Praise and Passion in Marriage (Song of Solomon 5:10–16) - Radical

Praise and Passion in Marriage (Song of Solomon 5:10–16)

“My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold. His locks are wavy, black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool. His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires. His legs are alabaster columns set on bases of gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
– Song of Solomon 5:10–16

I’m going to read this whole passage, Song of Solomon 5:10–16. This is the wife describing her husband as her beloved. What a description. Like, man, that would make any guy feel good, right?

If I had a dollar for every time Heather said my arms are like rods of gold set with jewels. Well, I wouldn’t tell you how rich or not rich I would be. But the whole picture here, so why I read Song of Solomon 5:10–16. And it’s just one of many examples of the wife talking about her husband or a husband talking about his wife with this kind of imagery. And there’s so much there that we could dive into and why this was such a majestic, desirable picture to use that word from verse 16. But what I want to point out here is that God has designed marriage in such a way that passion for one another is grounded in praise for one another.

Song of Solomon 5:10–16 Reminds Us of the Purpose of Marriage

So let me say that one more time. This is so key. Passion for one another in marriage is grounded in praise for one another in marriage. Like there is so much we could dive into in Song of Solomon right now and even in Song of Solomon 5:10–16, that talks about the physical marital relationship and all the joy and delight that God has designed for that.

But notice that it begins with tender, encouraging words toward each other, that the way we speak about each other should overflow into the beauty of physical relationship in marriage. And so I would just encourage all of us who are married to pause and ask the question, are we speaking in ways that just build up our spouses, in ways that make them feel like a million dollars, that make them feel like they are desirable? Are our words to them tender and encouraging and gentle and up building and respectful?

I mean, we could keep going on and on with the kind of language that God has designed for a husband and wife to speak to one another. Like wives, you talk like this Song of Solomon chapter 5:10 through 16 to your husband? Talking about his body like polished ivory and his wavy locks? Like that’s romance in the making, right? And similarly for husbands to speak gently and kindly about the beauty of your wife, to build her up with your words and to resist any and every temptation to tear one another down with your words.

This Verse Helps Us Speak to One Another in Marriage

God, help us to speak to one another in marriage. God help us in our marriages for those of us who are married and again, as we pray for other marriages around us. We pray for this kind of verbal up building, for this kind of verbal praise that leads to physical passion. God, we pray that our marriages and that marriages around us would be marked by this kind of encouraging language. And God, even as we pray this, we think about being your bride, Lord Jesus, and the way you speak to us. We love your words to us. We love what you say about us and we love what you say to us.

God, we delight in your words to us, and we want to speak words of affection and adoration and honor and praise of you. God help us all as followers of Jesus to experience this beauty and passion and praise in our relationship with you, to pour out our hearts in love and adoration to you. Don’t let us live in monotonous, routine, unfeeling religion. Help us to walk in a passionate, joyful, delightful relationship with you as the bride of Jesus Christ. O God, we pray this for each of our lives. Even as we pray for this in our marriages and in marriages around us according to your word in Song of Solomon chapter five. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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