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Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

In, Solomon on Sex, we study the Song of Solomon, a frequently ignored Old
Testament book. It is a book of poetic snapshots that give us a window into the
relationship between King Solomon and his first wife, the Shulammite. The first
half of the book teaches about their dating, courting and wedding. The second
half of the book chronicles the joys and struggles of marriage.

The Song of Solomon is packed with practical guidance for all stages of love and
romance.

In addition to the teaching this book, my wife Cindy and I took questions on sex,
love and romance from the church and community. We answered these in the
worship service and on the www.solomononsex.com web site. We included
these questions and answers in this book.

I hope you are brought closer to Christ as you follow the studies of Faith Church
through this book.

For this work, I owe a debt of gratitude to many. First, I want to thank Mark
Driscoll who preached a similar series. It inspired the idea for this one.

I would also like to thank Sheryl Fastenow, my secretary, for her tireless editorial
work. I have special thanks for Kiley Seligman. She is an additional editor who
reviewed the manuscripts. Her keen editorial skills are a blessing. Thank you for
serving Christ with me.

Finally, I would also like to thank the Faith Church family. Not every church is
mature enough to study this book. Your desire to sacrifice traditional church
comfort to bring Christ to our culture warms my heart. I love you guys!

Because of Gods Mercy,

Kurt
_____________________________
Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Sr. Pastor
Faith Church - EFCA
2805 Erie Ave.
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
712-336-3537 (office)

http://www.faithefree.com
http://www.Christ2Rculture.com

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Table of Contents
Song of Solomon Sermons".....................................6
God, Sex and Culture "...................................................................7

Song of Solomon 1:1-8 - Give Me a Kiss!".................................17

Song of Solomon 1:8-17 - Kill Em With Compliments"............27

Song of Solomon 1:16-2:7 - Rekindled with Romance"............39

Song of Solomon 2:8-15 - Dating and Relating"........................50

Song of Solomon 3:1-5 - Avoiding Marital Disaster".................60

Song of Solomon 3:6-11 - Why have a Wedding?"....................71

Song of Solomon 4:1 - 5:1 - Great Sex Gods Way"..................83

Song of Solomon 5:2-8 - Sin in the Bedroom"...........................95

Song of Solomon 5:9-6:9 - Recovering from a Marital Wipeout


"....................................................................................................104

Song of Solomon 6:11-7:10 - The One Thing I Can Change Is


Me "...............................................................................................113

Song of Solomon 7:11-8:4 - Marital Sabbath"..........................122

Questions and Answers".......................................142


At What Age Should a Parent Speak to Their Child About Sex?
"....................................................................................................143

What about birth control?"........................................................144

How Do You Recover From Being Betrayed Sexually and


Learn to Forgive and Trust Your Spouse?".............................147

Is It True That God Will Not Hear the Prayers of Someone In


Sexual Sin?"...............................................................................148

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Is It a Sin To Notice a Woman is Beautiful?"............................149

What Can I Do To Stop Being Tempted Sexually?".................150

What about masturbation? I cant find anything in the Bible


about this?"................................................................................152

What Are Some Common Reasons Marital Sex Is Not


Enjoyable?".................................................................................155

I Was Intimate With a Previous Woman. How Will That Affect


My Future Marriage?".................................................................156

Why Do Young Men Have Such Strong Sexual Desires?"......158

I Am Living With My Fianc. We Are Having Sex. How Do I


Talk To Him About Waiting?".....................................................159

If Wife a Constantly Says No, Is It Acceptable For a


Husband to Stimulate Himself?"...............................................160

Can Someone Be An Openly Gay Christian?".........................161

Is it sinful to be sterilized?".......................................................163

I am a wife who has had many children. I would like to get


breast augmentation and/or cosmetic surgery for my
stomach. Is this okay?"............................................................164

Should I Tell My Spouse if I Look at Internet Porn?"..............165

I Am Single, Should I Use a Dating Web Site Like


Eharmony.com or Christianmingle.com".................................166

What Do You Do When Your Husband Works Long Hours And


You Have Little Time For a Date or Money for a Babysitter?"168
.

How Often Should a Married Couple Be Intimate?"................169

Is It Wrong For a Couple To Have Sex Anally or Orally?"......170

What If a Job Comes Between A Couples Love Life?"...........172

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Why Did God Create Marriage?"...............................................174

Is It Acceptable For a Wife To Wear Revealing Clothing At


Home?"........................................................................................176

What Should I Do If My Spouse Is Not Taking Good Care of


Himself/Herself?".......................................................................177

How Do I Tell My Kids Premarital Sex Is Wrong When I


Indulged In It Myself?"...............................................................178

Is Any Form of Sexual Contact Permissible? Can I Go By The


Rule That As Long As Nobody Gets Hurt, It Is OK?"..............179

Is Divorce Ever An Acceptable Option?".................................180

Is It Sinful To Put Your Daughter On Birth Control?"..............184

I Am a Widow Getting Remarried, What Pitfalls Should I Avoid


Now That I Am Dating Again?"..................................................186

My Husband Is Not Really Interested In Sex Anymore, But I


Am. Now What?".......................................................................187

Isnt It Smarter to Live Together Before We Marry So We Know


If We Are Compatible?"..............................................................188

At What Age Should You Start Thinking/Seriously Considering


Getting Married?".......................................................................190

Works Referenced"................................................191

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Song of Solomon Sermons

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God, Sex and Culture

January 8, 2011
Good morning Faith family. If you are new, my name is Kurt. I am one of
the pastors. Today we finally get to rock n roll on our new series called Solomon
on Sex. This will be fun. It will be very fun. I expect this series will take at least
three months, but I havent decided how long it will go. We will see how this
unfolds.
This morning, I want to give you some background on our culture and sex.
I also want to give you an overview of the Bible and sex. Next week we will get
to the Song of Solomon. At the end of the message, Cindy and I will answer a
few of the questions you submitted through the solomononsex.com website.
There is a lot to cover so let us dive in.
How should I think about sex?
There are three ways people have viewed sex both inside and outside the
church.
1. Sex is God - Sex is worshipped. You put your money into it. You put your
time into it. You put your energy into it. Your identity comes from it, and your
whole life is about sex.
2. Sex is Gross - This is the ultra-fundamentalistic church youth group view of
sex. It is dirty, nasty, wrong. It is an overreaction to the world.
3. Sex is a Gift - This is realizing sex is a gift God gives us to treasure, to
cherish, to steward, to enjoy and within marriage, to share.
Sex is god.
Worship of sex is nothing new. In the Old Testament, the Jewish nation
was an island in a sea of cultures that treated sex like religion. For example, the
Canaanites had gross stuff going on with their gods and goddesses.
Archaeologists tell us most of them were pictured naked. Worship in their
temples involved people getting together for illicit sex. That is how they did
church. They had prostitutes in the temple to help you worship. The Old
Testament world was not much different from our own and in some ways it was
far worse than our own. Fast forward to the New Testament.
The Greek culture was dominant in the first century and it heavily
influenced the Roman Empire. It was extremely perverted. For example, it was
acceptable for older men to be with young boys in inappropriate ways. It was just
acceptable in that culture. Today, we call that pedophilia, and we lock people up
who do that.
In addition, many of the temples in Greek and Roman society had sex as
part of their worship. For example, the city of Corinth had the temple of
Aphrodite. It housed a thousand temple prostitutes that aided the worshipping

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the crowd. This explains why in Pauls letters to the Corinthians, he had to teach
them the basics of God honoring sexuality. They were just too messed up to
figure out what was right and wrong sexually. Paul had to tell them they could
not have sex outside of marriage. They could not have sex with their fathers
wife. That is obvious to us but Corinth was so perverted that people lost track of
what was right.
Fast forward to our day, and we discover not much has changed. A
professor at the University of Virginia sociology department compiled these
interesting statistics. The average individual has their first sexual experience at
age 16. One-third of all children are aborted. Of the children born, one-third are
born to unwed mothers. Pornography is a $60 billion a year business. Twelve
billion of that is spent by Americans. That is more money than is spent on pro-
baseball, basketball and football combined. More money is spent by Americans
on porn than the revenues of ABC, NBC and CBS combined. Americans spend
more money on porn each year than our country gives in foreign aide.
A new porn film comes out every hour. Porn sites are 12 percent of all
Internet sites. Porn is 24 percent of all search engine requests. 20 percent of
men admit to viewing porn at work and 13 percent of women. Three thousand
dollars is spent on porn in America every second. Twenty-eight thousand
Internet users are viewing porn every second in America.
Who is the No. 1 consumer of porn? Boys ages 12 to 17. Some of you
are concerned we are talking about Gods view on love, sex and marriage in a
church service. You think it might is inappropriate for children. News flash!
Statistically, your children already know much more about the opposite sex than
you think. Just this past week I counseled a parent who caught their 10 year old
looking at Internet porn.
Ten percent of Americans admit to being addicted to porn. Of that 10
percent, 28 percent are women. Porn addiction is not just a guys problem.
Seventy percent of men ages 18 to 34 visit a porn site at least once a month.
All this to say we live in a very defiled, grotesque, and confused culture
where sex is a religion. It is what people live for and what controls them. It is
where they put their money and their time. Paul said in his day some people had
their stomach as god because they loved to eat. Many still worship their
stomach, but many more have moved their worship a little farther south.
Since sex is worshipped in our culture, many inside and outside of the
church have overreacted against it. They say sex is gross.
Sex is gross.
When the New Testament was written, there was a group of philosophers
called the Stoics. They had a negative influence on the early church fathers. The
stoics based their philosophy on Plato. Plato was a dualist. Dualism claims we
are composed of two parts. A body and a spirit. The body is bad. The spirit is
good. The goal is to die, leave the body behind and live a spiritual life. This is

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unbiblical. Unfortunately, the stoics had a powerful influence on many in the
early church. Many early Christians followed the stoic thinking of their day. They
thought their body was bad, pleasure was bad, sex was bad and intimacy was
bad. That is unbiblical, but many of our church fathers believed it.
This was an overreaction to the sex-crazed culture of their day. Let me
give you some examples. Tertullian and Ambrose, two church fathers, said,
They preferred the extinction of the human race to continued marital
intercourse. Origen, said the Song of Solomon, the book we are about to study,
was purely symbolic and he castrated himself. He read the part where Jesus
says that if a part of your body, like your hand, causes you to stumble, cut it off.
He took Jesus metaphor literally. Chrysostom, another early church father,
taught Adam and Eve didnt have sexual relations until after the fall. Jerome,
when he was sexually tempted, would throw himself onto sticker bushes. When
he saw a cute girl, he jumped on thorns. Apparently, that solved the problem,
though I would not recommend it. Gregory of Nyssa claimed Adam and Eve had
no sexual desire prior to the fall. He taught that Eve was originally designed to
become pregnant by eating of a special tree in the Garden of Eden. You dont
find that in the Bible. These overreactions are funny and sad at the same time.
They were overreacting to the sex-crazed culture around them and teaching
things that werent in the Bible.
You come to the Middle Ages and priests are forbidden to marry in the
Catholic Church. By the fifth century, celibacy was considered the best life and if
you did get married, you were not to have sex for any other reason than having
children.
The Catholic Church then began writing manuals telling people what they
could and could not do in their bedroom and what days they were allowed to be
intimate. By the time they were done, only 44 days of the year were left open. If
you came back from a business trip, it was possible you had to wait more than 40
days to be intimate with your wife. That was a serious bummer for the
newlyweds.
They considered sex bad. They considered marital pleasure evil. The
body was considered evil. The less fun couples had together, the better.
That leads us to the Victorian age where modesty got out of control.
Women wore long gowns that went to the floor because it was thought that if a
man saw a womans ankle, he would lust uncontrollably. Then they noticed the
table legs were smooth, sleek and round. They thought a man would lust after
them. That is when floor length table clothes were introduced. I know this
sounds far fetched, but it is true. These were the concerns in the Victorian era.
(By the way, if you are a man who finds table legs something you lust over,
please get help. I mean you can leave the sermon now and get help. That is an
urgent matter.)
This leads us to the present day when a lot of Christians still view sex as
evil. They dont come out and say sex is evil, often times it is much more subtle.

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You know they think sex is a bad thing because all you hear Christians talk about
is what they are against. Fornication is bad. Adultery is bad. Porn is bad. That
is what you always hear Christians say. While all that is true, they forget to talk
about what is good about sex. They forget to say sex was Gods idea. It is a
great idea. God created a place, a time and a person when it is to be enjoyed -
that is called marriage. In fact, he commands us to practice an active and
passionate sex life in marriage. According to 1 Corinthians 7, to not be sexually
satisfying your spouse is sin. Not many of us expected the Holy Spirit to convict
us that the lack of sexual love we express towards our spouse in an area of sin in
our lives, but it is true. Dont believe me? Turn to 1 Corinthians 7. It is written in
plain English.
Some Christian women think sex is gross. Maybe you were abused. Let
me be sensitive to you on this point. If you were molested as a child or raped as
an adult, if you had a negative sexual experience similar to that, you were sinned
against. Those experiences are powerful and hurtful. You will have a tendency
to see all sexuality as gross because your experience of it was gross. Your
experience of sex might have been gross, but that doesnt mean sex is gross. It
means your experience of it was hurtful. If that is you today, you need to allow
God to renew your mind and let Gods Word teach you how to think about sex
biblically and to think about your sexuality in a way that honors God.
Some guys think about sex negatively because it controls them and drives
them to do things they dont want to do. They are sex addicts. Guys, in this
series, learn to think about sex biblically and positively. If sex isnt a god and sex
isnt gross, how should we think about it?
Sex is a gift.
Our sexuality is a gift given us from God. Like any other gift it is to be
saved for the right time, the right place and the right person to be unwrapped.
That time, place and person come about in marriage.
Since sex is a gift, some of you will want to get on Amazon and find all the
books you can on sex and techniques on how you can enjoy it. Let me speak
with you frankly. The world has a way of taking marital sexuality and twisting it.
The worlds sex books are often twisted. Their focus is on how to satisfy
yourself. According to the Bible, your sexuality is given to you to serve your
spouse. The worlds understanding of sex is self-centered. The Bibles
understanding of sex is serving-your-spouse-centered.
If you are thirsty this morning for more information on sexuality, you can go
to Amazon to get your books and they will satisfy you. The problem is that you
will be drinking toilet water. If you want clean, pure and fresh water to satisfy
your thirst then stick with us for the next three months as we study the Song of
Solomon.

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Why did God create marriage and sex?
Now I want to give you an overview of sexuality from the Bible and how
this gift is to be used. Biblically, we need to understand God gave us marriage
and sex in marriage for multiple purposes. It is not just for making babies.
1. It is for pleasure - You might think this is rather direct but the Song of
Solomon never mentions kids. It talks about the pleasures of marital
sexuality. If you are married, enjoy intimacy with your spouse to the glory of
God.
2. It is for children - Genesis 1:28 tells us to Be fruitful and multiply. Outside
of the immaculate conception, there is only one way to have children. Cindy
and I have three kids. We dont have as much money because kids cost
money, but I wouldnt trade any of them for all the money in the world. If
Cindy did not have an autoimmune disease, our tribe would be bigger. Kids
are a blessing.
3. It is for oneness - Genesis 2:24 says the husband and wife will become
one. One flesh, one covenant, one house, one bed, one checkbook and one
mind. Marriage and sex fuses people together as one.
4. It is for comfort - 2 Samuel 12:24 talks about the time David had a child die.
Sometimes there is nothing to say in those situations. You just need the one
who loves you to hold you. The text says that at that time he was intimate
with his wife, and she conceived. They were together sexually to comfort one
another.
5. It is for protection - 1 Corinthians 7 says that if you have sexual desires,
they are to be met in marriage. If not, you are open to temptation to sin. Paul
says in the Corinthian letter that it is better to marry than to burn with
passion. So if you are burning with passion, focus on getting married, not
doing everything you should be doing in marriage outside of it.
So sex is not the god we worship. It is not gross. It is a gift from God to
be treasured and enjoyed at the right time and in the right place. Now lets open
our Bibles and go to the beginning so we can study the foundation of marriage
and sexuality that the Song of Solomon was built upon. Turn to Genesis 2:18
Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make
him a helper fit for him. Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every
beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to
see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature,
that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the
heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a
helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and
while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib
that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought
her to the man. Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of
my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

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Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and
were not ashamed. Genesis 2:1825 (ESV)
Lets make some observations.
1. Notice the woman comes from the mans side. She isnt in front leading him
like a feminist. She isnt behind cleaning up after him like a chauvinist would
enjoy. She is from his side. This may explain why women are typically
slightly shorter and it works for a husband to put his arm around his wife. She
fits right back into the place she came from.
2. Notice what the writer of Genesis does with this. He uses the word therefore.
It is because of how God created men and women that they are to relate to
one another in a particular way. First, a man will leave his father and mother.
The guy moves out and gets his own place. Second, he holds fast to his wife.
That doesnt mean he moves in with her. It means he marries her and
commits to her. Third, the two become one flesh. Then they enjoy marital
intimacy. They are both naked and they are not what? Ashamed. They know
this is good. This is right. There is no shame or guilt in their sex lives. There
is joy.
3. We should notice God created Eve, a woman, not another man. God created
heterosexual marriage, not homosexual marriage. You wonder what is wrong
with homosexual marriage, here you have it. God says Adam and Eve, not
Adam and another man.
4. We should also notice there is only one place to be sexually active, that is in
the context of marriage. Before marriage we call that fornication, outside of
marriage we call that adultery. In marriage, we call that bringing glory to God.
5. We need to notice that Eve was Adams standard of beauty. We watch The
Bachelor and a guy gets a house full of sex-crazed women chasing him. He
gets to choose which one excites him the most. That is not the way God
worked it. I dont know what Eve looked like, but compared to the Tiger shark
and the lizard, she looked amazing. God said to Adam that his wife was to be
his standard of beauty.
As a culture, we follow The Bachelor television show method. Young
people date, break up, date, break up, connect emotionally and physically, then
tear apart. That is not Gods plan. God plans for your spouse to be your
standard of beauty and to save yourself for your spouse. Gods plan is not to
have 27 different women all competing for a man sexually.
This means if you married a tall woman, your standard of beauty is a tall
woman. If you married a short woman, guys, your standard of beauty is a short
women. If you married a plus-size woman, your standard of beauty is a plus
size. If you married a skinny woman, your standard of beauty is skinny. If your
wife looked one way at age 25 when you married her, she will not look the same
at age 75. What she looks like at age 75 is your new standard of beauty, not

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what she looked like at age 25. Lust is comparing your spouse to another or
desiring your spouse to look like a different spouse. What does the Bible say?
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl. Job 31:1 (NIV84)
That is the introduction. Next week, we get into the book. As I wind this
up, I want to invite Cindy to come forward so we can answer a few of your
questions. Some of you wonder why she is doing this part with me.
I have known this woman for almost 20 years, and she is really smart.
She is especially good with questions that come from women. I am a man. As a
guy, there is only so much I understand about ladies so I want her to help with
the questions. I feel we will do this better together than alone.
Q&A with Kurt and Cindy
The outline and some of the data for this message were taken from a sermon delivered by Mark
Driscoll on the same text. The sermon can be found in an ebook. (Driscoll, M. (2009). Mark
Driscoll Sermon Archive 2005-2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.) Mark has
reformatted this material and expanded upon it in a recent book, (Driscoll, M., & Driscoll, G.
(2012). Real marriage: The truth about sex, friendship & life together. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)

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Solomon on Sex
God, Sex and Culture
Small Group Work Sheet
January 8, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Who is on your Solomon on Sex Invest and Invite Card? What steps have you taken
to invite them?
Have you given away any Solomon on Sex Invitation Brochures? To whom? How did
it go?
Did you choose to use a yard sign?
Part 2 - Sermon Review
1. What did Pastor Kurt mean when he said that people have often treated sex
as god? What is an example of this today? In history?
2. What are some modern day examples of the church treating sex as gross?
3. The sex is gross view often comes from half-truths, fears and bad
experiences. What would you say to a person who has this view -- to try and
convince them that sex is good?
4. What was your reaction to the statistics on consumption of pornography ($60
billion a year business)? How far do you think politicians should go in fighting
or regulating this industry?
5. Read Genesis 2:18-25: As a group think of all the implications for marriage
and sex that come from this passage of Scripture (especially vss. 22-25)?

Part 3 - Digging Deeper


The view that Sex is Gross has often been a view for Christians throughout
history. Here are some humorous (but sad) quotes on the negative views taken
of marital sexuality.
The ancient church was comfortable reaching into the marital bedroom and
telling couples what they could and couldnt do. At times, church authorities tried
to outlaw marital sex for much of the year.

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Church authorities issued edicts forbidding sex on Thursdays, the day of
Christs arrest; on Fridays, the day of his death; on Saturdays, in honor of
the Blessed Virgin; and on Sundays in honor of the departed saints.
Wednesdays sometimes made the list too, as did the 40-day fast periods
before Easter, Christmas, and Pentecost, and also feast days and days of
the Apostles, as well as the days of female impurity. The list escalated
until only 44 days a year remained available for marital sex!1
Leap forward to the 1800s and we find the deeply rooted attitude on the
grossness of sex still controlling the church. One of my favorite illustrations of
this comes from a letter written by a pastors wife to a young woman before her
wedding day. (This woman may have been a pastors wife, but as a pastor, I am
thankful she was not my wife!)
To the sensitive young woman who has had the benefits of proper
upbringing, the wedding day is, ironically, both the happiest and most
terrifying day of her life. On the positive side, there is the wedding itself;
on the negative side, there is the wedding night, during which the bride
must pay the piper, so to speak, for the first time the terrible experience
of sex.
At this point, let me concede one shocking truth. Some young women
actually anticipate the wedding night ordeal with curiosity and pleasure!
Beware such an attitude! One cardinal rule of marriage should never be
forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE
GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise what could have been a proper marriage could
become an orgy of lust.2
Another humorous example of the perceived grossness of marital sexuality is
seen in a quote from Lady Hillingdon, a British
aristocrat.
I am happy now that Charles calls on my
bedchamber less frequently than of old.
As it is, I now endure but two calls a week,
and when I hear his steps outside my
door, I lie down on my bed, close my eyes,
open my legs and think of England.3
The negative attitude on human sexuality was
still firmly entrenched in the early 1900s. Now I
know why the parents in Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver slept in

1 Philip Yancey, Holy Sex, Christianity Today (October 2003), p. 49.


2Ruth Smythers, Instructions and Advice for the Young Bride, The Madison Institute Newsletter
(New York: Spiritual Guidance Press, Fall 1894).
3Tom Gledhill, The Message of the Song of Songs (Downers Grove, Ill. Intervarsity, 1994), p.
171.

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different beds. Here is a quote from a popular book in 1907 on how a groom can
love his bride sexually.
Thousands of married men and
women are suffering from the effects
of excessive sexual indulgence. They
drain their physical powers, weaken
the intellect, and fail to attain the
happiness and grand results which
would otherwise be possible for them.
It might be said that no man of
average health, physical power and
intellectual acumen can exceed the
bounds of once a week without at least
being in danger of having entered upon a life of excess both for himself
and for his wife.
Marital moderation is most easily
secured and maintained where married
persons occupy separate beds.
Sleeping in the same bed is the most
ingenious of all possible devices to
stimulate and inflame the carnal
passion. Often the best arrangement is
to occupy separate rooms because
then you can escape the sexual
excitement which comes daily by the
twice-repeated exposure of undressing
and dressing in each others presence.4

I found these quotes humorous. I hope you did too. Next week, we will open up
the Song of Solomon and see marital sexuality as God intended.

4Adapted from Sylvanus Stall, D. D., What a Young Husband Ought to Know (Philadelphia: The
Vir Publishing Company, 1907). pp. 79, 91, 95.

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Song of Solomon 1:1-8 - Give Me a Kiss!
January 15, 2011
Good morning Faith family. My name is Kurt. I am one of the pastors.
We are in our second week studying the Song of Solomon. Last week we set the
stage by looking at how our culture twists sex. We learned a twisted
understanding of our sexuality is not just a cultural problem, but it is also
something the church has done. This morning, I will introduce the Song of
Solomon, then we will put our finger in the text and start studying it. We will finish
up by Cindy joining me on stage to answer two more of the questions you
submitted on the Solomononsex.com website.
Why are we studying this book?
One of the questions people ask me is, Why we are studying the Song of
Solomon? The reason is simple. Much of the counseling we do in the church
office pertains to the issues of sex, love and marriage. They are huge issues in
our culture. The Song of Solomon is an entire book devoted to these issues.
With the issues we deal with everyday, it seems foolish to ignore this book of the
Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16 says all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable, that
includes the Song of Solomon. It is in the Bible. God inspired it. God put it in
the Bible because we need to study it. Unfortunately, many good Bible teachers
wont touch it because some parts make them feel uncomfortable. That is
unfortunate. Fortunately, it will not keep us from studying it. Here are some
additional reasons we are studying it.
1) The culture desperately needs to hear the truth about sex, love and
marriage. Everybody is teaching about sex and love but the church. Most
people think Dr. Ruth knows more about sex, love and marriage than God
does. The church has been silent on this issue too long.
2) Silence on sex is sinful. To leave you ignorant on this would be sinful on my
part. Let me be candid. As a young man, my pastor never preached on this
stuff. I wish he had. If he did, I wouldnt have made as many mistakes in this
area as I did. I believe silence in this area is sinful. It is information we need
to have to honor God. That is why I am teaching on it.
3) To not study this book, because it doesnt feel spiritual enough, is to say
some parts of the Bible are more important than others. It is creating a
canon within the canon. We need to hear all of the Bible, not just the parts we
like best. To ignore an extremely practical book like Song of Solomon is to
play favorite with Bible books. All of the books of the Bible are profitable and
needed for spiritual health.
How is this book put together?
In church history, to make this book more comfortable for church life and
take some of the passion out of it, some Bible teachers developed a way of

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teaching it called the allegorical method. They said the Song of Solomon was
just an allegory to teach us about the relationship of Christ and his church. They
said the book had nothing to do with sex, love, and marriage but it was all about
spiritual issues.
Are they wrong? There are some elements of the Song of Solomon that
teach us about the relationship between Christ and the church, but that is not the
primary purpose. That is the secondary purpose. Primarily this book talks about
a man and his wife. It paints a picture of what a satisfying God-honoring
marriage should look like. We will come back to this allegorical stuff later in the
series for some laughs. At this point, I just want you to be aware of it.
Since this book is poetry, there is a little mystery in how it is put together,
what is happening when, and the specific identity of the main characters. Some
of you, who are more scholarly, can study up on the ways scholars believe the
book might be structured. I see it as a series of love songs between a man and
his wife. They are great song writers. They are singing to one another. They are
writing poetry to one another, and they use metaphors and images to keep the
song safe for children, but with a little adult imagination, you can see the fuller
meaning.
While some of you are nervous that we are studying this book as a
church, just so you know, the Jews read this every year at Passover. They would
get together at the pub and sing these love songs. If it was good enough for
them every year, it should be good enough for us once in a lifetime.
In the book, we find three main characters. There is the man, which I
believe is King Solomon. He is mentioned six times. There is a woman, who is
his wife. We dont know her name. She is from the region of Shulam. Many
scholars speculate about who she is. If I had to choose somebody, I would
choose Abishag. We first meet Abishag when she was brought in to be the 24-
hour-care nurse for David, Solomons father, as he was dying. She was poor.
She was from the region the woman in the Song of Solomon came from, the
region of Shulam. We dont know for sure it is Abishag. We do know this woman
was also poor and came from the same region she did.
The third group in this story are the backup singers. They come on the
scene and sing a line or two. That may sound weird but every woman has a
group of lady friends, and the Shulammite bride was no different. She has her
girlfriends who talk about the new man in her life and talk about her relationship.
That is the way it works today and that is the way it worked back then. Guys, a
woman always comes with her friends.
The title of this book is helpful. Sometimes this book is called the Song of
Solomon. In the first line it is called The Song of Songs, which is Solomons.
This means the song was his best song. In the Bible we have the king of kings,
the holy of holies, and the Lord of lords. This is the song of songs. The Bible
tells us Solomon wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs. This song is the one
that went platinum. It is the one that topped the charts.

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Something else you should notice is the book is not necessarily in
chronological order. It is called a lyric idyll. This is a kind of poetry where
speeches and events are not necessarily in chronological order but they are put
together like snapshots in a photo album. For example, one song will be a
snapshot from when they were dating. Another song will be a snapshot from
their honeymoon. Another song will be a snapshot from their vacation in the
country. It is a book of lyrical snapshots from their relationship.
Why listen to Solomon on marriage?
A number of you wondered why we would study the Song of Solomon and
listen to Solomons advice on marriage. If anybody messed up in marriage, it
was Solomon. 1 Kings 11:4 tells us he had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
Concubines are the ancient equivalent of girlfriends on the side. Solomon turned
into an ancient version of a porn addict. He just couldnt get enough women into
his life.
Let me give you my thoughts on this.
1. I believe the Song of Solomon was written early in Solomons reign
before he fell into the sin of lust. I believe Ecclesiastes was written late in
his reign after he looked back on life and realized how foolishly he lived. In
Ecclesiates 9:9 Solomon tells us to enjoy the wife of our youth, not to follow
him in marrying 1,000 wives who look like youths. Even though Solomon
didnt finish well, that doesnt mean God cannot use him to speak to us on
marriage. He was still the wisest man to ever live. That qualifies him for
something.
2. We need to remember that God can use us in spite of our weaknesses,
not just because of our strengths. Think about this with Solomons father,
David. He was a murderer and an adulterer, yet God still wrote many of the
Psalms through him and used him in a mighty way. He was called a man
after Gods own heart. Like his father, God chose to use Solomon in spite of
himself to give Gods Word to us in the areas of marriage, love and sexuality.
3. We need to remember God is the one who put this book in the Bible, not
Solomon. God gave it to us. He is the one who inspired it and put it in the
Bible, not Solomon. God says we need to listen to it.
Guess who plays offense, not defense?
One last thing before we put our finger in the text. I want to ask the ladies
a question. Who do you think speaks first in this book? Who do you think
speaks last? Who do you think speaks most often? Who do you think is the
sexual aggressor? Who is the one with the desires? Is it the man or the
woman?
Most Christian women think guys play offense and their job is to play
defense. They think the guys job is to initiate everything and the wifes job is to
tell him she has a headache. In the Song of Solomon, the woman is the one who
is on the offense. Christian wives, you are totally welcome to play offense in this

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area with your husband. This is biblical precedence. (Husbands, if you try to
play defense, I will personally put you under church discipline.)
In this book, she speaks first. She speaks last. She speaks most. Some
of you women think this makes her dirty. No, in the bonds of marriage, this
makes her godly. Ladies, having desires doesnt make you dirty, having
passionate desires for your husband makes you a godly woman. What I am
trying to tell you ladies is you have permission to be on the offense in this area.
Let me say this again, in the bonds of marriage, a wife should have and express
passions for her husband.
That finishes the on ramp for the book. Lets put our finger in the text.
She wants a kiss.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! Song of Solomon 1:2a (ESV)
She says to him, if you want to kiss me, you could. You could kiss me
right now. Most guys are liking this book already. Since we dont just want to
read the Bible but put it into practice, if you are married, lean over and give your
spouse a little kiss. Dont try to make children. Just be biblical and give a little
kiss. If you see someone who is not married trying to give their date a kiss, you
have my permission to smack them in the head. This is for married people.
Here are a few things that would be helpful to know about kissing. Kissing
is an indicator of a healthy marriage. When you are fighting, you are not kissing.
When you are kissing you are not fighting. More kissing equals less fighting. It is
also good for kids to see mom and dad kissing. They need to see passion, joy
and connection between their mom and dad. That should be their first
introduction to the topic of sexuality. Too many kids think they are adopted
because they never see mom and dad showing affection. That is just wrong.
Cindy and I do a lot of kissing. The kids even give us a hard time when we kiss.
They try to squeeze between us because they want to get kissed. Affection in
the home doesnt warp a kid but it makes them feel safe and shows them what a
healthy relationship should look like.
Kissing is also great in the winter. The swapping of saliva that happens
when a couple kisses builds the immune system. A lot of kissing between mom
and dad will help them stay healthy for the winter. I know many of you have a
hard time remembering to finish the bottle of antibiotics but kissing you will
remember to do. Kissing burns two calories. Kiss more and lose weight. The
best part of kissing is that it produces the possibility of burning more than two
calories. For a married couple, that is also fun.
...For your love is better than wine; Song of Solomon 1:2 (ESV)
Now I dont drink, and drinking is not wrong. Drunkenness is wrong. For
those who struggle with alcohol, drinking is wrong for them. Obviously this lady
has tried some wine. Wine has an intoxicating quality to it. You really like it. It
makes you feel good. You want more. She says that being with him is like wine.
She feels intoxicated by his love.

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So here is a great deal. When you are looking to be intoxicated by
something, look to the love of your spouse, not the beer bottle. Get married, get
intoxicated on marital love and enjoy yourself. Marriage is better than getting
drunk or getting high. It is God-glorifying intoxication.
your anointing oils are fragrant; Song of Solomon 1:3 (ESV)
She is simply saying that he smells good. Guys, dont miss this. If you
come home from work smelling like a Porta-Potty, take a shower. You need to
bath and use soap. Deodorant is also a good idea. If you need to, shave before
dinner so you dont look like a cactus.
This guy doesnt just not smell bad, but he smells good. In the ancient
world, people didnt take a shower every day so they used anointing oils to cut
down on body odor. This was the ancient version of cologne. So guys, this week
take your wife with you to go buy some cologne she likes. I dont care if you like
it or not, she needs to like it. Use it when you are around her.
This is about guys being presentable to their wives. Brush your teeth,
comb your hair, wash your hands before dinner. Dont wear a T-shirt that looks
like it was your dogs chew toy. Husbands, this is your job.
Here is your first homework assignment. Husbands, on your way home,
ask your wife if there is anything you need to improve on which would help make
you more attractive to her. Does she like one eyebrow or two? Does she find
the hair in your ears attractive or distracting. Dont get mad at her. Listen to her
and do something about it.
...your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. Song of Solomon 1:3
(ESV)
Here she is talking about his character and integrity. Most of the problems
in the bedroom are not created or solved in the bedroom. If you are a harsh
husband, a lazy husband who just plays video games, a cant-keep-a-job
husband, a bass-boat-and-golf-clubs husband, a motorcycles-off-by-himself
husband, a foolish husband, a dont-read-the-bible-with-my-kids-or-wife husband
then you need to understand that a godly woman will not be attracted to your
character. A godly woman doesnt care about the car you drive, how much you
make or how expensive of a diamond you can put on her finger. Godly women
are attracted to character. They want to say, That is my husband. He is a great
guy. He loves Jesus. He loves me. He loves our kids. He pays the bills. He
reads the Bible. Hes great, and I love him.
Most women who struggle to be attracted to their husband in the bedroom
have that struggle because of their husbands poor character. It is not technique
issues gentleman, it is character issues.
Here is your second homework assignment. Gentlemen, on the way
home, ask your wife this question: Is there anything in my character that you find
unattractive? Dont argue or fight with her. Just let her be honest and tell you
the truth. Apologize and change.

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Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. Song
of Solomon 1:4 (ESV)
There are only a few ways to make a relationship work. One is to push it
and force it. That is using fear, intimidation and retaliation. It is raising your
voice. It is cussing. It is threatening, scaring and abusing. That is disgusting.
The other way to make a relationship work is carrying it. This is enabling like a
co-dependent relationship. It is looking after somebody, carrying somebody. It is
more like a parent to a child relationship. She is talking about a different kind of
relationship. She says, Draw me. This is when Solomon says to her, You are
attractive. You are desirable. You are playful. You are fun to be with. She
wants him to capture her interest and draw her in. She wants to know he is
thinking about her. He is looking forward to being with her. During the day she
gets a text message letting her know he is excited to be with her. Guys, add
some creativity to your life. Add some excitement. Draw your wife in. Text her
during the day. Plan a surprise. Tease her in a good way so she is looking
forward to it. Give her something to look forward to.
A word from the friends.
We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do
they love you. Song of Solomon 1:4 (ESV)
Now the friends kick in. Her girlfriends say that, Hes a great guy. This is
a great relationship. We are excited for both of you. A whole community and
family should be able to come around a couple and be excited for them and their
relationship.
She doesnt like the way she looks.
I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like
the curtains of Solomon. Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun
has looked upon me. My mothers sons were angry with me; they made me
keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept! Song of Solomon
1:56 (ESV)
Here comes the first marriage problem. She doesnt like what she sees in
the mirror. This ladys father is never mentioned in the book. I think he died and
she was raised by a single mom. She comes from a poor family. She had to go
outside and work for a living.
If you were to see this woman on the job she has sweat on her brow and
her hair in a ponytail. She has dirt under her finger nails and veins showing in
her forearms. She is darkly tanned from being in the sun all day. She is saying,
I dont meet the cultural standard of beauty that Solomon is accustomed to. In
that day, it was sexy not to have a tan. The real beauties of the day were of fair
complexion. A fair complexion showed a lady was affluent. She didnt have to
work. The poor gals would have dark skin. That is the exact opposite of today.
We spend money for a tan. They spent money not to have a tan. She says,
Solomon, I dont look like all the women you see on the magazine covers at the

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check-out line of Wal-Mart. I am not a fair-skinned lady. I do not have that
stunning magazine-cover appearance.
What does this tell us? Every woman is insecure about her appearance.
In truth, she is beautiful enough to attract the attention of the king but when she
looks in the mirror, all she sees is her flaws. She doesnt like her body image.
She wishes she could change the shape of her nose, the color of her skin. In
spite of what she sees, she is beautiful to her husband.
This is a good word to husbands. Your wife needs to be your standard of
beauty, not the airbrushed lady on the magazine cover at the grocery store. That
being said, let me take a moment to guard against the other extreme. Some
people think that since they should be their spouses standard of beauty, that
means they shouldnt take care of themselves. They put a mudpack on their face
and forget to take it off. They stick their tongue in an electrical socket to do their
hair in the morning. They tell their husband that is his new standard of beauty. In
the mean time, the husband looks at his wife and screens like he just saw an R-
rated horror flick. Let me just give a few pointers for husbands and wives to look
their best.
1. Be a good steward of your body. I am not talking about body shape or size.
I am talking about the body you have. Do you try to take care of it or destroy
it?
2. Eat the right stuff. Ding Dongs, Ho-Hos and Twinkies are not the healthiest.
Are you eating products where you can actually read the ingredients on the
label?
3. Get exercise. Are you trying to keep yourself healthy? Taking good care of
yourself is very attractive to your spouse.
4. Make a sincere effort to be attractive to your spouse. Let me tell you
what this means in our house. It means I exercise. I eat my oatmeal and
eggs for breakfast, take my vitamins and eat wheat bread for lunch. I get my
hair cut to the length my wife likes. On my day off, I open my closet and ask
Cindy what she would like me to wear. When we go clothes shopping, I ask
Cindy if she likes the clothing I pick out, if not, it goes back on the shelf.
Some of you pride yourself on wearing an old shirt from a gas station that
has somebody elses name embroidered on it. You pride yourself in saving
money by patching the holes in your jeans with duct tape. Let me be honest with
you - it wont produce the kind of reaction you want from your wife. You dont
have to be on a magazine cover to be attractive but we need to work on this.
Here is another piece for homework. On the way home, ask one another,
What do you like me to dress in? What cant you stand in my wardrobe?
What would you like me to wear when I am home around you? I know that will
be a fun topic of discussion. Dont fight. Just listen, learn and change.

