connection. It’s a call to shared faithfulness (which is more than just not cheating.) Faithfulness is being present and demonstrating love, care, support, honor, vulnerability, and encouragement.

2. Marital pursuit is relentless.

Song of Solomon 3:1-4 reads: “All night long on my bed. I looked for the one my heart loves. I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So, I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. ‘Have you seen the one my heart loves?’ Scarcely had I passed them. when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go.”

She loved him, searched for him, found him, held him, and wouldn’t let go. I feel like if I followed that pattern, our marriage would be more than fine. She wanted him on her bed. The Hebrew word for bed here isn’t the same as in Chapter 1, which could be translated as “couch.” This is the “love bed” (see also Ezekiel 23:17 and Genesis 49:4), it has an overt sexual meaning. She wanted him and was relentlessly searching for him, longing for intimacy and connection.

Once I had a friend who propositioned my husband. It was a painful experience, and she was a very shiny apple, but what she offered him was purely physical. What we experience in our marriage is relational, emotional, spiritual, and physical. It’s connected to a shared history and an imagined future. It wouldn’t have compared. Relentless pursuit is more than just feeding an attraction, it’s nurturing what God cements together.

3. Pursuit is invitational.

Song of Solomon 4:1 reads: “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, With me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, From the top of Senir and Hermon, From the lions’ dens, From the mountains of the leopards.”

She comes from the north, so he invites her to leave behind her family and fears (as alluded with the lions’ dens and leopards) and come with him. He wants to share his life with her, and the invitation is full of desire.

In our marriage, my husband and I invite each other to co-mission and co-labor, to engage in relationship, to dream and build projects and connection. The invitation is to come together relationally and physically to recharge, relieve, reconnect, and restore.

Hap-hazard marriages aren’t going to cut it in this culture, they will break. There’s too much pressure now. We need to be ruthlessly intentional, wildly invitational, and utterly relentless. In my life, I’ve asked for accountability in this journey. I have good friends who cheer me on and as a result, we all have stronger marriages, more vulnerable friendships, and healthy places to go when there are problems.

Marriage is holy work and worth it.

Here are more ideas for Connecting with Your Spouse.

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