“Romance” is defined as “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love and remoteness from every day life.” Notice those last few words. Romance is trying to break out of the “remoteness of every day life.” It is trying to find extraordinary moments in the very ordinary life.
If you examine the Song of Solomon, you will see some behaviors from Solomon that would help us keep romance alive in our marriages.
Remember to be affectionate (1:1-2; 8:3)
When we read through out the Song of Solomon, Solomon and his bride, the Shulamite woman, show a lot of physical affection with each other. Jesus believed in showing His love by touching others (Luke 5:13; 7:14; 18:15; 22:51).
But “affection” does not have to come just in forms of physical touching. Learn what pleases your spouse and dose him/her with their preferred form of affection (such as flowers, notes, cards, verbal affection.)
Affirm your love and commitment (8:5-7)
What is the Bible but 66 books that communicates God’s love and commitment to His people? The Old Testament word that can be translated “love” and “loyalty,” “mercy” and “grace,” is translated “lovingkindness” in the NASV, and it is so translated 183 times! That is an average of almost 5 times for each book of the Old Testament! God regularly affirms His love and commitment to His people. Husbands, wives, we would do well to learn the same thing.
Fight fair (3:1-4)
Even in the book of Song of Solomon, there is tension. There is a crisis. It is as if God intended for His manual on married love to reflect reality.
What do you do when there is a crisis? What do you do when there is tension in the marriage? You are two different people and you are not going to agree on every thing and you are not going to always be on the same page. So, how can you keep your marriage healthy and your relationship in the “romantic mode” when you have a disagreement? Well, you “fight fair.” Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott write in a book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: “Far more important to the survival of a marriage, research shows, is how well couples handle disagreements” (2006, p. 113).
So, how do you fight fair?
- Do not run from arguments. Do not sweep all disagreements under the rug.
- Choose your battles carefully. The truth is that 90% of what we argue about should not even be brought up!
- Define the problem clearly. Make sure you each know what the disagreement is really about.
- State your feelings directly. What is it that is making you angry?
- Rate the intensity of your feelings so your spouse will know how strongly you feel about something.
- Do not put the other person down (Matthew 7:12; Colossians 4:6).
- Do not overload your spouse with complaints.
Compliment your spouse (2:3-6; 4:1-4)
One of the best things we can do in our marriage is to use encouraging, complimentary words liberally and regularly. Compare Song of Solomon 2:3-6 with 4:1-4. Compliment, compliment, compliment. All of us love to be complimented.
The Bible is God’s marriage manual as much as it is God’s parenting book. In the center of this wonderful set of 66 books, God has also given us this wonderful book of poetry, Song of Solomon, that illustrates and teaches us the beauty of married love—that it can be romantic even after the dating years and the honeymoon is behind us. The Song of Solomon will help you truly love your spouse as Christ loved the church.
Parrott, Les y Leslie (2006), Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Copyright © 2015 by Paul Holland, in Droplets of Living Water, March 16.