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So this women doesnt look like other women do, but the king is attracted
to her. She tries to look her best for the king, not wishing she was somebody
else.
Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make
it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the
flocks of your companions? Song of Solomon 1:7 (ESV)
She says, You shepherd the nation of Israel. You are busy all day long.
You are looking after lots of people and lots of things. Your schedule is packed.
She has a couple of options on how to handle the busy man who is working late
and tied up in projects. She could whine. She could give him the cold shoulder
when he comes home. She could be nasty to him with sarcastic comments.
Thankfully, she has a more positive plan. She says, I know you have a lunch
break. Tell me where you are going to be so I can meet you there. If I get
dressed pretty and start asking for you around the office because I dont know
where you are, people are going to think I am a prostitute. Let me know where
you will be so I can meet you.
This is completely applicable. Perhaps, you are a stay-at-home mom and
your husband is working late hours under stress. You know he has a lunch break
so you make plans to bring him lunch and be with him. You get dressed up so
you look sharp and his eyes get big as saucers when he sees you. Trust me, it
will be a huge encouragement to a stressed husband when his wife does that.
Here is your final homework. Ladies, text this to your husband, I was
reading the Song of Solomon. I want to apply what I learned. Can we meet over
your lunch hour? Then hit send. Trust me. Just getting that text message will
make a lasting impression your husband wont forget.
Questions and answers
It is time for us to get to the Q&A portion of the message so I am going to
invite my wife up.
The outline and some of the data for this message were taken from a sermon delivered by Mark
Driscoll on the same text. The sermon can be found in an ebook. (Driscoll, M. (2009). Mark
Driscoll Sermon Archive 2005-2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.) Mark has
reformatted this material and expanded upon it in a recent book, (Driscoll, M., & Driscoll, G.
(2012). Real marriage: The truth about sex, friendship & life together. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)

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Solomon on Sex
Give Me a Kiss
Small Group Work Sheet
January 15, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Who is on your Solomon on Sex Invest and Invite Card? What steps have you taken
to invite them?
Have you given away any Solomon on Sex Invitation Cards? To whom? How did it
go?
Did you choose to use a yard sign?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. What are your thoughts on studying this book as a church? What are
reasons the church should study it? What are pitfalls in studying this book we
should avoid?
2. What are your reservations about studying love, marriage
and God honoring sexuality from Solomon, the guy who
ended up with 700 wives and 300 girlfriends?
3. Play the Newlywed Game. Tell the ladies to leave the
room. Have the guys write on a card answers
to the following questions.
1. Guys, what do you need to improve on to
make yourself more attractive to your
spouse?
2. Guys, what would your wife say is an
opportunity for improvement in your
character?
3. Guys, what clothing in your wardrobe does your wife find least attractive?
4. Guys, what clothing in your wardrobes does she like most?
5. Guys, what is your wifes favorite way to be drawn in to your marriage
relationship?

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Bring the ladies back in the room and have them give answers to the same
questions. Couples with matching answers get a point. See which one is the
winner!
4. What is one thing the Holy Spirit is prompting you to do from this sermon?
5. Hold each other accountable to do the sermon homework!

Part 3 - Digging Deeper


There are a variety of outlines for the book. Below is the rough outline I will
follow. I do not offer this as the perfect outline. I reserve the right to adjust it as I
continue my study. I share it to give you a rough understanding of the
movements in the book.
1. Courtship and Marriage - 1:2-5:1
1.1. First Idyll: The Wedding Day Reflections - 1:2-2:7
1.1.1. First Reflection: Shulammite preparing for the wedding feast. - 1:2-8
1.1.2. Second Reflection: At the Wedding Feast - 1:9-14
1.1.3. Third Reflection: In the Bridal Chamber - 1:15-2:7

1.2. Second Idyll: The Courtship Period Reflections - 2:8-3:5


1.2.1. Fourth Reflection: A Springtime Visit - 2:8-17
1.2.2. Fifth Reflection: Dreams of Separation - 3:1-5

1.3. Third Idyll: Marital Union Reflections - 3:6-5:1


1.3.1. Sixth Reflection: The Wedding procession - 3:6-11
1.3.2. Seventh Reflection: The Wedding night - 4:1-5:1

2. Sexual Adjustments in Marriage - 5:2-8:14


2.1. Fourth Idyll: Sexual problem reflections - 5:2-6:9
2.1.1. Eighth Reflection: Shulamits trouble dream of love refused - 5:2-6:3
2.1.2. Ninth Reflection: The return of Solomon - 6:4-9

2.2. Fifth Idyll: The return to Galilee reflections - 6:10-8:14


2.2.1. Tenth reflection: The Dance of the Mahanaim - 6:10-7:10
2.2.2. Eleventh Reflection: Shulamits desire to visit home - 7:11-8:4
2.2.3. Twelfth Reflection: Journey to the country - 8:5-7
2.2.4. Thirteenth Reflection: At Shulamits country home - 8:8-14
As I assemble these messages, you will notice I am keeping things very high
level and orientated toward application. I encourage you to do the homework
from the message and hold each other accountable.

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Song of Solomon 1:8-17 - Kill Em With
Compliments
January 22, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the third week of studying the Song
of Solomon. I hope the husbands went home last week and enjoyed an extra
kiss before nightfall.
Before we return to our romantic couple in the Song of Solomon, I want to
mention a few resources I found helpful for this series. These resources, and a
number of others, are also found on the www.solomononsex.com website.
God, Marriage and Family by Andreas Kostenberger - I read this one cover to
cover. It addresses culture, marriage, parenting, singleness, divorce and
remarriage. It is an excellent work done by a scholar that is readable. That is a
rare combination.
The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn - This little book is a gem. Randy
understands the struggles of pornography. If you are struggling is this area, this
book will be a great help. If you are a father, this is a great book to read with
your son to give him the tools he needs to steer away from sexual temptations.
A Promise Kept by Robert McQuilken - For mid-life marriages or for struggling
marriages, this is pure gold. It is the true story of seminary president Robert
McQuilken leaving his job to care for his wife who suffered with early Alzheimer's.
It is the best living picture of the commitment of marriage I have seen. Read it
with a box of tissues. You will read it in one night but your marriage will be
changed for a lifetime.
Real Marriage by Mark Driscoll - This just came out two weeks ago. It has
already rocketed to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list. I am heavily
indebted to Mark for the first two messages of this series. I borrowed a lot of his
material for those messages. The good news is that much of that material he put
into this book and he expanded on it. He even has a chapter titled Sex is god,
sex is gross and sex is a gift where he expands upon the issues we talked about
in the first message. I highly recommend this resource and have special thanks
to Mark for the work he did in this area.
This week we return to Solomon and his wife, the Shulammite, and we find
them really excited to be together. They just cant stop telling each other how
thrilled they about their relationship. Complimenting your spouse is a very
important skill. This morning, we are going to study the importance of
complimenting your spouse and learn some ways to do it without words. We will
close by Cindy coming up to join me in answering a few more of your questions.
How should a husband compliment his wife?
Last week we learned how his wife, the Shulammite, felt about herself.
She was struggling with her body image. She is dark-skinned; the other beauties

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are fair-skinned. They are soft; she is a hard-working farm girl. How does
Solomon handle this? He compliments her and tells her what she needs to hear.
Tell her she is beautiful.
If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the
flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds tents. Song of
Solomon 1:8 (ESV)
He tells her she is beautiful three other times in this book.5 In fact he says
she is most beautiful. Solomon is not just trying to make her feel better by lying
to her. Have you heard of the phrase, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? He
is telling her he sees her as the most beautiful among woman. She is his
standard of beauty. He isnt looking at her wishing she looked like somebody
else. She is beautiful to him.
Guys, does your wife need to hear you say she is beautiful? After
spending 30 minutes in the mirror is probably the most natural time to say it but
your wife needs to know she is beautiful when she doesnt feel she is beautiful,
like when she gets up in the morning and has bed head. When she has no
makeup on, tell her she is beautiful.
The homework assignment. Tell your wife she is beautiful when she
least expects it but when you honestly mean it. I try to tell Cindy she is beautiful
when she doesnt see it is coming. Then it really means something.
Give her a pet name that builds her up.
I compare you, my love,... Song of Solomon 1:9 (ESV)
Everybody gets nicknames. Growing up, I can still remember the
nicknames given to me. I can especially remember the insulting ones. Can any
of you remember the ones kids gave you?
Do you have a negative one for your spouse like, the whiner or the
complainer or Mr. Grumpy Pants? Some of you guys may have nicknames for
your wife you wont say in church. I would suggest you get rid of them. Those
little insulting names stick. One website I referenced on nicknames says men
usually give women nicknames that reflect a physical or emotional trait.6 Those
nicknames can hurt. Women know this. It is easy to go the wrong way on this
guys and give your wife a negative nickname. Guys, get rid of them.
Here we are introduced to the pet name he gives to her and it is a positive
one. It is my love. In fact, he calls her my love 10 times in the book.7 Those
kind of names create positive traction. Guys, nicknames are a chance to make a

5 1:8; 5:9; 6:1


6http://praetorianheart.multiply.com/reviews/item/38?&show_interstitial=1&u=%2Freviews
%2Fitem
7 1:9; 1:15; 2:2; 2:10; 2:13; 4:1; 4:7; 5:2; 6:4; 7:12

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 28


big mistake with your wife, lose them. Pet names are a chance to score some
points in her book.
I want to encourage you to give your wife a pet name and make it really
creative and exciting. If you are really creative, you can come up with one only
she knows what it means. For example, one of the names I call Cindy is the
WEB woman. Everybody thinks that means she is Internet savvy. Not true! That
stands for my Wild, Exotic, Beauty. I can call her the WEB woman in public and
people are clueless, but she gets bright red. She knows I am floating over a
spicy comment. Incidentally, if you call Cindy the WEB woman, I will have to
break one of your fingers. That is a name that only I can use.
Guys, your homework assignment is to get rid of the negative
nicknames and give your wife a spicy pet name. She will appreciate it.
Craft a creative comparisons that make her blush.
I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaohs chariots. Song of Solomon
1:9 (ESV)
" Guys, you are thinking that if you tried calling your wife a horse; it probably
wouldnt go well. You are right. I tried it for the fun of it and it didnt go well.
Researching for this series I learned the humor found in how some of the Bible
scholars handle these tough passages is funnier than Saturday Night Live. This
is one of those passages. One guy said Solomon called her a horse because he
was complimenting her wide hips. Somehow, I dont think that was it.
" Let me explain what this means. In the Bible it tells us Solomon had
12,000 Egyptian horses and 1,400 chariots. He had quite a fleet. In that day,
chariots horses were male horses. Solomon acquired Egyptian war horses for
his chariots. They were known for being very aggressive. These horses were
feisty and acted like they had testosterone on their breakfast cereal instead of
milk. There is historical evidence that Egypt's enemies tried to use this feisty
male quality of Egypts horses against them. When the Egyptians were attacking
the city of Qadesh, the city let loose a mare in heat. The stallions pulling the
chariots went wild. It was only after the mare was killed that the attack on the city
could be resumed.8 When Solomon says she is like a mare among Pharaohs
chariots, it is a creative way of saying she drives all the men wild. That is quite a
compliment. You can almost picture her blushing.
" Guys, this week I have a writing assignment for you. You will need to think
about this one. Go home and write a note for your wife. You will leave it for her
on her pillow. You will read it together before you go to bed. I will tell you how it
starts but you have to do the rest of the work. Begin it with, My wife is like...
then you fill in the rest. Men, this is your chance to lay on the compliments. It is
the time to say things you normally wouldnt. You will have to think about this. It
is good for you. As guys we are not normally verbal on this stuff. You will thank
me next week for this one.

8 Longman, Tremper III, Song of Songs, Grand Rapids, pg. 103.

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" I want you to notice there is a difference between what she sees in the
mirror and what he sees when he looks at her. Guys, you need to let your wife
know that the glasses God gave you to see her are not the same ones she has
on when she looks in the mirror. She sees imperfections. You think that you are
so fortunate and blessed to have such a wonderful and beautiful wife.
" Some of you guys say, Thats not my wife. She doesnt drive anyone
wild. My recommendation is to start complimenting her and telling her she does.
She will start growing in the way you are encouraging her. Nurture her and bless
her with compliments.
Tell her she looks great when she dresses up.
Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels. We will
make for you ornaments of gold, studded with silver. Song of Solomon 1:1011
(ESV)
" This is a reflection of their wedding day. The Shulammite is dressed her
best. What we have is Solomon complimenting her when she gets dressed up.
He says, You look great. Every woman who works for 30 minutes in the mirror
hopes she looks great. It is her husbands job to tell her all her work was worth it.
Guys, when you wife is wearing a nice dress, when her hair is fixed just the way
you like, tell her that. Compliment her. When she knows you appreciate her
looking nice, she will try and look nice for you frequently. As guys, that is
something we enjoy.
" One important thing I noticed is that he doesnt tell her her clothes look
nice, he tells her she looks nice. He tells her that her cheeks look lovely and her
neck looks lovely. This is a small but very important thing. Dont tell your wife
her clothes, shoes and accessories are what gives her beauty she doesnt have.
Tell her they compliment the beauty she does have. This is subtle but important.
When your wife puts on a nice necklace, dont tell her the necklace looks nice.
Tell her the necklace makes her look nice. If you get this wrong, your wife will
turn into a shop-a-holic. In her desperate search to look pretty, she will be
addicted to clothing and fashion because you are sending the message that she
needs them to look beautiful, rather than she is beautiful.
Take her shopping at the mall.
" The next thing to notice is that he plans to take her shopping at the mall.
Guys, shopping with our wives is not something we like to do. Leave us in the
auto sports store or the Cabelas or even the GNC. They have more
testosterone. This guy promises to take her shopping.
We will make for you ornaments of gold, studded with silver. Song of Solomon
1:11 (ESV)
" The ESV sets this off as part from the chorus girls. Other translations
think it is connected to the last verse. I think it is connected. Together they are
going to get her more jewelry.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 30


" Guys, here is another homework assignment. Go shopping with your
wife. If you are like me, you can bring your iPad and read a book or check
Facebook on your phone while she is in the dressing room, but be supportive of
her. Tell her what you think she looks good in. Let her know that you enjoy
helping her look her best.
How should a wife compliment her husband?
Tell him he is special through his nose.
While the king was on his couch, my nard gave forth its fragrance. Song of
Solomon 1:12 (ESV)
" What we have is Solomon is on his couch. Maybe he just came home
from a hard day at the office. Maybe this is the ancient version of a La-Z-Boy.
What his wife does is she puts on her perfume. He is engrossed in the evening
news program, and he gets a whiff of her perfume. Guys, you know how this
works. Everyone is in a room and all of a sudden you smell a woman. Every
guys head is on a swivel trying to find the lady in the room. Perfume gets a guys
attention.
" When I was a kid, my family would stay at my grandmothers house. She
loved to go out to eat. In the evening, when she would dress up for a restaurant
she always put this perfume on called Red Door. My bedroom was in the room
across from hers and when she put it on I could smell it across the hall. Red
Door was my grandmothers perfume.
" A few years ago Cindy put on some perfume, and I recognized it right
away. Which one do you think it was? It was Red Door. The smell instantly
transported me back to my grandmothers house and those memories. I love it
when Cindy wears Red Door. That perfume brings back good memories of my
grandmother and new memories of my wife. Smell is powerful. Dont believe it?
Use a public restroom before it is cleaned.
" Ladies, one way to compliment your husband without saying a word is to
have a special perfume and to wear it.
" Last week, one of your homework assignments was for guys to go with
their wives and buy some cologne that she liked you to wear. This week, head
back to the same store but this time, wives, buy a perfume your husband likes.
Then wear it.
" When he comes home and smells that perfume, he will remember buying
it with you. It will bring back good memories. It is one way you compliment him.
You may not agree with me here but think about it.
" Ladies, why do you wear perfume? To mask body odor? No, that is
deodorant. You wear perfume to attract attention. It works. You attract male
attention. When you put on perfume around your husband, it is one way of telling
him you he is special and you would like him to know you are interested in him.
Hold your husband close all night long.

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" Here is the part we kicked the kids out for. We are going to have fun with
this one.
My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh that lies between my breasts. Song of
Solomon 1:13 (ESV)
" First, let me give you the historical background. Myrrh is an aromatic gum
which comes from the bark of a tree that grows in Arabia, Abyssinia, and India.9
As a liquid, it was carried in small bottles like perfume. It was also mixed with a
bit of fat to take on a solid form and it was worn in a little pouch as a necklace.
The heat from the body would slowly melt it, releasing its sweet fragrance.10
When it was worn, it left a sweet smell on a womans chest.
" She says her husband is like a pleasing fragrance hanging just under her
neck. Another piece of Hebrew trivia is important. The word lies can also be
translated lodges. Another way of saying it is spend the night.11 One of the ways
she compliments him is snuggling with him all night long. Remember, this is just
for married people. She wants to bless him by holding him close and in a very
intimate way. I warned you that this woman has desires and as a married
woman, she is not afraid to express them.
" Ladies, letting your husband know you want to bless him by snuggling
close to him all night long. Tell him it is like Linus in the Peanuts cartoon. Your
husband is your blanket.
" In our marriage, I have a bum shoulder. It is my left shoulder. When I go
to the gym and use the bench press, I go through some real pain in this shoulder.
The reason my shoulder hurts is because Cindy sleeps on this side. One of the
great blessings in our marriage is laying in bed after a hard day and having my
wife snuggled real close. I have my arm around her. We talk, we cuddle and fall
asleep together. By morning I wake up and I am in pain because her body
weight has stretched the shoulder out of joint. I praise God for the pain. I was
blessed with a wife that wants to bless me by being close.
" Ladies, I realize not every one of you for physical reasons can bless your
husbands in this exact way. The principle remains. One way a wife compliments
her husband and blesses him is wanting to hold him close and not let him go.
This is homework I will not check up on. Guys, you can tell her how special and
loved it makes you feel when she holds you close.
" I told you we were going to have some fun with this. Last week I told you
this book is interpreted in a variety of ways. One of the methods I introduced you
to last week is called the allegorical method. I thought you would like to know
how some people of those people have translated this verse.

9 Pope, Song of Songs, Pg. 350.


10David Jeremiah, What the Bible Says About Love, Marriage and Sex: The Song of Solomon,
Turning Point, pg. 49.
11Tom Gledhill, The Message of the Song of Songs, Intervarsity Press, pg. 116.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 32


" Cyril of Alexandria said this had nothing to do with a woman giving her
body to her husband, rather the breast represented the Old and the New
Testaments. The sachet of myrrh was Christ that lies between them.12
" Another example would be some Jewish rabbis who argued the song was
about Jehovahs love for Israel. They claimed the sachet of myrrh was the
Shekinah glory that appeared between the two cherubim over the cover of the
ark.13
" All that to say, I think these guys are just being too squeamish. This is a
wife who really want to let her husband by telling him she loves to hold him
intimately close all night long.
Tell your husband he is your oasis in a desert world.
My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.
Song of Solomon 1:14 (ESV)
" To understand what is going on, we need to understand what the Engedi
is. The Engedi is on the western bank of the Dead Sea, just north of Masada.
The surrounding landscape is desolate but the Engedi is beautiful. It contains
waterfalls, streams, lush vegetation, birds and animals of all kinds. It is a spot of
paradise in the midst of a barren desert.14 In that area, henna springs up across
the hillsides. Henna has a blue-black berry and a white flower with a sweet,
fragrance that lingers in the air.15
She sees her husband as a refreshing oasis in a desert of unremarkable
men. At the end of the day, she tells him she is refreshed in his presence. He
turns her gray world into color.
Ladies, when was the last time you told your husband you are refreshed in
his presence? Many times, guys come home and they are hit lists. The kids
were fighting. You sent them to their rooms and they were warned they would be
in serious trouble when their father came home.
The guys had a writing assignment earlier. Ladies, here is your homework
assignment. Write a note to your husband telling him how he refreshes you and
brings life to you.
Ladies, your husbands need to know that being with him is a source of
refreshment in your life. He lights you up. A husband loves to know how good
he makes his wife feel, not just when he is gone, but when he is home. Here is

12 Tremper Longman, Song of Songs, Eerdmans, pg. 106.


13 Joseph Dillow, Solomon on Sex, Thomas Nelson, pg. 9. (as quoted from H.H. Rowley, The
Interpretation of the Song of Songs, The Servant of the Lord and Other Essays, London:
Lutterworth, 1952.)
14 Tremper Longman, Song of Songs, Eerdmans, pg. 106.
15 Henna http://www.tigerflag.com/madini_henna.html (accessed 13 November, 2008).

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 33


another homework assignment. Tell your husband how special he is to you and
how he lifts you up like no one else can.
What is the best way to give your compliments?
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are
doves. Song of Solomon 1:15 (ESV)
He goes back to his favorite pet name for her, my love and as usual, he
calls her beautiful. He describes her eyes like doves. The scholars have a
number of ideas why he describes her eyes like doves. I dont know if I agree
with any of them. One thing I did notice is that when he is speaking these words
to her, where is he looking? He was looking her in the eye. If he wasnt he
wouldnt be able to talk about her eyes.
Guys, there is a real benefit to looking your wife in the eyes when you
compliment her. Some of the latest research tells us that when people are
looking you in the eye when they speak to you, you find them more attractive.16
So if you want to have your wife find you more attractive, give you her full
attention. Look her in the eye, especially when complimenting her.
Guys, bless your wife with a home she loves.
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; the
beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine. Song of Solomon 1:1617
(ESV)
Now the Shulammite is describing her new home. The couch is green; the
beams are cedar; the rafters are pine. This house reminds me of one of those
rustic wood cabins where everything is natural wood. I dont know for sure, but I
think this house was unique to the city of Jerusalem. Remember we have a
country girl marrying a city boy. Solomon, the city boy has taken the time to set
up a house that is meaningful for his country girl.
First lesson here for the guys, give your wife a home she is comfortable
with. She will love you for it. A few years ago, we lived in a parsonage. It was a
house with many blessings but it also had some frustrations. The burner on the
stove wouldnt sit right. A pot wouldnt sit straight. The people who lived in the
house before us were an elderly couple. The home had a small refrigerator.
With three kids, we needed a big one. Thankfully it worked out to purchase an
additional refrigerator and it made mom much happier when she came home with
the groceries. Husbands, one great way to love your wife is buy giving her a
house that fits her and that she is comfortable in.
Now I know not everyone is in a position to bless your wife with the home
she would like. We all have items on our home list that we havent
accomplished. Right now, the top of my list is to get curtain and drapes for our
home. That is what my wife needs to make the home comfortable. I am not

16http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-science-of-love-look-into-the-
eyes-399290.html

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 34


there yet. Guys, focus on making it comfortable for her. If she wants a certain
color that looks a little more feminine than you would normally choose, go for it.
Make her comfortable in the home.
Ladies, thank your husband when he does. That is one way that he tries
to love and appreciate you.
Why are compliments important to a healthy marriage?
Compliments are like deposits in a marital savings account that can be
drawn upon in times of marital tension. If the deposits have not been made and
are not kept current, there is no currency to fall back on in times of marital
distress.
What we are saying is nothing new. We are just applying what Paul says
in Ephesians 4:29 to the particular relationship of marriage.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for
building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Questions and Answers
It is time for us to get to the Q&A portion of the message so I am going to
invite my wife up.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 35


Solomon on Sex
Kill Em With Compliments
Small Group Work Sheet
January 22, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Who is on your Solomon on Sex Invest and Invite Card? What steps have you taken
to invite them?
Have you given away any Solomon on Sex Invitation Cards? To whom? How did it
go?
Did you choose to use a yard sign?
I want small groups to begin with the above three questions. Challenge each
other share about Jesus, talk about your church and share about this series.
1. Last week, you left small group promising to hold each other accountable for
your sermon homework. Check with the group members and see how
everyone did.
Part 2 - Sermon Review
2. Husbands, of the different ways you should compliment your wife, which one
did you like the most? Which one do you think your wife likes the most? See
if you have the same answer.
3. Wives, of the different ways you should compliment your husband, which one
did you like most? Which one do you think your husband likes most? Check
to see if you have the same answer.
4. Some of the compliments are verbal in nature, others are action in nature. Do
verbal compliments or action compliments mean more to you?
5. Read Matthew 12:33-37. What does it teach us that will help us compliment
our spouse?
6. Read Colossians 3:8-10. It talks about qualities of our old nature (many of
them verbal) that we need to put away. When we try to change the nasty
nicknames to spicy pet names, how much of that is our effort, how much is
Gods work in us?

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 36


7. Of the homework assignments from the sermon outline, choose one to have
the group hold you accountable on. (I hope you do all of them!)
Part 3 - Digging Deeper - Learn your spouses love
language.
This message is about the importance of complimenting your spouse.
Unfortunately, there are times when you will try to compliment your spouse but
they still dont feel loved. Gary Smalley wrote a book called The 5 Love
Languages. In the book he talks about five different ways people feel loved.

They are...

1. Words - Some people like to talk. The more we talk, the more we visit. The
more we look one another in the eye, e-mail, text message, phone call,
encourage, and talk; the more loved we feel.

2. Gifts - Some of you like to receive gifts. You want big gifts like a new car, for
others of you, it is small gifts like flowers. By the way, Cindy likes gifts.
Thankfully she is cheap and likes flowers and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
Sometimes when I see a Reeses at the checkout line in Wal-mart, I buy one
for her. I know chocolate makes her feel loved.

3. Service - For others, it is acts of service. Help me! The house is a wreck.
The dishes are in the sink. The garbage is overflowing. Get off of the couch,
turn off the TV and put dishes in the dishwasher. I would really feel loved if
you would just serve me. I dont want you to talk to me and tell me you love
me, show me you love me by helping in the house.

4. Time - Some of you feel loved not by doing anything with your loved one.
You just want to be with them. The questions you ask are: Can we just sit
together? When do we get us time? When do we get alone time? I never
get to see you, when can we have more time?

5. Touch - These couples are always holding hands and giving neck rubs. Tell
me you love me by touching me. This is my love language
(Kurt). This Christmas the family gift was one of those
industrial strength back massagers. It has two handles and
weighs at least five pounds. It shakes you so hard your
teeth chatter, but I love it! When Cindy uses it on me I am
looser than Jello. What can I say..... my love language is
touch!

Discuss your love language with your spouse. They need to know the best way
to compliment you.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 37


Need help finding your love language? Check out www.5lovelanguages.com to
take the love language quiz

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 38


Song of Solomon 1:16-2:7 - Rekindled with
Romance
January 29, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the fourth week of our study in the
Song of Solomon. I hope everyone did last weeks homework. If you did, I am
sure you enjoyed a little extra passion in your marriage. Before we study the
text, I want to talk about the best part of Faith Church; it is the people.
I know the title on this series is a little racy. I planned it that way. I want
people who would never darken the door of a church and people who are
struggling with marriage and sexuality issues to come to Faith Church. I want the
title of this series to catch their attention. I want them to come here hoping we
can tell them about a Jesus who can help them in their brokenness.
We made a website for this series because it is another way to tell more
people about what is happening at Faith Church. The website is experiencing
many hits. There are more than 1,800 pages downloaded from the site in the
last three weeks. There are even people from neighboring communities talking
about what is going on here.
People who have struggled with porn are coming clean. Just this last
week two people came into my office to tell me they are making a commitment to
come clean in this area.
Teenagers are getting the truth about sex and marriage from the church
rather than from watching Glee and The Simpsons. Young couples are
getting excited about their marriages. Middle-aged couples are finding new life
breathed into their marriages.
For all the amazing things that are happening, I know this series doesnt fit
everyone. For widows and the elderly, this is probably not a series that is at the
top of their list. But this is what I love about the mature people of Faith Church.
Even if something isnt exactly what they want but it is helping other people, they
put preferences aside and serve others. They understand what Jesus meant in
John 13 when he took off his robe and put on a towel. He didnt insist on being
served but he wanted to serve. He washed his disciples feet. I love the people
of this church who understand what Jesus meant when he said,
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash
one anothers feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just
as I have done to you. John 13:1415 (ESV)
I love the way so many people in their 60s and 70s are excited about this
series not for themselves but because they care about their children and
grandchildrens marriages. I love it when a 70-year-old couple comes up to me
later in the week and thanks me for the weekly homework on compliments
because they had grown out of the habit of saying sweet things. I love it when
people understand the Christian life is about serving.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 39


It is not just the mature people who understand this. I love it when people
show up early and stay late to work at the Ministry Connection center, the
Welcome desk or the coffee shop. They understand it is not just a job, it is an
opportunity to wash feet, just like Jesus told us to do. That shows real spiritual
maturity.
I love this church. I love the Christ-like attitude of this body. It is such a
joy to serve others to reach people for Jesus with you. I am so proud of you!
This morning, we will pick up on the theme of serving others as Christ told
us to. We are going to look at serving one particular person, our spouse. When
we serve our spouse, we make them feel loved, treasured and special. In a
marriage relationship, we call serving our spouse romance. It is the giving of
flowers, just to let them know they are loved. It is the writing of little love notes
and stuffing them in the pockets of your spouses jacket so they are reminded of
your love in an unexpected moment. God-honoring, Christ-centered romance is
really nothing more than serving our spouse as Jesus tells us we should.
As we prepare to look at the text, we need to remember that romantically
serving one another is something this couple does well, very well. In fact, the
Shulammite literally describes herself as sick with love because Solomon
serves her with such kindness and love.
Many of you think lovesickness is something reserved for the beginning of
a relationship. We think lovesickness is the sweet feeling we grow out of.
Researchers tell us the reason couples grow out of lovesickness is because they
stop doing the work of romancing one another; they neglect serving one
another.17
This morning, my goal is to get you sick. Not sick with a cold or the flu, but
to get you lovesick all over again. I hope it is something you dont find yourself
cured of any time soon.
As we turn to the text, we find powerful lessons on how to serve our
spouse romantically. They are lessons that will work if you are 25 or 75.
How do I rekindle the romance by serving my spouse?
1. Create the right atmosphere.
Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, truly delightful. Our couch is green; the
beams of our house are cedar; our rafters are pine. Song of Solomon 1:1617
(ESV)
Last week our couple was in the marriage feast. The Shulammite was
looking her best and Solomon was reclined on the royal La-Z-Boy, she was
getting his attention with killer perfume. It looks like the party might be over
because they are inside the house. They are in the bedroom. In that day it was

17John Harlow and Brendan Montague, Scientists Discover True Love, The London Times, 4
January 2009, at http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/relationships/
article5439805.ece (accessed 8 January 2009).

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 40


customary for a king to build a special bedroom for his new bride.18 The
Shulammite sees for the first time the amazing bedroom he built for her. He was
not content with boring white walls. He also didnt design a room that was just
comfortable for him. He worked hard to create a bedroom that was comfortable
for her. Solomon understood the importance of creating a romantic atmosphere
in their bedroom. Guys, most of us dont understand this. Creating the right
atmosphere is a powerful way we can serve our wives romantically. .
She says their couch is green. What is special about that color? She
grew up in the country where everything was green. Solomon decorated the
bridal chamber in green to make his country bride feel comfortable in the city.
The beams of the house were cedar. In that part of the world, the choicest cedar
grew in the mountains of Lebanon; this was the area of the country the
Shulammite came from.19 Pine is also green. It would make her feel very much
at home.
Solomon served his country bride by giving the bedroom an extreme
home makeover so it would be comfortable for her. That is romantic. It is serving
her.
Lets get practical, what is your bedroom like? If it is like most bedrooms
in America, it is a place to throw things so the living room looks better when
company comes over. It is a place to stick piles of random stuff. It is the one
room in the house that looks better with the lights off rather than on. That is not
particularly inviting. Guys, are you seeing an opportunity to romantically serve
your wife?
Homework: Guys, give your wife the cash and freedom to transform your
bedroom into a place she finds romantic and inviting. Not only will this mean you
have to free up some cash, it will probably mean you need to help her with some
painting, hanging of curtains and organizing of the closet.
You might think this is too practical of an assignment, but it is biblical. In
marriage, we are to serve one another. When the Shulammite saw the romantic
bedroom that was decorated for her, do you think she felt served and loved?
Imagine what she would have felt like if she walked into the bridal chamber and it
was a man-pad with dirty underwear hanging from the bedposts and a NASCAR
Quaker State Racing poster with a woman stretched out on a car hood hanging
on the wall. It wouldnt be romantic. She wouldnt feel served.
2. Quench your mates insecurities by ruthless exclusivity.
I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my
love among the young women. Song of Solomon 2:12 (ESV)
She compares herself to two flowers. The first is the rose of Sharon.
When we hear rose, we think of a soft-petalled, long-stem, red rose from the

18 Joseph Dillow, Solomon on Sex, pg. 26.


19 David Jeremiah, Song of Solomon: What the Bible Says About Love Sex and Marriage, pg. 64.

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florist. We think of something red and romantic. That is not what she is thinking.
The rose of Sharon is a wild autumn flower.20 It grows out of season and when it
grows it appears out of place. That is how she sees herself in the big city
marrying the king. She feels out of place. She is just a simple country girl
marrying the wisest, richest and most powerful man in the land. This is a case of
opposites attracting.21
Not only does she feel out of place but she doesnt see anything special
about herself. She is just a lily of the valley. These are the common hill flowers
that cover the landscape. In our day, a similar flower would be the dandelion.
They are common flowers and there is nothing special about them. That is how
she feels when she compares herself to other women.
If you were the Shulammite, wouldnt you feel insecure? Wouldnt you be
waiting for Solomons bubble of love to pop? Would this romance feel too good to
be true? Wouldnt you be expecting Solomon to come to his senses and leave
you for a more sophisticated woman? Wouldnt you expect your heart to be
shattered? She feels like a nobody marrying a somebody.
How does Solomon help her through her insecurities? He doesnt berate
her for having them. He doesnt degrade her. He picks up on her insecurities
and soothes them. He soothes them by assuring her of his exclusivity. He tells
her that she may be a lily but to Solomon she is like a lily among thorns. Try
giving your wife a thorn bush instead of flowers this year on Valentines Day. It
wont go well. It does not produce the same effect when you put your nose close
to sniff. He says other women are not attractive to him. They are like thorn
bushes compared to her.
He assures her he has eyes for her alone. Does he mess this up later in
life? Yes! Is he on track at this point? Yes! He tells her he is a man of ruthless
exclusivity when it comes to his affections.
This week, Cindy and I reflected on this. Some of our friends, who
married at the same time we did, were not couples of ruthless exclusivity toward
one another. They developed friendships with the opposite sex in the office. In
social situations some wives allowed themselves to connect emotionally with
other men. There is a trail of hurt and a few divorces. Where did it come from?
They didnt insist on ruthless exclusivity in their relationship. The only way a
marriage can flourish is when a couple has that kind of exclusivity. If you dont
have ruthless exclusivity, it is a romance killer. It can become a relationship killer.
Incidentally, this goes both ways. Look what the Shulammite says to
Solomon.
As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the
young men... Song of Solomon 2:3 (ESV)

20 David Jeremiah, Song of Solomon: What the Bible Says About Love, Sex and Marriage, pg. 65.
21 Joseph Dillow, Solomon on Sex, pg. 30.

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For her, he sticks out from other men. When you walk through the woods,
an apple tree is different. It is out of place. Unlike other trees that are just
standing there, an apple tree refreshes you. The Shulammite tells Solomon that
other men are just trees but he is a the tree that stands out from the rest. He is
the only tree that refreshes her.
Here is your homework: If there is a person of the opposite sex you
have a slight attachment to, this week, you need to cut that relationship off. You
dont have lunch with them. You dont talk about your marriage or family with
them. This week, everyone who is married needs to assure their spouse they
have a heart of ruthless exclusivity toward them.
3. Be generous with your private praise.
...With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. Song
of Solomon 2:3 (ESV)
What is happening here? Scholars are all over the map on this verse.
Some think she is enjoying his presence. Others think they kiss because the fruit
is sweet to her taste so their lips must be touching. Other scholars think the
marriage is consummated. Some scholars have explanations for what is
happening that we will not talk about in church. There are many things this little
poetic line leaves our imagination wondering, but there are some things it
reveals. First, the scene appears private. It doesnt appear public. Second, she
finds great delight in him and she loves to tell him about it. In marriage, the
Shulammite is not a very inhibited woman. When she says his fruit is sweet to
her taste, she is saying he is her candy bar and she has a serious sugar craving
when she is around him. He is her delight. Ladies, what is your favorite dessert?
A chocolate bar? A peanut butter Cup? A fancy dessert? The application is
clear. God-honoring romance involves lots of private praise. Ladies, tell your
husband that sitting in his presence is more satisfying to you than the chocolate
you love.
Here is some homework: Ladies, what is your favorite dessert? This
week, eat your favorite dessert. Share it with your husband. As your eyes are
rolling into the back of your head with sugar delight, tell your husband he is more
thrilling to you than the chocolate that has you in ecstasy. Dont do it unless you
really mean it. If you are serious, it will be a compliment he will never forget.
4. Be generous with public praise.
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Song
of Solomon 2:4 (ESV)
She was generous with her private praise, now he is generous with his
public praise. He brings her to the banqueting house. The footnote for the
alternate translation is the house of wine. We dont know exactly where he takes
her but we know it is a public place. When he is hanging out with the shakers
and movers of the land, he proudly holds his bride at his side and tells everyone
what a wonderful woman she is and how deeply he loves her.

