"I have entered my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey. I have drunk my wine and my milk."---Song of Solomon 5:1(NCV)
I'm gonna tell you what. It's throwback Wednesday up in here (LOL) because when I read this latest stanza from the Shulamite woman's beloved, *only one song* immediately came to mind (Whew! Quincy Jones was such a beautiful man back in the day!)
Yes, the "Secret Garden". And what's beautiful about the song is one, the women kept their clothes on in the video (um *thank you*) and two, it reminds us that there are such poetic and subtle ways to express sexual intimacy between a man and a woman. Quincy Jones, Al B. Sure, James Ingram, El DeBarge and Barry White all did it here as did "her" beloved in the Song of Solomon. And honestly, if you're paying close attention, they're basically talking about the same thing.
And just why did her beloved call "it" a garden? Why did the guys sing about a secret garden that, according to James Ingram, only one man should have the keys to (so you know some of us need to "change our locks", right?-LOL)? It's because a garden is not just a plot of ground where fruit, vegetables and plants grow. It's also defined as being "a fertile and delightful spot or region". When the Shulamite woman's beloved professed that he was inside of his garden, it was a fertile place for him...a delightful one as well. When something (or one) is delightful, this means it's highly pleasing and gives great pleasure.
Yet here's the catch...
Psalm 16:11(NKJV) says "You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." People who settle for sexual sin (Hebrews 13:4) engage in this kind of pleasure: "worldly or frivolous enjoyment" and being that I John 2:16 tells us that lust and pride are of the world, this means that any kind of pleasure that is worldly has lust and pride attached to it and if that's the case, as Joseph Richey used to often say, "It's gonna end. It's just not going to end well." The Bible tells us so. Proverbs 16:18(NKJV) states "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" and James 1:14-16(NKJV) tells us "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren." Bottom line, relationships with fornication in them are filled with lust and pride which will eventually, one way or another (especially if there is no true repentance that has taken place-2 Corinthians 7:9-10), result in some form of destruction and death. Even if the relationship transitions into marriage because there was a violation of God's *mandate* for sexual activity, problems will ensue. Marriage doesn't "fix" sexual sin. Repentance does.
However there is another definition of pleasure that needs to be shared: "enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one's liking; gratification; delight". OK, Psalm 16:11 states that GOD shows the path to life. In GOD's presence, there is a fullness of joy. And at GOD's right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. True enjoyment and lasting satisfaction that is according to our own liking only comes from God. Every single boundary that is in the Word, which is Adonai (John 1:1), at the end of the day is about leading us to a path of life and on that path there is joy and pleasure. On that path, one does not have to come at the expense of the other. On that path, pleasure is not temporary, it is forever (Matthew 19:6).
This is what's so brilliant about how the Message Version of I Corinthians 6:16-20(Message) is translated:
"There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, 'The two become one.' Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never 'become one.' There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for 'becoming one' with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."
God's purpose for sex is to reveal spiritual mysteries (secrets).
God's purpose for sex is to make two people one.
God's purpose for sex is to celebrate commitment and intimacy.
God's purpose for sex is for a husband and wife to honor one another in an sacred kind of way.
God's purpose for sex is to value what God paid a high price for by having a covenant in place.
And when two people in a relationship get that, *when they really get that*, authentically divine pleasures manifest. Not in the form of a one-night stand or a two-year relationship but until death parts them.
That's why the Holy Spirit and I selected the lead quote that we did. When a woman is single, her garden---especially her heart and body---needs to be a secret. It needs to be "kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged". And ladies, I don't know if we really get that fact. A man who is able to get into our garden is supposed to go through a certain kind of initiation in order the earn the privilege. In the context of this message, before Elohim (the Godhead) he is supposed "to admit or accept with formal rites into an organization or group, secret knowledge, adult society, etc.". When I Corinthians 7:23 tells us that we were bought with a price and we are not to be slaves among men, a part of what we need to keep in mind is that God paid a dear price for us and so a man must follow certain *formalities* in order to partake of what we have that can (and will-LOL) please him. If he doesn't go through God's "initiation process" (which includes marrying us), he is simply not worthy. *Period*.
That's why I like that her beloved said that he was in *his garden*. Not "a garden" (so many men carelessly plant their seeds into "a garden"-Jeremiah 2:21), but *his garden*. He earned the right to be have authority of her (I Corinthians 7:4), to be an "expert of her pleasure" (expert is one definition of authority). And so yes, he could rightly declare that he has eaten his honey and drunk his milk and wine. Hey, nothing's wrong with that...when it's *yours*.
So do I have a problem posting "Secret Garden" up on this blog? *Obviously not*. It's not meant to tempt you to sin (I Corinthians 10:13). It's designed to remind you to wait. Quite frankly, I'm sick of people being so "hush hush" about something that God made especially since God is light (I John 1:5). Perhaps the more we talk about the beauty of godly pleasure, the more we enlighten (Psalm 18:28) individuals about *the true purpose of sex* and then we will not even associate sensuality with being something that we can partake in before marriage. It will give us something to look forward to in excitement rather than back on with regret.
So the fact that the woman in the lead quote has a secret heart garden with high walls? Good for her. Sounds like she has boundaries and standards to me.
When you know the kind of garden you've got, you know a man should work to gain access to it.
He'll be pleased forever if he does. It's a pretty good pay off.