One phrase repeated a few times in this letter reappears here in the closing chapter. Verse 4 Daughters of
Warning, be careful, love is a strong emotion. Don’t arouse it till you are ready. Marital love, runs deep and shouldn’t be trifled with, one must be ready…
A few verses later we read the beloved explaining what she means by love, Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned (6-7).
Love, explained here, means we give ourselves wholly to another. It is not whimsical, or fleeting or mere lust… it is life long and forever.
As I mull this over, part of me thinks, ‘Wow, how could I ever know, especially at those early stages, if the ‘love’ I’m feeling for another is ‘love?’ Thinking back, I don’t know if a person can know.
On the flip side, for this ‘love’ to fully blossom, I must give myself to it without reservation and work at it with diligence and commitment. Love like this doesn’t happen over night, it is earned and cultivated. I’m no expert.
I pause once more, considering my own situation… God’s whisper to me is to do everything I humanly can, and then go beyond that to use every bit of strength that the Lord gives me, to cultivate a relationship with my wife that she experiences this depth of love… that she is fully secure and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Lord Jesus, help me to be a husband, lover and friend worthy of bearing Your name. Amen.