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What is happening with this banner? Those of you who are a little older
will remember the famous hymn that went with this verse. Let me explain it. A
banner displays a message. In ancient battle, it flew over the troops of a king to
identity them. In public, Solomon is not flying a literal banner. He is flying one
figuratively because he is publicly proclaiming his love for her to the world. He
wants everyone to know how much he loves this woman.
You can picture her holding his arm at this public dinner. As people come
to him asking about business and politics he keeps turning the conversation to
praise his amazing wife. You can almost begin to sense the waves of emotion
washing over her as Solomon talks about her in publicly with more enthusiasm
than his favorite hobby or sports team.
Here is your homework: First, in public, make sure to introduce your
spouse. Second, seize the opportunity to tell others how much you love her.
Maybe it is the culture we live in, but guys will talk about sports and cars and the
weather, but rarely do I hear them talk about their love for their wife. Guys, take
this seriously, if your wife knows you are complimenting her in public, it is an
instant 5,000 points on the romance scale. Remember, there is nothing new
here. It is just humbling ourselves to serve our spouse.
How give you an example of how I did this? You look for an opportunity to
slip it into the conversation. For example, last week, I arrived late to the YMCA to
exercise with Cindy over lunch. As I checked in, the woman behind the counter
reminded me I was a little late and my wife was waiting. I saw the opportunity
and pounced on it like a cat. I said, Yes, I am running late, but I am so thankful
to have a wife that is patient when I am not on time. That kind of stuff is serious
fuel in your relational gas tank.
5. Plan a romantic time together.
Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love. Song of
Solomon 2:5 (ESV)
How is this couples romance progressing? It is happening. She is sick
with love. Her knees are shaky. Her emotions are running on high. She cant
believe she is so treasured and loved. She is emotionally burning calories. She
is exhausted. She needs to stop for snacks to get her blood sugar elevated. If
you were to circle a word, circle the word sustain. She is hungry because all this
romance took time. This is not a microwave relationship. This is a crock-pot
relationship. Godly romance takes time. It is investing in your relationship with
your spouse. It is sitting with your spouse. It is caring enough to listen. It is
ignoring the cell phone when it rings. It is not bringing your laptop or a book to
read when you go on a date. It is giving your exclusive attention to them. This
couple will stop to enjoy a meal together so they can spend more time. I think
that is where we need to take our cue and apply the text.
Homework for this week is to enjoy a date night. I am guilty of this. I
dont take Cindy on enough dates. I need to take her out of the house so we can
enjoy a cup of coffee and split a pastry together; just to spend time. This week, I

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will do my homework. I hope you do too. Guys, enjoy a romantic date night to
the glory of God. It doesnt have to be fancy.
6. Feel free to touch; it means so much.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me! Song of
Solomon 2:6 (ESV)
When he finally touches her, she is thrilled. What is happening in this
verse? Some scholars have interesting explanations. I wont go through them.
After this verse, the scene abruptly closes. The curtains are drawn and the
details of what transpires is left shrouded in mystery.
While we dont know the details of the touch, we know she loves to be
touched. It makes her melt when he supports her head with his hand. She loves
it when he wraps his arm around her. I am sure she also loves holding his hand
and walking together in the woods. I am sure she loves it when he runs his
fingers through her hair. His touch means so much.
When Solomon gently touches her, he sends the message that she is
safe, special and loved.
The homework is to gently touch. As married couples, serve each other
by sending a romantic message with your touch. I am not talking about the
bedroom stuff. I am talking about real life touch. When you are driving in the car,
reach over and hold a hand. When you are sitting at a sports game watching
your kids play, gently reach over and rub a sore back.
WARNING: Kindled romance can easily get out of control.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song of Solomon 2:7 (ESV)
The curtains are drawn. The scene closes and the Shulammite addresses
her friends who are single. Romance between a man and woman can be very
powerful. It has left the Shulammite sick with love. Romance is more
intoxicating than she imagined.
She warns the singles not to stir up romance until the right time, the right
place and to save it for the right person. The right time, place and person are
your wedding night.
Most singles are asking, How far can we go? Where is the line? That is
the wrong question. It is not, How far can I go? but When is the right time,
place and person? The more you awaken yourself sexually, the more powerfully
your sexual appetite will demand to be satisfied.
The Bible is clear to wait until marriage. I need to explain what this
means. Waiting doesnt mean you will do everything but one final act before
marriage. Waiting means not doing anything you wouldnt do with a sister. That
draws the line early. That is the right thing to do. Why does the Bible draw the
line so early? The appetite for intimacy is more powerful than we realize. The
more you unleash it, the more it will demand to be satisfied.

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Our culture expects everybody to meet and rush into romance. It strips
people of their identity outside of intimacy. Folks, when you marry a person, you
are not just marrying a body. You are marrying the whole person. When you
prematurely awaken the physical component of your relationship, it will become
such a strong passion that it becomes difficult to know the rest of the person.
After you get married, you discover physical intimacy is a good part of marriage
but it is a small part of marriage. Living with, serving and loving the rest of the
person is what you will do for most of your life.
Some of you may be convicted by these words on waiting. Perhaps you
are all too aware of your past and regret you havent lived up to Gods design.
The good news is called the gospel. No matter where you have been or what
you have done, God promises to forgive you. His son, Jesus Christ, died in your
place to pay for your sin. Right now, he is holding out his hands of forgiveness.
If you will ask Jesus death for sin to cover your sin and ask him to be the head of
your life, God promises to forgive you for everything and make you into someone
new.
I know some of you have been following Christ for years. You began well,
but you failed Christ miserably again and again. The good news is that Gods
mercies are new every morning. Each morning we begin again like we did the
first morning of our Christian life. We cling to the cross asking for more mercy,
because we are more aware that we need his mercy when we see there is
nothing good in ourselves.
That is the gospel, we begin with grace for our sin, we are sustained every
day by Gods continuing grace in spite of our sin. Jesus always has more grace
than we have sin.
Questions and Answers
It is time for us to get to the Q&A portion of the message so I am going to
invite my wife up.

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Solomon on Sex
Rekindle Your Romance
Small Group Work Sheet
January 29, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Have you heard of anyone outside of the church talking about the series?
Have you heard of anyone checking out the www.solomononsex.com web site
or visiting the church because of the series?
What is your plan to share Jesus with your community this week? Is this series
helping you accomplish that?
1. Last week, you left small group agreeing to be accountable for your sermon
homework. Check with the group members to see how everyone did.

Part 2 - Sermon Review


2. Does your bedroom need a makeover? Is this something from the sermon
you plan to apply?
3. When was the last time you were on a date night? Share your ideas for a fun
date with the group. Go to http://www.christ2rculture.com/sermons/files/
sosrekindleyourromance.html and post your ideas in the comments section
on the bottom of the page for others to see.
4. Read Matthew 20:26-28. What does it teach us about how to become great
in Gods eyes?
5. Read Galatians 5:13. What is the freedom Paul is talking about? How does
that freedom enable us to serve others?
6. Read Philippians 2:5-11. When we feel like we are serving too much, how
does Christ inspire us to serve? What does he teach us are the results of
humble service?
7. Read Romans 12:10. Many of us are competitive by nature. How should we
compete?

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8. Discuss the sermon homework for the coming week. What will be hardest for
you to accomplish? What will come most naturally? What homework
assignment will make the most difference in your marriage?

Part 3 - Digging Deeper - What Do I Need To Know When I


Talk With My Teenager About Sex?
Oral Sex is Still Sex22
This week junior and senior high students attended an evening called, No
Apologies. The event focused on abstinence before marriage. I applaud the
event! Unfortunately, there are many young adults who think saving themselves
for marriage means avoiding one final act, not absolute purity.

The September 16, 2005 issue of the Washington Post had an article entitled
Half of all teens have Had Oral Sex. The article quotes a government study that
shows slightly more than half of American teenagers ages 15 to 19 have
engaged in oral sex. The proportion increases to about 70% of 18 and 19 year
olds. Today, teenagers just dont see oral sex as sex. As adults, it is our job to
teach our kids the blessings of absolute purity for their wedding night. It is not
our job to pretend our children dont have sexual desires. It is our job to cast a
vision for joy of keeping them for the proper place and time.

Living Together is Bad Preparation for Marriage23


Young adults consider living together a good way to practice for marriage and
test their compatibility.

Statistically between 1960 to 2010 the couples living together in the U.S. rose
from 439,000 to five million. 10% of couples lived together before marriage in
1960, today it is 50%. A quarter of unmarried women ages 25 to 39 are presently
living with a man to whom they are not married. Half of all women will live with a
man before marriage. What are the results?
You have a higher divorce rate if you live together before you are married (67%
vs. 45%)
A woman who lives with a man before marriage is 3 times more likely to suffer
from depression.
She is twice as likely to be beaten.
She is nine times more likely to be murdered.
Virgins who marry have a high level of marital satisfaction.
Of 100 cohabitating couples, 85 break up before 10 years together.
Men and women who live together are more likely to cheat on one another.

22http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/15/AR2005091500915.html?
nav=rss_email/components
23 http://www.amfmonline.com/pdfs/LivingtogetherStatisticalRisk.pdf

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Remember, absolute purity for your wedding night is a choice for more joy, not for
less.

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Song of Solomon 2:8-15 - Dating and Relating
February 5, 2012
Good morning. For those of you who are new, my name is Kurt. I am one
of the pastors. We are in the fifth week of our study in the Song of Solomon. For
those just joining us, let me give an overview of the book.
The Song of Solomon is an Old Testament book that is a collection of love
songs between King Solomon and his first wife. They are poetic. They are
romantic. Sometimes they are explicit. God inspired them and put them in the
Bible because we need to study them. That is why we are in this series. The
book is structured in what is called a lyric idyll. It is a collections of songs about
their marriage put together like snapshots in a photo album.
The book began with snapshots of their wedding day. Last week, we
studied a snapshot that showed the brides reaction when she saw the bridal
chamber that Solomon decorated in green, her favorite color. Last weeks
snapshot closed with a warning to the single and searching among us. Do not
awaken love until the wedding night.
This morning, we are in Song of Solomon 2:8. This section is a flashback
to when they were dating. It is a message geared primarily to those who are
single, but the rest of us will learn valuable lessons along the way. We will work
our way through the text quickly because I want to get to one key verse at the
end that we will unpack.
Ladies, date a motivated man.
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold,
there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the
lattice. Song of Solomon 2:89 (ESV)
" The scene is the mountains of Lebanon where she grew up. She hears
Solomon coming in the distance, because he is calling to her. She looks on the
hillside, and he is running. He is bouncing from rock to rock like a gazelle.
Solomon is not dragging his feet. He is running like a track star to see the girl he
loves. By the time he gets to her doorstep he is probably sweating and looks like
a Gatorade commercial.
" When he arrives at her house, he is so excited to see her that he doesnt
just knock on the door. He is a peeping Tom peering through the windows with a
smile on his face. He cant wait to see her and hear her voice.
" This is not the point of the text, but is worth noting. Ladies, when a
Christian guy is interested in you, check to see if he is a motivated man. Ladies,
you want to marry a motivated, hard-working guy.
" I have seen too many young women become attached at the heart to
unmotivated men. These are men that are not motivated to get a job. If they

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have a job, they try to perform the minimum amount of work. They arent
motivated to provide for a wife. They arent motivated to make a difference for
Christ. They want to come to church and just sit. They are lazy. They do not
want to come to church and make a difference. They are motivated when it
comes to playing with adult toys. They are motivated for football. They are quick
to critique the exhausted football team on the field but are too lazy to get off the
couch and get their own potato chips. They arent motivated to put in the hard
work to be a sacrificial leader for their wife and children.
" Ladies, they may be cool. They may have a funky hairstyle. They may
have a car with a loud exhaust. They may be popular. If they arent motivated
and hard working, they are lazy. If you get hooked up with an unmotivated lazy
guy who has not grown up, you will regret it.
Ladies, date a positive man.
My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come
away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear
on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is
heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they
give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. Song of
Solomon 2:1013 (ESV)
It is spring time. It appears they were apart for the winter. Absence made
the heart grow fonder. Solomon invites her to a walk in the countryside. He
reminds her everything is in bloom. The flowers are out. The turtledove, which is
a migratory bird, is back to the land. The fig tree is putting out blossoms.
Everything is coming alive after a long winter. Solomon is excited because their
love is also in bloom again.
This is a side note. When it comes to their date, Solomon is not taking her
to the movies where the lights are off and the movie is on so they dont have to
talk and nobody can see what their hands are doing. He takes her for a walk in a
public place. The best part of a walk in the country is the publicness of the walk
doesnt encourage physical intimacy, but walking together gives you perfect
privacy for conversation. As we will see in a moment, the dating stage of a
relationship is the time you should have many in-depth conversation about things
that are important. Going for a walk together is one of the best ways to
accomplish that!
" Another thing I noticed is Solomons approach to life. He is a positive guy.
His glass is always half-full. He is the kind of guy that brings energy to a
relationship. He doesnt drain energy out of a relationship. I think he is the kind
of man that was tough to get emotionally down. His life attitude is only hinted at
in these verses, but that attitude becomes more obvious the further we move into
the text.
" Ladies, dont allow yourself to be attracted to a passive depressive guy.
You will regret it.

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" One of the reasons young women are attracted to passive and depressive
men is because a womans mothering instinct kicks in. They want to mother the
guy. They think they can fix him and nurture him. Ladies, you may enjoy
mothering your man for a while but it will eventually drive you nuts. You will
eventually learn you cant change him or fix him. You need to marry a man, a
man who is a positive leader. Dont date and marry a passive, depressive child
who can shave. You mother children, not a husband. Solomon is a positive,
focused guy.
Guys, date a woman who is modest.
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your
face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Song
of Solomon 2:14 (ESV)
We have a very motivated Solomon trying to look through the windows to
see the woman he loves; but she is hiding inside. Maybe she is playing hard to
get. I dont know. If she is like many women, she is still fixing her hair in the
bathroom. We dont know exactly why she wont come to the door, we just know
he has to wait for his girlfriend. He is not getting to see her until she is fully
clothed and presentable.
This poetic line doesnt give us much to go on, but from the rest of the
book, we learn the Shulammite was very modest with her charm and protective
of her chastity. She knows she has looks that can kill but she isnt the kind of girl
that shows it off. She is modest in how she conducts herself around men. To put
it frankly, she is a woman that is aggressive and creative in marriage but guarded
with her charm around other men both before and after marriage.
This is a precious quality. Guys, your goal is not to date the girl who
wears the smallest swimsuit on the beach. That is a woman trying to attract all
the men she can. She is trying to attract all the wrong kind of men. You want to
date, and marry, a woman who is modest in public but is looking forward to being
married and passionate with her husband in private, not the other way around.
Talk about the little things that will make a big difference.
Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards
are in blossom. Song of Solomon 2:15 (ESV)
Now we come to the verse where we will spend most of our time. The
ESV translation has this inside the quotes, as if Solomon is speaking. The
quotes were added by the editor. There are no quotes in Hebrew. The scholars
are not certain who says this little line. I side with the scholars who think it is
spoken by the Shulammite. If you notice the structure of the song, we begin with
a motivated man that has a positive outlook on their future then we switch to a
modest woman who has a realistic outlook on the future. This is her statement of
realism that brings Solomons amazing optimism down to earth.
All Solomon sees about the future and their relationship is everything in
bloom. The Shulammite sees the bright future, but she also sees little problems

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that could add together to derail their relationship if they arent addressed while
they are dating. She calls them little foxes.
If you remember, she came from a farming family that worked the
vineyards. In Lebanon there were lions and leopards that would threaten your
life in the field.24 Those were the big issues you cared about when you worked
the vineyard. The foxes were small threats. Scholars tell us these foxes were
usually not more than a foot tall. They were hard to keep out of the vineyards
because they were tiny. While they are small, they are very destructive. First,
they burrow in the ground loosening the soil around the roots, which cut down on
the vines ability to gain nutrients from the soil. Second, if they could reach the
grapes, they gobbled them up before they reached maturity. When harvest
season arrived, the grapevines were not healthy and many of the grapes were
gone. The lion and leopard are big problems than can destroy you. Foxes are
little problems that slowly eat at your relationship. 25
What were the foxes she saw gnawing away on their future? One concern
was his busyness in the matters of state. We will unpack that next week. What I
would like to do for the balance of our time is to platform off of this idea that little
things can add up to ruin a relationship and apply that concept to dating and
married.
What are the little problems young men and women see but dont address
when they are dating that can boomerang back to destroy their marriage? This
week, I pulled out a piece of scratch paper and wrote down things that seem
insignificant to most dating couples, but in the end, they will make a big
difference when you are married.
1. Roles
When you are dating, you must discuss what the role of a man and
woman is in marriage from a biblical standpoint. This is crucial. There are two
major streams of thought. There are egalitarians and complementarians.
Egalitarians say a man and women are equal in all respects. When it
comes to who does what in the family, you discuss it and hopefully agree. When
you dont agree, you play a game of rock, paper, scissors to determine who gets
their way.
Listen to me closely. The most liberal versions of egalitarianism are what
our culture endorses. Many churches who call themselves Christian churches
endorse this. Let me shoot straight. When Christians say they are egalitarians,
and they claim to believe the Bible, they are not playing with a full deck of cards.
The Bible is not egalitarian. I have read the arguments, and I have read the
Bible, and they do not match. Young people, this is a huge issue. Our culture is
drenched in egalitarianism. You need to do the Bible study on this and get this

24 Tom Gledhill, The Message of the Song of Songs, pg. 138.


25 Joseph Dillow, Solomon on Sex: The Biblical Guide to Married Love, pg.47.

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issue straight in your head before you date. Then, when you date, this is one of
the discussions you must have. Ignoring this is letting a fox play in your
vineyard. I have watched this cause huge amounts of pain and tears in many
marriages.
The Bible is clearly complementarian, not egalitarian. That means a
husband and wife are equal in personhood but they have distinct God-given
roles. Their marital roles are designed to complement one another.
I am sure you are wondering where this is found in Scripture. Lets just
jump right in and offend all the feminists in the room and go to one of the most
direct passages. Lets just turn Ephesians 5 and unpack some principles from it.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head
of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its
Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in
everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:2224 (ESV)
A wifes role is to submit to her husbands leadership. Go back to
Genesis. Why was a woman created for Adam and from Adam? It was not good
for him to be alone. He needed a helpmate suitable for him and since the
helpmate was made from something that came out of him, having that helpmate
will complete him. Men, you are heads of your family and of your wife. Your wife
was created by God to be your helpmate and that is her primary role. Married
ladies, when somebody asks you what you do for a living, tell them your job is to
be the wife of my husband. Dont answer people by saying your identity comes
from a corporate position; it comes from your home position and playing your
God-given role.
These roles are not arbitrary. God didnt roll dice to decide who would
be head of the home. Husbands, you are head of the home just as Christ is
head of the church. There is parallelism there. Think of the love and sacrifice
Christ has done for the church. Men, that is our job to love and sacrifice for our
wife and children.
These roles are not reversible. They cannot be changed around. The
church cannot die for Christ. Christ cannot submit to the church. A husband and
wifes roles are not reversible. Some of you are wondering how this works
because you married up. You married a woman that is much smarter than you
are. If that is your case, praise God. He gave you a wise counselor but as the
husband, you are still responsible before God for your family.
A husbands role is to lovingly sacrifice for his wife.
We offended the feminists, now lets offend the chauvinists.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for
her, Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)
As a husband, your job is to sacrifice your life for the good of your wife and
children. Think of Christs sacrifice for us. He died for us. He is sanctifying us.
He will glorify us. Men, that is our pattern for how we are to relate to our wives.

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Satan desires to twist these roles, sin has altered our desire to fulfill our
God-given complementarian roles. There is an interesting passage in Genesis
3:16 that describes how sin affects the role a husband and wife play in marriage.
...Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. Genesis
3:16 (ESV)
The word desire does not refer to biological attraction. That existed before
the fall. The word desire literally means a desire for your husbands position.
One of the ways the fall affects a woman in marriage is rather than being a
helper who is supportive of her husbands leadership, her sinful desire will be to
be a challenger who will try and undermine her husbands position of leadership.
Sinfully, she wont want to be his helper, she will want to be his challenger.
Guys, that doesnt go well for us. That is when the effects of the fall play
out in our marital role. It says he will rule over you. The Hebrew word for rule is
a harsh dictatorial rule. Rather than being a leader who loves his wife and
desires to sacrifice himself for his wife, sin leads a husband to be harsh and
dictatorial toward his wife. These are men that yell around the house. They
throw things and leave the wife and kids hiding in the closet. That is a sinful
disgusting man. That is how sin twists his role in family leadership.
In short, the fall produces an egalitarian marriage where a wife is not
supporting her husband and submitting to him but is competing for his
leadership. A husband is not sacrificing himself for his wife but is using his wife.
This is why an egalitarian marriage produces so much hardship. This is why it is
so unbiblical.
A Christian marriage is a complementarian marriage where a husband and
wife repent of the sinful ways they are expressing their role in marriage. The wife
returns to fulfilling her role as the helpmate who submits and supports her
husband. Her husband returns to his role of joyfully sacrificing and supporting
his wife. These are little things that make a big difference.
Goals
While you are dating, consider writing your obituaries. Talk about what
you want said about your life when it is over. What are your spiritual goals?
What are your life goals? What difference for Christ do you want to make?
Use your dating time to find and work through the little fox of having different
goals for the future. You would be surprised how many starry-eyed romantic
couples come in for premarital counseling that have not discussed life goals.
Priorities
While you are dating, talk about your priorities. Talk about what is
important to you. Talk about what moves you. Talk about what you want to be
part of your life every day.

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Anchors
Anchors are the non-negotiables in a marriage. These are fixed points
you agree to hold yourselves to. In the past, I told you about some standards
Cindy and I agreed to, such as not riding in a car alone with someone of the
opposite sex. Another standard is eating dinner together as a family. We cant
do it every night of the week, but in our busy lives, we try to hold dinner as a
family to be an anchor point we wont give up in our lives.
Another anchor point we are struggling to accomplish is family Bible
reading. Guys, this one is our responsibility. We are the heads of the family.
Our wives may do a great job helping with the spiritual education of the children,
but we are the head of our home. The buck stops with us. The spiritual
education of our children is our responsibility.
Let me share some thoughts. With one child in high school wrestling,
another in junior high wrestling and another in dance, I am struggling to keep a
family devotional time. As I prayed about it this week, the Holy Spirit brought to
mind a strategy I am implementing this week. You can hold me accountable.
The Holy Spirit said, Let your wife be in charge of preparing the physical food for
dinner, you are in charge of preparing the spiritual food for dinner. I am not
talking about giving a sermon. I am talking about something as simple as
reading a verse and sharing for 30 seconds with the family over dinner. That re-
anchors us to a life-habit we agreed to bind ourselves to years ago.
Conclusion
Probably one of the most vivid examples of what can happen when a
couple doesnt use their dating time to catch the little foxes in their relationship is
the marriage of John and Molly Wesley. Many of us know John Wesley as the
founder of Methodism, but what happened in his marriage is conveniently swept
under the rug.
John Wesley never intended to marry. At the age of 48, while crossing a
bridge in London, he slipped on the ice and broke his ankle. He was taken into
the home of 41-year-old Molly Vazeille, a wealthy widow with four children.
Without even mentioning it in his journal, the two were married only eight days
later. The attraction was instant. What could go wrong? They were both
Christians. However, adequate conversation about the little foxes was absent.
Some biographers refer to what happened next as the 30-year-war.
During his life, John Wesley traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and preached
40,000 sermons. He lived life at an insane pace and he believed marriage
should not slow him down.26
Molly attempted to travel with him for the first four years of their marriage
but couldnt handle the pace, seasickness or mobs that often threatened his life.
Rather than repenting and traveling less, he simply left her home.

26
Your Affectionately, John Wesley: The Rev John Wesley and His Correspondents (Museum of
Methodism, Wesleys Chapel, 49 City Road, London EC1Y 1AU, March 2003), pg. 16.

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On one occasion, when Molly was near death with a fever, Wesley
returned from his travels at 1 a.m. to be by her side. When the life-threatening
fever left her in the middle of the night, Wesley packed his bags and was gone
before daybreak for another engagement.
It was this kind of marriage that infuriated her. She became so angry that
she sent letters to the newspaper undermining his ministry. She publicly accused
him of adultery with their housekeeper. There is evidence their fights turned
physical. Some witnesses claim Molly was sometimes bruised and in some of
John Wesleys correspondence with her he admits striking her. A witness at their
house claims he saw Molly dragging John by his hair across the room as she
tore clumps of hair out of his head when they fought.
Molly was further enraged because John continued an extensive letter
writing correspondence with multiple women that drove her to insane levels of
jealousy.
Their last years were spent apart and alone. Molly Wesley was dead and
buried before her husband was even notified. Today, their graves are miles apart
in two different parts of London.
My friends, they should have taken a lesson from Solomon and the
Shulammite. They should have enjoyed many long walks in the country talking
about the little foxes before they rushed into marriage. The little things that didnt
seem important when they were infatuated with love, turned out to become the
big differences that destroyed their marriage. They should have talked about
role, goals, priorities and anchors.
It is time for us to get to the Q&A portion of the message so I am going to
invite my wife up.
Questions and Answers

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Solomon on Sex
Dating and Relating
Small Group Work Sheet
February 5, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Have you heard of anyone outside of the church talking about the series?
Have you heard of anyone checking out the www.solomononsex.com web site
or visiting the church because of the series?
What is your plan to share Jesus with your community this week? Is this series
helping you accomplish that?
1. This week, there is no specific homework. What homework from the last two
weeks have you done? What homework do you plan to accomplish?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


2. This week, we talked about two qualities of poor manhood that young women
should avoid in the men they date. They are laziness and a man who wants
mothering. What other qualities of poor manhood should a young woman
avoid?
3. This week, we talked about immodest, a quality of poor womanhood that
young men should avoid in the girl they date. What other qualities of poor
womanhood should young men avoid in the women they date?
4. We talked about the importance of understanding and fulfilling the biblical
roles in a marriage. How has sin twisted the way a husband and wife play
their marital roles?
5. Read Colossians 3:18-21. In what ways does sin taint the other family roles?
6. Read Galatians 3:28. This verse appears to teach egalitarianism. Read the
verse in context. What kind of equality is it talking about?
7. According to Romans 5:19, it was the sin of Adam that resulted in the
sinfulness of all mankind. When we read Genesis 3:1-7, it was Eve who was

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deceived by Satan and Eve who brought the forbidden fruit to her husband. If
Eve is originally at fault, why is Adam held responsible?

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Song of Solomon 3:1-5 - Avoiding Marital Disaster
February 12, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in our sixth week of our study in the
Song of Solomon. Last week, we looked at the last half of chapter two. It was a
flashback to Solomon and the Shulammites dating years. In that section, the
Shulammite told us about a time Solomon came to her house so they could go
for a date in the park. It was a time for them to have some much needed
conversation about where their relationship was headed.
Last week we learned Solomon is motivated and positive about his
relationship with his future wife, the Shulammite. While the Shulammite loves
him, she is more realistic and cautious about the challenges she will face
marrying a king. She playfully talked about catching the little foxes that could
destroy their relationship. As we learned, in Middle East farming, foxes were little
pesky creatures that couldnt be ignored. They were little annoyances that
turned into a big problem over time. In the same way, while their romance is in
full bloom now, they needed to solve the little problems in their dating years
before they made a disaster of their marriage.
Before we discover what is on her mind, I want to prepare you for the text.
It is not straight forward. When I first studied this section, I was confused. In this
section, she is still dating Solomon but she shares with him a dream of what she
thinks will take place. It is not just any dream. It is more like a nightmare. It is a
recurring nightmare because the word night in the Hebrew is in the plural.
On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:1
(ESV)
Before we look at this dream, I want to take a few minutes to talk about
dreams, fantasies, nightmares and the power of your mind to make any
relationship succeed of fail.
Guard your thought life.
A big disconnect for many Christians is the importance of honoring God in
our thought life. Many of us think God is just concerned with actions. We
consider our mental life our own business. If you look at secular literature on
spicing up marriage, you will see they encourage you to spice up your marriage
through fantasizing and not limiting your fantasies to your own spouse. Will
those kind of thoughts get your motor running? What do you think? But they are
sinful thoughts.
This is a particularly difficult temptation for women who are tempted to
read romance novels. Ladies, when you are fantasizing about a relationship
outside of your marriage that is sinful. Some ladies dont read. Instead they are
caught up in fantasizing about soap operas and day-time television. Ladies, you
are fantasizing about a relationship that is not your own.

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Guys, we are also tempted to fantasize. Most guys do not fantasize about
a relationship that is not theirs, instead, they fantasize about another womans
body that is not their wifes. They look at a woman lustfully and undress her in
their mind.
Sinful daydreaming doesnt have to be sexual. If you have experienced
serious levels of conflict, you are tempted to lay in bed at night and imagine
some of the worst and most hurtful thoughts.
Sinful fantasizing is still sin, even if the actions do not accompany it. Not
only is it sinful but what we think in our mind will determine what we do in our life.
Why is this? Fantasy is only one step removed from reality. What we role
play in our mind, we will real play in our life. This is especially true for the
intimate areas of our life.
Ladies, do you want to have an affair? Spend time around another man
enjoying his presence instead of your husbands. Spend time thinking about him.
Spend time sharing with him. You havent done anything wrong on the outside of
your life but you are greasing the skids to do something wrong in your thought
life. When that man makes an advance towards you he will slide right past your
defenses faster than a greased pig. Why will the affair be so hard to resist?
What you role played in your mind will become what you real play in your life.
Guys, you want to ruin your marriage? When your wife makes a mistake,
even though you may not verbally call her a flaming idiot, if those are the words
you allow your mind to dwell on, even though you avoided speaking them, you
did not avoid the sin of thinking them. The next time there is marital conflict,
under pressure it is likely you will say what you are thinking.
Lets see what the Bible says.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of
God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV)
I love the way Paul says this. Our thought life tends to run out of control.
He pictures us needing to catch our thought life like we are calf-roping at a rodeo.
For some of us, getting our thought life under control is a little harder. Instead of
calf roping, it is more like bull roping. It may not be easy, but it needs to be done.
Thoughts that are not brought into submission to Christ are sin.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no
opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:2627 (ESV)
When you go to bed angry, you give the devil an opportunity in your life.
That is not what you want. Talk it out before you go to sleep. Even if you cant
solve it all before bed, reaffirm your love for one another before bed. If you dont,
during the night, your emotional world will begin to spinning out of control.
Young people, we will see in verse 5 where she reminds her single friends
not to fan the flames of intimacy until your wedding night because with a healthy

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dose of testosterone in your system, it is hard to keep your thought life under
control.
This morning, we have a window into the Shulammites thought life. She
shares with Solomon her recurring nightmare. Here is the nightmare.
She is a simple country girl. He is a complex city boy. As the king,
everyone demands his attention. Her nightmare is that his kingly life will
consume their home life. Rather than having him around the house, she will be a
wife that will spend evenings alone. She loves Solomon but she doesnt know if
she can handle life as his queen.
What I like about her is rather than her fantasies spinning in a negative
direction, they spin in a positive one. That is very important.
Lessons from the dream.
Be solution-centered not problem-centered.
On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found
him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I
will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. Song of
Solomon 3:12 (ESV)
This dream takes place while she is still unmarried and living on the farm.
In the dream, she is married to Solomon and living in Jerusalem. It is late at
night and he is not home. She has gone to bed by herself. Maybe she had a
special evening planned and he never made it home. Maybe she was lonely
during the day and she was looking forward to seeing him for dinner, but after he
never showed, she ate her meal alone. Cell phones and texting are not invented
so he hasnt given her a call.
Ladies, if you were the Shulammite, what emotions would you begin to
feel? You might begin to feel anger. You might begin to resent his job. What
would your mind begin thinking? Would your begin to question his love? Would
you begin to worry that another woman had caught his eye? I dont think it would
take long for your mind to generate a vivid assortment of hurtful scenarios.
What I love about this woman is than rather than assuming the worst,
rather than letting her mind stew and weaving a tapestry of caustic relational
insults, she does something different. She gets on her pink bathrobe and puts on
her fuzzy pink slippers and goes looking for him.
This is a solution-centered woman, not a problem-centered woman. If you
want to circle the key words circle sought, rise, go and seek.
She cares about him. She cares about their marriage. She is not going to
sit home and whine like a stuck pig. She is going to do something about her
missing husband. Perhaps he has the royal budget spread out on the office floor
and he is still crunching numbers for a budget meeting the next day. Maybe he
was called out of the office for an emergency meeting. She doesnt know where

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he is but she is going to find him and she is going to let him know he is missed
and loved. She is a solution-centered woman, not a problem-centered one.
Application: This is the point of application I want you to apply this week.
Be a solution-centered, not problem-centered couple. Every week couples come
into conflict. The wife says something that gets under her husbands skin. The
husband is gone night after night, and wife feels like a single mother raising her
kids alone. When a couple has those rubs, there are two paths it can take. The
couple can choose to whine about the problem or work on a solution.
Avoid problem-centered whining. Many problem-centered people like to
whine. Sometimes they verbally vomit over everyone around them. Others keep
stuffing their anger inside like they are inflating a bicycle tire. Everything looks
good until somebody touches them in the wrong way and they explode over
everyone. Problem-centered people are usually sinful fantasizing people. They
allow their mind to dwell on the problems so much they make out the problems to
be bigger than they are. Because they are bigger, they always appear
unsolvable.
Face your marriage problems; dont ignore them. Some problem-centered
couples handle it differently. Rather than pumping up their anger, they ignore the
problem in their marriage and they begin pouring relational energy into someone
else or something else. We often call these people the friend-on-the-side
people. These are also known as the I-live-for-my-hobby people. Both of those
options are problem-centered. They arent fixing the marriage. They are pouring
their energies into someone or something else to fills that relational void.
Instead, be solution-centered. Talk about the problem. Try to solve the
problem. Pray about the problem. Rather than sitting home stewing, put on your
bathrobe and pink slippers and do something about it.
When headed for a marital shipwreck, swallow your pride and save your
bride.
The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. Have you seen him
whom my soul loves? Song of Solomon 3:3 (ESV)
" In this part of her dream she looks for her husband around town. It is the
middle of the night and he is not home. She runs across the night-watchmen.
" As I put myself in that situation and imagined what it would feel like to talk
with the watchmen. I wouldnt want it going around as palace gossip that the
king was ignoring his new bride and leaving her alone in the bridal suite. That
would be embarrassing. I could see most people running across the palace
guards and casually noting that it was a beautiful evening for a walk.
" That is not her reaction. She is not embarrassed. She needs help, and
she is not willing to be bashful about finding it.
" This is another expression of the solution-centered nature of this woman.
Unfortunately, when most marriages hit rocky times, neither the husband nor wife

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will humble themselves to go for help until it is too late. Many men are more
interested in saving their pride instead of their bride.
" Application: When heading for the rocks, get rid of your pride and save
the bride. If your marriage is in a rocky time, ask for help. Here are a few things
you can do:
1. Faithfully attend this series. The second half of the Song of Solomon talks
about Solomon and the Shulammite working through marriage problems. It
will be helpful material for the married among us.
2. Invest in a marriage encounter weekend. Check www.solomononsex.com or
www.christ2Rculture.com for this sermon. On the sermon page you will find a
link to the dates for Family Life Conferences. If you want to go but cant
afford it, I will find a way to scholarship you to go. If you cant go because of
kids issues, talk to me. I will find child care to make it possible. I know there
are always problems when it comes to these things but I am committed to
finding solutions so you can go.
3. Read helpful books. There is no substitute for reading. I love to read and
books are one of the best ways to grow. Do not go to Amazon and think
everything in print is positive. There is plenty of trash. The resource page on
the www.solomononsex.com website has helpful material. Read solid God-
honoring material.
4. Talk to a pastor or elder. My favorite part of this series are the stories God is
writing in the church family. I did a quick mental tally, and there are 14
individuals/couples that have talked with me in the last five weeks that took
big positive steps in their marriage and sex life through this series. God is
putting his finger on the heart of people with his word. If God has his finger
on an area of your life, come and talk with us. We would love to walk beside
you.
Use a crisis to take a big step forward, not backward.
Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him,
and would not let him go... Song of Solomon 3:4 (ESV)
" Most men like this verse. Husbands are always dreaming about what they
can do to have their wife hold them close and not let them go. Some guys are
thinking about staying late this week at work in hopes their wife will apply Song of
Solomon chapter three by hunting them down and holding them close until
daybreak.
" Let me clarify. I am not recommending you stay late at work so your wife
hunts you down in her bathrobe. I want you to picture in your mind the tension
moment when the Shulammite finally finds Solomon.
" I think it is safe to assume Solomon was tired and stressed. It is a fair
assumption he feels guilty for leaving his wife home alone. He feels torn
between home life and work life. If she is like most of women, her emotions are
all over the map. She is absorbing public embarrassment with the night guards.

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She is tired. She is frantic. She feels rejected. She finds him and she feels she
has every reason to give him a piece of her mind. In a dream, you can do and
get away with it.
" In her dream, rather than letting him have it with both barrels, she does
the opposite. She grabs him and holds him tight. She wont let him go. She
preaches the gospel to him with her actions. She doesnt just show him mercy
by not giving him the verbal lashing she feels he deserves, she shows him grace
and gives him exactly what he doesnt feel he deserves, her love and affection.
This is the Gospel in marriage.
" The moment their eyes meet is an opportunity for their relationship to take
a giant step forward or a giant step backward. It was an opportunity to build
intimacy or to destroy it. By extending grace, she helps their marriage take a
giant step forward. It is an opportunity to turn tragedy into intimacy.
" Application: This week, when something goes wrong. Preach the
Gospel. Show grace. Use it as an opportunity for your marriage to take a giant
step forward.
Count the cost of marital sacrifice.
...until I had brought him into my mothers house, and into the chamber of her
who conceived me. Song of Solomon 3:4 (ESV)
" Now her dream takes a weird twist. If she is determined to hold Solomon,
and not let him go, why would she want to bring him into her mothers bedroom.
That sounds creepy. If Cindy was having a similar dream, I am sure she would
take me to the tropics. Why does she take him there?
" In her mind, the only place she knows she can have him all to herself is in
her mothers home in the country on her turf. It is also a place of security and
safety.
" I think there is more to this part of her dream than her just having him to
herself. Later in the book, we will learn the Shulammite has a mother, a younger
sister and some brothers. Strangely enough, her father is absent from the
picture. Most likely, he died when the Shulammite was a young girl. We know
this because there is a younger sister in the picture. I think the Shulammite
misses her dad. It sounds like her father spent a good deal of time at home with
his wife and kids. It sounds like she was daddys little girl. She loved her father.
She loved her time with him and the family time together. I believe her father was
not prudish about his affections for her mother. I can see him hugging her while
she cooked in the kitchen and probably giving mom a playful kisses on the neck
as she stirred the soup. Then he died.
" The Shulammites hero was her father. She grew up dreaming of the
prince that would one day sweep her off her feet. I think she is looking for a man
like her father. She is looking for a man that would be home at night. She is
looking for a man that would be playful with her just like her father was toward
her mother. I think this is why the Shulammite dreams they are at the old farm

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house again. She is dreaming of the good memories she had as a child being
fulfilled in her husband.
" Unfortunately, if she marries the king, he will not be home every night as
she makes the meal. As the queen, she wont even have to chip a nail because
she wont be in the kitchen. This gives us two points of application to work on.
" Application:
" Gals, prepare to shift your dreams to support a husbands calling. The
Shulammite is wrestling with shifting her picture of the perfect marriage. The
marriage she dreamed of will be different from the marriage she will have if she
marries the king. If she cant make the shift, she should not marry him. Ladies,
you need to wrestle with this before you commit to a man. You need to be his
teammate and his helpmate, not a burr in his marital saddle. Let me give you
some examples of this.
" I have friends in the military. Ladies, if you cannot be content with your
husband deployed for a year at a time, dont marry a military man. If you do
marry a military man, dont spend your marriage punishing him for doing his job.
Get that fox straightened out before your wedding.
" Guys, sacrifice your life to invest in your wife. Every wife has a picture of
what her marriage would look like if it was perfect. Usually it involves more of her
husbands undivided attention than she is getting now. Guys, one of the issues
of sin in our life is bringing work home. When we are home, our body may be in
the house but our brain is still at work. Here are my challenges for the husbands:
" Be home at night. Some of you guys are gone almost every night of the
week. You stuff your evenings like they are a Thanksgiving turkey. That doesnt
work. Marriage is a relationship. Relationships take time. They dont just
happen. You need to invest in them. I suggest you make a decision to be home
at least three nights a week. I know this doesnt always work. Sometimes
business takes you out of town, but try to block off at least three nights a week
home with your wife and children. Schedule your family like it is an appointment
with an important business client.
" Give your wife and children your full attention. In the Shulammites day, I
dont think this was as much of a problem as it is today. When I first started
preaching, I found myself in the basement working late at night leaving Cindy in
the living room watching television. My experience is late night work doesnt
work. It took me more time to complete my work and the quality of my work was
lacking. It also played havoc with my marriage. My general rule of thumb is
when I come home, unplug and dont work on church stuff. If I have to work on a
sermon, I will do it by talking about the sermon with Cindy. I want to give her my
full attention, and my children deserve the same. I try to unplug my mind from
church around my family and let my subconscious mind and the Holy Spirit work
on material during the night. Generally, this works.

