"The Woman: Then you must protect me from the foxes, foxes on the prowl, foxes who would like nothing better than to get into our flowering garden."---Song of Solomon 2:15(Message)
The New Century Version of Proverbs 19:16 says, "Those who obey the commands protect themselves, but those who are careless will die." I know that a lot of times, when we read a verse about death, we tend to immediately go to the loss of physical life. Yet, more and more, I'm learning that since love is life, ministry is life, healthy relationships are life (abundantly-John 10:10), verses like that one in Proverbs can also apply to those categories as well; that when we don't obey God's commands in order to *protect* love, ministry and relationships, they too can die. Over time...sometimes in a very steal, then kill and then utterly destroy kind of way.
While sitting in countless marriage counseling sessions, one thing that I am learning is that God was *so serious* when he said that sex is for married people (Genesis 2:24-25, Hebrews 13:4). There are a lot of couples that I work with who have some pretty horrific (meaning almost non-existent) sex lives (I Corinthians 7:5) and a big part of it is because they have some severe intimacy issues that stem from a lack of trust. And do you know a big part of the reason why they don't trust each other? *Because they had sex before marriage*.
I know that it's a bit hypocritical, but personally, I get why a lot of the "whoremongers" (LOL) look for virgins after they have slept with everyone who would allow them to. If a guy was raised with any kind of premise about not having sex with anyone but his wife (Hebrews 13:4) and a girl *allows* him to compromise that with her (because if you weren't raped, you did allow it which makes you not a victim of his...kind of more like a victim of your own choosing), already there is a part of him that is like "She can't be trusted." We are created to be helpers (Genesis 2:18) and as I oftentimes say, "If we're not helping a guy to heaven, then we are helping him to hell."
There's a particular guy I know that almost every woman that I know (of) has had a crush on at some point or another and I remember once saying to him, "So, which one are you going to marry?" He looked at me like I was speaking broken Chinese or something (LOL): "Any girl who has allowed me to see her naked, I'm not marrying." In his mind, it was as simple as that. But you know what? I get.
The thing that I find to be fascinating is that we don't take on this same mentality. Being that we are told in Ephesians to *submit* to our husbands because it is *fitting* to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), if we also were raised (or came into the knowledge of) knowing that we are to wait and give ourselves to our beloved (Song of Solomon 2:16), then when we are *uncovered* by a man who we are not one with (Matthew 19:6), why is it that oftentimes we try and *push him down an altar* rather than run for our lives? Literally. A guy who is not *protecting us* while we're dating/being courted by him is not an ideal candidate to entrust our well-being to in the long run.
As I've been continually healing from my own sexual past, there have been some guys from "way back then" who have grown and reached back out and honestly, perhaps had we not had sex before, I would consider them. But like Janet Jackson once said, "But I'm not, so I can't and I won't" (LOL). I don't fully trust a man either who basically said, "I don't care what God thinks, let's do this" nor do I think he should fully trust me to submit to him in the way that he, as a man, deserves. A guy who makes flesh sacrifices for spiritual reasons is the kind of man that I believe will truly protect me:
Protect: to defend or guard from attack, invasion, loss, annoyance, insult, etc.; cover or shield from injury or danger
HOW CAN A MAN PROTECT YOU FROM SATAN'S ATTACKS IF HE IS ACTUALLY ALLOWING SATAN TO USE HIM TO...*ATTACK YOU*?
I think that is a part of the reason why I was drawn (and led-Luke 12:12) to the lead verse for this message in Song of Solomon. In the Bible and even in other forms of literature, foxes aren't usually considered to be "good things". A woman by the name of Ruth Weston once said, "A fox is a wolf who brings flowers." And most of us know that we are warned to stay far away from "wolves" because they can be deceptive (Matthew 7:15). What I like about the bible verse and the quote is that it reminds me that a man who can defend and guard me is a man who has *keen discernment* (Proverbs 2):
Discernment: the faculty of discerning; discrimination; acuteness of judgment and understanding
Discern: to perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend; to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate
You know, there's a lot to be said for a man with discernment:
"Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly."---Proverbs 15:21(NKJV)
"Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons shames his father."---Proverbs 28:7(NKJV)
"Where the word of a king is, there is power;and who may say to him, 'What are you doing?'He who keeps his command will experience nothing harmful; and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, because for every matter there is a time and judgment, though the misery of man increases greatly."---Ecclesiastes 8:4-6(NKJV)
A GODLY MAN IS A DISCERNING MAN.
A DISCERNING MAN KNOWS THAT ONLY BY FOLLOWING GOD CAN HE REALLY AND TRULY PROTECT A WOMAN.
A MAN WHO FOLLOWS GOD *PRAYS* ON HOW TO HONOR THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO DWELLS WITHIN HER TEMPLE; HE DOESN'T *PREY* ON HOW TO DESECRATE IT.
Oh, it looks like we're gonna have another song dedication in this one (LOL) because although a man should be able to protect you from thieves and financial ruin and hurt or harm caused by the outside world, I'm realizing that if his *character* (Colossians 3:12-17) is about being godly, then protecting you will naturally be about making your mind, heart and soul a top priority. He will *fight* to keep all three safe:
Above all, he will fight for your honor in order to protect it. And isn't *that* biblical?
"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered."---I Peter 3:7(NKJV)
I recently read a quote that said something to the effect of, "Don't be afraid to raise your standards because those who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them." Definitely words to live by.
You are a daughter of the Most High (Psalm 82:6).
Don't put yourself at risk.
You are precious and you *definitely deserve* to be protected.