Category Archives: Love Lessons From God

A study on the Song of Songs. I wrote this in high school during some of the deepest sloughs of my depression, and re-reading them is so interesting to me. My thoughts on His love and my sometimes mechanical statements of truth can be encouraging, maybe, but I honestly keep this series up to see where I’ve come from.

Yours

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Song of Songs 8:11-14–

[continuing with SHE]

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.

HE

O you who dwell in the gardens, with companions listening for your voice; let me hear it.

SHE

Make haste, my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

     What I found: The love radiating from this final passage of the Song of Songs is crazy. I’ve said before that I believe this book in the Bible is more than just a love song from Solomon to a woman; if this was important enough to put in the Bible, it has depth. That depth lies in the analogies and parallels hidden in these verses to teach us about God’s love for us. I will admit to you that I haven’t seriously felt His love for me in a long time. I know it to be true, I see it in my life and all around me, but that feeling I had at the beginning– dormant. Some days I almost feel like this is a lost cause, like I might never feel Him again. But I have this when everything else fails: He loves me, if I feel it or if I don’t. He uses passages like this one to encourage me to stay, to remind me of His love. That’s why I can share with you every week– not because I’m on a high, but because I know His love is real and deeper than my emotions. Now, let’s take a look at the final piece of the book! When I read it, I imagined God owning a vineyard, His treasure and sunshine. The vineyard is His, and it always will be; the keepers are just there to make sure the fruit is doing its job. They even have to pay a large sum to be able to do so. I imagined that we were that vineyard, and the keepers were our earthly spouses. We are His, always. He allows us to marry, but we are intended for Him. He is our true Keeper, the Bible says as much. No matter how wonderful and godly your marriage ends up being, this is only the beginning! It’s not even a taste of what it will be like when Jesus comes back for you! Something else to see here is our value. Our husbands must see what we are worth, be willing to sacrifice for us, or they cannot take care of us. Jesus has said this very clearly to me in my own life: I must marry a man who knows my value, the value that Jesus gave to me when He died for me. If a man does not treat me with worth, then he will never be the one God says I can marry. This isn’t about thinking your husband needs to bow down to you or spoil you; it’s about knowing God designed marriage to be a picture of His relationship with us, therefore the love must be deep and the truth must be acted upon. Your marriage will never measure up to that fully, but it should be the model you strive after. Take this from the passage: give all that your husband has paid for you, and give it to Jesus. It was His anyway. Repay your husband with your own love and sacrifice, but give even that to Him. He deserves it all, it is all in His vineyard. No matter how much anyone loves you, He loves you more, and He longs for you. Let Him have you, because you have been His from the beginning!

     What did you find in today’s Scripture? What has Love Lessons from God meant to you? Do you have any questions about His love?

Let Love

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Song of Songs 8:8-10–

OTHERS

We have a little sister, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day 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.

SHE

I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers; then I was in his eyes as one who finds peace.

What I found: Some worry because they don’t feel they can be like her; they think they need decoration. Do you feel the same? In your eyes, does it seem like you can’t measure up to someone Jesus would love? Do you try to add things to yourself to make Him love you? Take the advice hidden in this passage: the decorations close you up. That habit you try to form might make you look good, but it covers you if that’s the only reason you do it. It makes it harder for anyone to get in, even seals you away from Jesus and His voice. Working on yourself is a good thing, but not if you’re doing it with the intention of earning God’s or anybody’s love. Don’t add anything to yourself that Jesus isn’t growing in you. He knows your flaws and will work on them one at a time, and He’ll love you before, during, and after the entire process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your flaws, that is not from Him. He will never belittle you. He reveals to you what He is working on at this time, and He does it gently, to show you He loves you despite that thing. You don’t have to do anything to make Him love you, because He already does! A question arises from this same verse: are you a wall or a door? (Or my friend Carlie who said, “I think I’m a wall… with a little doggie door.” Haha!) Do you tend to shut people out initially so that they need to be willing to climb to get to you? Or do you tend more toward letting people in after a knock or two? Don’t worry, neither of these is the right or wrong option. I think I’m a door; once I’ve talked to someone a few times, I’m willing to tell them anything about my life. I don’t pour out my heart to everybody, but I’d tell anyone pretty much anything if they’d ask. No matter which one you are, let me give you little pieces of advice. Walls: be guarded, but don’t push people away. Walls aren’t hostile. They protect from harmful things that aren’t willing/able to climb over them, but they don’t shove everything that approaches away. Protect yourself, but let the people who are willing to climb the wall to know you do so, and make sure Jesus is always inside. Doors: be careful what you let inside. Being open is a wonderful thing, but make sure you know when to be closed, too. If you let in everything that knocks, you will be a mess. Ask Jesus to be the door (John 10:9)! With Him, you’ll be welcoming and open, but know when danger is coming and you need close that door. Use the peephole! Again, no matter which one you are, Jesus wants inside. The girl in the Scripture reveals I was a wall, and that He loved her for it, was willing to climb. He also says in Revelation 3:20, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. You are loved for who you are inside, for the person that’s behind the skin and words and even deeds. Please remember that as you live your life today.