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" Be careful of electronics - iPhones, iPads, laptops and televisions have
invaded our home so it is harder to separate home life from work life. It is easy
to fill time in entertainment rather than investing in our family.
" Husbands, your job is to put a limit on the Internet and electronics. Dont
let electronics take over your life. Use them to help your home life, not to replace
your home life. At home, be present with one another. Talk to your wife and kids
more than your iPhone. If you watch television, turn it off after the program is
done.
WARNING! Do not awaken love until it is time.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field,
that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song of Solomon 3:5 (ESV)
" If you are a regular part of this teaching series, this verse will sound
familiar. It is the same as 2:7. When somebody repeats something, they do it
because it is important. They say it again and again to drive it into your brain. In
this book, the Shulammite repeats this line a number of times because she wants
her young friends to save themselves for their wedding night.
" In essence, her relationship with Solomon has developed. Everything in
her is looking forward to getting married. Does she want to deal with the little fox
of their different backgrounds and their different expectations of what marriage
should look like? Of course not. She just wants to get married. The pull of her
passion is strong. But dealing with their differences before the wedding night is
something she must do.
" The most important way to avoid a marital disaster is to guard your mind,
what you think and what you feel. It is not the romance; it is not the physical; it is
not the feeling. It is what you are thinking about your future mate and your
marriage that makes all the difference."
Questions and Answers
It is time for us to get to the Q&A portion of the message so I am going to
invite my wife up.

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Solomon on Sex
Avoiding Marital Disaster
Small Group Work Sheet
February 12, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


How has this series influenced your marriage (if you are married) or your
approach to dating and marriage (if you are single)
Have you heard any life-changing stories during this series?
1. What homework have you accomplished from earlier messages in the series?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


2. Review the homework from the sermon handout. Which assignment is most
important for your marriage?
3. The umbrella theme of the message is the importance of guarding your
thought life for the health of your marriage. Is this a new concept for you? Do
you think it is easy for fantasy to turn into reality?
4. Read Genesis 8:21. What does it tell us about our thought life?
5. Read Romans 7:21-25. What does it tell us is the only way to get our thought
life under control?
6. Read Hebrews 4:12. What role does Bible reading play in a pleasing thought
life?
7. Are you problem centered or solution centered? What do you need to
address if you are to become a solution centered person? When you get
problem centered, do you give your spouse the freedom to challenge you in
this area?
8. Before this message, did you consider a crisis to be a chance to take a big
step forward in your marriage, not backward? Have you ever used a crisis to
help your marriage? Share your story?

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9. What is one healthy action step the group can hold you accountable to take in
your marriage?

Part 3 - Digging Deeper


Save Yourself For Marriage. Enjoy a Better Sex Life.27
In 1993 it was reported that sixty-eight million Americans had a sexually transmitted disease.
Approximately 15.3 million Americans contract an STD annually. One in four of the victims is
under age twenty. Five of the eleven most commonly reported infectious diseases in this country
in 1998, the last year for which data are available, were STDs. And that doesnt include the most
common STDs, herpes and human papilloma virus (HPV); the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) dont collect data on these. HPV causes over ninety percent of cancer and pre-
cancer of the cervix, which, in turn, is causing the deaths of approximately five thousand
American women yearly.
The number of lifetime sex partners is highly correlated with the likelihood of contracting an STD.
Studies from the CDC clearly show that, on average, the younger a person is when he or she
starts to have sex, the more partners he or she is likely to have. Hence, delay sexual activity until
marriage and avoid STDs. Furthermore, the likelihood of contracting an STD during marriage is
negligible. Thus, more marriage means fewer STDs. And keep this in mind: many STDs are
incurable; others can render you sterile; and some are potentially fatal. It is an amazing reality to
think that if we would simply do sex Gods way, one man with one woman within the covenant of
marriage for life, every single STD would disappear from the planet in one generation.
We now know sex is more satisfying for those who wait until marriage. A survey of sexuality,
which was called the most authoritative ever by U.S. News & World Report, conducted jointly by
researchers at State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Chicago, found
that of all sexually active people, the people who reported being the most physically pleased and
emotionally satisfied were married couples.
One writer was rather straightforward, Promoting marriage in America will mean for a lot more
happy men and women. Sex in America reported that married sex beats all else. For example:
Married women had much higher rates of usually or always having orgasms, 75 percent, as
compared to women who were never married and not cohabiting, 62 percent. And, the
researchers wrote, those having the most sex and enjoying it the most are the married people.
Not only is sex better in marriage, it is best if you have had only one sexual partner in a lifetime.
We now know physical and emotional satisfaction start to decline when people have had more
than one sexual partner. God knows best about sex. God knows best about marriage.

Cohabitating Before Marriage May Ruin Your Marriage.28


Married people have healthier unions than couples who live together. Research from Washington
State University revealed, Cohabiting couples compared to married couples have less healthy
relationships.
Married people are generally better off in all measures of well being. Researchers at UCLA
explained that cohabitors experienced significantly more difficulty in [subsequent] marriages with
[issues of] adultery, alcohol, drugs and independence than couples who had not cohabited. In

27 Akin, D. (2003). God on sex: The Creator's ideas about love, intimacy, and marriage. Nashville, TN: Broadman &
Holman Publishers. Chapter 6

28 Ibid.

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fact, marriages preceded by cohabitation are fifty to one hundred percent more likely to break up
than those marriages not preceded by cohabitation.
Wife beating should more properly be called girlfriend beating. According to the Journal of
Marriage and the Family, aggression is at least twice as common among cohabitors as it is
among married partners.
Married people enjoy better physical and mental health. Dr. Robert Coombs, a biobehavioral
scientist at UCLA, conducted a review of more than 130 studies on the relationship between well-
being and marital status, concluding that there is an intimate link between the two. Married
people have significantly lower rates of alcoholism, suicide, psychiatric care, and higher rates of
self-reported happiness.

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Song of Solomon 3:6-11 - Why have a Wedding?
February 12, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the seventh week of the Solomon
on Sex series. This is a series where we are studying an Old Testament book of
the Bible called the Song of Solomon. This book is composed of small melodic
snapshots that are a window into the relationship between King Solomon and his
first wife, a rugged farm girl from the area of Shulem --- a farming area in the hills
of Lebanon. We often refer to her as the Shulammite since her name is not
revealed in the book.
The little melodic windows into their relationship are not necessarily in
chronological order. We began with the Shulammite getting Solomons attention
at their wedding feast when she used her knock-em-dead perfume. Next, we
saw her reaction to the beautifully decorated bridal chamber Solomon prepared
for their wedding night. It was decorated in green, her favorite color. Next, we
studied a snapshot that was a flashback to their dating days. On the date, they
went for a walk in the country where she shared her fears about marrying the
king. She worries his stately duties will overwhelm his husbandly duties. She
worries she will be married but find herself alone.
This week, the text is a window that gives us a glimpse of their wedding.
This message is particularly important for those yet to marry. If you are already
married, I encourage you to listen closely anyway. There is much all of us need
to hear.
Before we put our finger in the text, lets talk about marriage in our culture.
Traditional marriage is on a steep decline. The marriage rate dropped 43 percent
since 1960. The number of cohabitating couples in the United States rose from
half million in 1960 to 4.2 million in 1998. The number of babies born to unwed
parents has increased five fold since the 1930s. The majority of our culture is
rejecting traditional marriage and the wedding ceremony that goes with it.29 This
morning, I want to talk about why we should not be so quick to let the traditional
wedding go.
Before we jump in, I need to explain how dating and marriage in ancient
society is different than our modern society. That will help us better understand
the text.
What were weddings like in the ancient world?
1. Bethrothal - This is a time when arrangements for the marriage were
established. The couple was considered married once they were engaged.
The engagement period was not a time when a couple continued
contemplating their marriage. The decision to marry was already made. The

29 Akin, D. (2003). God on sex: The Creator's ideas about love, intimacy, and marriage. Nashville, TN: Broadman &
Holman Publishers. Chapter 7

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engagement period was simply a time of preparation for the wedding. The
engagement was so binding a couple couple figuratively take out a mortgage.
Their commitment was that binding. Today, unfortunately, many couples get
engaged and propose long engagements. During the engagement the
couples hopes to determine if they are marrying the right person. That is not
the biblical way. You only ask a woman to marry you when you are sure the
marriage should move forward. Engagement is only a time of preparation for
the wedding.
2. The wedding procession - This is when the groom went to the home of the
bride in a big parade. He brought her to his home for the wedding (Matthew
25:1; Psalm 45). If the groom didnt go himself to fetch his bride from her
home, he sent a wedding party to do it. He joined her outside the city gates.
The couple paraded through the streets on the way to the wedding ceremony.
It was a large, noisy parade where everyone was invited to join in cheering for
this man and woman on the happiest day of their lives. This wedding parade
is the part we will study this week.
3. The wedding ceremony - This is the time when the couple was formally
recognized as husband and wife in a legal sense. It was not conducted in a
synagogue or church. It was conducted in a home and was more of a civil
than a spiritual matter.
4. The wedding feast - This is the party after the ceremony. We studied this in
our second week of this book. It was the passage where the Shulammite was
trying to get Solomons attention at the wedding feast with her strong
perfume. We celebrate a marriage the same way. We have a party after the
ceremony. The difference is that the Jews partied much harder. They partied
for an entire week. This morning, we learn why they thought it was important
celebrate their weddings.
5. The wedding night - This takes place on the first evening of the wedding
party. Two weeks from today, we are in the fourth chapter of this book. The
entire fourth chapter deals with this couples wedding night. It is sex to the
glory of God. Next week, we kick the kids out. Everyone who is nervous
about sex will stay away because they are afraid God will convict them in this
area of their life. Everyone who is interested learning how to honor God in
their sex life will be here scribbling down notes like court-room stenographers.

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Dont worry. We have two weeks until the
wedding night begins. Today is the wedding party.
Since we are talking about the wedding, I
thought I would share a picture from my wedding.
As you can see, Cindy hasnt changed a bit. As
usual, she is beautiful and has aged gracefully. On
the other hand, you can see I have aged. In my
wedding photo, I was still using a shaver with
training wheels.
Here is a piece of fun trivia. If you look
closely, you can see in this photo that I am wearing
womens makeup. The night before the wedding, I
playfully wrestled with a friend and ended up with a
black eye. Cindy didnt want wedding photos where it looked like she punched
my lights out. I humbled myself and agreed to where womens makeup for the
first, and hopefully the last, time. I didnt want to spend the rest of my life having
friends ask me if Cindy continued to beat me after the wedding like she did
before the wedding.
What does the text teach us about weddings?
Lets put our finger in the text and see what the Bible teaches us about
weddings.
A wedding is a time for celebration.
What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed
with myrrh and frankincense, with all the fragrant powders of a merchant?
Behold, it is the litter of Solomon! Song of Solomon 3:67 (ESV)
When it says litter, do not think kitty litter. That is a totally different thing. This is
not King Solomons cat box. It is King Solomons car. It is a luxury car. In that
day, luxury vehicles looked like stage coaches without wheels. They were
enclosed boxes carried by poles that men put on their shoulders. Why didnt
they use wheels? Wheels gave a bumpy ride. Monroe shock absorbers were
not invented. If you are a king and you want a luxury ride, you have people carry
you around town. This is the luxury car he sent to give her a ride to the wedding.
He didnt just send the luxury car to pick her up, he sent an entire luxury
motorcade. As we learned earlier in the book, this couple enjoy great smells.
Solomon knows his bride has a sensitive nose. In that day, a fancy marriage
motorcade had a censer of burning incense at the front of the motorcade and
another at the back. Solomon has spared no luxuries. This is not a little incense
burner you buy for the resale shop for $1.50. The censors were large because
they are were putting out columns of smoke that rose into the sky.
Picture this in your mind. To arrive in Jerusalem, this ancient motorcade
would travel to the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on the planet. The next
15 miles would be a straight climb to the city of Jerusalem, which was located,

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like a crown, on top of a hill. People in the city were looking down the mountain
at the columns of incense rising in the sky. They could see this motorcade
arriving from miles away. When the bridal motorcade arrived outside the city, if
Solomon wasnt already on board, he would join his bride. The marital
motorcade would then weave its way through the city like a city-wide parade.
First, the countryside was bathed in the smell of incense. Now, the city
was bathed in the smell of incense as the marital parade slowly wove its way
through the streets to the wedding ceremony. This ancient wedding ceremony
was serious celebration.
Application: The lesson we need to learn is when a couple weds, they
should have a good party. It should be a celebration. Today, partying has a bad
reputation. There is nothing wrong with partying for the right reason. By
partying, I dont mean getting drunk. I mean getting together, having fun, eating
food and celebrating. Study the Old Testament calendar. Israel was
commanded to party multiple times a year for national holidays. The wedding
party lasted a week. Jesus thought a big wedding party was important. That is
why his first miracle was to turn water into wine at a wedding feast so the
marriage celebration could continue.
Why is it important to have a serious celebration?:
The wedding is hoped to be a once-in-a-life-time event. The wedding
is a big deal. The most important decision you will make in your life is either for
or against Christ. The second most important decision you make is who to
marry. If you have the person God wants as a soulmate, you should celebrate. It
is one of the greatest days in your life!
A wedding celebration sets off the marriage as important. If you dont
celebrate the wedding as important, it subtly makes a statement that the
marriage isnt that important. Your wedding day is not just another day; it should
be treated like it is a special day.
What are practical ways I can apply this?:
Help young couples celebrate their wedding day. Let me give some
advice. If you are a parent or a grandparent, chances are you will have children
or grandchildren getting married. If they are like most young couples, they wont
have any money. They will want, and need, to celebrate the wedding cheaply.
Help them financially. Help them celebrate. That doesnt mean to be lavish, just
help them have enough money to celebrate their important day.
When Cindy and I married, we were poor. Cindys wedding dress was
bought on clearance. Our reception hall was the church gym because we had no
money. The family that took Cindy under their wing and discipled her when she
trusted in Christ blessed us. They took care of the food for the reception meal. It
was just sandwiches and lunch meat, but it was enough to make a party. Other
friends volunteered to help us celebrate by playing music. Other friends shot our
wedding photos. Another friend shot the wedding video. There were probably at

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least a dozen people that came together that made it possible for us to celebrate
that special day.
Ensure you couples have good wedding photos. Another practical
piece of advice deals with wedding photos. Get a good wedding photographer.
Take photos. Make memories and post those pictures in your home to remind
you of your special day. If you want help finding a good wedding photographer,
talk to me. I have some recommendations.
A wedding contains a promise of protection.
Behold, it is the litter of Solomon! Around it are sixty mighty men, some of the
mighty men of Israel, all of them wearing swords and expert in war, each with his
sword at his thigh, against terror by night. Song of Solomon 3:78 (ESV)
Not only does the Shulammite get a heavily-scented motorcade, she gets
a heavily-protected motorcade. These 60 guys are not there to carry the
luggage. I was studying the history on this and both Saul and David had 600
highly-skilled warriors that reported to them directly.30 I believe Solomon followed
the family tradition and had 600 of his black-ops unit report directly to him as
well. It appears Solomon took a tenth of his black-ops unit and deployed them as
body guards for his brides marital motorcade.
They were not for show. In 1 Maccabees 9:37-41, which is an ancient
book that tells some history of what happened between the Old and New
Testaments, it tells us how a kings wedding day was ruined when his brides
marital motorcade was attacked leaving her dead. Killing a husbands bride on
the wedding day tends to get husbands-to-be very angry. Solomon promises to
protect her.
Application: The point of application is a wedding involves a husbands
public statement to take a wife into his care and keeping. The father gives away
the bride. The woman moves from her fathers protective care to her husbands.
Ladies, when you skip the wedding and just live with a guy, who is
promising to look out for you and protect you? If you live with a guy, he is not
taking out a life insurance policy so that if he dies, he knows you are protected
financially. In a wedding a husband makes a public promise to protect his wife.
You skip the wedding, you skip the promise of protection, which is something
every woman needs to be under, either from her father or her husband.
A wedding contains a promise of provision.
King Solomon made himself a carriage from the wood of Lebanon. He made its
posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple; its interior was inlaid with love
by the daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Solomon 3:910 (ESV)
This is a detailed description of the wheelless vehicle the Shulammite is
riding in on the way to her wedding. The point of the description is that this
wheelless carriage is extravagant. This is the kind of vehicle people wanted to

30 1 Samuel 13:15; 14:2; 27:2; 30:9

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car-jack in the ancient world. It is a Bentley. Not only is it silver and gold, but the
fabric is purple. Purple was the color of kings. One of the reasons purple was
associated with kings is because only kings could afford the purple dye which
was extracted from a shellfish.
To make it especially comfortable, the ladies who worked in the palace did
the interior decorating of the vehicle as a way of honoring Solomon and his bride.
For a moment, I want you to think about this from the Shulammites
perspective. She grew up as a simple country girl in a fatherless home to a
single mother. When the wedding ceremony is over, she becomes the queen.
All that is Solomons becomes hers. He promises to provide for her.
Application: This is another reason I love a wedding. The husband
promises to provide for his wife. When the marriage certificate is turned in after
the ceremony, the couple becomes one. They have the same last name. What I
want to point out is when a couple gets married and a woman takes her
husbands last name that is a way he promises that all he has is hers. It is a way
she says to her husband, all I have is yours. Both names go on all bank
accounts. Both names go on all properties. The husband and wife do not keep
separate bank accounts with only one name on it. The reason the husband puts
his wifes name on his stuff is that he is committing to provide for her.
When Cindy and I were getting married, she met a woman in the store
who encouraged her to keep one form of identification with her former last name.
That way, it would be easier to change back to her old name if I divorced her.
What do you think I said to that idea? If you need to keep one form of
identification with your old name, you are not ready to marry me. Honey, your
name goes with mine on all bank accounts, all property and vehicle deeds. What
I have is always yours. I intend to give everything I have to be your provider.
Take my last name in everything as your full commitment to me.
A wedding makes a public declaration.
Go out, O daughters of Zion, and look upon King Solomon,... Song of Solomon
3:11 (ESV)
" In the ancient world, the wedding was a very public event. It was a public
event because it formally stated to world that a new couple was formed. The
guests at the wedding party were not just there to be scenery for the photos.
They were present because they cared about the couple, and they promised to
support the couple in their marriage.
" The guests at a modern wedding should look at their role in the wedding
from the same perspective. They are present to witness the vows and to pledge
to support the couple in the good times and in the tough times. When you hit
those marital tough spots, the friends that stand behind you and hold you to your
commitment make a world of difference.

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A wedding is a chance for parental approval.
...with the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding,
on the day of the gladness of his heart. Song of Solomon 3:11 (ESV)
" This verse sounds out of place until you understand the ancient wedding
custom. On the day of a Jewish wedding, the bride and the groom wore laurel
crowns given by their parents. The crowns were worn because the wedding was
a time when the bride and groom were to be treated like kings and queens.
When a parent gave the crown to their son or daughter, it was their way of
publicly approving of the wedding. It was their way of supporting the wedding
and telling everyone they were proud of the marriage.
" There was lot of information this morning but not a lot of application.
Now, I want to use these principles from the text to answer two commonly asked
questions.
Why cant we just skip the wedding and live together?
What is wrong with eloping?
Common questions about weddings.
What is wrong with skipping the wedding and living together?
" Cohabitating takes away your opportunity to celebrate your
marriage. I know some of you are cohabitating in hopes that if the relationship
work, you will celebrate a wedding later. If that is what you choose, the
celebration will ring hollow. It is like celebrating Christmas after you open the
presents. The joy is just not there.
" Cohabitating doesnt bring a woman under a mans protection. Since
there is no commitment of a man to protect the woman he is living with, she is
vulnerable. If he changes his mind about her, he moves out leaving her to fend
for herself. If there are children involved, often it is the woman left holding the
bag of responsibility.
" Cohabitating bring no promise of provision. Why should the husband
marry the woman he is living with? He is getting all the benefits of a married man
without any of the financial responsibilities of marriage. Why should a husband
put his life-worth on the line when he doesnt have to?
" Cohabitating provides no public proclamation of love and not
invitation for relational support. Since there is no wedding, there is no cadre
of friends committed to support and encourage the couple in their relationship.
They will struggle alone.
" Cohabitating doesnt provide a chance for public parental approval.
It doesnt provide a mother and father a chance to bless the relationship.
" Besides the clear biblical reasons for marrying and having a wedding
instead of cohabitating, thanks to a study done by Rutger's University, there is
plenty of practical data to back this up.

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1. Only one-sixth of live-in relationships last at least three years and only one-
tenth endure five or more years.31
2. Living together before marriage increases the risk of divorce. One study
found an increased risk of 46 percent. It also increases the risk of domestic
violence for women and the risk of physical and sexual abuse for children.
One study found the risk of domestic violence for cohabitating women is
double that of married women.32
3. Couples who live together before marriage are more likely to have an affair
during marriage than those who dont.33
4. Cohabitating couples are three times more likely to say, hitting, shoving and
throwing things occurred in the previous year.34
5. Cohabitating couples report less sexual satisfaction than married couples.35
6. Not only is sex more satisfying for married couples but those who report the
highest level of satisfaction with sexual intimacy are those who have
experienced only one sexual partner.36
7. Those least likely to suffer clinical depression are those who are married and
never divorced. Those who cohabitate are more likely to be depressed than
those who are single and those who are divorced. The only category more
prone to major depression than those living together are those who
experienced multiple divorces.37
There is much more data than time will allow me to share. Young people,
let me say it clearly, marriage, not cohabitating, is Gods plan. It is a plan with
your best interests at heart.
What about eloping?
Lets look through this passage again and briefly think about the eloping
question.
Does eloping allow a time of celebration of one of the best moments of
your life? No.

31 Karen Peterson, Wedded to Relationship but Not to Marriage, USA Today, 18 April 2000.
32 David Popenoe, Cohabitation: The Marriage Enemy, USA Today, 28 July 2000.
33
Brian Holman, Co-habiting First May not Improve Marriage, Scripps Howard Foundation
Wire, 5 August 2000.
34 Murray Dubin, A Mission to Remedy Marriage, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 August 2000.
35Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, and Edward O. Lauman, Sex in America: A Definitive
Survey (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1994), 124.
36 Ibid, pg. 124.
37Lee Robins and Darrel Regier, Psychiatric Disorders in America: The Epidemiologic Catchment
Area Study (New York: Free Press, 1991), 72.

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Does eloping provide a woman marital protection and provision from a
husband. It does, because they become legally married.
Does eloping provide a time for a support system of family and friends to
come together and put a blessing upon the couple and promise their support?
No.
Eloping is better than cohabitating, but it is not everything God wants you
to bless you with when you start off your marriage.

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Solomon on Sex
Why Have A Wedding?
Small Group Work Sheet
February 19, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Have you given away Solomon on Sex Invitation Cards this week? To whom? How
did it go?
If you are married, share the details about your wedding. What was the most
memorable moment? What was the funniest moment?

1. What did you do this week for Valentines Day?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


2. What about the ancient Jewish marriage tradition do you like better than the
way we do the weddings today? What do you like about our cultures
marriage tradition more than the Jewish cultures?
3. Do you think we celebrate enough as Christians? How should we do a better
job of celebrating?
4. In what ways should a husband provide a covering of protection and provision
for his wife?
5. Read Revelation 19:6-8. How does your new understanding of the ancient
wedding ceremony help you understand the great final wedding ceremony
called The Marriage Supper of the Lamb?
6. Chances are, you will run into friends who choose to cohabitate. How will you
talk to them about the benefits of marriage? What from this sermon is most
helpful?

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Part 3 - Digging Deeper - Understanding Our Cultures Radical Skepticism of
Marriage.38

What did everyonei.e., the baby boomersexpect? As the unmarried mother of a new baby, I
am the object of much indignant scrutiny among the older generations, who seem to have
conveniently forgotten the past 30 years, in which almost everyone I know has been emotionally
pummeled in some way by divorce. As my boyfriend asked at a recent family gathering, while
playing a board game in which you have to prompt the other players to supply a particular word:
What must you do before you get married? The answer, of course: get divorced. My father and
his wife thought this was hilarious. And yet aging boomers seem shocked and befuddled that
someone would choose to avoid the whole swampy mess of broken vows and failed traditions
that theyve left in their wake....
The worst is from my parents. Marriage is very important, my mother said. It establishes a bond
that you just cant get otherwise. I wanted to argue with her, but she was getting ready to leave
the country with her new husband. They spend their summers at their cottage up in Nova Scotia,
a good 20-hour trip away from the rest of us. Studies show that married couples are better off
financially than single people, my fathers youngish second wife insisted. Its probably true that
she is better off financially since marrying my father, but I wasnt sure how that applied to me.
When my boyfriend and I looked into getting married, we found out that we would pay an extra
$2,000 each year in taxes.
If marriage is risky, doomed and expensive, well, why bother? You just should, my father offered
in that magnanimous, aint-life-grand manner he developed shortly after re-entering the singles
scene when I was a teenager. My father is big on the shoulds of life, with some reason. He has
always done everything he was supposed to, even as a divorced father; he never even bad-
mouthed my mom (nor did she ever trash him, for that matter). But the fact that my parents
divorced welland they really diddoesnt grant them immunity from their actions. The fact that
my uncles and aunts and grandparents and family friends felt they had absolutely no choice other
than to divorce doesnt change the outcome. They still got divorced, all of them. They still showed
my generation, by example and by forcing us to go along with their example, that marriage was
something easily and amicably exited from. Marriage, they said, was not that big of a deal.
Premarital sex is fine. (Or at least thats what they implied when they presented their boyfriends
and girlfriends at the breakfast tablebefore we were even out of high school.) Families, they
said, do not need to stay together if things become too boring.
I would have more sympathy for divorced people if their lives had improved by getting out of
terrible marriages that (apparently) couldnt be survived for another moment. But the ones Im
familiar with continue to associate with flawed human beings. These second and third marriages
still seem to require work, and still have shortcomings. My mother and father, for example, still
struggle with the same issues that plagued their marriage to each other. The only difference is,
older and wiser, they both seem more willing to compromise, to sacrifice and to accept. I am not
whining about or regretting the events of the last three decades. When my parents divorced in the
late 70s, we children went along with it like troupers. When they started bringing home boyfriends
and girlfriends in the 80s, we ultimately accepted these new people into our family. Sometimes,
the new people went away. And we dealt with the divorces and separations all over again. And
accepted the new people all over again. Fine. Exhausting, but fine. Its a wonder we 18- to 35-
year-olds even have the energy to date. (And maybe some of us dont.) But for myself, the
scattered, patchwork concept of family I grew up with has only increased my quest for
commitment. Ive seen firsthand the pain and futility of divorce culture and I dont intend to relive
it, or to drag my children through the nightmare of watching their parents flirt with strangers. My
decision not to marry does not indicate a desire for a life of debauchery and half-formed
commitments. Quite the opposite but we have no fantasies about coasting through the next 50

38 Larissa Phillips, The Case Against Matrimony. This article first appeared in Salon.com, at http://www.salon.com. An on-line version remains in the Salon archives. Reprinted with permission.

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years on the coattails of a weakened and disparaged contract that, thanks to boomer innovation,
now includes options like pre-nup clauses. Considering everything weve seen, bearing the
weight of our relationship on our own backs seems a hell of a lot wiser than leaning on the white-
laced and satin-cummerbunded follies of our parents. Thanks, but were looking for more than
just a party, a round of toasts and a validity stamp from Uncle Sam to get us to that golden
anniversary. Our parents, on the other hand, seem to believe in marriage more than they do in
monogamy. Like I said, thats fine. Every generation has its torch to carry. But when this particular
generation, which grooved to its own beat and stomped on every tradition that seemed too
square, too inhibiting or just plain boring, turns around with nostalgia in its eyes and questions my
choices, I have to protest. My generation would just as soon steer clear of the fatuous, feel-good
mess of getting divorced and remarried. The tradition that was passed down to usin which
divorce is a logical and expected conclusion to a marriageis one we would just as soon pass
by. Of course marriage is on the decline. But dont blame us. The boomers started it.

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Song of Solomon 4:1 - 5:1 - Great Sex Gods Way
March 4, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the eighth week of the Solomon on
Sex series. Today, we come to the mid-point of the book. We passed through
the dating and waiting stage for Solomon and his bride. Today, the lights dim.
The romance candle is lit. It is their wedding night. Our couple will be intimate for
the first time. Since this window into their wedding night is inspired by God, it
has a lot to teach us about what God-honoring marital sex looks like. I want to
warn you. I am not going to explain most of the details from the original Hebrew.
It is much more graphic than our English translation. There is no way to avoid it.
This is a message that will have details because the text is littered with details.
This morning is for the mature.
Pastors tend to gravitate away from texts like this, because they think it is
dirty to talk about sex. We are not skipping this chapter. The only reason we
think marital sex is dirty is because we have sinful minds. As we will learn this
morning, marital sex is not dirty, it is godly. God is literally smiles upon
passionate marital intimacy. We will learn more about that at the end of the
message.
If you havent noticed, men and women are wired
differently. In 1992, John Gray made a ton of money off a book
called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. The books
title struck a chord in our culture. We struggle to understand the
opposite sex because the opposite thinks so differently.
Nowhere are gender differences more apparent than in a
marriage. When it comes to the wedding night, men and women
are not just plumbed differently, their experience of intimacy is
different. If you dont understand this, it will result in many frustrating marital
moments.
I know this sounds obvious, but we need to start with this. It doesnt take
much for a man to be aroused sexually. Guys, your wife is not like that. God
made her different. Men, if your wife was sexually wired just like you, trust me,
you wouldnt like it. God made her different for a reason. God made men and
women to complement one another.
As we get into the text, we will see that when it comes to intimacy, God
made women verbal creatures. A womans primary trigger for arousal is verbal.
That doesnt mean women are not visually aroused, it just means the dominant
way they experience intimacy is verbal. Men, our primary trigger for arousal is
visual. What we see of a woman captivates our mind. As we look at this
wedding night, we see the Shulammite is enticing her husband visually and
Solomon is enticing his new wife verbally.

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Wives, entice your husband visually.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful! Your eyes are
doves behind your veil. Song of Solomon 4:1 (ESV)
Solomon starts at the top. He is blessed by her beauty. He describes her
eyes like doves. Her eyes are beautiful, gentle and playful. In this culture, you
wore a veil on your wedding night. The Shulammites veil was not like a burlap
sack. It was either paper thin or lace because he had no problem seeing her
face through it. While the veil was originally intended to be concealing, she used
it as a sheer piece of clothing to make herself more enticing. Her veil was an
ancient version of lingerie. It hid her face just enough to make her even more
alluring to Solomon.
Application: Wives, it is biblical to wear lingerie.
Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Song of
Solomon 4:1 (ESV)
This week, I tried telling Cindy her hair was like a flock of goats. It didnt
go well. That compliment backfired for me, but it didnt backfire for Solomon.
What is he saying? In this part of the world, goats are usually black. They have
wavy hair. The slopes of Gilead are a steep mountain range that shepherds
occasionally took their flocks toward to top to find pasture. He pictures her hair
like goats running down mountainside as seen from a distance.
He is describing what it looks like when she lets down her long black hair.
Her hair has waves in it and a lot of bounce as it cascades over her shoulders.
In short, she looks like she just modeled for a shampoo commercial.
Application: Wives, ask your husband how he loves your hair. Act accordingly
to entice him.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all
of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young. Song of
Solomon 4:2 (ESV)
Now we move from goats to sheep. While goats were usually black,
sheep were usually white. These are sheep that just had their outer coats shorn
off. They were washed. The sheep are white and wet. Each one has a twin.
Not one has lost their young means she has all her teeth. In short, she had a
great dental plan, and her parents took her to the orthodontist. While she has a
great set of teeth, what is she doing with her mouth that he sees them? She is
smiling at him! She has a beautiful and attractive smile.
Application: Wives, smile for your husband. I guarantee you he will love it!
Your lips are like a scarlet thread, and your mouth is lovely. Song of Solomon 4:3
(ESV)
Mary Kay cosmetics are not a modern invention. Most scholars believe
the Shulammite is wearing red lipstick. Red lipstick was considered sexy in that
day just like it is today. She has a killer smile and a great set of lips. Here we

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see biblical precedence for cosmetics. This lady doesnt look like Tammy Fay
Baker, but she wants to look her best for her husband. She is even wearing
make-up to bed! She wants to be as visually enticing as possible to her
husband.
Application: Wives, cosmetics are not sinful. The Shulammite even wore Mary
Kay to bed.
...halves of a pomegranate behind your veil. Song of Solomon 4:3 (ESV)
She is blushing. This is new territory for her. She is decked out with
lipstick and a smile, but she is still blushing because this is her first time with a
man.
Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand
shields, all of them shields of warriors. Song of Solomon 4:4 (ESV)
She has a long, straight neck. Remember, she is a farm girl. She has
muscles in her neck. She is strong but feminine. Her neck is adorned. She is
wearing jewelry. The necklace she wears looks like shields hanging on the side
of a tower. Like the lipstick, she is wearing jewelry to bed. She is intent on
visually arousing her husband.
Application: Wives, it is biblical to wear jewelry, even to wear it to bed!
Why is she wearing jewelry, lipstick and a lingerie veil but not much else?
She is intent on enticing her husband. As the text tells us, he really appreciates
it. Bedtime is not the time to look your worst, it is the time to look your best.
Application Question: Wives, go home and ask your husband what he
would feel like if you approached him in the bedroom like the Shulammite
approached Solomon. Act according to his answer.
Now things begin to heat up.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the
lilies. Song of Solomon 4:5 (ESV)
As he works his way down her body, he describes her breasts like two
fawns. They are identical. They are playful. What do you want to do when you
see a baby animal, like a puppy or kitten? You want to hold them, cuddle with
them and play with them. That is what he wants to do with the two fawns he
sees before him. He is pretty excited about his wifes breasts! He should be. It
is their wedding night!
Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, I will go away to the mountain of
myrrh and the hill of frankincense. Song of Solomon 4:6 (ESV)
Given he is working his eyes in a southerly direction, I am sure you have
no problems imagining what part of her anatomy he is describing. Once again, if
you want the exciting details, go to seminary and take Hebrew. All you need to
know is that by the time he is looking at this part of her body, he comes
completely unglued. She has enticed him. Looking at his bride he tells her he

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wants to make love to her all night long. Guys, I hope you have said that to your
wife. When you told your wife she was so attractive that you wanted to make
love to her all night long, you just didnt realize it was biblical. I know some of
you guys like this study so much you want to make Song of Solomon 4:6 your life
verse.
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon
4:7 (ESV)
It sounds like she is the perfect woman. Unfortunately, she is not perfect.
Just like everyone, she has flaws. If you remember from earlier in our study, she
is dark-skinned when a fair skin tone is considered beautiful in that day. What we
need to understand is that while she sees her flaws and imperfections, in
Solomons eyes, she is beautiful to him. He doesnt tell her she would be
beautiful if she lost 5 pounds. He doesnt tell her she needs to lose the farmer
tan, become soft like the women of the court and wear frilly dresses. He tells her
that, as far as he is concerned, she is perfect to him. This is important.
Husbands, you wife needs you to tell her she is, beautiful because most of the
time she doesnt feel it. You see beauty when you gaze at her; she sees flaws.
Application: Husbands, your wife sees her flaws. Look at her and honestly tell
her she is beautiful to you.
Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; come with me from Lebanon. Depart
from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the dens of
lions, from the mountains of leopards. Song of Solomon 4:8 (ESV)
Earlier in the series, we learned she grew up in the area of Lebanon.
Most likely, her family farm was in a hilly region. Earlier we learned when
Solomon came to visit in their dating years, he bounded from rock to rock as he
worked his way down the mountainside to her home.
What is the purpose of this little section? After spreading on compliments
thicker than chunky peanut butter, he poetically invites her to leave her home and
to embrace life as his wife. He invites her to be intimate with him and complete
the marriage. We find she is quite happy to take him up on his offer.
Men, before you touch your wifes body, touch her heart.
While we looked at practical applications for wives, before we leave this
section, I want to give one practical application for husbands. Solomon, the wise
lover, knows that before he touches his wifes body, he has to touch her heart.
Guys, this is one way your wife is different. She needs time and attention before
intimacy. She is a verbal creature. She needs to hear from you how she makes
you feel and the specifics of what you love about her. If you skip verbally enticing
her, you will regret it. Before you touch your wifes body, touch her heart.
Husbands, compliment your wife verbally.
In this next section, Solomon and his bride begin to touch. A few things
we should notice. She is not a passive lover. She does not act like a corpse in
bed. Why do you think she is such an active lover for Solomon? Sexual intimacy

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was not a last-minute plan for this couple. He has creatively touched her heart
with kind, loving and sexy language. He has prepared the bridal chamber in her
favorite color, green. He has continually told her how much he loves her. She
cant help but have passions for him. He has done a great job of verbally
enticing her for a long time.
You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart
with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. Song of Solomon
4:9 (ESV)
He tells her that she makes him melt. He is weak in the knees just looking
at her. She has so captured his heart that he is like putty in her hands. Not only
does he call her his bride, but he calls her his sister. That sounds weird. In that
day, you were allowed to have your sister as one of your best friends, but not
another woman, unless you were married to her. Solomon says that she is not
only a wife who melts him sexually, but she is his best friend. It is a great
combination to have a wife who melts her husband sexually but is also his best
friend. His heart is not just captivated by her beauty, it is also captivated her
friendship.
Application: Husbands, tell your wife her beauty makes you melt. Tell her she is
not just your lover, she is your best friend.
How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than
wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! Song of Solomon 4:10 (ESV)
I will bring one interesting piece out from the Hebrew. The word used for
love in this verse is different from the word used for love earlier in the chapter.
The earlier word for love talks about the impression she made on him visually;
this word talks about the impression she made on him physically. In other words,
he says she is a great lover. She went from capturing his heart visually to
touching his body physically as a lover. Solomon says that even though she is a
virgin, she is amazing. That is the kind of compliment that hits home.
In fact, her love is more intoxicating than wine!
Application: Husbands, tell your wife she is a great lover and her love is
intoxicating.
Your lips drip nectar, my bride; honey and milk are under your tongue; Song of
Solomon 4:11 (ESV)
Before this, he described the redness of her lips. Now he tells her she is
one great kisser. This is not a dainty kissing. This is French kissing. French
kissing wasnt invented by the French, here it is in your Bible. God is good with
French kissing. We dont need any Hebrew here. Just read the English text.
This week, you can go home and tell your friends that in church you learned
French kissing is biblical.
Application: Husbands, tell your wife she is a great kisser and French kiss her.

