Unforgettable Love Story: A Study of Love, Marriage and Romance
We all want to live a storybook marriage with our spouse. We hope to find our true love, woo that person until they are ours, and then live out our days with romance and excitement. But like all fairytales, the one’s we live are filled with unexpected twists and turns, harrowing challenges, and villains that must be vanquished. More often than not, happy, productive relationships must be grown. Over the next few weeks we will look at Song of Solomon and God’s plan for love, for marriage, relationships, intimacy and happiness. Whether you are married or thinking about marriage, this series will show that God’s teaching on marriage is not just some imposition from God, but the road map to happiness.
Something To Talk About:
In week 1 of the series we looked at attraction.“Romance” and “physical attraction” may not be in “the dictionary of God’s Word,” however, the book Song of Solomon is. In fact, the Bible is full of scripture regarding love and romance because God invented it. We discussed attraction with four points.
Begin with end in mind: In other words, know what you want in a spouse going into the relationship. What kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Does the picture you have in your head for your spouse match God’s word? This is important because it is a fallacy that you can change the person after you get married if you lower your standards for what you want in a spouse. Remember that attractiveness is a quality of the whole person. Attractiveness also deals with your character and spirituality. Recognizing the qualities you want in a spouse will help you know who the right person is and is worth waiting for.
Determine what you will and will not do ahead of time: Successful relationships result from establishing the rules of engagement before hand. To have a Christian marriage is to set and then strive for the goals and standards the Bible gives us as to what we will and will not do. Establish boundaries and guardrails according to biblical principles.
Work at becoming attractive: This is where attractiveness can become confusing. If it were all about physical attractiveness, no homely people, no plain people, would get married. And those who get married would fall out of love when they get old—lose their hair, get wrinkles, and get flabby. There is nothing wrong with working on the outward appearance, as long as we are working on the inside, our spiritual development. Marriage first and foremost is a spiritual relationship. It works best when two people are connected individually to God. If you ignore or push the spiritual dimension to the side, you are ignoring the very God who created marriage and the One who can help you make it work.
Real intimacy comes when Jesus Christ is at the center of your life: God created you to experience intimacy. If you want your marriage to grow strong, one of the most important questions you and your spouse should answer is, “How are we going to grow spiritually?” Because God created marriage, it is not merely two people in a relationship, but three–a husband, a wife, and God. Failing to address this question can almost guarantee that your marriage will not achieve the intimacy and oneness that God designed. Your marriage will reflect the love of God as you allow Him to fill, control, and empower you.
- How do you view attraction? Your attractiveness? Your ability to create it?
- How do you define intimacy?
- What characteristics or qualities were you looking for in a spouse before you got married?
- What is the difference between attractiveness and sexual desire? What is the difference between chemistry and attractiveness?
- How can we work to become more attractive to our spouse?
- Marriage, next to our relationship to God is the most profound relationship there is. Agree or disagree?
- How can we effectively grow “inside” spiritually?
Take One Thing Home with You
Turn attraction inside out.
Esther is a biblical heroine who was beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Esther 2:7 says, “Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.”
Esther was chosen to replace Queen Vashti. Esther was chosen for her exceptional beauty. Sure there were many more beautiful women in Persia, but what made Esther stand out? I believe that when a woman is beautiful on the inside it makes her outside even more attractive. It was actually what the king didn’t see that attracted him to her. From the beginning of Esther’s involvement with the king, it is clear that he was attracted to a depth within her, and it is through these inside qualities, she was ultimately able to maneuver what needed to be done to save her people.
Attraction comes from the inside as much as the outside. And that begins with a relationship with God. A relationship with God is the most important element in any relationship. Because if God is not involved in the relationship, there will be a relationship full of resentment, disconnection or imbalance.
1 Samuel 16:7: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”