We sure are inching closer and closer to the end of Song of Solomon, aren't we? There's actually only one chapter after 7 (so make sure to read all of the SOS posts leading up to this one) and y'all know how I am about signs and wonders (Daniel 4:2-3). After seeing romantic love in this kind of light (Psalm 18:28), I get (as it relates to this particular study) why "all things would work together" (Romans 8:28) and there would be 8 chapters in this Book of the Bible. Biblically, "8" symbolizes "new beginnings" and so it's like the Spirit (John 4:24) is saying "OK, so you have some more of the knowledge that you need. Now it's time for a lot of you to push 'reset' on your marital expectations."
That's why I'm so excited about these particular verses. It's mostly for two reasons.
One, do you see all of that *specific and descriptive* praise that the Shulamite woman is getting from her beloved? He's so into her that he's describing her feet and even her nose! I also like that he digs that she's tall and that when it comes to her breasts, he says that they are like bunches of grapes. And why does that stand out to me? Well, on the tall tip it's because I know a lot of women who are simply not satisfied with their stature. They either think they are too tall or too short. Looka here: for the right man, *your man*, your height will be...*just right*. And as far as "the size of your fruit". Well, grapes tend to be pretty small and personally, I don't know ANY MEN (godly men especially) who dig breast implants. Dudes with lust/porn issues (I John 2:16) might, but most of the guys I come into contact with like *the real thing* and if that comes in a "A" cup, so be it. As I was telling someone not too long ago, if we *all* had done this "sex thing" well and right (Hebrews 13:4), women wouldn't have so many self-image issues anyway because the first time a man would have ever seen a pair of breasts (or any other part of a woman), it would have been on his wife and so he would have been *thrilled* regardless of the size. My point: If you are dating a man who is already dropping hints about you drastically changing your appearance, that's a red flag. Short or tall, "lemons", "cantaloupes" or "watermelons" (or yes "grapes")...you will be just enough for "him".
Now, this doesn't mean that he shouldn't say and do things that will support you to become a *healthier* you. Proverbs 27:6(NKJV) states "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" and Proverbs 27:17(NKJV) tells us "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." It's sad how few people make "marrying my best friend" a top priority, but they should and if you do, you are not always going to be told what you want to hear. If you're eating too much fried or fattening food, if you could stand to do some exercising or take off a few pounds---it's not a sign of not being loved if that's brought to your attention so long as it's *truth spoken in love* (Ephesians 4:15) and gentleness (Galatians 5:22-23) is a part of the delivery.
What I am saying is that I am never going to have type 3c hair and I'm always going to have full breasts and be 5'6". I have made more and more peace with not fixing my overbite (my husband will dig it; the Spirit already told me that-LOL) and my lips are full. That's just the way it is. MY MAN will *love* that. But if I put on 30 pounds for no reason (other than laziness), then yes, that needs to be brought to my attention, even if "he" is the one to do it. Love celebrates and encourages longevity---mind, body and spirit and we know this because "God is love" (I John 4:8&16). If you don't want to be encouraged to be a better you, *in every way*, then you don't really want to be in a *real love relationship*.
Oh, and let me say one more thing about the praise that the Shulamite woman received. King Solomon was a writer and it would appear that the Shepherd boy was a bit of a poet too. However, *not all men are big on words*. That's a big part of the reason why "flesh and blood did not reveal" (Matthew 16:17) to best-selling author Gary Chapman the five love languages. That was *so* the Holy Spirit (John 14:26-AMP)! Indeed, one of the most manipulative and detrimental things that you can do in a relationship is try and make someone be someone they are not. That's a big part of the reason why *the time of singleness* (Ecclesiastes 3) is so important. You can figure out what your (top) love languages are and just how vital it is to you to be in a relationship with someone who is able to not only speak them, but speak them fluently.
For instance, I like jewelry but I'm not big on precious gemstones. I'd prefer a Hallmark card or handwritten letter any day. HOWEVER, I have a married girlfriend who is not big on words on paper *at all* (LOL). She'd rather her husband buy her some high-end jewelry or do some chores around the house. And here's the thing about that. We are two women who desire love. Yet we are two women who want it shown in different ways (Psalm 33:15). One of the greatest dangers with allowing the media to tell us how romantic love should be is that we allow it to set the tone and be the blueprint for it...for us. Suddenly, you see someone get a dozen roses delivered to work on a Lifetime movie and now you want your man to do the same thing even though you're *allergic to roses*. My point is this: Sometimes, we don't know how we want to be loved and then have the nerve to resent (or nag to death) someone else for not figuring it out. This would be the season to start *figuring it out*.
You might want a man who simply sits on the couch and watches movies with you (Quality Time). You might want a man who is willing to help you clean up your house (Acts of Service). You may really desire someone who holds your hand while walking around in the mall (Physical Touch). Whatever it is, don't allow Hollywood (which I call "the modern day Babylon") and all of its lies and confusion (I Corinthians 14:33) tell you how *your man* should show his love for you. God made your future husband *and* you. He's the One to impart the most relevant amount of wisdom (James 1:5) about what makes you "tick" and what...doesn't. Yeah. That's something to think about. Amazing how God won't allow some relationships to work and we're so focused on not getting our way when he's like "Girl, he's not going to meet your needs. *I live with him*. I would know. Acknowledge me a little more often and I would tell you." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Oh, but there's one more thing about these set of verses that I adore.
The Shulamite woman's beloved told her that she was "full of delights". Now what how *that* plays out:
Delight: a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture
Rapture: ecstatic joy or delight; joyful ecstasy
Ecstasy: rapturous delight; an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling; the frenzy of poetic inspiration; mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things; sometimes a temporary loss of consciousness: often associated with orgasm, religious mysticism, and the use of certain drugs
To "him", the Shulamite woman is full of pleasure. She's full of ecstatic joy. And yes, she has the ability to rapture him away from the contemplation of divine things and put him into a state of orgasm.
It's another class for another time, but there is a *huge misconception* that just because a man ejaculates, that he has had an orgasm. That's simply not true. "Release" is a result of sexual pleasure but an orgasm is a culmination of when the mind, body and spirit are in sync within the experience. And when a person truly experiences one, it is defined as being the most intense point of the sexual experience. It's extreme. It's strong. It's deep. It's great. It's a gift from God (which is why we are not to abuse it).
That's why I really like this declaration that he made about the Shulamite woman because to experience a "rapture from divine things", maybe it's just from how I see it (Psalm 18:28), but that reminds me that *true love* has God as its foundation. So, when two people, in a covenant experience, are enjoying one another, there is a moment when they are not so much taken away from God but through sex, they enter into a state of no longer *contemplating* divine matters but *better understanding* them; hence I Corinthians 6:16(Message) starting off with this line: "There’s more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact." This man's woman was full of delights, which ultimately included being full of spiritual mysteries. Every time he laid with her, something else, for him, would unfold. Sex with her was a *revelation*.
And doesn't that give us *even more insight* into why fornication is so wrong? There are certain things that should only be divulged in marital intimacy and the Most High (Genesis 14:19), in his infinite wisdom and understanding, declared that sex would be one of the ways that these "secrets" would be told. And a secret is defined as being something that is *only meant for* the initiated and privileged; in the context of this message, the one who made a vow to both God and you (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) to love and care for you for the rest of your days.
When a man says, "You are full of delights", there is not to be "just any man" to make this kind of statement about you. *Just your husband*.
As we get closer and closer to the end of this message, that's definitely something to "pray and ponder" (Proverbs 4:26) about. This is the time to not "share our delights", but to *store them up*.
So that one day, someday, we will be FULL OF THEM. Just for "him".