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the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. Song of
Solomon 4:11 (ESV)
Not only is she a great kisser but he loves the way she smells. As we
know, Solomon loves perfumes and scents. He had a great nose. He loves the
way she smells. Maybe it was pheromones, I dont know. He loved being close
enough to her that he could smell her.
I know some ladies, when their husbands are out of town, they sleep with
his shirt, because they love the way he smells. This is a man who sleeps with his
wifes shirt when she is out of town. He just loves the way she smells. He is
really into her.
Application: Husbands, tell your wife you love the way she smells. You want to
sleep with her shirt when she is gone.
A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a spring locked, a fountain sealed. Song
of Solomon 4:12 (ESV)
He thanks her for her virginity. Young men and women, your virginity is
one of the best gifts you can give your spouse on your wedding night. Studies
tells us that a when a couple marries as virgins, their level of sexual satisfaction
in marriage is higher than those who cohabitate before marriage or sleep with
someone else before their wedding night.39
Young people, trust me on this. If you are a virgin, on your wedding night,
your spouse will thank you from the bottom of his or her heart for being a locked
garden and a sealed fountain. Giving away your virginity on your wedding night
is one of the great blessings you bring to your marriage.
How does this apply to those of us who are married? Solomon is thanking
her for saving herself for him. She is totally dedicated to him. She is not trying to
get the attention of other men. She is a one-man woman. He loves that about
her.
Solomon thanks her that he doesnt have any reason to be jealous of
another man. She keeps her affection for him alone. Ladies, one thing your
husband will find incredibly appealing about you is the exclusivity of your
affections for him. You keep them for him and him alone.
Application: Husbands, tell your wife you are thankful for the exclusivity of her
love. Newlyweds, thank your spouse for his or her virginity!
Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits, henna with
nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes, with all choice spices a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon. Song of Solomon 4:1315 (ESV)

39Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, and Edward O. Lauman, Sex in America: A Definitive
Survey (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1994), 124.

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Solomon describes his wife like a garden with choice fruits, choice trees
and choice spices. If you describe your wife like a garden, it might not go over
well. I tried it; it didnt work for me. What is Solomon getting at? If you study the
different fruits and trees in this garden, you will find they are refreshing. They are
exotic. They come from as far away as India. Solomon says that intimacy with
his wife is like visiting an exotic garden that contains the finest fruits and spices
from around the world gathered in one place. She is like an exotic garden. She
is an exotic garden that is exclusively for him.
Sexual intimacy with her is like a well of living water and a flowing
mountain stream. Remember that the Middle East is very dry. He says intimacy
with her is like a refreshing oasis in the desert of his life.
Application: Tell your wife that sexual intimacy with her is more refreshing than
other earthly pleasures. Thank her for keeping the garden of her pleasures
reserved for you alone. Tell her that her love refreshes you more than any other
hobby or any pleasure.
Husbands, focus on serving your wife instead of yourself.
Awake, O north wind, and come, O south wind! Blow upon my garden, let its
spices flow. Song of Solomon 4:16 (ESV)
In this climate, it was the alternating north and south winds that produced
the greatest harvest. West and east winds were known for storms that wilted the
plants. He is trying to cultivate the garden of his wife to produce the best
possible crop. Let your imagination do the work; it should be vivid enough. In
these intimate moments, Solomon is focused on serving his wife, not serving
himself. He finds it more delightful to serve her rather than serve himself. This is
just biblical. It is just looking to the interests of others rather than yourself. In this
case, it is the sexual interests of his spouse.
Application: Men, tell your wife serving her needs is more fulfilling than serving
your own needs.
Let my beloved come to his garden, and eat its choicest fruits. Song of Solomon
4:16 (ESV)
After all of these verbal compliments, kissing, touching, patient loving, and
waiting; she is ready. After all this time, of enticing him visually and pursuing him
sexually, she is finally ready.
Application: Great sex Gods way involves time, tender words, visual enticing,
touch and talk. Men, I said it earlier: You must touch your wifes heart before you
touch her body.
Ladies, men are visual. The Shulammite dressed for marital success on
her wedding night. She had lingerie, lipstick, jewelry and perfume. She wasnt a
sexual spectator, she was sexually interested. She was a great kisser who
saved herself for her husband, then she gave all of her love to him.

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I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I
ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk. Song of
Solomon 5:1 (ESV)
Interestingly, this verse is dead center in the book. There are 111 verses
before it and 111 verses after it. Before this verse was all the preparation for
marriage. After this verse comes all the struggles in marriage. From this point
forward we learn how they sailed through their marital storms.
God is honored by passionate marital intimacy.
Before we leave this couple cuddled together on their wedding night, there
is one small piece of this middle verse that is puzzling.
Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers. Song of Solomon 5:1 (NIV)
Who says this? Who was with them in the bridal chamber? Who would
be blessing this kind of hot and passionate marital intimacy? Who would be
encouraging them to enjoy more of it? Who do you think shows up in the center
of a book? I think youve guessed it. Here, at the center, we hear the voice of
God. God pronounces his blessing upon the passionate sex life between this
husband and wife on their wedding night. God pronounces that same blessing
upon their passionate, selfless sexual intimacy every night they enjoy it
thereafter. God encourages them to drink deeply from the cup of sexual passion.
If you are married, God encourages you and even blesses you when you
serve your spouse and partake of the rich, patient and passionate sex life we see
depicted here.
If you are single and searching, save your virginity for your wedding night.
In prayer, trust God to bring the right person into your life at the right time. When
you marry, with thankfulness in your heart to God, enjoy this kind of intimacy.
When you do, know God wants you to enjoy it. God blesses you when you
partake of it.

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Solomon on Sex
Good Sex Gods Way
Small Group Work Sheet
March 4, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Were you aware this kind of detail on marital intimacy existed in the Bible?
What was one thing you wont forget from this sermon?

Before answering the following questions, break your group up into men
and women.

Part 2 - Sermon Review


Questions for the Men
1. Men and women are wired to experience life differently. Usually, men are
primarily aroused visually and women are primarily aroused verbally.
Following the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus concept, what are
other ways men and women experience life differently? Does this help you
better understand your spouse? What would be wrong if your spouse was
just like you?
2. Husbands, Solomon told the Shulammite what he loved about her. He loved
her eyes, hair, teeth, lips, neck, jewelry, etc... Husbands, what do you love
about your wife (it can be more than just physical qualities)? Tell her that this
week.
3. Husbands, I hope you can honestly say your wife is beautiful, in spite of the
flaws she sees in the mirror. When was the last time you told her she is
beautiful to you? How often should husbands tell their wives they are
beautiful?
4. What do you think of the statement, Men, before you touch your wifes body,
touch her heart? Why is this so important?

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5. Husbands, review your sermon notes. This week, choose one way to
compliment your wife as a lover and a friend (dont feel compelled to share
your choice with the group!)

Questions for the Women


1. Men and women are wired to experience life differently. Usually, men are
primarily aroused visually and women are primarily aroused verbally.
Following the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus concept, what are
other ways men and women experience life differently? Does this help you
better understand your spouse? What would be wrong if your spouse was
just like you?
2. Wives, the Shulammite intended to arouse her husband visually. Is there
anything in her strategy you might use to surprise your husband? (jewelry,
cosmetics, lingerie, perfume, etc...) Do you have any of your own ideas that
are appropriate to share with the group?
3. Wives, how important is it to save your visual charms exclusively for the eyes
of your husband? How important is it for a wife to use her visual charms for
her husband?
4. Before this message, did you know God commands couples to be involved in
a passionate sex life? Did you know that this kind of selfless intimacy comes
with the blessing of God?
5. Wives, review your sermon notes. This week, choose one way to serve your
husband.

Part 3 - Digging Deeper


Lovers Quotient Test 40
We need to find out just how creative you are as a husband! lets take the
following Lovers Quotient Test. Give yourself ten points for each item on the
following list if you have done it once in the past six months. If you have done
any item on the list two or more times, you get twenty points. Once again: dont
take the results too seriously, but do take them seriously enough!
____ Have you phoned her during the week and asked her out for one evening
that weekend without telling her where you are taking her? A mystery date is
what we have in mind!
____ Have you given her an evening completely off? You clean up the kitchen;
you take care of the kids; you get things settled for the night.
____ Have you gone parking with her at some safe and secluded spot and
kissed and talked for an evening?

40 Adapted from Jody Dillows Lovers Quotient Test.

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____ Have you drawn a bath for her after dinner? Put a scented candle in the
bathroom; added bath oil to the bath; sent her there right after dinner, and then
you cleaned up and put the kids to bed while she relaxed? (In order to get any
points for this you must also clean up the tub!)
____ Have you phoned her from work to tell her you were thinking nice thoughts
about her? (You get no points for this one if you asked her what was in the mail
or what is for dinner!)
____ Have you written her a love letter and sent it special delivery? (First class
mail will do.)
____ Have you made a tape recording of all the reasons you have for loving her?
Given it to her wrapped in a sheer negligee?
____ Have you given her a day off? Sent her out to do what she wants? You
clean the house, fix the meals, and take care of the kids. (My wife says you ought
to get thirty points for this one!)
____ Have you put a special-effects recording of ocean waves on tape and
played it while you had a luau on the living room floor? Other creative evening
adventures may be substituted!
____ Have you spent a whole evening (more than two hours) sharing mutual
goals and planning family objectives with her and the children?
____ Have you ever planned a surprise weekend? You make the reservations
and arrange for someone to keep the children for two days. Tell her to pack her
suitcase, but dont tell her where you are going (just be sure its not the Super
Bowl). Make it someplace romantic.
____ Have you picked up your clothes just one time in the past six months and
put them on hangers?
____ Have you given her an all-over body massage with scented lotion? (If not,
why not?)
____ Have you spent a session of making love to her that included at least two
hours of romantic conversation, shared dreams, and much variety of approach
and caresses?
____ Have you repaired something around the house that she has not
requested?
____ Have you kissed her passionately for at least thirty seconds one morning
just before you left for work or one evening when you walked in the door?
____ Have you brought her an unexpected little gift like perfume, a ring, or an
item of clothing?
____ Have you replaced her old negligee?
This ridiculous test has been given to men all over the country. Lets see how
your scores compare with theirs:

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200360 - Awesome! You are the man! You undoubtedly have one of the most
satisfied wives in the country. You are in the top one percent!
150200 - Way to go! Very few make this category. You are a top-ten candidate!
Your wife probably smiles a lot!
100150 - This husband is the norm and usually not very exciting as a lover. You
are steady, but there are not many fireworks in the area of romance from your
wifes perspective.
50100 - Boring! You can do better than this! Too many score in this category. I
hope you will begin to work to move up soon.
050 - Ouch! Sad! Sad! Sad! There is a huge difference between a typical
husband and a lover. The only reason your wife is still married to you is that
Shes a Christian. She has unusual capacity for unconditional acceptance (of
you!), and some verses in the Bible sustain her.

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Song of Solomon 5:2-8 - Sin in the Bedroom
March 4, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the ninth week of the Solomon on
Sex series. Last week, we crossed the middle of the book. Solomon and his
bride enjoyed their wedding night. While life leading up to their wedding was
exciting, after the wedding, real life settles in. Marriage is not easy.
Sex inside of marriage is to be an all-you-can-eat buffet, but rent, a job,
dishes, laundry, taxes and getting the kids to school can suck a marriage dry.
Romance changes to reality. This is where we find our newlyweds. We dont
know how long it is after the wedding but romance is being squeezed out of their
relationship by real life.
Lets put our finger in the text.
What is the problem?
I slept, but my heart was awake. Song of Solomon 5:2 (ESV)
This is a familiar phrase. We saw it in chapter 3. The Shulammite is
describing her dream. Since she is about to describe a dream, we must realize
everything happening in a dream is not reality. We do things in dreams that we
havent done in reality. Sometimes I have a falling sensation in my dreams.
Have you ever had that experience? In some of our dreams, we can fly. Those
things didnt happen, they were just part of our dream.
On the other hand, our dreams are usually based in reality. Sometimes
our dreams take us back to the house we grew up in. If we have a stressful time
in work, we lay in bed running the days events through our mind. Sometimes we
dream about our problems and how we will solve them. That is what happens to
the Shulammite. This is her dream, but it is based on real difficulties she has in
her marriage.
...A sound! My beloved is knocking. Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove,
my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my locks with the drops of the
night. Song of Solomon 5:2 (ESV)
In the dream, Solomon knocks on the Shulammites bedroom door. In this
culture, wealthy couples had separate bedrooms. The Shulammite is in her
bedroom. Solomon wants to pay a conjugal visit. Unfortunately, she locked her
bedroom door.
Another clue in the text gives us some background on the marriage
problem. Solomon says his head is wet with dew. In Israels late summer
months, heavy dew descends on the ground around midnight. The dew, at that
time of the year, is so thick it is almost like rain.41 It is late. Solomon finally
arrived home from work. It is after midnight when he walks in the door.

41 David Jeremiah, What the Bible Says About Love, Marriage and Sex. pg. 173.

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Most likely, this is not the first time he has come home late from the office.
If we remember chapter 3, she talked about little marital foxes. Marrying a busy
king was one of her fears. She was afraid she wouldnt have much time with him
because he was often busy with kingly duties. Now that they are married, this is
whats happening. She is dreaming about how to respond. She is tired of eating
dinner by herself. She is tired of watching him walk out of their home after
breakfast and not seeing him until midnight. She is tired of him approaching her
in the middle of the night expecting her to be thrilled to see him and ready for
intimacy. As we learned, that is not the way a wife is programmed by God to
operate.
In her dream, she decides how she will get even. If he cant be home at a
decent hour, he shouldnt expect love and affection when he walks in the door. In
her dream, he is knocking on her locked bedroom door. Lets see what she
does.
We give lame excuses for denying our spouse intimacy.
I had put off my garment; how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet; how could I
soil them? Song of Solomon 5:3 (ESV)
She tells him she is lying in bed naked, but she is too tired to put on her
bathrobe, walk across the room and unlock the door. I think her words were
designed as a form of husbandly torture. This may be part of her strategy to get
even with him for coming home late. I think Solomon likes the idea of her in bed
without the flannel pajamas. He hopes she doesnt put on a bathrobe.
This is similar to calling your wife at night when you are on a business trip.
When you ask her what she is wearing, she answers by telling you what she is
not wearing. That kind of answer leaves husbands biting their knuckles until they
bleed. I think Solomon is biting his knuckles outside her door.
Not only does she not want to do the work of putting on a bathrobe but
she doesnt want to do the work of washing her feet. In this culture, people
washed their feet before they went to bed. It kept the sheets clean. Think about
this. She is the queen living in a palace. She only needs to walk across the
room. How dirty could her feet get? It is the palace. The floor is probably so
clean you could eat off it.
In short, she gives him a list of lame excuses to reject him and deny him
intimacy. If he has any sense about him, he knows it. This is her way of getting
even with him for coming home late and not meeting her emotional needs. I
dont like it when you are gone, so you wont like it when you are home.
Put your hands up if you are married. Keep your hands up if you can
relate to this couple.
Some of you ladies can completely understand her feelings on this one.
He is not meeting her emotional needs. He is not giving her enough time. He is
not talking with her to entice her, to listen to her and to love her like he did when
they were courting. This is not what a marriage should look like. He deserves

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this kind of cold shoulder treatment. This will teach him not to take her for
granted. Do any of you wives think she has a right to feel this way? Can any of
you understand where she is coming from?
Most sin in the bedroom is rooted in selfishness.
Let me just call your bluff on this one. You are right. It doesnt look like
she is adequately loved and cared for by her husband; but locking the bedroom
door and giving him lame excuses of why she cant let him in is wrong. Her
responses to him are sinful and selfish. Why was Solomon late at the office?
We dont know. Do you think he is stressed? Yes! He wants to be in the arms of
his wife --- the one place he feels safe from the pace of life, the one place of
peace and rest. Is midnight the best time to approach her? No. He needs to
work on this. She may rightfully feel Solomon has areas to improve on but what
she does is sinful and selfish.
Selfishness is one of the toughest issues of sin a married couple has to
battle with. Marriage is not about being served by your mate but about being a
servant to your mate. In real life, things are messy. Your spouse will hurt you.
Your spouse will disappoint you. Nobody who is married serves their spouse like
they should. When your spouse disappoints you, it is sinful to respond in
selfishness. It is selfishness to saying, Since you hurt me out of the bedroom, I
will hurt you in the bedroom.
That is called revenge theology. Satan is the author of that book. Gods
book says forgive as you were forgiven. Jesus says I am among you as one who
serves. Greatness in Gods eyes is found in servanthood, not selfishness.
Serving means you do things that are not comfortable for you but they serve a
need in your spouse. That includes the bedroom!
Let me show you ways sinful selfishness shows up in the bedroom.
Denying your spouses request for intimacy - This is saying you have a
headache, a backache, a stomachache. This is denying your spouse because
they forgot to brush their teeth. It is telling your spouse that because they were
already intimate with you earlier in the week they cant participate in intimacy
later in the week. It is a list of lame excuses.
This is a news flash for some of you. If, as a married couple, the only time
you enjoy intimacy is when both of you are in the mood, that means sex in your
marriage is the way you serve yourself, not serve your spouse. That is a red flag.
It shows there is selfishness in your sex life. Marriage is about serving your
spouse before it is about serving yourself.
There is a great passage in the New Testament that speaks to this.
The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to
her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the
husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for
a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together

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again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1
Corinthians 7:35 (ESV)
The reason the Shulammite denied Solomon was not because she was in
a prayer meeting. It was selfishness. It was pride. She wasnt seeing herself as
a servant.
Some of you tie sex to your spouses behavior. If they want intimacy, they
need to get the honey-do list done. You know what that is? It is a form of marital
prostitution. It is making your spouse pay for intimacy. That is selfishness. It is
sinfulness. It is not servanthood.
Let me be open about this. I have talked with many Christian couples who
are living in sexless marriages. One spouse decided to shut down sexually on
their mate. For some, it is a sick form of revenge. For others, it is a form of
manipulation. This is a serious issue of sin. This is not just wives shutting down
sexually on their husbands but husbands shutting down sexually on their wives. I
have talked with both. At the root of this is sin. It is viewing sexual intimacy as a
way to selfishly serve yourself rather than selflessly serve your spouse.
If that is you, get on your knees and repent. I know there are
circumstances surrounding your frustration that leave you feeling justified in
giving your spouse the cold sexual shoulder. Some of you were abused. I
understand all that. At the root of all those circumstances is sin. There is
selfishness that needs to be repented of.
Not initiating intimacy - Some of you are in marriages where only one
partner initiates intimacy. That is not healthy. I read some interesting statistics
last week on the importance of both husbands and wives initiating intimacy for
long-term marital health. When only one partner initiates intimacy, it is not just a
sign of sexual selfishness, it is a recipe for sexual boredom. If intimacy has
become routine, you need to ask yourself what you need to do to freshen things
up in your marriage. When intimacy becomes routine, many times it is because
one spouse is the sole initiator. It stems from thinking intimacy is a way you are
served, not a way you serve your spouse.
As little effort as possible - This is intimacy with as little passion as
possible. It is hoping to get intimacy over with as soon as possible so you can
either go to sleep or get back to your favorite book. It is saying you are too tired
to put energy into serving your spouse but you have energy to read a book and
serve yourself. I understand that sometimes we are tired. Many times I am
exhausted. No matter how tired we are, how much effort we put into serving our
spouse is always a choice. If the smoke detector went off in your bedroom, you
would find the energy. Putting as little effort as possible into intimacy is rooted in
sinful selfishness.
It is sin to sexually manipulate your spouse.
My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me. Song
of Solomon 5:4 (ESV)

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We know he was already knocking on the door. She is giving lame
excuses for not opening the door. She is denying him sex as a way to hurt him.
Now, he is frustrated. No more knocking, he is trying to force open the latch. In
her selfish revenge theology, she has him just where she wants him. He is
feeling the pain. He may be the king during the day, but tonight, she is in control.
She will teach him not to come home late. She is manipulating him.
Interestingly, deep inside, she wants him to come through the door. She
wants to be with him. She doesnt open the door. Getting out of bed and
unlocking the door would require her to swallow her pride. She stays in bed
listening to him struggle with a smirk on her face. Her heart is split. She knows
the right thing to do, but her sinful selfish nature is getting joy over teaching a
lesson.
She knows the right thing to do, but she doesnt want to humble herself,
and let him in. This is a huge issue in marriage counseling. In marital conflict,
most couples know the right thing to do. They know they need to forgive their
spouse like Christ forgave them. The problem is they wont swallow their pride
and do it. Is that you today? You know the right thing to do to fix your marriage
but you are too proud to do it. Your unwillingness to humble yourself is a matter
of sin.
" So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
James 4:17 (ESV)
My selfishness doesnt help me; it hurts my marriage.
I arose to open to my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with
liquid myrrh, on the handles of the bolt. Song of Solomon 5:5 (ESV)
Time has passed. Solomon has knocked on the door and tried forcing his
way in. Deep inside, the Shulammite wants him to come through the door. She
takes her time repenting of selfishness. Knowing the right thing to do and not
doing it is sin. Finally she gets up from bed. She pretties her face in the mirror.
She put on fresh perfume and opens the door expecting to see Solomon
groveling on his knees. Things have changed. He is gone.
Ladies, if this is you, understand the risk you run in selfishness. Most
husbands will not fight with their wife. Husbands learn that when they fight with
their wives and lose, they lose. When they fight with their wife and win, they still
lose. Most men just emotionally shut down. They will withdraw. They go into
emotional hibernation. Ladies, this is exactly what you do not want. You want
your husband to be open with you. You want him to talk with you. You want him
to connect with you. You want him to love and support you. When he feels
rejected, he will not fight with you. He will withdraw from you. That leaves you
feeling distant, which starts the whole cycle over again that made this woman
frustrated in the first place. Manipulating her husband only made things worse.
Not only do you run the risk of him clamming up but you run the risk of him
walking away. That doesnt mean he will go and have an affair. It certainly

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doesnt justify one, but when it is painful to be in the home, guys dont want to
spend time at the home.
In Solomons case, he just found it too painful to come home and have his
wife lock the door and refuse to open it. He felt so rejected that he needed to get
out of the house and go for a walk. It was too much pain.
Repent of selfishness; be a servant like Jesus.
I opened to my beloved, but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me
when he spoke. I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no
answer. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city; they beat me,
they bruised me, they took away my veil, those watchmen of the walls. I adjure
you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am sick
with love. Song of Solomon 5:68 (ESV)
What I love about this woman is that in this dream she realizes she went
too far. She realized her selfishness was not just hurting him, it was hurting
them. She had a choice. It was either repent of her selfishness, swallow her
pride and humbly hunt him down or hold onto her selfishness and hope he
comes home.
I love how she repents of the sin of selfishness. She swallows her pride
and seeks him. There is a break between them. Somebody has to bridge the
gulf. It will be her. In her dream, she goes about the city looking for him late in
the night. In her dream, she encounters the watchmen, the nighttime rental cops.
In her dream, they beat her and take her veil. But this will not slow her down.
She is not going to let anyone keep her from her husband. She will find him.
She even swallows her pride enough to ask her friends to help find him. When
there is a break in your marriage, do you sit and wait for your spouse to come
back or will you swallow your pride, hunt them down, bridge the gap and bring
them home?
Greatness is found in being a servant.
When Jesus walked on earth, the culture around him defined greatness as
how many people served you. Jesus flipped the culture on its head. In Gods
book, greatness is found in how you serve others.
But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest,
and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at
table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among
you as the one who serves. Luke 22:2627 (ESV)
Greatness in Gods eyes is found in serving. In marriage, this means the
mother that selflessly works hard to make dinner for her family, to wash the
laundry, to cleaning the dishes, is great in Gods eyes. She is serving her family.
This means the father that sits down with his kids to help them with their
homework is great in Gods eyes. He is serving them. This means all the hard
work you do for others in your family defines your greatness in Gods eyes. In

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the bedroom, how you serve your spouse, especially when it is not easy or
convenient, defines your greatness in Gods eyes.
Application
For singles - Remember that singleness trains you in selfishness.
This morning, some of you are single. You are wondering how this
message relates to you. When you are single, you live in a self-centered world.
You eat when you want to eat. You go to bed when you want to go to bed. You
dress the way you want to dress. You buy what you want to buy. You spend
your single life improving your selfishness because you live only for yourself.
Then you get married and marriage is hard. You wonder why. It is because you
spent your life improving your selfishness. Now that you are married, you have
to root out selfishness and train yourself in servanthood.
Singles, train yourself in servanthood before marriage so that when you
marry you will serve well. Singles, who are you serving? How are you serving
others? How are you serving your church? If you want to have a great marriage,
train in servanthood, not in selfishness.
For the married - Take the Servanthood Quiz.
For the married, I am giving you a piece of homework as we close. I want
you to take the Servanthood Quiz. Ask your spouse to rate you on a scale of 1 to
10 --- 1 being terrible, 10 being incredible.
1. How am I as a servant outside the bedroom?
2. What can I do to improve that score?
3. How am I as a servant inside the bedroom?
4. What can I do to improve that score?

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Solomon on Sex
Sin in the Bedroom
Small Group Work Sheet
March 11, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Will you be able to help with the painting and construction of the new stage?
As a small group, can you volunteer to help?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. Can you relate to the frustration of Solomon and the Shulammites
experience?
2. Selfishness is often the cause of marital difficulties. Why is selfishness so
natural? Why is selfishness so debilitating to a relationship?
3. Share a time when your own sinful selfishness made it rough in your
marriage.
4. What is the character quality God tells us to cultivate? Who models that
character quality best?
5. According to 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, what are dangers of rejecting your spouses
sexual initiatives? (Answers are on the back in the box)
6. In the sermon, we looked at ways selfishness shows up in the bedroom.
What are other places selfishness rears its ugly head in marriage? Is there
selfishness in your life that the Holy Spirit made you aware of through this
sermon?
7. What are ways spouses manipulate one another? Why is manipulation so
sinful?
8. What is wrong with waiting to do the right thing?
9. Study Servanthood

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1. What does Mark 10:43-45 teach about greatness before? Before this
sermon, did you every apply this to how you served your spouse in the
bedroom?
2. What does John 13:12-15 teach about servanthood? How does this
passage apply to marriage?
3. What does Philippians 2:3-8 teach about the extent of servanthood we are
to have in our lives? What applications does that bring to mind for
marriage?

Part 3 - Digging Deeper42


What does a wife need?
Time - this is the currency of relationship in a womans mind. She needs you to
clear space on your calendar. That is the way she understands she is valuable
to you.
Talk - This is how she connects with you. It is also one way she handles stress.
Tenderness - It feeds her soul when she knows she is nourished and cherished.
Touch - non-sexual, affectionate touch is crucial for a wife. If she only receives
touch as a prelude to sex, she will begin to feel used, not loved.

What does a husband need?


Cheerleader - a man thrives on his wifes approval and praise.
Champion - a wifes respect and encouragement lifts a mans spirit and his
sense of self-worth.
Companion - a man wants his wife to be his best friend.
Complement - a man feels he is incomplete without his wife and family.

42 Bob Turnbull, What Your Wife Really Needs, Marriage Partnership (Fall 1999).

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Song of Solomon 5:9-6:9 - Recovering from a
Marital Wipeout
March 18, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the 10th week of the Solomon on
Sex series. Last week, Solomon and his bride had a marital wipeout. She was
tired of him working all day. She was frustrated with him coming home late and
serving her nothing more than the emotional leftovers from his day.
In her dream, she concocted a way to get even. When he came home
late and was interested in a conjugal visit, she locked the door to her bedroom.
She frustrated him. When he asked for her to open the door, she gave him lame
excuses. If she didnt enjoy relational intimacy in the daytime, he didnt enjoy
physical intimacy in the nighttime.
That felt like a good plan until, in her dream, crushed by rejection,
Solomon left home. She realized her bitterness carried her too far. Rather than
drawing them closer, she was tearing them further apart.
Thankfully, rather than waiting for him to return, in her dream, she set out
in search of him. She even enlisted the help of her friends, the daughters of
Jerusalem.
This morning, we will see how this couple recovers from their marital
wipeout. What we learn from them will help us recover from marital wipeouts of
our own. We pick the story up with the daughters of Jerusalem wondering what
could be so special about him that they should help her in the middle of the night.
What is your beloved more than another beloved, O most beautiful among
women? What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure
us? Song of Solomon 5:9 (ESV)
Why should the Shulammite be so concerned about losing him? After all,
arent men a dime a dozen? What she tells her girlfriends about her husband are
some of the things a wife needs to say to her husband to help their relationship
through rough patches. Wives, this is how you can help your husband recover
from a marital wipeout.
Interestingly, she will oscillate between extolling some of his external
physical qualities and internal character qualities. Both are important to her.
What does a wife need to say to her husband?
External --- You stand out from other men.
My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. Song of
Solomon 5:10 (ESV)
The Shulammite says Solomon is ruddy. That means he has reddish-
brown skin. She also says he is radiant. That doesnt mean he wears make-up

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to make his complexion flawless. The word radiant in the Hebrew means
dazzling or glowing. It means he stands out in a crowd.
It is similar to when I go to a high school sporting event and looking for
Cindy in the crowd. When I cant find her, I squint my eyes scanning the crowd
for long blonde hair. For some reason that always works. She just pops out from
the group in my mind. That is the feeling the Shulammite has about Solomon.
To her, he is unique. He stands out in a crowd.
That is why she says he is distinguished among 10,000. That is an
ancient way of saying, Solomon is a one-in-a-million kind of guy.
Application: Wives, dont just tell your husband you love him, tell him that to
you, there is nobody else like him.
Internal ---- I appreciate your intellect and gifts.
His head is the finest gold;... Song of Solomon 5:11 (ESV)
What is she referring to when she says his head is like gold? She is not
saying his brain is thick and metallic. Many Bible scholars believe she is
affirming his intelligence and gifts. She is affirming his mind and skills. Wives, if
you make your husband feel stupid, that doesnt help things. She appreciates his
intelligence and planning. She appreciates that he saved and paid the car off
early. He appreciates how he figures problems out at home.
Some of you may not see your husbands as that intelligent. Your husband
may not have a great deal of education. Find the area of his strength in his life
and affirm it. This was brought home to me for the last few weeks with the stage,
lighting and video project that begins tomorrow. I can program websites,
research and write, but when it comes to building construction, I am helpless. If it
wasnt for friends in the church, who understand carpentry and electricity, things
would be scary. Wives, there are some things your husband does and he does
well. Affirm him at them. A husband needs to know his wife admires his intellect
and skills.
Application: Wives, be your husbands cheerleader.
External ---- I love the way you look.
his locks are wavy, black as a raven. Song of Solomon 5:11 (ESV)
He has black, wavy hair. This is the same kind of hair as his wife. She
likes his hairstyle. Theres nothing wrong with that. Guys, I must confess. What
my hair looks like is a concern to my wife. I have a colic that stands up like
Alfalfa from the Little Rascals. Every morning she helps me paste the colic
down. When it is standing tall, things are not good. I read this and kept thinking
this lady reminds me of my wife.
Internal --- I love your gentleness.
His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a
full pool. Song of Solomon 5:12 (ESV)

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" She likes his eyes. What type of description is this? If you picture the
scene she just described, it is a gentle scene. It is a bird by a stream. She tells
him that she loves the way he looks at her. She loves his gentleness toward her.
It puts her at ease.
" If you remember from the Toy Story movie, Mr.
Potato Head had a set of angry eyes. That wasnt the
way Solomon looked at his wife. He looked at her with a
gentleness that put her at ease.
" Application: Wives, tell your husband how much
you appreciate his gentleness.
External --- I appreciate the way you care for your appearance.
His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet-smelling herbs. Song of
Solomon 5:13 (ESV)
" Do you think Solomon had facial hair? According to the scholars, this
verse tells us he had a beard. Apparently, he didnt walk around with leftovers
hanging in it that smelled like rotten limburger cheese. We dont know how long
his beard was but he kept it washed and well groomed. She loved snuggling with
him and smelling that beard. He was a well-groomed man who cared for his
appearance.
" He didnt have grease under his fingernails. He didnt wipe his nose on
his sleeve. He didnt wipe the dust from eating his Doritos on his T-shirt. He was
neatly groomed, and she appreciated it.
Internal --- I love the gentle way you talk to me.
his lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. Song of Solomon 5:13 (ESV)
His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable... Song of Solomon 5:16
(ESV)
" While these lines describes his physical mouth, and hint that he is a great
kisser, they also tell us about the words that came from his mouth. His words are
sweet. Solomon was not harsh with his wife. It was not just the look from his
eyes that was gentle, but his words were gentle and refreshing when he spoke to
her.
" Application: Tell your husband how refreshing gentle words are to your
heart.
External --- I appreciate it when you stay in shape.
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. Song of Solomon 5:1415
(ESV)
" With all this talk about gentleness, we might be tempted to think he is a
wimpy man. These verses dispel those thougths. She is describing his body

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and what she likes about it. She is a lady who is enticed verbally but that doesnt
mean she isnt attracted to him physically. She loves his arms. They are like
rods of gold set with jewels. Solomon packs a set of pipes for arms. He has a
set of big guns. He has veins showing through his forearms. He is a strong guy.
" He is also a trim guy. In Judges 3:17 it describes Eglon, king of Moab as a
fat man. As the king, he had everyone serving him. When his murderer stabbed
him, he was so fat that the fat closed in over the handle of the knife, and they lost
the murder weapon inside his body. While Solomon has the right to have
everybody serve him, he doesnt look like Eglon. His body is like polished ivory.
He has a six-pack. He is ripped. His abdomen is rock hard. He even has veins
showing through his torso section he is so ripped. It sounds like Solomon could
be on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine. His legs were also strong. He
must have spent time on the treadmill; he did some squatting or dead-lifts to build
his muscles. In case you think those descriptions are stretching the truth of this
poetry, she also describes him like a cedar from Lebanon.
" The cedar trees in Lebanon grew to tremendous size. These trees could
be live more than 2,000 years. They are huge. In a forest, there is no way you
can miss them. They are strong and powerful. That is what she sees when she
looks at Solomon. He is strong and powerful. He stands out in a crowd.
" Wives, maybe your husband doesnt look like this. Not many people do.
The point she is making is that she appreciates when he takes care of himself for
her. When your husband tries to eat healthy and spend some time at the health
club, tell him you appreciate it.
" Application: Wives, encourage your husband as he takes care of himself.
Internal --- He is not just my lover, he is my best friend.
This is my beloved and this is my friend. Song of Solomon 5:16 (ESV)
" This is a great way to cap off her description of what she loves about
Solomon. There are great physical qualities that attract her to him. There are
also great internal qualities. But to cap it all off, he is her best friend. If a
marriage isnt based on friendship, it wont make it. In fact, one of the best ways
to solve many marital problems is to simply focus on friendship. When friendship
is intact, the romance comes naturally.
" Application: Focus on friendship.
There are no secrets between them.
" The Shulammite was able to convince her girlfriends that Solomon truly is
a wonderful man. He is worth searching for in the middle of the night. Where
should they start looking? There is an entire city to search. If you were the
Shulammite, and your husband left home, where would you begin? The bars,
the bowling alley, the golf course, or the coffee house; where would you begin to
look? The Shulammite thinks she knows the place. He has a garden he
escapes to when life is stressful. It is a place he can walk and talk with God
when times are tough.

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Where has your beloved gone, O most beautiful among women? Where has your
beloved turned, that we may seek him with you? My beloved has gone down to
his garden to the beds of spices, to graze in the gardens and to gather lilies. I am
my beloveds and my beloved is mine; he grazes among the lilies. Song of
Solomon 6:13 (ESV)
" What does this tell us about the relationship between Solomon and his
bride? It tells us she has walked and talked with Solomon in this garden before.
She know how he thinks. She has an idea where he will go and what he will do.
" As a wife, she knows her husband well. There are no secrets between
them. They are not just naked in bed, but they are naked in their hearts. There
is nothing they do not share.
" This morning, how well do you know your spouse? Do you have
something in your life you do not want them to know? If you went through a
marital wipeout, does your spouse know you well enough that they would know
where to find you?
" This morning, is the Holy Spirit bringing something to mind that is hidden
from your spouse? Today, on the way home, tell your spouse you want them to
know everything about you. You want them to know where to look when things
fall apart.
" Application: Tell your spouse there are no secrets between you. If there
are secrets, change it.
" We return to our story. The Shulammite finds her husband in the garden.
They reunite. This time, Solomon does the talking. Lets hear the words he says
to his wife as he tries to help them recover from their marital wipeout.
What does a husband need to say to his wife?
You captivate my heart.
You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army
with banners. Turn away your eyes from me, for they overwhelm me Your hair
is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Song of Solomon 6:45
(ESV)
In this scene, the Shulammite comes upon Solomon in the garden. He is
broken in spirit. He is rejected. When he talks with her, he tells her she is like
two cities, two very different cities. First, he describes her like Tirzah. Tirzah was
a small country city. It was a feast for the eyes when it came to natural beauty. It
was the place tourists used most of their film. It is a place of stunning natural
beauty. That is how Solomon describes his wife. He tells her she has stunning
natural beauty.
Thankfully, she is not a one-dimensional woman. She is more than a
pretty face. She is also like Jerusalem. For us, that would be like traveling to
West Des Moines. In West Des Moines, there is always new something
happening. There are fancy restaurants (Who has visited Hu-Hot?) and great

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night life. There are places to go, things to do, people to meet. There is
something new and fascinating every day in the city. That is what she is like to
him. She isnt just a pretty wallflower. There is always something new and
exciting to learn about her and to do with him.
He also tells her she is awesome as an army with banners. If you have
see a Civil War reenactment, you can understand this. When an army lines up
on one side of the field, with hundreds of muskets and canons pointing forward
and military banners flying, you understand this feeling. It is the feeling of being
overwhelm. It is the feeling that your knees are buckling. That is the way
Solomon says he feels in his wifes presence. In fact, it only takes one look from
her eyes to overwhelm him.
You can picture the scene. His heart is broken. He tells her how she
makes him feel. Then he says, One look from your eyes overwhelms me. He
feels overwhelmed around her.
Application: Husbands, tell your wife how you feel about her.
You capture my eye, just like when we met.
Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are
like a flock of ewes that have come up from the washing; all of them bear twins;
not one among them has lost its young. Your cheeks are like halves of a
pomegranate behind your veil. Song of Solomon 6:57 (ESV)
If you were around a few weeks ago, you will remember these lines. He is
recycling lines from his wedding night. He likes her teeth, her long wavy hair and
her cheeks. At first, it sounds like this man lost his creativity. I dont think that is
the issue. I think he is bringing her back to one of their closest and most thrilling
moments together. He is reminding her of their wedding night. He says she still
has the same effect on him.
Some of you know I met Cindy at the Willow Creek Community Church
singles ministry. It was an October fall festival. Several hundred singles were
gathered to listen to the worship band and play mixer games, which I thought I
was too cool to be involved in. That evening, I gazed across the room and saw
the back of this woman wearing tight 80s jeans and a ski jacket. She had long
blonde hair. She really caught my eye. I thought, Wow, there is one great-
looking woman.
The rest of the story is that she is now the mother of my children. I like to
tell her, Honey, when I see you across the room, I get those same feelings I did
the first time I saw you 20 years ago. It is a great way to make her blush. This
is what Solomon says to his wife. He is still overwhelmed by her just like he was
on their wedding night.
Application: Tell your wife she is beautiful, just like the day you met her.