     What does this mean to you? Did you see anything else in today’s Scripture?

I Want To Get Lost

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Song of Songs 8:5-7–

[continuing with SHE]

Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in labor with you; there she who bore you was in labor. 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.

     What I found: Now that she’s with Him, people don’t even recognize her! They want to know who she is when they see her leaning on Him. I am amazed by the things God has put “between the lines” in the Bible, things that if we just thought out a little longer would blow our minds! He snuck an important truth into one little, seemingly pointless verse: Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved? When you lean on Jesus, letting Him guide you and be your strength and support as you walk together, people see the difference. By doing this you are doing something that makes others look and wonder, maybe even envy you– and all you have to do is act on love. All she’s doing is walking with Him, trusting Him to lead her out of the wilderness, yet people see it. They mention it to each other and ask about it; it’s amazing to them! Do you want to share the gospel simply by living your life? Lean on Him. Believe that He can show you out of the wilderness, and live in love. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13). The final verses of today are somewhat famous. They’ve been put to music, inspired tattoos, printed onto t-shirts, you get it– that’s how powerful God has made them. I have a dear friend who was suicidal in middle school, and God used this part of Scripture to save her. Take a look at it:

  • Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm… Be a part of one another, so much so that you can’t be separated. Broadcast both the love you give and the love you receive. If I say ,”I will not mention Him, or speak any more in His name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)
  • for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave… If you love each other, you will make it through all the hardships you face, because love is strong as death. Also, remember how loved you are in that His jealousy is fierce as the grave. Anything that steals your affection from Him angers Him, because He loves you so fiercely!
  • Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord… The fire of your love is His own Holy Spirit flame! Let this fire catch! Don’t let it be a comfortable fireplace-like flame for too long, but take comfort in the fact that these are flashes of fire. If you stoke it, it continues to burn, even if you don’t feel it all the time.
  • Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it… See? The fire, if it’s love, will not end. Nothing can stop it from consuming you!
  • If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised. This love is priceless. You can’t earn it, no matter how much you offer. He already paid the price. Yes, I know I said it’s priceless– so is He.

What did you see in our Scripture today?

Until You Got Love

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Song of Songs 7:11-13–

[continuing with SHE]

Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages; let us go out early to the vineyards and see 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.

What I found: She has been working to present her best to Him, not because she wants to earn Him or win Him over with gifts, but because she wants to love Him. She gives Him her best. Three questions for me and you in this. First: Have we been working hard to bless Jesus? We don’t usually think of Jesus in need of blessing, do we? After all, He IS God. He has everything… right? He can get anything He wants in a split second– except for our love. He loved us so much that He didn’t want to force us to love Him back. He gave us the choice. If we don’t give Him our love, He doesn’t have it; if He doesn’t have our love, He hurts. Understand that He doesn’t need us, He isn’t incomplete without us, but His love for us kills Him every day that He’s without ours in return. Dear friend, you are His life’s mission! He made history the way He did so He could come to you! He forsook His perfect and safe home to come to you! He DIED a horrendous death for you! He defied logic when He rose back to life so He could be with you! Do you see how much He has worked to bless us with His love?! Bless Him in return. Give Him what He has been toiling for all His life: YOU. Question number two: what is our motive behind working to love Him? He’s been showing me this year (or I’ve finally been paying attention to Him) that all I do is in an effort to earn His love. I know in my head that He loved me before He created the world, that He died for me before I did anything for Him or even looked at Him, but it’s hard to know in my heart. The way He loves is so different from the way we do! We do things for people hoping they will love us; He does things for people without even thinking about being loved Himself. Again, He is complete without us, because He is Love. His only thought when He shows love to us is how much He loves us. He doesn’t try to earn love, because He knows if things worked that way He would already have earned all of us. Jesus, teach us to love like you! Don’t let us worry about earning anything in return, because love is not about that! The battle is already won; you already love us! Help us to love you simply because we DO. Lastly: are we saving our best for Him? If we do love Him, are we pouring so much of our energy into other things that our expression to Him is, “I love you! Goodnight!”? Have you “run out of time” for God? I’ll let Blimey Cow have the reigns on this one. Let’s make loving God our life mission, because loving us has always been His.

