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I opened my door for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.

~Song of Songs 5:6

Lesson39-image001Materials Needed: None

Notes to the Leader: This study topic is right to the point: premarital sex is wrong. Before you embark on this message, you should examine your own opinions and consider the people in your group. Many people try to defend worldly behavior but Scripture gives us examples of how God intended men and women to share love. The Song of Songs appears to be written by Solomon and Shulammith. It is speculated that when Solomon assumed the role of King, he received many wives. In addition, the leaders of many countries provided Solomon with many wives and concubines (about 700). All this, not for love but for influence. Shulammith is believed to be Solomon’s true love, the one woman he held above all others. While it is not filled with commands, it walks us through a godly relationship between a man and a woman.

Introduction

How does absence interfere with a relationship?

  • People learn to become independent, to fend for themselves. There is a tendency to loose those things that bond people together, the dependencies.

Section One: The Rocky Road Of Love

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 5:2-4.

What can you learn about Solomon’s relationship with Shulammith through the names he calls her?

  • My Sister – Emphasizing the permanence and familiarity of their relationship.
  • My love – emphasizing his commitment to and delight in caring for her.
  • My dove – emphasizing her gentleness, softness, and the peace he finds with her.
  • My flawless one – emphasizing her moral purity and godly character.

How would you interpret Shulammith’s response to Solomon’s return?

  • Their time apart shows its stress. Her initial response was not quite what Solomon was expecting.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 5:5-8.

What do you see in Shulammith’s response that tells you they had a strong relationship?

  • There was no pouting or getting even. Immediately, she worked for reconciliation.

Section Two: The Key to Making Up

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 5:9-6:3.

What is the key to reconciliation?

  • Remembering the good things about the relationship.

What did Shulammith remember about Solomon?

  • Solomon was radiant; ruddy; outstanding; head is purest gold; black, wavy hair; eyes like doves; handsome face; arms like rounded gold set with jewels; body like polished ivory; legs smooth like pillars of marble; appearance like a cedar tree; speech and kisses utterly desirable; and summarizing, everything about him is delightful.
  • She remembers his love and intimacy in their favorite place, the garden.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 6:4-12.

What is it that Solomon and Shulammith are doing that seems to keep the spark of love alive for them?

  • Praise and confession of their love for one another. Both are accepting responsibility

What does praise and confession do for a relationship?

  • Cuts through insecurity – Chapter 1
  • Provides a setting for love to grow and problems to be dealt with – Chapter 2
  • Enhances physical love-making – Chapter 4
  • Overcomes indifference, hurt and resentment – Chapter 5 & 6

Read Song of Songs 6:11-12 to your group.

Using the illustration of a nut such as a walnut, How would you describe the effort of reconciliation that is being described here?

  • The hard shell is bitter but the inner fruit is sweet. Such is the difficulty of keeping relationships healthy. After such a difficult time, mature relationships return to something much sweeter.
  • Read Song of Songs 6:13 to your group. One interpretation of this verse is that the women of Jerusalem are calling for Shulammith to jump off of Solomon’s chariot and dance before all of them, “so that we may gaze on your beauty.”
  • From this, we can assume that much of the praise and reconciliation that has just taken place may have been in the public eye. The ladies want to see this “beauty” as described by their king.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 7:1-10.

What is Solomon’s response to this?

  • Verse 10 states it plainly, these things are for him alone.

How would we translate this attitude of Solomon’s into a modern attitude for men today?

  • A woman’s body, sex, the entire relationship between man and woman is to be private. Every woman needs the encouragement to withhold such beauty and private things for the bonds of marriage. Somehow it is hard to imagine that Solomon would have encouraged Shulammith to walk with him down a sandy beach while she wore a string bikini or asked her to “sext him on her smartphone.”

Section Three: The Right Setting for Love

Read Song of Songs 7:11 to your group.

What is Shulammith asking Solomon for?

  • She is asking him for her ideal setting for romance.

Why is this important?

  • God has given each Godly union between a man and woman permission to enjoy each other completely. We are allowed, by God, to consider the atmosphere. There is nothing wrong in choosing a romantic place.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 7:12-13.

What is Shulammith doing?

  • Picking her romantic place.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 8:1-2.

What does Shulammith want in her relationship?

  • She wants to publicly display affection and, because the relationship is right and holy, have the community bless it.

What do you think that Shulammith’s mother taught her? (see verse 8:2)

  • It may represent something she learned concerning the importance of both partners being ready before love is consummated.

Where do children learn this today?

  • Nowhere except the home. The media, the entertainment industry, the kids at school, all destroy this concept of being ready. Love it typically displayed as a cheap thrill.

Section Five: Love’s Commitment

Read Song of Songs 8:5 to your group.

Imagine this the closing scene in a play called “Solomon’s True Love.” How would you describe it?

  • The happy return of a health couple, walking hand in hand into the city.

What does the apple tree represent?

  • The apple tree was sometimes used as a symbol of love and romance. Shulammith is reflecting back upon some special moment. She remembers the birthplace of their love.

For that special person in your life, Can you remember back to that moment?

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 8:5-7.

What does Shulammith ask Solomon to do?

  • To be a “seal” over his heart. This is like the king’s signet ring, that all would know she is his.
  • To apply this as an illustrative example of our relationship with Christ, How should Christ be viewed in your own life?
  • The king’s seal was visible. Others should see us as having Christ’s seal “over our hearts.” This cannot be done in silence. All the world must know, we are His.

Who does she see as the originator of their love?

  • God v. 6

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 8:8-10.

What is Shulammith’s advice concerning marriage?

  • That the sexual act that is appropriate in marriage is not consummated before its time. She will do this through constantly communicating its value.

Why does Shulammith state that her advice is good advice?

  • She says, look at me and my own relationship with Solomon. It is health, the way God intended it to be.

Have someone in your group read Song of Songs 8:11-14.

Note: Solomon is king with the right to administer his possessions as he sees fit. Shulammith has given herself, the vineyard, and all benefits that accrue to him from having her as his wife.

However, what is Solomon’s attitude in this relationship?

  • Solomon reinforces that man and wife belong to each other. She does not become a non-person in the arrangement. If she responds to him, it is done so freely, not because he “owns” her. Solomon and Shulammith are sharing a truly open marriage, blessed by God. It has a wonderful permanence to it.

Bible Truth Being Taught

God joins man and woman to serve each other with respect and honor. This is gained by viewing sex as part of God’s plan for a man and woman after they have committed their relationship to God.

Our Response

To go against the world’s view of sex and pleasure, teaching our young men and women to respect each other physically.

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