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She is the only woman you want.
There are sixty queens and eighty concubines, and virgins without number. My
dove, my perfect one, is the only one, the only one of her mother, pure to her
who bore her. The young women saw her and called her blessed; the queens
and concubines also, and they praised her. Song of Solomon 6:89 (ESV)
This verse should throw us for a loop. While the text doesnt give us all
the details, we were operating under the assumption this was Solomons first
wife. We thought it was later in his reign he went astray and became a
womanizing polygamist. Who are these queens and concubines?
To get that answer, a little detective work is required. In monarchies, when
a king died, his queens and concubines were passed down to the next king.
That didnt mean the new king had to be intimate with these women, but by right,
they were his. Some scholars believe these women were passed down to
Solomon from his father David.
Another question pertains to the concubines. Who are they and what did
they do? Usually, these are the rough equivalent of girlfriends on the side. They
didnt have the rights of a wife to be part of the family. The king would be
intimate with them. When it came to intimacy, these women were considered
sexual experts. Unlike queens, if a concubine wasnt thrilling, she didnt have a
job.
Solomon says there are beautiful queens I have a right to. There are also
concubines, sexual experts, with which I have a right to enjoy intimacy. There
are also virgins without number who would be interested in being my wife. I do
have my options, but I dont want any of them. I only want you. He says she is
the perfect one, the only one for him.
Application: Tell your wife you only have eyes for her. If you could marry
her again, you would do it in a minute.
Marital wipeouts happen when the love and respect relationship is broken.
As you can guess, Solomon and the Shulammite recovered from this
marital wipeout. He told her how much he loves her. She told her friends, and I
am sure they eventually told him about the love and respect she has for him. In
the rest of this book, we will see how they worked on repairing their marriage.
This week, as I was studying this passage, it reminded me of Ephesians 5.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and
the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it
refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as
himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:3133
(ESV)
According to Paul, for a marriage to be healthy, a husband must strive to
love his wife and a wife must respect and support her husband. Most marital

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wipeouts happen when a husband fails to love his wife or when a wife fails to
respect and support her husband.
Think about this when it comes to Solomon and his brides marital spat. It
appears, Solomon was failing to love his wife by coming home late night after
night. He was serving her nothing more than emotional leftovers day after day.
She felt used, not loved when he visited her at midnight.
While he didnt love the way he should, she didnt respect and support.
She locked her bedroom door and gave lame excuses to sexually deny him.
Friends, when you and your spouse get in a fight, if you strip the fight down to the
bare essence of the problem, it will be a husband not giving love to his wife and a
wife not giving respect and support to her husband.
Both of them need to repent to restore their marriage. Thankfully they did
and the final chapters of the book will tell us more about how they changed.
Some of you will get this intellectually, but you wont be able to pull it off in
your marriage. Let me explain why. The love and respect relationship that must
exist between a husband and wife exists because earthly marriages were
designed by God to run in parallel to the relationship between Christ and the
church.
Christ loves the church. He humbled himself to die for the church. The
church is to be led by Christ. We respect, and support Christs leadership over
our life and the church.
Husbands, it is only when you ask Christ to be your savior, become part of
the church and experience what it means to be loved by Christ unconditionally
that you can begin to give unconditional love to your wife.
Wives, it is only when you ask Christ to be your savior, become part of the
church and experience what it means to submit to Christs leadership, that you
can comprehend true submission and respect. It is only when you learn to
submit to respect and submit to Christs leadership in your life that you will be
able to respect and submit to your husbands leadership in your marriage.
In short, marital wipeouts usually happen when the love and respect
relationship goes bad. The only way to really fix that relationship is by a husband
and wife both repenting of their sin and giving Christ his rightful place of
leadership in their life. That is how they experience the original love and respect
relationship of Christ and the church, the one their marriage is patterned after.
Today, as I close in prayer, pray along with me in your heart, repent of your
sin and give Jesus the rightful place in your life.

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Solomon on Sex
Recovering from a Marital Wipeout
Small Group Work Sheet
March 18, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Are you planning on helping paint this week?
Can you volunteer to help next week with the construction of the new stage.
See the back of this page for drawing of what is taking place.

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. The Shulammite told her friends what she loved about her husband internally
and externally. Wives, what are the internal and external qualities you love
about your husband?
2. The Shulammite was particularly impressed with her husbands gentle words
and gentle looks toward her. Wives, how important is your husbands
gentleness toward you? How does a husband become gentler with his wife?
See Galatians 5:22
3. The Shulammite appreciated the way her husband kept physically fit and
visually appealing. Are physical fitness and visual appeal simply worldly
concerns? Are they spiritual issues? Compare the following verses: 1
Timothy 4:8, Psalm 90:12 and Hebrews 11:13-16
4. Why is it important to have your spouse as your best friend?
5. Why is it important for a wife to know her husband is attracted to her?
6. How can a husband affirm the single-mindedness of his love to his wife?
7. Where does the love and respect relational model come from?
8. Read Ephesians 5:22-25 and 5:31-33. Define what the words love and
respect mean. Explain the love and respect relationship.
9. Weve all experienced failure in this area.... Where does the power to grow
come from?

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Song of Solomon 6:11-7:10 - The One Thing I Can
Change Is Me
March 25, 2012

Good morning Faith family. We are in the 11th week of the Solomon on
Sex series. In this series, we follow the ups and downs in the relationship
between Solomon and his first wife, the Shulammite, as described in the Song of
Solomon.
Since so many of you are new, let me take a moment to bring everyone up
to date in their story. Solomon and his wife are having marital struggles. He is
working late and not giving her the attention she craves. Feeling frustrated, she
dreams of revenge. She considered locking her bedroom door. When he came
home after work and was looking for intimacy in the middle of the night, she
would deny him by giving lame excuses.
In her dream, even though she feels like she wants to frustrate him, she
knows it is not the right way to handle her husband. Her little plan of revenge
wouldnt draw them together. It would tear them further apart. In her dream she
pictured him emotionally crushed and leaving their home in the middle of the
night out of frustration.
In her dream, she repented of her plans for revenge. She hunted him
down. She found him walking in a garden praying to God about what to do with
his troubled marriage. Thankfully, in her dream, they recovered from their marital
wipeout. She told her friends how much she loved him. He told her how much
he loves her.
While everything ended happily in the dream, the question remains; what
will happen in reality? She is still frustrated. He is still gone most of the day and
into the night.
That brings us to Song of Solomon 6:11, the verse we pick up with this
morning. Let me prepare you for this text. The remainder of chapter 6 is some of
the most difficult text to understand in the book. When we enter chapter 7, we
encounter the most erotic and sexually explicit verses in the entire Bible. So this
morning is a mixture of difficulty and excitement. If you still have children in the
service, they need to leave right now. I am not going to pay the therapist bill
when they learn where they came from.
Lets begin by putting our finger in the most difficult section of the book,
and I will try my best to explain it.
What makes this section difficult is deciphering who is speaking. For
example, the NIV (New International Version) credits these words to Solomon.
The ESV (English Standard Version) credits these words to the Shulammite. I

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believe the ESV is right, but it is hard to tell from the Hebrew. Here is what I think
is happening.
When marriage is tough, dont run home to your parents.
I went down to the nut orchard to look at the blossoms of the valley, to see
whether the vines had budded, whether the pomegranates were in bloom. Song
of Solomon 6:11 (ESV)
The Shulammite is frustrated with life. While her husband is at work, she
decides to go for a walk in the country. Thankfully, she is not an urban socialite
that goes for a walk in the mall. Urban socialites soothe their pain by buying
Gucci handbags and fur coats on credit. She is much cheaper. She simply takes
a walk where the flowers are blooming because she is a country girl. Those are
the simple pleasures she grew to love as a young girl. The countryside is a place
of comfort. The city is a place of stress.
Before I was aware, my desire set me among the chariots of my kinsman, a
prince. Song of Solomon 6:12 (ESV)
In the country, she finds herself overwhelmed by a desire to go home.
She wants to be back and be among her people, her kinsman. She wants to run
home to mom and dad and the life she left behind. That is not a good idea.
Running away from her problems wont solve them. She needs to stay and work
through them. It is the same for marriages today. Running away from your
marriage wont help.
When marriage is tough, dont think you married the wrong person.
If you check the footnotes in your Bible, you will see the English word
prince, could also be translated as Ammi-Nadib. I believe she might be thinking
about another suitor that was a possibility earlier in her life. That prince came
from her own people. If she married him, she would live closer to home.
She is wondering if she married the wrong guy. If she married that local
prince, she wouldnt be living in the city. He probably wouldnt be as busy. She
would enjoy more time with him than she has with Solomon.
In marriage, when things get tough, sometimes you think you married the
wrong person. You may think the grass is greener on the other side. It doesnt
work this way. There is no such thing as going back and marrying the right
person. Biblically, if you divorce your spouse to marry someone else you are
guaranteed to be marrying the wrong person. Once you are married, there is no
such thing as going back. You can only move forward in your marriage. Instead
of wondering if you married the wrong person, focus on becoming the right
person. When you think the grass is greener on the other side, it is time to start
fertilizing your own lawn.
Return, return, O Shulammite, return, return, that we may look upon you.... Song
of Solomon 6:13 (ESV)

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" This is another difficult verse. In spite of the difficulty, one thing is clear.
The key word is clear. It is the word return. The Shulammite wants to run away.
In this verse, her friends are urging her to return to her husband.
" Interestingly, this verse is the only time in the Song of Solomon that we
hear this womans name. She is called the Shulammite. Her name has a bit of
intrigue. It could mean she is from the area of Shulam, which appears to be a
good assumption. Her name is also the feminine form of the name Solomon. It
is the equivalent of calling her Mrs. Solomon. In this book, most of the poetry
has double meanings, so it wouldnt surprise me if both of these were true.
Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies?
Song of Solomon 6:13 (ESV)
" Here is another complex verse. It appears Solomon is speaking. In this
section, Solomon urges her to return because he wants to look at her.
" Now there is nothing wrong with this. They are married. As we learned
earlier in this series, men are visual creatures. Testosterone makes men very
responsive to a womans looks. Some wives dont understand why their
husbands are so magnetically drawn to the female figure. That is the way God
designed men. It is not wrong for a man to be visually attracted to the female
form. The problem is when a man sees a woman who is visually attractive and
he moves from noticing her figure to dwelling on it. It is wrong when he begins to
lust over her. That is sin. The fact that he has a strong attraction to the opposite
sex is not wrong.
" Since men are wired by God to be highly responsive to a womans looks, it
is good for wives to be visually generous with their husbands. If men are wired
by God to be drawn to women, it is good when a wife draws her husband in.
" In the Song of Solomon, the Shulammite used her husbandss
testosterone to her advantage. They are having marital struggles. He is not
around enough. She wonders if she married the wrong guy. Yet, he wants her to
come home. He wants to see her and enjoy her beauty. That is a fair request for
a husband to make of his wife.
" She could play out the revenge plan she had in her dream. She could
refuse to come home and metaphorically lock the bedroom door. There is
another option. Instead of punishing him, she decides to go after him. She
decides to draw him in.
Be your spouses carrot, not their stick.
" In her dream, she used the stick approach. She punished Solomon by
sexually denying him. That didnt work. He didnt want to come home, in fact he
wanted to run away. The other way to motivate change is with a carrot. That is
facilitating change by encouraging it.
" It is drawing someone toward change, not forcing them into it. Instead of
punishing Solomon for not being home, the Shulammite chooses to visually and
sexually entice him. Her plan is to entice him so well that he cant wait to come

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home from the office. I am not making this up. It is in the Bible. I am simply
teaching the text.
" She decides to come home and dance before her husband. The English
text says dance before two armies. In the Hebrew, it says the dance of the
Mahanaim. This is a location where the angelic host first appeared to Jacob in
Genesis 32. Most scholars believe it is a way of saying that when she dances
before him she is so beautiful, she looks like an angel.
" Her game plan is to give him such an eyeful that, because of his
testosterone, he cant help but think about her all day long. In what follows, she
dances before him either naked or wearing almost nothing. It is without question
the most erotic and sexually explicit verses in the Bible. It is a marital striptease.
" Now, before we get into this, some of you are rolling your eyes and getting
frustrated with this couple becoming intimate again. I want to remind you, we are
not reading a cheesy romance novel; it is the Bible. Second Timothy 3:16 says
all Scripture is God-breathed. We believe that at Faith Church. We believe all
the words of this book are Gods words to us. He gave them to us because we
need to hear all of them. Some of you think this shouldnt be taught in the
church. You think it should be an elective course taught to six people in marital
crisis. That approach doesnt work. If it did, what I am teaching you would not
be new information. Almost nobody in this room knows this book. When it
comes to the book of the Bible that speaks most clearly on marriage, sex and
relationships, we are almost totally illiterate. So stop judging the Bible by your
prejudice of what you think you need to hear. Let the Bible tell us what we need
to hear. Now that we know we need this, lets study it.
How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O noble daughter! Song of Solomon 7:1
(ESV)
" She is wearing sandals. Some of you ladies are into shoes. Apparently
the Shulammite also liked shoes because this is the only piece of clothing we
know she wore. We dont know if this was flats, high heels, or stilettos. We just
know she has on some killer shoes that make her feet look beautiful. That is the
first thing Solomon notices when she dances in front of him.
Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Song of Solomon
7:1 (ESV)
" Solomon moves his eyes up her body and describes the top of her legs
where they connect to her hips. He tells her she has a great pair of legs. The
Hebrew implies her legs are in a swaying motion. This is another clue she is
dancing.
Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Song of Solomon 7:2
(ESV)
Here is where the translators of your English Bible freaked out. Almost all
scholars I checked agree that her belly button does not look like a cereal bowl.

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The Hebrew is clear. He is describing a part of her anatomy further south than
the belly button.43
Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. Song of Solomon 7:2 (ESV)
When they harvested wheat, they tied it in the middle. He is describing
her figure. She has a nice waist.
Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Song of Solomon 7:3
(ESV)
We heard this line before. He used it on their wedding night. Fawns are
baby gazelles. They are like puppies. What do you want to do when you see a
puppy? You want to touch it, hold it; you want to play with the puppy. That is his
response to seeing his wifes breasts. He wants to make contact and cuddle.
Remember, this is a married man. This is a healthy response to a wife who is
dancing and very enticing.
Your neck is like an ivory tower. Song of Solomon 7:4 (ESV)
Her neck is white and straight, no curvature of the spine. She sat up
straight in school.
Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Song of Solomon
7:4 (ESV)
She has a great pair of eyes. They are peaceful and refreshing. They are
wet and glistening in the light like the pools by the gate. This great set of eyes is
probably fixed on him. They are sending a very enticing message.
Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, which looks toward Damascus. Song of
Solomon 7:4 (ESV)
She has a large nose. Some ladies dont like your nose because you
think it is too big. You want to get plastic surgery, like Michael Jackson, so you
can make it small and cute. Perhaps she didnt like her nose. Interestingly, it is
often the very thing we think needs changing about ourselves that our mate
loves, because it make us unique. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Ladies,
what dont you like about yourself? It may be your nose. It may be another part
of your body. Tonight, ask your husband how he feels about your flaw. You may
be surprised to discover what is a flaw to you is a mark of beauty to him.
Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king
is held captive in the tresses. Song of Solomon 7:5 (ESV)
Carmel is a mountain that stands by itself in a wide open plain. He says
her head is a thing of beauty that stands on top of her lovely body. Her hair is
like purple. I dont think this is describing the color of her hair. We know her hair
is black. She let her hair down. It is smooth, shiny and cascading over her
shoulders. I think this is saying her hair has the same kind of shimmer as purple
cloth in the light.

43 Joseph Dillow, Solomon on Sex, pg. 133; D. Akin, God on Sex, chapter 11.

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He admits that he is held captive by her tresses. Tresses are the long
unbound hair of a woman.
The point is that nobody can hold him captive. He is the king. The one
person who does hold him captive is his wife. She has loved and served him so
extravagantly that she captivates his heart. He cant help but go to work
constantly thinking about her. Mental snapshots of her enticing dancing
continually pop up in the visual rolodex of his mind. They keep drawing him back
home. He cant wait to get off work.
How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights! Song of
Solomon 7:6 (ESV)
" As you might guess, as a married man with a wife that is trying to serve
him like this, he is overwhelmed. He cant but help but tell her verbally what he
feels when she is enticing him visually. We will read through what happens next.
I dont think it requires much explanation.
Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will
climb the palm tree and lay hold of its fruit. Oh may your breasts be like clusters
of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best
wine... Song of Solomon 7:69 (ESV)
He is pretty excited. It doesnt take long to move from seeing her beauty
to touching her, to kissing her, and finally into intimacy.
When you win your spouses heart, you will change your spouses life.
It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. Song of
Solomon 7:9 (ESV)
The Shulammite took her frustrations, and what was set up to be a marital
nightmare, and spun it the other way. The enticement and intimacy she gave her
husband was so satisfying that it left his eyes rolling into the back of his head.
She describes that intimacy like fine wine. It was pure pleasure. It went down
smoothly. In other words, her love was completely and totally satisfying to him.
She put effort, enticement and creativity into the sexual aspect of their marriage.
I want you to notice how she closes this out, because it shows how her decision
to turn up the romantic flame when she was frustrated rather than snuff it out
made all the difference in her husbands life.
I am my beloveds, and his desire is for me. Song of Solomon 7:10 (ESV)
" In other words, she gave herself totally to loving him and as a result, his
heart was completely captivated by her, just like when they were dating.
" She loves the results. He cant get his mind off of her. He is now filled
with desire for her. He comes home from work as fast as he can because
intimacy with her draws him in like a magnet.
" She understands that to change their marriage she needs to be a carrot,
not a stick. If she could re-captivate her husbands heart, she could change her
husbands life.

Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 118


" When she was faced with a problem in her marriage, she decided to
change the one thing she could change. She told herself, The one thing I can
change is me.
" Next week, we discover this was only the first step of her plan to
rejuvenate her marriage. Next week, we learn the rest of the story. As you leave,
I have a few discussion questions for you to work on with your spouse.
Homework Questions
1. Husbands, ask your wife what you can do to encourage her freedom in this
area.
2. Wives, ask your husband what are his favorite mental snapshots of you. Add
to his visual rolodex.
3. Like the Shulammite, craft a plan to recapture your spouses heart and mind.
Entice your spouse so well they cant wait to come home.

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Solomon on Sex
The One Thing I Can Change Is Me
Small Group Work Sheet
March 25, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


This week we learned the new stage, lights and video can not be installed until
April 16 because of equipment availability. When we face disappointments in
life, how should we respond?
What do we know is always true for Christians when we face disappointments?

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. When the Shulamites marriage was tough, what were the temptations she
faced? Why would giving into those temptations be a dead-end road?
2. Men are designed by God to be very responsive to a womans appearance.
The Shulamite used her sexuality to revitalize her marriage. When it comes
to leading change, why is it wiser to use a carrot, rather than a stick? Why do
we default to using a stick?
3. Flip the rolls around in the text. What would it look like for a husband to
motivate change in his wife by becoming her carrot, rather than her stick?
4. Why is it so hard to be a carrot, not a stick, without Jesus?
5. Most husbands would be thrilled if their wife acted like the Shulammite in this
passage. What attitudes and actions of a husband discourage this kind of
healthy intimacy?
6. Look up 1 Corinthians 7:3-4. What is one of the reasons God made us sexual
beings?
7. Look up Philippians 2:3-5. What does this teach us about servanthood in
marriage?
8. How can a husband encourage this kind of rich intimacy with his wife?
1. Be verbally positive. Solomon consistently built his wife up. Verbal shredding is
discouraging.

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2. Plan time in your schedule for romance. Time together should be important enough to
schedule it.
3. Learn to laugh at yourself. Dont be too serious, have fun.
4. Get some privacy. You cant have this kind of marriage if kids have access to your
bedroom.
5. Dont be selfish. See yourself as a servant.
6. Get rid of the shame. If you have past sexual shame, remember Jesus died for your
sins. He separates them from you. Dont let the shame of your past encroach on your
marriage.

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Song of Solomon 7:11-8:4 - Marital Sabbath
April 1, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in week 12 of the Solomon on Sex
series. Before we jump into the text, I want to take a little excursus on the
importance of rest, the importance of Sabbath. In the Genesis creation story, we
are given an important principle. God created everything in six days, but on the
seventh day he rested. He stopped working. He enjoyed the creation.
After creation, the principle of the Sabbath was part of the life of Israel.
Gods people were commanded not to be like their neighbors around them that
worked seven days a week. They were commanded to take a day off to be
refreshed personally and in their relationship with God. That is why it was a day
when people went to the temple.
Sabbath rest, in the Old Testament, wasnt just one day a week. There
were numerous holidays in ancient Israel. There was the Feast of Weeks, the
Feast of Tabernacles and the Passover, just to name a few. These were
extended times of rest from work. They were times when families were refreshed
because they had an opportunity to be together. They were times when their
relationship with God was refreshed because Gods people remembered key
events of their history, similar to how we remember Christmas and Easter.
Every 49 years was a year called the year of Jubilee. All debt was
forgiven and people were to enjoy a rest from the heavy burden of financial debt.
How many of us would like a year of Jubilee today?
All this to say, we are not designed to work all the time. We must take
time to rest, take time to enjoy Gods creation, and take time to refresh our
relationship with family. Just like we need regular times of refreshment in our
relationship with one another, we need regular times to refresh our relationship
with God.
As part of this discussion, I should tell you that the official day of the
Sabbath in the Old Testament is Saturday, the seventh day of the week. You
might wonder why we worship on Sunday, the first day of the week. That is a
great question. The answer revolves around Jesus. As you read the Gospels,
you find Jesus consistently in trouble with the religious leaders of his day
because he was healing on the Sabbath. They thought he was working too
much by healing people on the day of rest. They expected him to conform to
their rules of what the Sabbath should look like. Unfortunately, the religious
teachers of Jesus time twisted the Sabbath from being a day of rest and
rejuvenation into a day of rules and regulation. Jesus refused to bow to their life-
taking rules. One of his famous sayings is, The Sabbath was made for man, not
man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a gift from God to refresh us, not a set of
rules to control us. As part of God refreshing people, Jesus provided great
refreshment to many people on the Sabbath by healing them. So Jesus healing
on the Sabbath was completely in line with Gods original purpose for that day. It

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was for refreshment and rejuvenation. Healing is appropriate for the Sabbath. In
fact, you can consider Jesus as the true Sabbath. He is our source of rest and
refreshment from God. Salvation is a choice to rest in Jesus.
How did we come to worship on Sunday, not Saturday? The second part
of that answer moves from Jesus life to his resurrection from the dead. Jesus
rose from the dead on the first day of the week, a Sunday. According to John
20:28, the second appearance to his disciples was exactly one week, after the
resurrection, when Jesus appeared to doubting Thomas. That makes it a
Sunday. Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, happened on the first day of
the week, which is a Sunday. Acts 20:7 tells us the early church met on the first
day of the week, in honor of Christs resurrection. Remember, they didnt have
the day off from work. It was a work day. They probably met at 5 a.m. for
worship, then went to the office. The early church kept the principle of the
Sabbath, but they kept it on a different day because one day a week was set
aside for refreshment from work and refreshment in Christ. The early church met
on Sunday in honor or Christs resurrection.
Is the resurrection a big enough event to change the Sabbath day? Yes, it
is. Sabbath is about rest and refreshment, especially from God. Who is the
forgiver of our sins? Who brings us into a relationship with God? The Sabbath
day of rest points us to Jesus, who is our Sabbath. Yes, the resurrection, that we
will celebrate next week at the SAMI Center, is such a big deal that it changes
the Sabbath day. The seventh day of the week was a Sabbath in celebration of
the old creation. The first day of the week is the celebration of something greater
than the creation event. It is Jesus being the first of the new creation. That is a
big enough event to change the day.
So while the day of the Sabbath was changed by Jesus, the principle of
the Sabbath remains. We need times to stop for refreshment. We need
refreshment personally and we need refreshment of our relationships.
All this is just a set up to help you understand a big problem. We have
national holidays that help us Sabbath from work and spend time with extended
family to refresh those relationships. We have a weekly day of worship to be
refreshed in our relationship with God. There is another important relationship
that desperately needs sabbath, but there is nothing in our cultural or church
calendar that helps us put that needed sabbath in our life. Can you guess what
that relationship is? It is our marriage relationship! Even more important than
stopping work for a holiday is stopping the pace of life so you and your spouse
can spend time together to be rejuvenated.
Just like working seven days a week without rest will tear apart the very
fabric of your body, living without any times of sabbath for your marriage will tear
your marriage apart.
All that is to prepare us for our text this morning in the Song of Solomon.
Lets pick up the story. Solomon and his bride are in the midst of marital
struggles. He loves her, but he isnt giving her enough time. As a busy king, it

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appears he is putting in 14 to 16 hour workdays. When he does come home, like
most guys, he is stressed and hoping for the comfort of his wifes embrace. She,
on the other hand, after being ignored all day, is not in the mood. She would
rather sleep with her arms crossed than wrap them around her husband.
In previous weeks, we covered her dreams of revenge. We followed her
decision not to punish him and tear their relationship apart but to love him and try
to pull their relationship together. Last week we peered through the window of
the text to see her plans to entice him home from work. She literally performed a
marital striptease for her husband. She danced in front of him with almost
nothing on.
That burned God-honoring images of her into his thought life that he just
couldnt forget. In fact, those images of her aggressive love for him brought him
him home from work as fast as he could get out of the office. Last weeks marital
striptease was only the first part of her plans to get their relationship off the rocks.
This morning we have a window into the second part of her plan.
Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages; Song of
Solomon 7:11 (ESV)
She tells him they need to get out of town. They need a weekend away at
a bed-n-breakfast in the country. They need a marital sabbath. Not a sabbath
from their marriage but a sabbath for their marriage. They need to get away from
life, the house, and the pressures of work so they can enjoy each other and
refresh their relationship. Remember, just like today, there are times built into
their calendar that help them find refreshment with God. There are times built
into their calendar that help them find refreshment with extended family. There
are no pre-scheduled martial sabbaths. Just like us, they need to create them or
they wont happen. If you dont create a marital sabbath, you can expect your
relationship to tear apart, just like what happened between her and Solomon.
As we work through this text, I want to wrap most of what we talk about
around this principle of marital sabbath. The text gives us cues on what it takes
to enjoy a good one.
Look for spontaneous marital sabbaths.
Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages; Song of
Solomon 7:11 (ESV)
" One of the first things we notice in this verse is the phrasing. The
Shulamite is not talking about putting this particular marital sabbath on the
calendar six months in the future. She is looking at their calendar and realizing
they have a free weekend. She wants to seize the moment. She says lets go
and lets go now!
" Sometimes this happens in our home. All of a sudden, Cindy and I realize
we are home alone. Deanna is over at a friends. Daniel and David are at a
sleepover with their friends. We stare at each other in amazement because the
house is quiet. When that happens, we give one another a high-five and say,

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Lets get out of here! We can at least go out for pizza or Chinese. It is a
chance to break the routine of life and do something special as a couple. As I
was writing this sermon, Cindy stopped in the church office for a moment. I
looked at my wife. I looked at my watch. I looked at my lunch and said, Do you
want to go on a surprise date to Jimmy Johns?
" Escaping to a restaurant together may not sound important to you, but if
you are trying to feed a family of five and two of them are growing boys, you dont
go out to eat.
Unplug from life in your marital sabbath.
let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love. Song of Solomon 7:12 (ESV)
We know from this verse that the Shulamites invitation to get away is in
the spring. She is a country girl. She loves the smell of the buds. She also
knows her husband. She knows he is interested in taking a marital sabbath, but
first he wants to visit the office and get things in order.
Guys, what happens when we visit the office? First, it always takes more
time than we expected. Second, the more we are in the office, the harder it is to
not take our work with us. This lady is smart. She tells him they need to get out
of town in the morning so they can enjoy the whole day together, not just part of
it. While it isnt wrong to unplug from life for an hour or two, a good marital
sabbath means you completely disconnect from life. You need to stop checking
e-mail. You need to stop answering phone calls and text messages. You need to
unplug.
A good marital sabbath involves something to look forward to.
let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the vines have budded,
whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom.
There I will give you my love. The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and beside
our doors are all choice fruits, new as well as old, which I have laid up for you, O
my beloved. Song of Solomon 7:1213 (ESV)
Now this may be a little too ramped up for some of our tastes, but let me
remind you that what we just read is biblical. God put it in the book, not me. The
Shulammite knows their relationship is in desperate need of a marital sabbath.
She has options about how she can approach her husband about their need for
time away. The first option is she can nag. When she is done nagging, she can
whine about how they never have time together. She can whine about how she
cant stand his schedule. As we learned that week, that really doesnt help. It is
beating your spouse with a stick when it is much wiser to use a carrot to motivate
change. Instead of whining and nagging, she decides to use a carrot.
She just performed a marital striptease with her husband that left his eyes
as wide as saucers. Solomon is seriously praising God for his wife. He is
motivated to come home from work early. What just happened in their bedroom

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left him with a marital moment he will never forget. Now she uses the vividness
of that experience to help motivate him to get away for the weekend. She tells
him that when they are walking in the fields, she wants to make love to him
outdoors.
Now before you freak out on this, I want you to know I checked with the
scholars. Yes, that is what it says in English and in the Hebrew. Second, you
need to know this is not taking place in Iowa during the winter. Their relationship
may be hot, but I dont know any relationship that is hot enough to handle that.
Third, if you choose to use this idea, dont get caught. Fourth, if you get caught,
dont mention my name.
While outdoor sex may not be an option for all of us, how do these verses
apply to us? She promises their weekend of marital sabbath will not be intimacy
as usual. Last week, we saw their marital intimacy was fresh and creative when
she decided to have a marital striptease for her husband. Do you think her
creativity caught Solomons attention? I am sure it did! It was unexpected and it
was a marital moment he will never forget.
Now she promises him that on their weekend away, she has more creative
ideas up her sleeve she is waiting to try. If Solomon has any testosterone in his
body, I am willing to bet his suitcase was packed before she finished her
sentence.
The point is that she knows how hard it is to get Solomon away from work
so she does a little marital flirting. It is good to flirt with your spouse. She
promises him something to look forward to on their weekend away. For
Solomon, it required some heavy enticement to get him out of the office. For
some of you guys, your wife just has to promise that you can visit Best Buy to
look at a new big screen television. The point is that we need to help our spouse
take marital sabbaths by giving them something to look forward to when they get
there.
Marital sabbaths often require planning.
...which I have laid up for you,... Song of Solomon 7:13 (ESV)
Earlier we talked about seizing unexpected moments for spontaneous
marital sabbaths. If that is the extent of your refreshing times together, it will not
go well. One of the things we see the Shulammite did was planning. She has
things which she has laid up for Solomon. These are creative ideas she put in
her mental savings account. She plans to cash a few of those creative ideas in
on their weekend away.
Plan when you will take marital sabbaths.
Plan one weekend a year to get together with your spouse. We need to
plan times to get away to reconnect.
Dont just plan full weekends away, plan mini marital Sabbaths into your
life. Since the weekend is the busiest time of my week, Cindy and I dont have a
chance to escape town. About a year ago, we began enjoying a little marital

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sabbath over the lunch hour. We go to the gym for exercise. It is just the two of
us. No kids. It is not just a time to exercise. It is a time to talk about life, the
church, and the kids. I come to the office in the afternoon refreshed. Cindy has
her stress out before the kids come flying in the door. It is a very good idea.
I realize not everyone can enjoy the gym over lunch. With the spring, you
can go for a walk together. You can bring a picnic lunch in your backpack. You
can stop at a coffee shop. There are many options. The key is you need to plan
marital sabbaths into your life. Plan larger sabbath weekends and smaller mini
marital sabbaths into your week.
Plan activities for marital sabbaths.
One of the problems we have is when it comes time for a marital sabbath
is sometimes we dont know what to do together. We stare at each other without
an idea in our head. To solve this, it takes a little work. You need to start to
study your spouse. You listen for things they like to do and write them down. I
like to use my iPhone. I have a program called Evernote and another called
DayOne. Evernote is where I keep my notes and lists. DayOne is my daily
journal for my thoughts. When I hear Cindy mention something she would like to
do, I write it down. When it comes time to think of what she wants to do for our
marital sabbaths, I have a list! I encourage you to begin keeping a similar one.
Plan times of marital sabbath into your home.
In addition to planning marital sabbaths out of the home, trying planning
marital sabbaths in your home. I suggest going to bed when your kids go to bed.
Try to begin relaxing at 9 p.m. My only recommendation is that you dont turn on
the television. A marital sabbath is a time for the two of you to talk and listen, not
watch football. Guys, ask your wife about her life and pray for her. Another idea
is to read to each other. When Cindy and I were preparing this series, I had
some books with hilarious illustrations in them about marriages gone goofy. We
rested in bed at night and I read them to her. We couldnt help but laugh. You
cant do that with television. Try reading together.
A little public affection is a type of marital sabbath.
Oh that you were like a brother to me who nursed at my mothers breasts! If I
found you outside, I would kiss you, and none would despise me. Song of
Solomon 8:1 (ESV)
Now this sounds weird. It sounds like things are getting too interbred in
this culture. It sounds like an incest thing. Actually, once we understand the
culture, it makes good sense. In that culture, P.D.A. was totally unacceptable. A
husband and wife could be together in public, but they couldnt touch. As you
can guess from what has transpired so far with the Shulammite, she is quite
interested in making physical contact. She would also like to give him a kiss in
public.
In that culture, it was acceptable for brothers and sisters to display
affection. If your family is healthy, you know how this works. Before our kids go

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to bed at night, Deanna gives her brothers a little kiss on the cheek. The boys
sometimes do the same for her. This even happens in public. They are family.
That kind of kissing in public is part of being family.
The Shulammite tells Solomon she wishes they were family so they could
kiss in public. As we saw earlier, she is interested in doing much more together
in private. Now in our culture, we are a little more open about P.D.A. than they
were in theirs. I encourage you to display a little public affection. It is
appropriate to hold hands. It is appropriate to put your arm around your wife. It
is even appropriate to do moderate kissing. It lets people know your marriage is
healthy. I didnt say start groping each other in the pews. That is where I draw
the line!
Cindy and I have fun with P.D.A.! After we work out at the gym, before we
get back to work, I give her a kiss before she gets in the car. Since that kiss has
to last me until evening, I try to make it quality. At first, Cindy was a little
embarrassed. People could see us kissing through the windows. I told her not to
worry about it. It is what a Christian marriage looks like. It is a form of
evangelism. A little public affection is a form of marital sabbath because it
refreshes your relationship.
I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother she who used to
teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, the juice of my pomegranate.
Song of Solomon 8:2 (ESV)
One quick comment on this. Sex education begins at home. In that day,
they didnt farm it out to the school for health class. It was done in the home.
Mothers talked with their daughters about how to be a godly wife. Fathers talked
with their sons about how to be a godly husband.
The problem with sex education farmed out to the school is that parents
ignore their responsibility for it. The school will teach children about the sexual
functions of their body, but it will not teach our children the biblical qualities of
what it means to be a godly wife or husband. The school teaches children that
our sexuality is there to serve ourselves outside of marriage. It is only parents
who teach their children that our sexuality is a gift given from God to serve our
spouse inside of marriage.
Sex education began at home for the Shulammite. Her mother taught her
how be a godly wife to her husband when times were hard in their marriage. Her
mother is probably the one who taught her how to love her husband in marital
difficulty, not to hurt him. That is more important than the biological portion of any
sex education class.
There is much more in this verse but you cant get me to talk about it. You
can do your own research on it.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me! I adjure you, O
daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Song
of Solomon 8:34 (ESV)

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This is the third time she has used this line. When you keep saying the
same thing over and over, it is either because you have Alzheimer's or you are
trying to make an important point by repeating yourself. My guess is Alzheimer's
is not the issue.
She is pleading with her girlfriends and she is pleading with us, save
yourself for marriage. She says intimacy is fun, exciting and new, but unless you
are married, it is not for you.
Before you go, I have three homework questions for you to work on today.
Homework questions
1. Plan short marital sabbaths into your week. Plan at least one extended
marital sabbath into your year.
2. Create a marital bucket list of what you want to do together.
3. What can you say or do that would entice your spouse to take a marital
sabbath? Have fun following your plans!

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Solomon on Sex
Marital Sabbath
Small Group Work Sheet
April 1, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


I recently came across some counsel that men would like to pass on to the
ladies. It is called 25 Essentials for a Fantastic Female.44
1. Learn to work the toilet seat. If its up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You
dont hear us complaining about you leaving it down.
2. If you wont dress like the Victorias Secret girls, dont expect us to act like Don Juan or
Romeo guys.
3. Dont cut your hair. Ever. Long hair is always more attractive than short hair. One of the
big reasons guys fear getting married is that married women always cut their hair, and by
then youre stuck with her.
4. Birthdays, Valentines Day, and anniversaries are not quests to see if we can find the
perfect present yet again!
5. If you ask a question you dont want an answer to, expect an answer you dont want to
hear.
6. Sometimes were not thinking about you. Just learn to live with it. Dont ask what were
thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as March Madness, the
shotgun formation, and the stupidity of the prevent defense.
7. Saturday equals sports. Its like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.
8. Shopping is not a sport, and no, were never going to think of it that way.
9. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you want to wear is fine.
10. You have enough clothes.
11. You have too many shoes.
12. Crying is definitely blackmail.
13. Ask for what you want. Lets be clear on this one: Subtle hints dont work. Strong hints
dont work. Really obvious hints dont work. Just say it!
14. We dont know what day it is. We never will. Mark anniversaries on the calendar.
15. Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

44 Akin, D. (2003). God on sex: The Creator's ideas about love, intimacy, and marriage. Nashville, TN: Broadman &
Holman Publishers., chapter 12.

