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Fall is finally in the air here in Southern California. We don’t get a lot of changes in the seasons, but everyone sighs with relief when the summer heat gives way to cozy sweaters and all things pumpkin. Wherever you make your home, I bet you delight in the change fall brings too. Whether it’s crisp mornings, vibrantly dressed trees or the annual apple picking, the change from summer to fall is delightful.
Marriages go and grow through season changes too. Each stage carries its own beauty, but sometimes, as we bend to the changes around us, we lose bits of ourselves along the way. A tree may change its leaves, but regardless of the time of year, it still stands strong and tall. Our love life is designed by our Lord to be like that tree, weathering the seasons but always standing tall and true.
The Song of Solomon closes with words I think we all desire to echo across our marriages:
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.
Song of Solomon 8:7
If we could sit and chat over coffee, I wonder what waters have washed over your marriage this last year. Financial ups? Downs? The birth of a child? The loss of a child? A big move? A new job? The death of a parent or loved one? Plain old busy living? Have those waters made you two stronger or have they felt threatening to the stability of your love?
We’ve personally had a lot of waters the last few years. Some good, some tough. And there’s been moments when I felt our love become more focused and steadfast. There’s also been moments I realized how much I’d let slip from my end of the relationship. Those waters come washing in and sometimes, while you’re just trying to keep your own footing, simple but important facets of your relationship can take a backseat too easily.
An interesting thing about flooding rivers: they make for the best crops. The floodwaters leave mineral and nutrient deposits in the soil that make the harvest stronger, more nutritious and plentiful. The floodwaters of life could have the same result in the love we share in our marriages, if we let them. In farming practices today, we have mechanisms to keep the floodwaters away from the fields. Yet, in bygone farming eras they knew that this year’s crop might suffer, but next year’s crop would be stronger and more fruitful.
We spend a lot of our lives trying to hedge ourselves from the floodwaters. Take a moment and think back through those waters that have washed over your marriage. Can you see, as Joseph put it, how “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20)? Can you see the places where the world, the flesh or the enemy pulled at the tapestry of your love, but how God brought something good to it? I hope so and I pray fervently so! If you can’t see it now, I pray you would see the Lord’s hand work in that issue in a powerful way very soon.
This song between two lovers in Song of Solomon holds important keys to helping us have a love that many waters cannot quench. We can’t hold back the waters. Really, we weren’t meant to. But we can hold onto Love in our marriages and in our homes.
Join us for our “Falling in Love Again” series, as we dig through the treasures in the Song of Solomon to learn how to have a love that cannot be washed away. Here’s a sneak peek at the topics to come. Each topic stems from a quote within Solomon’s song:
1. “Your love is better than wine” - Fostering a love between you both that feels better and sweeter than anything else in this world.
2. “Do not stare at me...” How to enjoy intimacy when you feel uncomfortable with the skin you’re in.
3. “I took great delight...” Being free to delight in your spouse and how to share that delight with him so that he is blessed by being your husband.
4. “My beloved is mine and I am his...” Creating a spirit of safety and belonging within your marriage in your conversations with your husband.
5. “Night after night I sought him...” Pursuing connection and passion with your man even when life interrupts your best efforts.
6. “My Beloved is...” When describing her Beloved, Solomon’s sweetheart used words of tender affection and admiration. When we describe our husbands to those around us, do our words describe an affection and admiration that reflects the same love we see between Solomon and his Beloved? Better yet, does it reflect the love between Christ and His bride?
7. “Come, my Beloved, let us go into the country...” Love grows in those moments we steal away from the rest of the world and get away from all its distractions. This week’s post will bring some practical ideas for creating “stolen” moments of love away from the busyness around you.
8. “Many waters cannot quench love...” Nourishing the love our marriages were designed by God to reflect.
I hope you’ll join us for this journey of “Fall”-ing in love all over again through the Song of Solomon. Until then, I’m praying much joy, sweetness and protection over your marriage relationship.
April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary (MRS) and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com
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