Wednesday, September 19, 2012
"On Fire": Is Your Bed GREEN?
"Behold, you are handsome, my beloved! Yes, pleasant! Also our bed is green."---Song of Solomon 1:16(NKJV)
For almost two weeks now, I've had one of my browsers open to BibleGateway.com with the word "Beloved" as the keyword search. I had a pretty good idea that it was for the "On Fire" women, but I wasn't sure where the Spirit was leading with it...at the time.
This morning, I got my answer.
Before this moment, what I knew for sure was that I *absolutely love* the word "beloved". It means "greatly loved" and "dear to the heart". What I also knew, based on a lot of the counseling sessions that I do, is that a lot of people see their spouse in a lot of ways but, unfortunately, *beloved* would not appear to be one of them. When you love someone greatly, if you're looking at it from a biblical perspective, this means that you are you are going to be patient with them to a *high* degree, that you are going to be kind to them in a *high* degree, that you are not going to be jealous to a *high* degree and that you going to be willing to bear, believe and endure *much* (I Corinthians 13:4-8). It also means that, because one definition of heart is "the center of your emotions" and another is your "affections", you are going to hold them dearly...they are going to be seen as "precious in one's regard; cherished" to you.
Now, before we proceed, it bears *special noting* that all throughout the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite woman referred to the one that she loved with "beloved" but she was also called that as well. *This means that you should really assess if the one who is "your beloved" sees you in that same way*. Ideally, belovedness is to be a *mutual exchange*.
Also, I like how the Shulamite women praised her beloved for being handsome. I know that, traditionally, we tend to only associate being handsome with being "good-looking", but check out some of these other definitions:
Handsome: having an attractive, well-proportioned, and imposing appearance suggestive of health and strength; exhibiting skill, taste, and refinement; well-made; considerable, ample, or liberal in amount; gracious; generous
So many women will fall for the "empty pretty packaging"---the man who looks good, but honestly, there's not too much more praise that can be given to him once the eye candy turns sour.
Recently, I saw a picture of one of my "past baby's daddies" and whew! I'll say this: In college, he was a *wonder to behold*. Now? Well, let's just say that I am *so glad* that God is the Alpha and the Omega (LOL-Revelation 22:13). He wasn't unattractive (it would be nearly impossible for him to pull of that feat), but if I had tried to *make that work* because I was so physically enamored, it probably would have made things really...taxing for us now. Our (future) beloved is to be a sign of health and strength for us (both physically and spiritually). He is to have skills and refinement (professionally, relationally, financially and when it comes to his *character*). He is to be *well-made* (only God can get someone to a state where they are *well-made*) and he is to be liberal in the amount of graciousness and generosity that he bestows upon us.
Oh, but it's that last part that really got to me. The Shulamite woman said that their bed was *green*. GREEN.
I spend time on signs and symbols quite a bit (Daniel 4:2-3) and so I have read about color psychology before. Green symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness and fertility. Green symbolizes *safety*---more specifically, feeling *emotionally safe*. Green symbolizes healing. It implies *stability* and *endurance*. It indicates hope and strength. Olive green is the color of peace. Aqua is associated with healing and protection. It's also associated with money, of course. Shoot, who wants to be broke in their marriage? I'll take that too!
Yet, when you put all of this together, when you add the Shulamite's declaration with Hebrews 13:4---that the marriage bed is to be *pure*---do we not see *just one more reason* why sex outside of marriage is sex that is not pure, holy, righteous...*green* (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message)? Sex that is not going to promote spiritual growth and harmony, safety (especially emotional safety because you have given yourself over to someone who did not ask God's permission to have you in that way), healing, stability, endurance, hope, strength, peace, healing and protection?
In "unpacking" all of this, do you know what another "Ah ha!" is for me? Until I can get into a green bed with my beloved, my bed needs to be green *alone*. Singleness is a time for establishing wholeness. I need to *grow* spiritually and be *fresh* emotionally and *heal* relationally so that when my beloved and I do come together in our *big green bed* (you know I mean that *literally* now, right?-LOL) there can be fertility. Babies? Maybe. But more than anything, "producing an abundance" of LOVE. Godly love.
Yeah, that was *good*, God!
Personally, I can't wait until the day I am married and someone asks, "So how are you two doing?" and all I will need to respond with is "Our bed is green."