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16. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. Thats what we do.
17. A headache that lasts for seventeen months is a problem. See a doctor.
18. If something we said could be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you mad
or sad, we meant the other one.
19. You can either tell us to do something or tell us how to do something but not both.
20. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
21. All men see in only sixteen colors. Peach is a fruit, not a color.
22. It if itches, it will be scratched.
23. If we ask whats wrong and you say nothing, we will act like nothings wrong. We know
youre lying, but its just not worth the pain.
24. Anything we said six months ago is inadmissible in an argument today. All comments
become null and void after seven days.
25. Most guys own three pairs of shoes. What makes you think wed be any good at
choosing which pair, out of thirty, would look good with your dress?
The ladies may not be impressed with this list but it is a great way to start small
group discussion!

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. In this weeks message, we looked at the importance of Sabbath. What are
your non-marital Sabbath habits? Would your mate say your Sabbath habits
need improvement?
2. While the original day of the Sabbath is Saturday, we worship on Sunday.
How did that change? If Faith Church were to have a Saturday night service,
how would you feel about it after this mornings message?
3. Why do you think marital Sabbaths are important? Do you take them?
4. What was your favorite spontaneous marital Sabbath? Share with the group.
5. Marital Sabbaths involve long get-away weekends and short dates of only an
hour. How do you try to build both short and long marital Sabbaths into your
schedule? If you dont have them, what ones do you need to add?
6. Marital Sabbaths dont just involve time away, but they also have something
to look forward to when you are away. What would you like to do with your
spouse on an extended marital Sabbath?
7. Read Nehemiah 13:15-22. This passage reminds us that Sabbath is not just
rest for us but not encouraging others to work. What part of this applies to
our life today?
8. Read Matthew 12:1-8. What does this teach us about observing Sabbath?
9. What is the one application God is calling you to make this week?

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Song of Solomon 8:5-14 - Love That Never Dies
April 15, 2012
Good morning Faith family. We are in the 13th, and final, week of the
Solomon on Sex series. Before we dive into the text, I want to talk about the last
13 weeks. For some, this was a controversial series. Maybe you grew up in a
church where sex, romance and marriage were not topics discussed from the
pulpit. If the church did teach on it, teaching on it for 13 weeks was unheard of.
" Was this series worth it? Was teaching on the Song of Solomon a wise
choice for Faith Church? We paid a price for teaching this book of the Bible.
Some left the church promising to return after this series; others left the church
completely. I am sure you heard the negative press. Have you heard the
positive? Let me share with you some of the results I know of.
" One couple was living apart and their divorce paperwork was filed. Today
they are together and growing in their marriage, in part, because of this series.
Two men asked for help with pornography problems. One young woman broke
off a relationship with her boyfriend who wasnt treating her as a godly man
should. Local lesbians interacted with us through e-mail during this series,
presumably from seeing the yard signs. Some couples living together chose to
get married. One couple, realizing they needed more time together, moved away
so he had a shorter commute. He realized he needed more time with his wife
and family. I know of 14 individuals or couples that repented of sin or made
significant life choices in the last three months in response to Gods Word in this
series.
" We created a special website for this series called
www.solomononsex.com. In the last three months, 4,500 pages were viewed on
the site. An additional 460 pages of the site were seen by people in Russia,
China, England and France. The most popular page on the site was the
Answers to Your Questions with 1,554 views since January. The most popular
questions were the ones labeled NC-17. Those were the questions we wouldnt
touch in church, but they are the questions people wanted to find answers.
" Another interesting statistic is our web videos. The most watched sermon
in the series was the first, God, Sex and Culture. Fifty-six people watched it on
the Internet. The second most popular Internet sermon video was Give Me a
Kiss. Twenty-nine people watched at least a portion of it on the internet. The
third most popular was Sin in the Bedroom with 21 people pressing the play
button in their web browser. In the last three months, those three sermons were
played 109 times. Those videos were suggested on web searches 1,893 times
in the last three months.
" If we expand our field of vision and look at all the Faith Church videos
online in the last three months, 832 people pressed the play button. Faith Church
videos were suggested by web searches 19,412 times in last three months. If we

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expand the time frame to the last 12 months, instead of the last three, we
discover 2,182 Faith Church videos were watched in the last year. Faith Church
videos were suggested on search requests 51,100 times.
" This week, we transform our stage, cameras and lighting to take video to a
new level. I am excited about the better communication we will enjoy in the
church and the ability to go multi-campus. I am also excited that we will deliver
better videos on the Internet. The Internet is something more of use than I
expected.
" Lets switch gears and finish the Song of Solomon. Next week we begin a
new series in the book of John. When we left Solomon and his bride, she
creatively enticed him to get out of town. They needed a vacation in the country.
Life was hectic. Their schedule was tearing them apart. They needed a marital
sabbath. When we pick up the story, they are in the family minivan, or should I
say chariot, leaving town for the weekend vacation.
Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? Song of
Solomon 8:5a (ESV)
The first thing we learn is bench seats are more biblical than buckets.
They give you snuggle ability. The Shulammite is snuggling with her hubby. No
doubt, he has his arm over her shoulder as they drive down the road. Can you
imagine how good she feels? She has Solomon to herself. They are out of
town. They are on vacation.
What happens next is called car conversation. We all know that a road
trip is a great time to talk for conversation. If it is just a husband and wife, their
talk will be deep. They will talk about heart issues.
Car conversations are particularly good for guys. A road trip is about the
only time a man will sit still and talk with his wife. Drive time is not just a good
time to talk today, it was also a good time to talk in the ancient world.
A marital sabbath is a good time to reflect on your relationship.
Solomon begins the discussion.
Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you;
there she who bore you was in labor. Song of Solomon 8:5 (ESV)
They are apparently near her home. They pass a particular apple tree. It
causes Solomon to reflect on their relationship. Under that apple tree, I
awakened you. Some people think this means he they had premarital sex under
the apple tree. That isnt what happened. The word, awake simply means to
rouse from a state of sleep. It was under the apple tree their eyes first met. This
is the apple tree where they experienced that initial spark of interest. It is where
their relationship began. It is special tree because it is also the tree she was
born under when her mother went into labor. She wasnt a first birth. Apparently
there was no time for Lamaze breathing techniques. It was a quick delivery.
Solomon reflects saying it was under the apple tree where her life began and it
was under that same apple tree where their life together began.

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Parents, one of the things we often neglect talking about with our children
is how we met. We dont tell them about mom and dads romance and dating.
Our kids only know us as married adults. It is good to go back to where you met.
It is good to bring the kids and share tell them the stories about how you met.
Reflecting on how your marriage started is a way to strengthen it. It ties you
back to the feeling you experienced at first. It is also something your kids will
always remember.
A few years ago, we took our kids to Willow Creek Community Church
where Cindy and I met in its singles ministry. We went to the very spot our eyes
first met across the room. We went to the very steps where Cindy sat with gloves
on her toes to keep her feet warm. Since she couldnt walk anywhere fast, I used
the opportunity for my initial conversation. You can imagine all the questions the
kids asked that day. It was good for them to know mom and dads dating stories.
It was also good for us as a couple. Neither of us had any idea what God
planned for us from that day forward.
Marital sabbath is a good time to talk over relational rubs.
While Solomon is in nostalgic mode, the Shulammite uses the opportunity
to share her heart. Their busy life didnt allow them to connect long enough for
her to feel comfortable sharing on this level prior to this point. This is why a
marital sabbath is important.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as
death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very
flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.
Song of Solomon 8:67 (ESV)
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm - In the
ancient world, a way of administering your signature was by impressing a seal
into wax. If you were a ruler, you kept your seal as a pendant on a necklace or
you wore it on a bracelet. This seal was extremely important. It was your credit
card, drivers license and social security card rolled into one. If your seal was
stamped on a piece of paper, it was like signing your name to a check. It is was
your word, and as a ruler, your word was law.
Can you imagine how the king guarded his seal? He slept with it. He
showered with it. It never left his side. The Shulammite wants Solomon to treat
her like that seal. She wants to be treasured above all else in his life. In the
busyness of their life, she isnt feeling loved that close to him. She isnt feeling
treasured. She isnt feeling valuable. That is what is on her heart. While she
feels distant, that hasnt cooled her love for him one bit. Next, she shares how
she feels towards him.
For love is as strong as death - She says her love for him is something
she cant resist. Just as nobody can resist the power of death, she cannot resist
the feelings of love she has for him. She cant fight them. She cant turn them
off. She is in love with him.

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Jealousy is fierce as the grave - She says her love for him is fierce.
Nobody will come between her and Solomon. She will not let a person or
obstacle tear them apart. She is not going to let any other woman get ahold of
her man. She will not stand aside and let a busy life tear them apart. One
unique word in this line is the word jealousy. I thought jealousy was a bad thing.
Jealousy is not necessarily bad when it comes to rightful affections drifting to the
wrong place. To give you an idea of how the word jealousy is used in another
context, lets look at Exodus.
(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a
jealous God), Exodus 34:14 (ESV)
Just as God has a righteous jealousy, because we should love him above
all else, she uses the same word to describe how she feels about Solomon and
her desire to be loved by him above all else. She has a right to be the first love
in his life!
Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord - She is
making an Old Testament reference to how God sometimes disciplined his
people. Sometimes, fire just came out from the Lord and instantly fried people to
a crisp because they were unfaithful to him. God had a righteous jealousy.
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it
and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had
not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed
them, and they died before the Lord. Leviticus 10:12 (ESV)
How many of you saw the movie Backdraft? This is what we are talking
about. These two sons of Aaron didnt take their job seriously. They thought it
was a game. They didnt treat God as holy so one day God instantly flamed
them out. Backdraft from the temple. This is how she feels about her
relationship with Solomon. She will fight for him if she has to. She is not joking
abut this. This woman is a woman completely in love with her husband and
fiercely protective of him. Nothing is going to take him away from her without a
fight.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it - She is
playing off the fire analogy. Yes, there are things in life that will try to snuff out
their love. There will be trials, hurts, and failures. There will be times when it is
hard to forgive. There will be times when they fail one another. Even if the trials
are like a raging river over the raging fire of her love even a river would not be
enough to drown out the burning love she has for him.
If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be
utterly despised - There is no way a man could buy the love she has to offer. It
is freely given to Solomon. The love she has for him is priceless. You could offer
her a billion dollars to leave Solomon but it wouldnt interest her. He is worth
more than anything.

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Now, I would like to ask the guys to be honest. Raise your hand if you
would like to be married to a woman that loved you as passionately as the
Shulammite loved Solomon. This woman claims she has a love that will never
die. Every one of us would like to have a spouse that loves us with that kind of
undying love. If you are a man, and you do not have your hand up, go to the
doctor and get your testosterone checked. This woman is the ultimate romantic.
As the book closes, it gets very practical. It answers the question, How
can a young woman cultivate this kind of undying love toward her husband? I
think it is also safe to say, What would make a young man have undying love for
his wife? If you are parents, or you are a young adult, you want to pay close
attention.
How can we help our children bring undying love to their marriage?
Bring them up in a home that protects them from relational scars.
We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on
the day when she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build on her a battlement
of silver, but if she is a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar. Song of
Solomon 8:89 (ESV)
Earlier in the series, I mentioned the Shulammite had a little sister. Many
scholars believe this verse tells us the Shulammite had a younger sister. This
week, as I studied, I now believe this isnt talking about the Shulammites sister. I
think it is talking about her. It is another flashback in the book. At this point in
their vacation, they are home with her family. This is a reflection talking about a
choice her brothers made when she was young.
First, notice the Shulammites father is no place in the picture. Perhaps he
passed away. She was a young woman growing up without a father. That is a
dangerous situation. Young women crave fatherly affection. If they dont have
affection from their father, they will find it from boys that will use them and break
their hearts. Apparently, the Shulammites brothers were in charge of the family
and the farm. At this point, the Shulammite was young. She hadnt reached
puberty. The older brothers took responsibility for protecting her. They prepared
her for her marriage by protecting her. They described how they would treat her
based on her character.
If she was a wall, that is, a young woman who protects her chastity, they
would build on her a battlement of silver. That means they would decorate her. It
is a way of saying they would compliment her and encourage her.
Just a word to older brothers. Protecting your younger sister is part of
your responsibility. Look out for her. If a guy wants to take her on a date and
you know his character is not good, it is your job to protect her. Of course, the
number one protector is Dad. Fathers, it is our responsibility to protect our
daughters. It is our responsibility to love our daughters. It is our responsibility to
love our daughters like a good dad should so she wont go looking for the love
she doesnt find at home.

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What would the Shulammites brothers have done if she was open to
boys? If she was a door, they would have treated her differently. If she was boy-
crazy, they would have enclosed her with boards of cedar. They would not let her
cultivate a relationship with a man of bad character. While she was young and
naive, they wouldnt let anyone use her. They protected her.
Why were they doing this? Were they mean brothers? No! They were
protecting her for her husband. They were not just protecting her for her
husband, they were loving her. In this series, we ran across statistic after
statistic that told us the more men a woman is involved with, the more she
attaches her heart in a relationship then tears it away, the lower her level of
physical and emotional satisfaction in marriage. To help ensure the Shulammite
would be a woman fiercely loyal and totally in love with her husband, they
protected her heart. While the other ladies were out dancing, dating and
breaking up with their boyfriends, she was home with her family. It sounds like
they were mean; in reality, they were loving her by protecting her. You may
remember from the beginning of the book that she didnt think she was beautiful
because she was darkly tanned. She spent all her time working on the family
farm. That wasnt a way her brothers hated her, it was a way they loved her.
" As a young adult, make wise dating choices.
I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;.. Song of Solomon 8:10 (ESV)
Not only did her family protect her from sexual pressure around her but
when she grew into a young woman, she made her own wise choices for purity.
Apparently, she was very beautiful, but she didnt date around. She resisted the
pressure to always have a man in her life. Imagine what she was like. She was
gorgeous and she was single, by choice. She kept boys who were friends at the
distance of friends. She protected her heart from becoming attached to a man
she shouldnt develop a relationship with.
Did she desperately want a man in her life? Of course! She wanted a
man but she was committed to waiting for the right time and the right person.
She understood that allowing her heart to become enmeshed with the wrong
man would only hurt her, not help her.
then I was in his eyes as one who finds peace. Song of Solomon 8:10 (ESV)
This tells us that what Solomon found so attractive about her was not just
her extreme beauty but she was a woman who saved herself for marriage. She
wasnt just saving one final act for marriage. She was saving all of her charm
and even all of her heart for marriage.
When she met Solomon, he didnt need to get a number to date her like
he was waiting for a pound of hamburger at the deli counter. She kept herself
available for the right man at the right time. Some of you think you need plenty of
experience with the opposite sex before you marry. This books tells us, you dont
need lots of premarital experience. In fact, the more you save yourself for your
wedding night, the tighter you will bond in marriage. Sexual chastity is like

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marital superglue! It is the foundation a love that never dies is built upon. Young
ladies, the best thing you can do for your future marriage is to save yourself for
your wedding night. Young men, the same applies to you. Dont awaken love
until it is time.
Some of you already know this story, but it fits so well, I need to tell it
again. When I met Cindy, I thought she was beautiful. What I found incredibly
attractive is that after becoming a Christian, she didnt date for three years. Of
course, she wanted to date. She was lonely. Plenty of men were asking her out.
Why did she stay single? She promised God she wouldnt date someone that
didnt love Jesus and she wouldnt date the kind of person she couldnt marry.
Three years was a long wait. It was very hard. She tells me that she looks back
and realizes three years of singleness was Gods way of loving her. It was Gods
time of recreating her and clearing the men of her younger years out of her heart
so she could bond to her husband in marriage. Those three years were Gods
way of laying down marital superglue into her heart.
A smile and some humor
Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he let out the vineyard to keepers; each
one was to bring for its fruit a thousand pieces of silver. My vineyard, my very
own, is before me; you, O Solomon, may have the thousand, and the keepers of
the fruit two hundred. Song of Solomon 8:1112 (ESV)
" Here is a little fun. The way Solomon and the Shulammite probably met
involved him visiting one of his vineyards. Just like land is leased to farmers
today, vineyards were leased to farmers in that day. The farmer paid the land
owner a thousand pieces of silver for use of the land; they kept 200. The
Shulammite told Solomon that she is like a fine vineyard. It was up to her who
she gave the vineyard of herself. She playfully said to him, you can have all the
profit of my vineyard. You have the thousand pieces of silver. In other words,
you have me. Just remember, make sure you pay the keepers of the vineyard
their 200 pieces of silver. Who kept her vineyard pure for her husband? Who
kept the soil of her heart pure so she would be a woman that is fierce loyal and
deeply in love with her husband? Her brothers! She playfully looked at Solomon
and told him he owes her brothers $200 for their caretaking of her vineyard.
O you who dwell in the gardens, with companions listening for your voice; let me
hear it. Song of Solomon 8:13 (ESV)
" Now that they are in the Shulammites hometown, everyone wants to talk
with her. Solomon leans over and whispers into her ear. Let me hear it. With a
twinkle in her eye she looks at him and says...
Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains
of spices. Song of Solomon 8:14 (ESV)
" In other words, lets hurry up and get out of here you stud. Remember our
plan? We want to get away and make love. That ends the book.

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Conclusion
What an incredible love story! This week, as I thought about the story, I
kept thinking about the incredibly deep and resilient love the Shulammite had for
Solomon. I think everyone wishes that somebody would love them that deeply,
passionately and wholeheartedly. Some of us are blessed with healthy
marriages in which our spouse loves us with feelings similar to the feelings the
Shulammite had for Solomon. Others are either not married or our marriage is,
stressful.
Wouldnt it be a fresh breath of air if all of us could be loved like this? Then
I realized: We are. God loves us more than the Shulammite loved Solomon. His
love for us cannot be quenched. It cannot be bought or earned but is freely and
undeserved. Just as we could see the Shulammites love for Solomon in her
stubborn refusal to let him go, we see Gods love for us in Jesus, through his
willingness to die on the cross in our place.
Next week, we begin the Gospel of John. We are going to look at God in
the flesh. Today we leave one love story. Next week, we begin another. We
begin a greater love story that any of us can experience. Today, Jesus stands
with his arms open, waiting to forgive you, to love you and restore you. No
matter what you have done, no matter how many times you have failed, his arms
are open wide, because Jesus loves you more than the Shulammite loved
Solomon. Will you turn to him?

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Solomon on Sex
Love That Never Dies
Small Group Work Sheet
April 15, 2012

Part 1 - Ice Breaker


Love is wonderful. It can also be dangerous. I heard about the teenage boy who went into the
drugstore and asked the druggist for a one-pound, a three-pound, and a five-pound box of candy.
When the druggist asked him why he wanted three different boxes, he said, Tonight I have a
date with the most beautiful girl in our school. She is drop-dead gorgeous. Ive been in love with
her for years, and I finally worked up enough nerve to ask her out, and she said yes.
Unfortunately our first date is having dinner with her parents. But after dinner, were going to go
outside and sit in their porch swing, and I have really high hopes about that. If before the night is
out I get to hold her hand, Im going to give her that one-pound box of candy as a gift. But sir I
must tell you, my goals for this night are much higher. If she lets me put my arm around her and
hold her real tight, Im going to give her that three-pound box. But, if before our date ends, she
lets me give her a big wet kiss right on her mouth, Ill give her that five-pound box of candy as a
gift.

The druggist sold him his three boxes of candy, and the young man went home. In preparation for
the date, he did all the things a man, young or old, married or unmarried, should do before a date.
He took a shower and used shampoo and soap. He brushed his teeth and used mouthwash. He
put on deodorant and cologne, as well as nice clean clothes.

After arriving at his dates home and visiting for a while in the family room, they went into the
dining room for dinner. The father asked the young man to say the blessing, and boy did he. He
prayed fifteen minutes for the meal! When he finished, his date looked at him and said, I had no
idea you were so spiritual. The young man looked back at her and said, Yes, and I had no idea
your daddy was the druggist either!

Part 2 - Sermon Review


1. At the beginning of the message, Pastor Kurt shared statistics from the
series. Which ones surprised you? Which ones were most encouraging?
2. How did you meet your spouse? Have you shared the details with your
children? When was the last time you went to the place where it all began?

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3. When it comes to qualities of the passionate love the Shulammite has for
Solomon, what quality most surprised you? Why? How do these qualities
relate to the qualities of Gods love for us?
4. Family plays a big role in protecting sons and daughters from dating
disasters. How can a Christian parent protect their children from the
pressures of our sexual culture? Share your results in the comments section
of http://www.christ2rculture.com/sermons/files/soslovethatneverdies.html for
others to see.
5. The Shulammite was a young woman that made wise dating choices. She
saved herself physically, emotionally and relationally for marriage. If a young
woman asked you about dating, what would you tell her? What from this
series would help you answer her questions?
6. What would you tell a young man who asked you, How far is too far?
7. When you look back on the series, what is one positive step you took?
8. When you think back on this series, what will you remember?

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Questions and Answers

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At What Age Should a Parent Speak to Their Child
About Sex?
Christian parents should be the first to speak to their children on these issues.
The best age to speak to a child on these issues varies but if a parent is to err, it
is better to err by bringing up this subject too early than too late.

It is important for a parent to ensure the lines of communication with their child in
this area are open and honest. A parent must remain aware of questions their
children have and speak to their children with frank biblical wisdom.

A parent should never shame or embarrass their child while speaking on this
subject. They should be treated as an emerging adult. As a general rule,
discussion with children should begin at a very young age concerning
inappropriate touch. This helps a child prevent sexual abuse. See
www.kidsneedtoknow.com. This discussion should grow to include discussion on
romantic and other physical touch by the time the child is age 10. It is healthy for
children to see appropriate marital hugging and kissing between their parents.
Their first introduction to marital intimacy should be the basic affection they see
demonstrated by their parents.

Sexual discussion with a child should include teaching on the changes their
bodies will undergo as they reach puberty. The discussion should include
teaching on how sex is reserved for a married man and woman and how it is
beautiful inside the marriage covenant.

If your child has a trust in Gods Word, your words will be supported when your
children can see they align with the Bible. Use Scripture to support your teaching
when possible.

Sadly, the average boy sees his first internet pornography by age eleven, which
means waiting until later than age ten is often too late to establish a solid biblical
foundation for sexuality. By age eleven, the first bricks are already laid by the
world.

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What about birth control?
The number of birth control options continues to increase, so has the need for
discernment in using them. To help understand the options available, we can
differentiate them by breaking them into five different categories.

Level 1 - No Birth Control

Every Christian married couple should cover their marriage with prayer, including
the children God may bless them with. In prayer, the couple is demonstrating
their belief in the goodness and sovereignty of God over all things, including the
womb.

Some Christian couples determine to only use prayer as their family planning
method. As a result, they simply enjoy normal marital relations and trust that if
God wants them to have a child, they will. When this method is chosen, family
planning is simply prayer and trusting God with the results.

Sometimes this form of family planning is pushed as the only acceptable method.
When that is insisted upon for all Christians, it seems to fall beyond the bounds
of Scripture.

Level 2 - Natural Birth Control.

Natural methods include any method of contraception where pregnancy is


prevented by abstaining from vaginal sexual intercourse on days when the wife is
likely to be fertile. The most popular method is the calendar-rhythm method.
This method is now replaced by the symptothermal method and the standard
days method. Today there are even fertility computers that make these methods
easier to use by telling a couple when sex will or wont result in pregnancy. One
common myth with this method is that a woman cannot become pregnant while
nursing. While that is true for some women, it is not true for all women.

Level 3 - Non-Abortive Birth Control

Like the natural methods, non-abortive birth control methods also seek to
influence the timing of conception but do so by taking either temporary or
permanent measures.

Temporary non-abortive birth control methods are generally barrier methods.


Barrier methods of contraception include all methods that permit intercourse but
prevent the sperm and egg from coming together. Levels 1-3 are options for
Christian couples without concern that they may terminate a fertilized egg and
thereby take a human life.

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Level 4 - Potentially Abortive Birth Control

The pill is a categorical term for more than forty types of oral contraceptives,
which are also referred to as birth control pills. They contain a mixture of
estrogen and progestin. These hormonal contraceptives are designed to
override the female bodys normal cycle and trick the brain into believing a
woman is already pregnant, thus preventing the release of the egg from the
ovaries.

These pills perform three functions:


1) They inhibit ovulation, which is the pills primary means of birth control.
2) The pill also thickens the cervical mucus making it more difficult for the sperm
to travel to the egg.
3) The pill thins and shrivels the lining of the uterus so that it is less able to
facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg. Magnetic Resonance
Imaging (MRI) reveals the endometrial lining of pill users is 58 percent thinner
than nonusers.

Does any of this prevent a problem? The first two purposes of birth control pills
are contraceptive in nature and are therefore acceptable for use by a Christian
couple. The third function of birth control pills is potentially abortive in that it
seeks to disrupt the ongoing life of a fertilized egg. This third, abortive, function
of the pill is not clearly communicated by many of the companies producing the
pill. Because of this abortive function, the use of the pill has become increasingly
controversial for Christians.

For more information on this, see www.28daysonthepill.com

Level 5 - Abortive Murder

Abortion is taking a human life by killing a fertilized egg. This is also known as
the sin of murder. Abortion includes medical procedures of various kinds as well
as RU-486, also known as the morning after pill. Other items which cause
abortions are the intrauterine device (IUD) which irritates the uterine lining so a
fertilized egg can not plant into the uterine wall. Norplant is also another abortive
method.

It may seem odd for me, as a Pastor, to discuss the type of birth control.
Tragically many people, including Christians, use abortion as a form of birth
control.

The Alan Guttmacher Institute is a nonprofit corporation for reproductive health


research and policy analysis. The Institute is also a public education arm of
Planned Parenthood. It reports that one in six women who have abortions claim
to be evangelical Christians. Based on these statistics, 5.6 million women in our
churches have chosen abortion as a way out of an unwanted pregnancy. Each

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year, 1.5 million American women have an abortion. This means 250,000
evangelical Christian women will choose to abort a child this year.

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How Do You Recover From Being Betrayed
Sexually and Learn to Forgive and Trust Your
Spouse?
This is a huge issue. Restoration will not happen overnight. It needs prayer and
patience to rebuild the broken trust. Sometimes you need someone beside
yourselves, like a pastor or elder, to help walk you though this.

One very important thing to remember is that it is not hopeless. God can heal us
from anything and we know couples who have worked through some pretty
amazing things and come out on the other side. They totally love each other and
walk with the Lord. God wants to heal marriages no matter what the sin done to
one another and sexual sin is no different.

This kind of situation still takes time to fix. There must be confession where we
admit that we were wrong. We tell the person and the spouse that what weve
done was wrong. Then there is repentance, which is a change of heart and mind
so theres a change of action. Then there is reconciliation which is learning to
build trust. This all takes time.

Sometimes the worst thing is when Christians just say, they forgive each other,
dont deal with the hurt, and they attempt to move on. Sexual sin damages the
very foundation of a marriage. A couple needs to begin again and lay a new
foundation in their marriage. That doesnt mean they need to get divorced. It
means they need to start over, go back to the basics of Christ and the basics of
their commitment to one another.

If this is something you have gone through, please talk to one of the pastors or
elders before you leave. We would like to help. We can also connect you with
professional counseling to help you rebuild.

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Is It True That God Will Not Hear the Prayers of
Someone In Sexual Sin?
If you are a Christian who has committed or is committing sexual sin, the shame
and the guilt of your sin will certainly make you feel distant from God. Sexual sin
does have ramifications for our prayer life and our relationship with God.

A passage that deals with the way marital intimacy influences prayer life is 1
Peter 3:7.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor
to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of
life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

It tells husbands to not be harsh with their wives. Dont yell at your wife. Dont
be harsh with her. Dont intimidate her. Dont embarrass her in public. Dont
share things about her with your friends behind her back. If you do, God is not
going to come along and help you by answering your prayers.

As a man, you might be asking God to help you do a better job at work and to
make more money. God says, that until you love your wife, Im not going to bless
your life. So if you love your wife, I can bless your life. If you dont love your
wife, Im not going to bless your life.

If you are in sexual sin, it is not that God cant literally hear you. It is that God
wont bless you.

Instead of blessing us, what happens to a Christian in sexual sin? According to


Hebrews 12:6, the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son
whom he receives. Just like a father spanks their son to break them from a habit
that is killing them because he loves them, the same is true of God. If we insist
on sexual sin and dont repent of it, out of his love for us, he will break us.
Hebrews 12:10 tells us that God disciplines us for our good, that we may share
his holiness. Gods correction is for our good, not for our ill.

Many times, it is only through brokenness that we turn to God and pursue purity.

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Is It a Sin To Notice a Woman is Beautiful?
No. It is not a sin. Genesis 12 tells us Sarai was beautiful, even in her old age.
Some woman are very beautiful and to recognize this fact is, in itself, not a sin.
Recognizing a womans beauty does become a sin when a man lingers and lusts
after that woman. It becomes a sin when he begins to undress her, stare at her
and connect with her in his mind.

The first look is often not sin. It is the second look and/or the lingering look
where sin enters in.

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What Can I Do To Stop Being Tempted Sexually?
Hebrews 4:15 tells us Jesus was tempted in every way as we are, yet he did not
sin. Because Jesus was a fully human virgin male, we can safely assume that
some of the temptations he faced were sexual in nature. Jesus never gave in to
those temptations. He is our sinless and perfect God.

This means it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to temptation. In


a fallen world, we will continually face various kinds of temptation. We must learn
to run from them.

A great example from Scripture is the time Joseph literally ran from the sexual
advances of a married woman in Genesis 39. The Scriptures repeatedly tell us
to run from sexual temptation. Trying to stand your ground and resist is
foolhardy.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the
body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians
6:18 (ESV)

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along
with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 (ESV)

It is worth noting that the wisest man in the world (Solomon) and the strongest
man in the world (Samson) were both tripped up by sexual temptation. It doesnt
matter how smart or how strong you are, everyone is vulnerable to sexual
temptation. The wisest approach is to flee from it, not assume you are
impervious to it.

This means avoiding situations that inflame your sexual passions. It may mean
getting rid of cable television. It may mean avoiding particular individuals that
you know are expressing an interest in you. Cultivating the relationship would be
sinful.

It means being willing to take radical actions to avoid tempting situations.

In Matthew 5, Jesus discusses adultery of the heart and follows it up with a


discussion on being radical in dealing with issues of sin.

You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you
that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed
adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and
throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your
whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off

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and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that
your whole body go into hell. Matthew 5:2730 (ESV)

Jesus is not telling us to literally gouge out our eye or cut off our hand. He is
telling us to be willing to get radical when dealing with things that cause us to sin.

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What about masturbation? I cant find anything in
the Bible about this?
In an effort to be helpful, let me address this both biblically and practically. First,
we need to define it. Masturbation is genital self-pleasuring. I am not counting
as masturbation genital pleasuring between a married couple. What a married
couple does together is for their pleasure and freedom. What I am referring to by
masturbation is self-pleasuring done in isolation, which is usually accompanied
by unbiblical lust.

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, pornography exists primarily for the
purpose of masturbation. Porn and masturbation is not just a male issue but is
also something women struggle with. While no survey that I am aware of has
discovered a culture where more women masturbate than men, it is still a
struggle for both genders.

Until recent years, masturbation was widely regarded as a deviancy. However,


times have certainly changed, as it is now championed as normal and natural.
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld may have summarized the modern opinion of
masturbation best when he said, We all have to do it. Its part of our lifestyle,
like shaving.

The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior and Sex in America indicates that
masturbation is frequent

Single men who admit to masturbating once a week or more - 46%


Married men who admit to masturbating once a week or more - 44%
Divorced men who admit to masturbating once a week or more - 68%

Many Christian pastors have tried in vain to find a mention of masturbation in the
Scripture so they can condemn it. Unable to find any verses on the matter, some
have used the story of Onan in Genesis 38:6-10 as their proof text. This is
unfortunate. The story of Onan says nothing about masturbation. Instead, the
story is about a man who died, leaving his wife a childless widow. The dead
mans brother was then expected to marry his widowed sister-in-law, have normal
sexual relations with her, and enable her to have children. Although Onan was
happy to have sex with his sister-in-law, he would pull out of her just prior to his
orgasm and ejaculate on the ground rather than obey God and become a father.
This is about a man neglecting his responsibilities, not about masturbation.

The question remains, is it permissible for Gods people to masturbate? Yes and
no. It must be noted that the Bible does not condemn masturbation outright. The
Bibles silence on the matter should cause us to avoid calling something a sin
God does not. We must examine this issue with the following questions.

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1. Can you masturbate without lusting (Job 31:1)?
2. Can you masturbate in a way that builds oneness with your spouse, pulling
you together more intimately through the act (Genesis 2:24)?
3. Can you masturbate without experiencing shame (Genesis 2:25)?
4. Can you masturbate with a clear conscience (Titus 1:5)?
5. Can you masturbate without capitulating to the cravings of your sinful desires
and thoughts (Ephesians 2:3)?

It is possible someone could masturbate without violating the biblical principles


revealed by these questions, but it is unlikely. There are additional practical
reasons why it is not wise to masturbate.

First, masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act


that does not involve a spouse of the opposite gender. Conversely, if people
were to masturbate while in intimacy with their spouse, they would not be doing
so in a homosexual way.

Second, masturbation is a form of monosexuality because it does not include


another person. Since sex is given for the purposes of oneness (Genesis 2:24),
intimate knowledge (Genesis 4:1), and comfort (2 Samuel 12:24), having sex
with oneself seems to miss some of the significant biblical reasons for sexual
intimacy, though that does not make it inherently sinful.

Third, masturbation is often done in haste because of the mortifying


embarrassment of possibly being caught in the act. Subsequently, this
encourages a man to become unskilled in the self-control necessary to satisfy a
wife. Also, a wife can become so accustomed to pleasing herself that she is
incapable of being satisfied by her husband.

Fourth, masturbation can establish a pattern of laziness. Ill use men as an


illustration here. If a single man wants to have an orgasm, he first needs to
become a man and undergo the hard work of courting and marrying a woman. If
a married man wants to have an orgasm, he first needs to undergo the hard work
of loving, leading, and romancing his wife. But lazy men are prone to masturbate
rather than undergo the labors usually associated with the responsible masculine
married life.

Fifth, though masturbation is not biblically condemned, the question remains


whether it is beneficial for you (1 Corinthians 10:23). Gods people are quite
divided on this matter. Many claim it can be beneficial before marriage or during
seasons of marriage when they are away from their spouse. Conversely, others
claim that masturbating is not beneficial because they become mastered by it
and are unable to keep it under control (1 Corinthians 6:12). The latter is
biologically caused by the fact that masturbating does temporarily relieve sexual
urges, but it also causes greater and more frequent biological urges for sexual
release. So, while masturbation may be permissible, people really need to

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examine if it is beneficial for them. They also need to examine their heart and
thoughts in the act of masturbation.

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What Are Some Common Reasons Marital Sex Is
Not Enjoyable?
1. Female discomfort from vaginal dryness.
2. Female tenseness/fears
3. Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicide that can cause infections in women and is
common in barrier methods of birth control.
4. Adultery, actual or mental (pornography)
5. A lack of intimacy apart from sex
6. Male grooming
7. Previous sexual abuse (get help)
8. Previous promiscuity
9. A silent wife
10. An impatient husband
11. Women who nag their husband, flirt with other men, or are otherwise a cancer
like those mentioned in Proverbs
12. Harsh husbands (1 Peter 3:7)
13. Feeling used because you are not being enjoyed/tended to outside of the
bedroom.

To overcome these and other issues it is important to lovingly and graciously


discuss them with your spouse. It is important to make the changes necessary
and not settle for anything less than what God has designed for satisfying marital
intimacy. Be willing to confess if you are corrected. Dont just point fingers. Both
people need to own their own sin.

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I Was Intimate With a Previous Woman. How Will
That Affect My Future Marriage?
The first thing to avoid is the false understanding that your previous sin wont
affect your marriage. Sin affects. Thats the nature of sin. It is destructive by
nature. Can the affects of premarital sin be overcome? Yes. Jesus died to
forgive sin and to make us into a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away;
behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Some of the ways premarital sin affects are:

Guilt - As a husband, you will feel guilt and shame for not waiting until your
wedding night. You will never be able to give your wife your body exclusively
because your virginity was given away. It may be hard to forgive yourself. You
need to accept that Jesus died for the sin of your premarital sex. The sin was put
to death with Jesus (Col 2:14). Jesus now looks at you as a new creation, you
need to see yourself as Jesus has recreated you to be.

Images - If a guy is sexually active before marriage, that puts images of


intimacies with previous women in his mind. Flashbacks will happen at the most
inappropriate moments. Previous sexual experiences may also cast an
expectations of what sexual intimacy with your wife should be like. Those are
unfair expectation to place upon your mate. Images and expectations are hard to
work through, but not impossible. As a guy, ask God to cleanse and renew your
mind. Ask him to make you into a one-woman man who is exclusively focused
on your wife.

Insecurity - A wife, who may be naturally insecure, may have a hard time
believing her husband is captivated by her alone. This is especially true when a
husband confesses to her his struggles with guilt and images from a previous
relationship. She will wonder if he is dwelling on intimate memories of her or a
previous woman in place of her. Discuss these feelings with your spouse rather
than letting Satan use them to draw you apart.

How can someone find healing from the sin of premarital sex?

Talk - Prior to marriage, you need to be honest with your future spouse about all
your previous sexual experiences. You need to confess them to God and to your
spouse. When you marry, your spouse should know all there is to know and to
be confessed. Dont hide this. Let them know the real you. The physical
nakedness of the wedding night must be proceeded by the emotional nakedness
of complete honesty between the two of you. On your wedding night, there

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should be no area of your life you havent already told your spouse about that
they will struggle to forgive you of in the future.

If you are struggling to forgive your spouse from their premarital sexual
experiences, it helps to remember you are not being asked to forgive them of
something which Christ has not already forgiven. If Christ views them as a new
creation, you have no right to view them as something different.

Claim Scripture - Memorize verses like 2 Corinthians 5:17. Repeat those


verses whenever shame of your past drags you down.

