True Love

Text: Song of Solomon 8:6-7

I.         A common question that I receive from teenagers and young adults is “How will I know that I’m in love? How will I know that this person is the right one?”

            A.        It is a difficult question. How does a person with no experience in marital love figure out that they are in love?

            B.        The answer, though, is simple. Marital love shares the same qualities as all other forms of love.

                        1.         Do you know how to love your mother, father, brother and sisters? Then you have a clue as to how to love your husband or your wife.

                        2.         Do you know how to love your fellow Christian? Then you know how to love your spouse.

                        3.         Do you love God? Then you are able to love someone here on earth.

II.        The Song of Solomon is an unusual book in our Bibles

            A.        It is written as one large poem or song.

            B.        It is a play.

                        1.         The story is completely told through conversation.

                        2.         There is almost no narration.

            C.        Yet, it is also a difficult book because the parts are not marked.

                        1.         We have to guess as to the division of parts based on what is being said.

                        2.         If you look at different translations, you will find the divisions marked differently; sometimes they are dramatically different.

            D.        Like the book of Esther, there is no direct mention of God

            E.        We don’t even know the name of the main character.

                        1.         The closest we get is when she calls herself “shulammith” or “the shulammite”.

                        2.         It is the female form of the word for peace. Solomon is the male form of the same word.

                        3.         So in other words, she is calling herself Mrs. Peace or Mrs. Solomon.

            F.        Yet it contains the best description of courtship, marriage, and love

III.       Points about true love

            A.        True love cannot be forced or hurried

                        1.         When the young woman was dating Solomon, the hormones were rising from the close association - Song of Solomon 2:4

                                    a.         She becomes faint from love (love sick) - Song of Solomon 2:5

                                    b.         In her excitement she begins to dream of them lying together - Song of Solomon 2:6

                                    c.         Then she abruptly catches hold of herself - Song of Solomon 2:7

                                    d.         It becomes a running theme.

                        2.         During the last days before the wedding, the young woman begins to have nightmares: Dreams of losing her beloved - Song of Solomon 3:1-3

                                    a.         In her dream she does find him, and is determined not to let him go until she takes him home to her bed - Song of Solomon 3:4

                                    b.         But she wakes up - Song of Solomon 3:5

                        3.         There are too many people in a rush to be in love.

                                    a.         People in love hold each other tight, right? People in love have sex.

                                    b.         So if I want to make someone love me, I need to snuggle with him or her and have sex. Then I’ll lock his or her heart to mine. Right?

                                    c.         Wrong! It is getting the cart in front of the horse. It is seeing the natural results of love and mistaking it as the cause of love.

                        4.         When we reach the end of the book and we read of their joy in each other’s company and embrace, the warning is given once again - Song of Solomon 8:4

                                    a.         She and her husband have been married for quite a while.

                                    b.         They are comfortable with each other, and they are deeply in love.

                                    c.         You can’t force this type of love to develop by trying to hurry it along.

                                    d.         Their love had fully awaken over time and they were ready for it - Song of Solomon 8:5

                                    e.         But unmarried women are not prepared for this level of involvement with a man.

                                    f.         It would be unreasonable to expect such interaction between even newly married couples.

                                    g.         True love grows slowly.

            B.        True love is exclusive and absorbing - Song of Solomon 8:6

                        1.         In olden days, a person did not sign documents with an ink pen.

                                    a.         Each person had a personal seal: a small cylinder of stone engraved with personal pictures, words, or signs.

                                    b.         The cylinder was rolled over soft clay or wax to make an impression to indicate that it came from this person.

                                    c.         Seals were valuable possession: if it was lost, it would allow others to forge documents in their name.

                                    d.         To keep a seal safe, a person kept his seal close to him, strapping it to his chest or tying it around the upper arm.

                        2.         By comparing herself to a seal, Shulammith is saying she wants to be Solomon’s valued personal possession - Ephesians 5:28-29, I Peter 3:7

                        3.         As their loved grew in courtship - Song of Solomon 2:16

                        4.         When a fight threaten to divide them, she found some comfort - Song of Solomon 6:3

                        5.         When love fully blossomed - Song of Solomon 7:10

                        6.         Proverbs 5:15-20

            C.        True love is enduring - Song of Solomon 8:6-7

                        1.         When someone dies, the grave will not easily give up its hold. Neither does true love easily lets go of the one being loved.

                        2.         Trouble cannot put out the fires of love

                        3.         One of the scenes in the Song of Solomon is a disagreement over a really small and silly matter

                                    a.         Rather than ignoring the problem, Shulammith’s love drives her to seek Solomon out - Song of Solomon 5:8

                                    b.         Instead of an argument that she expected, she finds Solomon telling her of his love for her - Song of Solomon 6:10

                                    c.         It amazed her - Song of Solomon 6:11-12

                        4.         I Corinthians 13:8 - Love never fails

                        5.         Many young people see someone and declare they are in love. But how do you know it is the real thing?

                                    a.         True love builds over time. True love grows stronger.

                                    b.         The more you know about the other, the stronger it gets.

                                    c.         Infatuation, the hormones racing, is not love. It fades over time. The more you know about the person, the more your troubled and wonder if you hadn’t made a mistake.

                                    d.         Too many are impatient to invest the time. I just talked to a young man, grieving because his wife left him just months after their marriage. His first clue of a problem? He found out two weeks after their marriage she had a daughter whom she had abandoned! He thought their six months together was enough to know her, but he was wrong.

            D.        True love is not for sale - Song of Solomon 8:7

                        1.         You don’t gain this type of love by showering her with rich gifts.

                        2.         Her body was hers alone to give - Song of Solomon 8:10-12

                        3.         Those entering a marriage are offering the greatest gift they can give – themselves, solely and whole.

IV.      True love is pure and wholesome - Hebrews 13:4

            A.        The idea of falling into or out of love is foreign to the teachings in the Scriptures

            B.        A persons chooses to be in love and that choice sweeps them along, governing their future choices.

            C.        I Corinthians 13:4-8a