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Why Do Young Men Have Such Strong Sexual
Desires?
I like the way Mark Driscoll answered this question. To motivate them to grow up
so they can take a wife. Nearly every man wants to have sex and has a strong
sexual desire. Those desires should motivate him to study hard, walk faithfully
with God, compete courageously in life, leave home and pursue a career where
he can support himself and a family. Then, when God blesses him by bringing
the woman he should marry into his life, he can marry her and be a blessing to
her, not a burden on her.

This strong sex drive should motivate boys to grow into men. Testosterone
should not focus a man toward pornography and fornication but focus him toward
courage, hard work, maturity and marriage. Letting your testosterone lead you
into promiscuity where you take a woman before her wedding night and become
intimate with her is stealing from her husband intimacies that should be his alone.
Premarital sex is a boy acting in childishness, not a man acting in godliness,
patience, discipline, and maturity. If that is you, repent.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer,
a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated
always in her love. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden
woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? For a mans ways are before
the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked
ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of
discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray. Proverbs 5:1823
(ESV)

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I Am Living With My Fianc. We Are Having Sex.
How Do I Talk To Him About Waiting?
Just tell him you are done having sex until you are married. I dont care where
you tell him or when you tell him, just tell him. Tell him today, not next week. I
know he wont like it. He needs to move out. You need separate places to live.
Dont tell me you cant afford two separate places. You cant afford NOT to honor
God. The damage you are causing from your sin far outweighs anything it will
cost in cash to live in abstinence until your wedding. If he cant afford to move
out, you shouldnt be getting married to him because he is not prepared to take
on the manly responsibility of a wife.

If he refuses to give up sex until the wedding night, you dont need a wedding.
You need to break up. He is more in love with sex than he is with you. He is not
willing to honor you, he is interested in using you.

The Bible is clear about how we treat someone of the opposite sex before
marriage.

Treat... younger women as sisters, in all purity. 1 Timothy 5:12 (ESV)

The Bible has much more to say about purity before marriage besides this. We
will cover more about this later in the series. I think both of you know the right
thing to do. It is just a matter of courage to do it.

Let me say a word to this guy. This should not be something on which your
fianc leads. If you are going to be a godly man, you need to lead in this. If you
arent man enough to honor your fianc before marriage, you wont honor her
after marriage.

You are not loving and cherishing your fianc as Christ loves the church and
gave himself up for her. You arent giving yourself up for your future wife, you are
using her. This is sin.

Yes, you can repent and be transformed in this area but it means you must take
this seriously and pursue honoring Christ in this issue.

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If Wife a Constantly Says No, Is It Acceptable
For a Husband to Stimulate Himself?
The second part of this question is answered in another article on masturbation.
The real issue is the first part of the question. Why is a wife constantly saying,
No to marital intimacy?

Sex is a gift from God.

Why wouldnt a wife want to enjoy sex as a God given gift? Sometimes
there are deeper issues, such as abuse in a womans past. Perhaps she was
raped or molested as a child. This has given her a distorted view of sex. Maybe
she sees sex as dirty and not as a gift from God. This needs to be talked about
with a professional counselor.

It is important for a wife to realize that withholding sexually from her husband is
not just a preference, it is sin. This husband is obviously experiencing pain and
frustration. The wife is causing him that pain. She is not serving him and loving
him. Sex in marriage should not be a source of frustration for either partner. It
should be a source of joy. If you were sexually sinned against, dont pass on the
hurt to your spouse and sin against them. The Bible is clear about the
importance of a husband and wife having an active sex life where they serve one
another sexually.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to
her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the
husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for
a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together
again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1
Corinthians 7:35 (ESV)

If you are not having intimacy frequently enough that both people are satisfied,
there are problems that begin to develop.

Bitterness - You start to despise your spouse, because you are expecting
sexual frustration, not sexual satisfaction.

Temptation - Other people become more attractive!

I have met couples where the wife uses sex as a tool for manipulation. She
essentially says, If I dont get what I want, you wont get what you want. That is
very disrespectful. It is a form of marital prostitution where sex is paid for not by
money, but by chores and favors. That is a sin that needs repentance. Marital
sexuality is a means of blessing our spouse, not manipulating them.

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Can Someone Be An Openly Gay Christian?
To answer this, it will be helpful to break this question down.

Is someone acting out their homosexual desires sinful? Yes.

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus
18:22 (ESV)

The source of homosexual passion is God allowing people to rebel against him.
It is sourced in the rejection of God in a persons life.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women
exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men
likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion
for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in
themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:2627 (ESV)

Can a Christian have homosexual desires? Yes.

I have counseled homosexuals who have come to Christ. The Holy Spirit and
Gods Word have convicted them of the sinfulness in their homosexual actions.
While they understand homosexual desire is not the sexual desire God intends
for them to have, they still struggle with same sex attraction. In repentance, they
have chosen to not act out their homosexual desires but to live celibate lives and
avoid situations that tempt them to sin. This is no different from a heterosexual
who has strong sexual passions toward the opposite sex choosing to honor God
by living in celibacy until marriage. Heterosexual marriage is the only place God
gives for us to express and fulfill our sexual desires. Homosexual marriage is not
an option (see Genesis 2:18-25)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do
not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
men who practice homosexuality, 1 Corinthians 6:9 (ESV)

It should be noted that 1 Corinthians 6:9 doesnt talk about those who have
strong heterosexual attraction, but those who express it outside of marriage
(sexual immorality and adultery). In the same way, it is not talking about those
who have homosexual attraction but those who act it out (who practice
homosexuality).

If sexual sin is something you struggle with, thank God for Jesus Christ who
washes us clean from our sinful sexual choices.

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...And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you
were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1
Corinthians 6:11 (ESV)

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Is it sinful to be sterilized?
Sterilization poses a significant issue if only because of how many people are
resorting to it. Studies done in the 1970s show sterilization is the most frequently
used form of contraception in the world, and as of 1979, the second most
frequently used among Americans. By 1976, 30 percent of all widowed, divorced
and separated women and single mothers aged fifteen to forty-four in the U.S.
had been surgically sterilized. Nearly the same percent among all U.S. married
couples had at least one partner sterilized. By 1977 nearly ten million persons in
the U.S. had been sterilized. Those figures include an average of one million per
year from 1974 to 1977.45 One-third of all married couples who are of
childbearing age are permanently sterilized.46

Is sterilization morally wrong? No. There are implications to consider.


Sterilization is a permanent choice for a couple to cease having children. I have
many counseled couples who regretted their sterilization decision because their
circumstances in life changed. They bought into the lie of the world that children
were a burden rather than a blessing.

The Bible is clear that children are not to be considered a burden but rather a
reward from God.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Psalm 127:3 (ESV)

The Bible considers a large family a blessing.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of ones youth. Blessed is
the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he
speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:45 (ESV)

While sterilization is not wrong, and at times may be an appropriate choice for
medical reasons, the world around us encourages it early and to help keep
families small. A Christian couple who makes that choice may be unwittingly
denying themselves blessing and reward from the Lord.

Rosalind P. Petchesky, Reproduction, Ethics, and Public Policy: The Federal Sterilization Regulations,
45

Hast Center Rep 9 (October 1979): 30.

46 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1981). The Fulfilled Family. Chicago: Moody Press.

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I am a wife who has had many children. I would
like to get breast augmentation and/or cosmetic
surgery for my stomach. Is this okay?
This is between you, your spouse, your doctor and the Lord. There are health
risks to consider. A woman should make this a matter of prayer, asking God to
help her understand her motives. These kind of surgeries are not wrong in
themselves. They are done for survivors of cancer and other deforming
diseases. It is not necessarily wrong for a woman to have these types of
surgeries if her intent is to please her husband.

No wife should have this kind of thing done if she intends to attract the attention
of men other than her husband. No wife should do this if she is consumed with
making herself perfect. As always, a woman is responsible to dress and act in
such a way that is not seductive.

I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to
mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity,
sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. 2 Corinthians 12:21 (ESV)

The word sensuality means lacking in modesty

No husband should pressure his wife into these surgeries.

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Should I Tell My Spouse if I Look at Internet Porn?
Yes. This is a serious issue. Not only have you sinned against God, you have
sinned against your spouse. Pornography will affect the intimacy in your
marriage. Frequently, your spouse will be able to sense your distance and guilt.
Pornography causes a spouse to suffer, even if it isnt confessed to them.

Unconfessed pornography becomes habitual pornography. This particular sin


loves to grow in the darkness. By confessing this sin to your spouse, and asking
their forgiveness, you will shine light on this area of your life. This is usually the
only way the grip of this particular sin can be broken. Confession is also the only
path to forgiveness. Healing (the regaining of trust with your spouse) will take
time. It may involve giving your spouse the password to the computer, the use of
internet filtering software or not using the computer in evening hours.

One of the best resources to help in your struggle for victory over this sin is The
Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn. It is found on the resource page of the
solomononsex.com site.

When you talk with your spouse about this sin, do not blame them. Accept your
responsibility.

In addition, both of you will most likely need to get help from a pastor or Christian
counselor.

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I Am Single, Should I Use a Dating Web Site Like
Eharmony.com or Christianmingle.com
The web brought a new dynamic to relationships. It is possible to meet and
converse on-line with people you would never normally meet. While this new
virtual reality provides exciting opportunities to meet Christians, it also provides a
unique set of pitfalls. Here are a few things to remember when using the internet
to meet new people.
1. It is much easier to present a false identity. I was a youth pastor in
internets toddler years. In the youth group I had to teach the kids the
importance of not being dishonest about their identity in online chat rooms. It
was common for the guys to enter their identity as a 16 year old female just to
see how their friends would try to hit on them. In the last 15 years the
internet has changed but human personality has stayed the same. The
internet only provides limited information about a person. On dating sites,
people filter their information to only present the information they would like
known about themselves in their profile. In short, while internet dating sites
can be helpful, there is no substitute for meeting face to face and seeing the
real person. The more time you spend face to face, the easier it is to discover
their true identity.
2. Meet the individual sooner rather than later. Because internet
relationships only offer a limited amount of information about a person, it is
better to meet your prospects sooner than later. Meeting an internet match
after a long internet relationship tends to make us base our perceptions of the
individual upon our fantasies of them rather than the facts. Our imagination
fills in the missing information with what we would like to think is true rather
than what is true. Face to face meeting cuts down on those errors of
judgment. I have counseled people who not only were misled on line but
even gave money to a potential date only to find out they were scammed.
3. Most self-identified Christians do not hold Christian values. Just
because somebody checks a box that identifies them as a Christian does not
mean they are passionate for Jesus and interested in purity until marriage.
The biblical blueprint for relationships and marriage is unknown by most
Christians. While not all self-professed Christians are this way, many are just
looking for a hook-up with someone who holds loose biblical values.
4. Use a site with a comprehensive personality profile. Sites like
eharmony.com use a more comprehensive personality profile. These provide
a better chance of meeting somebody who is a good match. Be especially
careful of sites that do not use a comprehensive personality profile. It is
easier to hide your true identity from others on them.
5. Remember it is God who provides the right person, not the internet.
While the internet and large church singles ministries provide a statistically
better chance of meeting your mate, God is the one who brings the right
person into your life at the right time, not the internet. Many young singles
neglect prayer in favor of searching the web. Dont be fooled. Dont neglect

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one in favor of the other. God may use the internet to introduce you to your
mate but his providence and time is behind it all.

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What Do You Do When Your Husband Works Long
Hours And You Have Little Time For a Date or
Money for a Babysitter?
This is a great question. The economy is not great. People just cant go out to
fancy restaurants. If mom is the primary care giver because you have kids and
dad is the primary income, that means you probably wont have a lot of extra
income floating around. You have to be prudent with your money. Here are a
few ideas:
1. Set up your home to have mini-date nights. Set a bed time for your kids
that is earlier rather than later. You dont have to crash in front of the
television, just plan to snuggle on the couch and feed each other a little
snack. Maybe a glass of grape juice or wine if appropriate. Turn the lights
out in the kitchen, light a candle and feed each other dessert. Be creative.
2. Use a baby-sitting co-op. A baby-sitting co-op is working with other couples
who also have little kids and need a date night. For example, if there are four
families with children, they can set Friday as the date night, then rotate
watching the kids. That way you get three date nights a month. On the fourth
Friday you have 100 kids tearing apart your house. Hopefully the other three
free Friday nights will help you take that in stride.
3. Work with single people you can trust. If there are single-people in your
church that you trust, invite them over for dinner a night or two a week. They
will love the home cooked meal. In payment, have them watch your kids for a
night so you can go on a date. Make sure these are single people you trust.
One of the worst things that can happen is to have single people and married
people segregated in the church. The singles will learn a lot from the married.
4. Do a coffee date. You dont always need to go out for an expensive dinner.
Simply dress up and go to a local coffee shop, buy a coffee and split a cookie.
The conversation and alone time is more important than the price of the meal.
All the caffeine will help you talk a long time.

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How Often Should a Married Couple Be Intimate?
Sex is not like vitamins. It doesnt come with a recommended daily allowance.
That being said, the most vocal complaint in marriages is that it is not enjoyed
frequently enough.

The Bible commands sex in Christian marriages to be frequent enough that both
individuals are satisfied, not just the spouse with the lower libido.

For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.
Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife
does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited
time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so
that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians
7:45 (ESV)

One of the reasons many couples struggle with intimacy is because it is


squeezed into an already full schedule. A wise couple plans romance and
intimacy into their schedule and safeguards that time to guard heart and enrich
their marriage.

Beyond the biblical teaching on this subject, studies indicate the average couple
enjoys intimacy once to twice a week.47 These statistics span couples of all ages
with younger couples enjoying intimacy much more frequently than older
couples.

47 http://www.marriagemissions.com/how-much-sex-is-normal/

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Is It Wrong For a Couple To Have Sex Anally or
Orally?
Oral sex is increasingly popular, especially with the younger generation. Many
young adults consider it no more forbidden than kissing. This is a good reminder
that parents should not only teach their children about abstinence but explain to
them that oral sex is still sex and is not permissible before marriage. Statistically,
61 percent of teenage girls claim to have performed oral sex.48

Numerous studies I checked show oral sex as a common activity between both
married and unmarried couples.

Oral sex is only acceptable between a married couple. Despite being 3,000
years old and written in a highly conservative culture, some Bible scholars find
references to this activity in the Song of Solomon. Poetic references are found in
Song of Solomon 2:3, 4:12-5:1; 7:2. For a husband and wife, this is an
acceptable act of foreplay, though it shouldnt develop into a frequent substitute
for normal sexual relations.

Anal sex is increasingly discussed, accepted and practiced in our culture by both
men and women. This is likely due to the increased pornographic and
sexualized nature of our society. More than 40 percent of men ages 25 to 59
claim to have engaged in anal sex with a woman at least once in their lifetime.49
Younger adults are far more likely to engage in this activity than older adults.50
Like oral sex, anal sex needs to be defined as sex and is forbidden outside of
marriage (1 Timothy 5:2)

There is no clear text that forbids this activity in the Bible. Some think Genesis
19, which references the sexual activities in Sodom, prohibits anal sex. The sin
of Sodom was not anal sex between a husband and wife, but rather homosexual
sex between men, which the Bible clearly forbids (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26
27; 1 Cor. 6:911; 1 Tim. 1:910; Jude 17).

The question remains, is this type of sexual activity helpful? This part of the body
contains no natural lubrication. It is also a delicate part of the body that tears
more easily and can become infected if torn. Homosexuals are known to suffer
undesirable side effects from penetration in this area. Many Christian couples
have chosen that while there is no clear teaching against this activity in Scripture,
the risks are too great. It is an activity in which they do not participate.

48 Herbenick et al., Sexual Behavior in the United States, 25565.

49 Herbenick et al., Sexual Behavior in the United States. 25565.

Reece et al., Sexual Behaviors, Relationships, and Perceived Health Among Adult Men in the United
50

States, 291304.

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As a general rule, if either a husband or wife feels pain, shame or is harmed in a
sexual activity, it should not be done. Unless both a husband and wife have no
reservations about this matter, it is unwise to engage in this act.

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What If a Job Comes Between A Couples Love
Life?
Cindy and I understand this challenge. In the first year of our marriage, Cindy
worked 12 hour shifts at night, while I attended school during the day. I
remember asking her to listen to one of my first sermons in our apartment. I
stacked cardboard boxes on top of one another in the living room to form a
make-shift pulpit. It was 7:00 in the morning, Cindy just arrived home from work.
She agreed to be my practice congregation as she slouched in a chair in front of
me. Two minutes into my first sermon, she was sound asleep. That was not a
good omen for the future! We knew jobs needed to change. They eventually did.

Sometimes you cant change jobs. There are some jobs that will come
between a married couples love life. There is nothing you can do to stop it. My
friends in the military experience this. They are deployed for a year. Skype or
FaceTime are the closest they are with their wife for a year. That is the nature of
the job.

Some couples with traveling jobs claim it doesnt come between their love
life. I have worked with couples where the husband was a long-haul trucker. He
was gone for at least a week at a time. He told me that being away for long
periods didnt bother his marriage. Another man I worked with supervised a road
construction crew. He was gone for at least a week during the summer.
Sometimes he wasnt home for two or more weeks. He told me it didnt affect his
marriage. He believed the time away from his wife didnt dampen their
relationship. While those cases exist, I believe they are the exception. Most
couples quickly become frustrated when a job keeps them apart or they work
opposite schedules.

Work to get your schedules in parallel. Some couples dont take a need for
intimacy seriously. While they are frustrated, for some reason, they dont
consider changing jobs or schedules. 1 Corinthians 7 tells Christian couples their
times of intimacy should be regular and fulfilling.

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his
own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his
wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does
not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the
husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not
deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you
may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan
may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1 Corinthians 7:25
(ESV)

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Make this a matter of prayer. Ask God to help you change your schedule so
you can better serve your spouse. There may need to be a leap of faith involved.
There may need to be a decision to live on one income. Ask God for wisdom in
this area. Take your need for intimacy seriously. Preserve and guard your
marriage.

Sometimes people ask me, What was the hardest part of your doctorate? They
wonder if it was the 173 page thesis or the constant reading and writing. It
wasnt the academic work. It was the two weeks away from Cindy for
concentrated classes that was the most difficult. Working hard during the day
coupled with an empty hotel room at night was tough. Cindy also found it hard to
be apart for those two weeks. One Christmas, I came up with a rather unique
present, airline tickets to fly her out for the weekend!

My classmates were jealous! It was worth every penny.

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Why Did God Create Marriage?
God created the institution of marriage to be a living picture that helps us
comprehend the relationship of Christ to his church. Ephesians 5 unpacks this
and challenges our 21st century understanding of marriage.

It creates roles in marriage.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head
of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its
Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in
everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:2224 (ESV)

In marriage, the husband is the head of his wife. He is the loving leader of the
home, just as Christ is head of the church. The wife is to submit to her husbands
leadership in everything. Modern culture considers a wifes submission as
repulsively chauvinistic. Submission is not chauvinistic, it is inherent to Gods
design for the marriage relationship. Since the marriage relationship parallels
Christs relationship to the church, submission to a head will be part of it.

It means marital roles are not arbitrary or reversible.

Just as the church could not die for Christ, Christ can not be in submission to the
church. In the same way, in marriage, the roles of a husband and wife are not
arbitrary or reversible. This does not mean a wife is inferior to her husband,
simply that her role is different. The husband is responsible for leading and
loving his family and he can not shirk that responsibility. Before God he, not his
wife, is the spiritual leader of his home. She is there to help him, not replace him.

A healthy corrective to mistaken male leadership is examining the quality of a


husbands leadership over his wife, which is also found in Ephesians 5.

Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially as Christ sacrificed for the
church.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for
her, Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)

Rather than taking life from his wife and minimizing her, a Godly Christian
husband will seek to build his wife up and joyfully deny himself to honor her.

Husbands should sanctify their wives as Christ sanctifies the church.

...that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the
word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or

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wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Ephesians
5:2627 (ESV)

Rather than using his wife as a tool to serve him, a Christian husband
encourages his wife to blossom in the safety and security of his leadership. The
Godly husband understands that as he edifies his wife, she will ultimately
become an even greater blessing to him.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who
loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:28 (ESV)

Marriage is a cornerstone in Gods plan for humanity. God defines what it is and
how it operates, not legislation or public opinion. The Bible begins with God
officiating the first marriage and it ends with the ultimate marriage called the
wedding supper of the lamb.

Marriage is one of Gods greatest gifts. Like a telescope, it allows us to peer into
the future and begin comprehending the richness of our relationship with Christ.

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Is It Acceptable For a Wife To Wear Revealing
Clothing At Home?
As a general rule, men are highly visual. Men find revealing clothing attractive.

In the Song of Solomon, the Shulammite is protective of her charms in public. In


chapter 7 of the book, she wears revealing clothing for her husband in private.

A husband is richly blessed by a wife that takes interest in being visually


appealing to him. This kind of clothing should be worn for a husbands eyes only.

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What Should I Do If My Spouse Is Not Taking
Good Care of Himself/Herself?
First, be gentle when you talk with your spouse on this issue. Find the right time
and do not speak in anger or frustration. When you talk, tell them what you find
attractive about them beyond the physical. Praise them as a mate and friend.

One way to lead into this type of conversation is to share with your spouse your
desire to improve yourself. Ask them to share with you how you can better serve
them. Remember, marriage is about serving and each of us should desire to
improve our serve. When you share opportunities for improvement, be sure to let
them know you want them to be their best, you do not want them to be
somebody else.

When you share ways they could present themselves more attractively, be
specific. Examples include: a haircut, shaving, diet, exercise, clothing and
bathing.

Be willing to sacrifice to help. For example, many people know they need to
exercise but they don't have the discipline to keep a regular exercise routine. As
their spouse, be willing to joining them at the gym and support them each step of
the way. If they are considering weight watchers or a special diet, be willing to
join with them to be their support and encouragement along the way.

Our sexuality is a God given gift that enables us to serve our spouse in a way no
one else can serve. Taking good care of ourselves is striving to serve our
spouse in a way no one else should.

It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be
your servant, Matthew 20:26 (ESV)

It is also important to remember that God views us, and will ultimately redeem us,
as a whole person, both body and soul. Just as we spend time in God's Word to
nourish our spirit and draw near to Christ, it is important to care for our body
which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom
you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So
glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:1920 (ESV)

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How Do I Tell My Kids Premarital Sex Is Wrong
When I Indulged In It Myself?
This is not hard to answer. Simply tell your kids you messed up. You sinned and
you regret it. You dont want your children to make the same mistakes you did
and pay the same, or an even steeper, consequence.

Premarital sex is sin. Sin always has consequences. The consequences are
emotional. You are plagued with regrets. Consequences are an inflamed sexual
appetite. The consequences may be a sexually transmitted disease.

Just tell your kids!

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Is Any Form of Sexual Contact Permissible? Can I
Go By The Rule That As Long As Nobody Gets
Hurt, It Is OK?
The New Testament contains two letters Paul wrote to the city of Corinth. After
examining these letters, it doesnt take long to realize the city of Corinth was a
city struggling with sexual sin. It was a city that housed the temple of Aphrodite.
Worship in the temple involved use of one of the over one thousand temple
prostitutes employed. The nickname for a prostitue in the ancient world was a
Corinthian girl. Fornication in Greek was nicknamed Corinthianizing. Without
a doubt, this was a city caught in a web of sexual sin.

In Pauls first letter to the Corinthians, he wrote this helpful verse.

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful
for me, but I will not be dominated by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)

This verse can guide us in answering every sexual question.

1. Is It Lawful? - Is the sexual act you are considering with your spouse
something that violates the laws of our government or Gods laws in the Bible.

2. Is It Helpful? - Is it a sex act that pulls a couple together or pushes them


apart? Is it something that both individuals in the marriage find fulfilling? If it
involves humiliation, degradation, pain or harm, it is not beneficial for the
marriage and not permissible.

3. Is It Enslaving? - Could this sex act become compulsive or out of control? If


a sexual act starts to control us, it is enslaving. God does not want us to be
enslaved. Today, most slavery is freely chosen rather than forced upon us.
Examples of freely chosen slavery are: drug abuse, alcohol addiction,
gambling, shopping, food or sex. God does not want a sexual act to become
controlling.

If you examine your sexual questions through 1 Corinthians 6:12, you should be
able to ascertain Gods will in this area of your life.

(Further explanation of how 1 Corinthians 6:12 applies to sexual questions is found in Real Marriage by
Mark + Grace Driscoll, chapter 10.)

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Is Divorce Ever An Acceptable Option?
There are biblically acceptable grounds for divorce. Experience has shown me
these grounds are rarely met in most divorce cases. Since this is a complex
issue where good biblical scholars disagree, I have put together a few key
biblical principles to help guide thinking in this area.

Jesus once told the religious leaders of Israel about Gods ideal plan for
marriage: So, then, they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate Matthew 19:6 NKJV

God says He hates divorce

I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel, Malachi 2:16a

This explanation operates on the following assumptions:


The Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, infallible, and authoritatively binding in
every age and culture on earth.
1. The Bible is to be interpreted literally and straightforwardly unless the
context clearly indicates that it should be taken otherwise.
2. More specifically related to the issue of divorce and remarriage, it is
assumed that whenever God grants permission for a legitimate divorce,
He also grants permission for a legitimate remarriage. Therefore, since in
some cases God does permit divorce, it is assumed that wherever He
does, He also permits remarriage.

I. DIVORCE IN A MARRIAGE BETWEEN TWO BELIEVERS

Paul states the general principle for a marriage between two actively professing
Christians in his first letter to the church of Corinth

A wife is not to depart from her husband. But if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be
reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 NKJV

The principles here are very clear:


1. No divorce is permitted for a Christian couple.
2. Separation is allowed in severe circumstances (e.g. physical cruelty or
abuse, life threats, etc.) but never divorce and remarriage. There is only
one exception to this principle.

Whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery;
and whoever marries a woman who is divorced (i.e. for any reason other than sexual
immorality) commits adultery.
Matthew 5:32 NKJV

Since sexual relations form a bond of oneness between two people

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Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it
is said, The two will become one flesh. 1 Corinthians 6:16

Sexual sin on the part of one marriage partner is grounds for divorce. The Greek
word translated sexual immorality (pornea) is a general term and would include
adultery, homosexuality or any type of sexual perversion. It should be noted that
Jesus does not insist upon divorce in such cases nor command it nor even
encourage it. Considering the Scriptures as a whole, it would seem that divorce
should be a last resort, reserved only for cases of repeated and/or flagrant sexual
violations. Short of this, forgiveness and reconciliation are to be sought and the
marriage preserved. If a divorce is obtained because of sexual immorality,
remarriage is permitted.

II. DIVORCE BETWEEN A BELIEVER AND AN UNBELIEVER

The Bible speaks directly to this kind of situation

But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is
willing to dwell with him, let him not divorce her. And the woman who has a husband who does
not believe, if he is willing to dwell with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband
is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your
children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a
brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.
1 Corinthians 7:12-16

The principles here are also very clear:


1. If the unbelieving partner desires to preserve the marriage, the believing
partner has no freedom to divorce him/her.
2. If the unbelieving partner chooses to leave and sue for divorce, the
believing partner is to let him/her depart. In such cases, the believing
partner is free to remarry, but only another Christian someone who
belongs to the Lord.

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to
marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:39

III. SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Every situation does not fit neatly into these categories. There are a number of
varied situations that can arise. Many are of such a unique nature that general
principles cannot be formulated for them. However, there are a few special cases
that tend to reoccur, and these are considered below:

A. When any divorce is obtained on non-biblical grounds, and one of


the parties remarries, that person has committed adultery since God
never recognized the divorce as legitimate.

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But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness,
causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman
commits adultery. Matthew 5:32

He answered, Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits
adultery against her. Mark 10:11

Since the remarried partner has committed adultery, the marriage


bond is now broken and the remaining partner is free to remarry.

B. In the case of a person who has just accepted Christ as his/her


Savior, that person becomes a new creation in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,


the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

This does not mean God immediately erases all painful memories, bad
habits or underlying causes of past marital problems, but that He
begins the process of transforming the believer through the Holy Spirit
and the Word of God. Nor does this mean that the new believer is
automatically freed from all responsibility for his actions before
becoming a Christian. In fact, a sign of true saving faith will be a desire
to obey what God has said about marriage and divorce in the Bible:

1. If the new believer is presently separated from his/her spouse,


he/she must seek genuine reconciliation with the estranged
partner

But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her
husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:11

If the partner refuses, and seeks and receives a divorce, the


believer is free to remarry in the Lord according to

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not
bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 1 Corinthians
7:15

2. If the new believer is presently divorced, he/she must seek


genuine reconciliation with the divorced partner

But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her
husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
1 Corinthians 7:11

If the partner refuses, the believer is free to remarry in the Lord

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But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not
bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
1 Corinthians 7:15

3. If the new believer is presently divorced and his/her former


spouse has since remarried, the marriage bond has been
broken and the new believer is free to remarry in the Lord. To
have the remarried partner obtain a second divorce to reconcile
with the new believer would be a violation of the Scriptures

4. If the new believers former spouse has remarried and is now


divorced again, the new believer is not allowed to take the
former spouse back but is allowed to remarry in the Lord.

5. If the new believer is presently remarried, but his/her original


divorce was not biblical, he/she should not dissolve the
present marriage to seek reconciliation with the former
partner. To do so would be a violation of the Scriptures. The new
believer should confess his/her sin, receive Gods forgiveness, and
make his/her present marriage honoring to God.

C. It is assumed that the grace of God becomes operative in any


attempt to reconcile a marriage. Two people who repent, confess
their sin, and seek Gods power and strength, can once again
experience the joy of a healthy marriage relationship. A true sign of
repentance and salvation will be a sincere desire to restore a former
marriage whenever possible.

D. If the innocent party in a legitimate, biblical divorce is seeking


remarriage, it is preferable that he/she wait until a spouse who is
unwilling to reconcile has remarried. The purpose of such a wait is so
as not to preclude any possibility of reconciliation. However, this is not
to be a hard and fast rule, but will depend upon a number of factors
that must be evaluated by each person in such a situation (e.g. purity
of life and thought, time, children needing a father/mother, etc.)

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Is It Sinful To Put Your Daughter On Birth Control?
This is a great question. When a daughter is dating, parents are always
concerned her boyfriend will not treat her with respect and purity. Parents are
not only concerned their daughter could lose her virginity, they are concerned
she will conceive a child out of wed-lock.

In one respect, this question is moot. In Iowa, there is no informed consent


needed by parents for their daughter to use birth control. http://
www.contracept.org/minorsaccess.php Parents do not put their child on birth
control. Technically a girl puts herself on it.

While parents are not legally in control of this decision, they still have influence
over their daughter. In answering this question, I am assuming the daughter is
still in the home and under parental supervision. If that is true, I would
encourage parents not to allow their daughter on birth control pills while she is
dating. That gives her a green light for intimacy.

Instead, I would encourage parents to take a more proactive approach. Explain


the importance of her maintaining her virginity. Talk to her boyfriend very directly
in this area. Do not allow her to spend unsupervised time with him. Encourage
group dates and time together at youth group. Invite him over to your home to
get to know him.

If you sense you can not trust him, forbid him from seeing your daughter. If she
proves untrustworthy and pursues the relationship, dont capitulate to her
rebellious pressure. Put your foot down. Take a high level of involvement in your
daughters life. If this is not well received, you may need to keep her home and
begin home schooling. Be prepared to take drastic measures. Most parents sin
by their passivity towards a childs rebellion, not too much involvement in their
childs life.

She may not like your tough love now, but she will appreciate it in the future.

Many parents are not comfortable with a stronger approach to parenting when
their children are in rebellion. The cultural pressure encourages parents to hide
their heads in the sand and hope a child makes it through. I see that as parents
ignoring their God given responsibility.

A great example of proactive parenting is the story of Cassie Bernell. She was
one of the students gunned down at the Columbine High School shooting. She
became involved in the wrong crowd. Rather than her parents ignoring her
rebellion, they became more involved in her life. For a period of time, they kept
her home. They even cut the phone lines! That period of rebellion came to an
end when she trusted Christ as her savior while attending a church camp at

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YMCA of the Rockies. She transformed into a beacon for Christ in her school.
She was ultimately gunned down because of it.

If you have a child in rebellion, I encourage you to read her short, but amazing,
story. She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martydom of Cassie Bernall by Misty Bernall

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I Am a Widow Getting Remarried, What Pitfalls
Should I Avoid Now That I Am Dating Again?
When I was a young pastor, an older couple shared with me one particular pitfall
of remarriage to avoid. I havent forgotten their words.

Avoid the pitfall of comparison. If you enjoyed an excellent marriage with your
deceased spouse, it will be tempting to let your conversations with your new
mate drift into comparing your new mate with your deceased spouse. While you
love your former mate, that marriage can not move forward. It is only your new
marriage that has a future. Sharing your thoughts on how your deceased spouse
compares to your new mate will chafe a sore spot in your new marriage. It leaves
your new spouse wishing your heart was focused on enjoying them rather than
rehearsing memories from the past.

Be thankful for the time God gave you with your deceased spouse. Move
forward with your new relationship. Dont allow your past to haunt your present.

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My Husband Is Not Really Interested In Sex
Anymore, But I Am. Now What?
There may be a variety of issues behind this. As men age, their testosterone
level decreases. In addition, if a mans health begins to decline on account of
obesity, lack of exercise or stress, his interest in sexual activity will decrease.

First, I recommend he has his testosterone level and general health checked by
a doctor. It is not uncommon for male testosterone to begin declining around age
forty. A womans interest in intimacy typically continues to remain strong.

Second, I encourage him to take care of himself physically by eating healthy and
exercising. At a recent pastors conference, I was shocked by the number of
pastors in the room that experienced heart attacks around age fifty. When I
talked with them, most of them admitted to not caring for their health. Physical
fitness will not just lengthen your life, it enhances a mans interest in marital
intimacy.

Third, your husband needs a biblical view of sex. This is a view where sex is
understood as a God-given way to serve your spouse, not to serve yourself. He
may not be interested in intimacy, but that doesnt matter. If his wife is interested,
it is a way he can serve her. He should make use of that opportunity.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to
her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the
husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for
a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together
again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 1
Corinthians 7:35 (ESV)

Fourth, it may be appropriate to take a lesson from the Shulammite. When her
husband was too preoccupied with work, she danced before him in a marital
strip-tease to get his mind off his work and interested in intimacy with her (Song
of Solomon 7). I am not necessarily recommending you dance! I am
recommending you put thought into creative ways to recaptivate your husbands
interest.

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Isnt It Smarter to Live Together Before We Marry
So We Know If We Are Compatible?
This is a common question. It puzzles me. What is it that might be
incompatible? If your personalities are incompatible, you need to get to know
each other better, not move in. Are you wondering if you are physically
compatible? Unless one of you is a guppy and the other an elephant, physical
incompatibilities should not be an issue. The mechanics of intimacy are relatively
straight-forward.

The root of this question usually comes from previous sexual experiences. If you
dated multiple people and were intimately involved with them, you have learned
that some individuals are less servant orientated in their love making than others.

You are wondering if intimacy with your potential mate will provide greater sexual
fulfillment than previous sexual experiences you enjoyed. Many consider
marriage similar to purchasing a car. Since you wouldnt purchase a car without
taking it for a test drive, and marriage is a bigger commitment than a car
purchase, it only appears logical to try-before-you-buy and make sure you are
satisfied with your purchase.

This type of reasoning is flawed. First, it looks at our sexuality as a source of


self-fulfillment rather than a unique way to serve someone we love. According to
1 Corinthians 7, our sexuality is a unique way we can serve our spouse. When
we are married, we relinquish the right to our own body. We commit to growing
in our ability to serve and love our mate.

While not everyone is naturally as servant orientated as others, marriage is the


commitment to become better at serving the needs of our mate before serving
our own needs. It is when a couple pursues this commitment that, over time, the
most satisfying levels of marital intimacy are achieved.

In addition, Jesus said It is more blessed to give than to receive. There is


greater fulfillment in sexually serving your spouse than sexually serving yourself.
Christians do not marry to be satisfied as much as they marry to provide comfort,
satisfaction and fulfillment to someone they love.

In addition, the try-before-you-buy approach to marriage is statistically a losers


game. U.S. News & World Report published the results of the most
authoritative study ever conducted on the sexual habits of our nation. The
survey was jointly conducted by the University of New York Stony Brook and the
University of Chicago. The results were clear. Married women experience much
higher levels of sexual satisfaction than women cohabitating with a man (75% to
62%). In addition, those with no previous experience before their wedding night
reported the highest levels of sexual satisfaction in the survey!

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Living together before marriage is known as fornication or sexual immorality in
the Bible. Gods Word clearly speaks against it (1 Corinthians 5:11-13;
Ephesians 5:5-6; Hebrews 12:16-17; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 21:8; 1
Thessalonians 4:1-8). Living together is not just statistically unwise, it is biblically
sinful.

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At What Age Should You Start Thinking/Seriously
Considering Getting Married?
This is not a one-size-fits-all question but here are some general principles to
help.

First, be careful about capitulating to the cultural trap of education. Most parents
encourage their children to complete their education before marriage. While that
is a good idea, it is not an iron-clad rule. While you should complete high school,
it is not inappropriate to get married before graduation from college or while in
graduate school. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is better to marry
than to burn with passion. In other words, it is better to get married and honor
God than to live in a continual struggle with fornication because your education is
not complete. More important than completing your degree is honoring God and
the one you plan to marry. If you can not maintain abstinence, it is better to
marry than wait and fornicate.

Young adults are biologically ready for marriage before they are out of school.
Most young adults are also ready for marriage, when it comes to maturity, before
they complete a lengthy educational process.

Many parents believe children should become financially independent before


marriage. For some young adults, this is possible. Unfortunately, I know young
couples that struggle with fornication because marrying would remove parental
support for education and/or health insurance. This is unwise. Help your
children honor God, dont just help them finish their education. Of course, this is
also an issue of faith. Will a young Christian couple marry and trust God to meet
their needs because they made a choice to honor him? Unfortunately, many are
not willing to trust God in this situation, in so doing, they forfeit a great
opportunity to build their faith and have a story of how God proved faithful in their
life.

Second, young men must realize that when they marry, they are not just marrying
for sex. They are taking on the obligation of providing for a wife and future
children. If a young man does not have a job and is not pursuing a productive
life, he shouldnt focus on fornicating. He should focus on self-control,
abstinence, productivity and maturity. Too many young men are just boys using
young women for sex rather than men who are willing to shoulder responsibility
for a wife and children.

There is no universal age to begin pursuing marriage. Some are not ready for
marriage until much later in life while others should begin thinking in this direction
in their twenties.

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Dr. Kurt Trucksess is ordained in the EFCA. He enjoys reading, writing, time with his family and
wrestling with his sons. His favorite topics of study are ancient rhetoric and preaching.
Feel free to contact him at ktruck@gmail.com or visit his web at www.christ2Rculture.com

Dr. Kurt Trucksess. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format
provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the
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Dr. Kurt Trucksess - Solomon on Sex - www.Christ2Rculture.com - Page 192