     That’s what I see today. What about you?

Echoes of Eden

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Song of Songs 7:1-10–

[continuing with HE]

How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O noble daughter! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. Your two breasts are like fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, which looks toward Damascus. Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses. How beautiful and pleasant you are, O loved one, with all your delights! 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.

SHE

It goes down smoothly for my beloved, gliding over lips and teeth. I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.

     What I found: Let me say this first: you don’t need to feel awkward or uncomfortable when you read today’s passage. God says I am your husband (Jeremiah 3:14), and all the things He says to you in this part of the book are whispered privately to you when you read them. To me, this just proves His love even further! God is a respectful (but passionate) lover and sees us as the treasure. He doesn’t take advantage of us or force us to love Him, but He is fiercely jealous for us. In this case, that’s a good thing! His jealousy is not like ours; it’s made of passion for us and the truth that He is the one we’re looking for. Look at any story in the Bible, and it will be about the results of God’s love or jealousy. In His eyes, His life is all about us! This I know, that God is for me. (Psalm 56:9) I adore how many times in the book “HE” tells “SHE” all the things he loves about her. Every line of his is about his love for her! I think that’s true about God, too: everything He says to you means “I love you.” (Kind of like Westley in The Princess Bride saying “As you wish.”! But not. Haha!)  Another thing that defies logic from today’s Scripture: He knows that He is so much more holy, wise, and good than we are, yet He reverses the roles so that WE are the one desired. In Genesis 3:16, we hear one of the results of The Fall into sin for Eve: Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. Isn’t that insane?! It just blows me away! Now a woman’s desire is for her husband, yet God has kept what things were like in Eden! His desire is for us, just like Adam’s was for Eve before The Fall. He gives us a glimpse of a perfect world when we have a relationship with Him! Do you see how deep, how incomprehensible His love for us is?! When He pours love over you, let Him. Be His, because you will never find anyone else who can love this way!

That’s what I found in today’s Scripture! What about you?

That’s Where I Live

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Song of Songs 6:11-13–

SHE

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. Before I was aware, my desire set me among the chariots of my kinsman, a prince.

OTHERS

Return, return, O Shulammite, return, return, that we may look upon you.

HE

Why should you look upon the Shulammite, as upon a dance before two armies?

     What I found: While looking for growth, her desire took her to her Prince. Are you trying to grow? What are you doing to achieve that? I’ll use my answer as an example: I am trying to grow out of searching for a husband for myself. I’ve always known that I should let God choose who I’ll marry, but the reality of that is just beginning to sink in. It’s becoming something that requires action, not just resolution. I have tried many times to stop my “quest”, but I always end in failure. Why? Because I’m trying to do it on my own! I was not meant to do anything on my own, especially the hard things. Just look at what Jesus says about His Spirit: If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:15-17) We can’t obey Him with our own strength! This is a big reason why the Holy Spirit was sent: to be our constant Helper. If there is something you know you need to do but have never accomplished, pray that you would hear and follow the Spirit; pray that He would be your strength. I have been, and progress is being made! This truth is evident in the passage today, that you grow when you are close to Him. I love that HE and SHE’s special place is a garden! That’s the first thing I see in today’s Scripture. The other is this: God respects you. All of your life, people will want you to do or be something insincere. They will ask for who you were before you knew Him, when you weren’t pure and were more loose with your standards. God is wooing you from this, He comes to defend you! He says, Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11) He values you– not what you do, but the reality inside you! He’s overjoyed when you do good things, and He enjoys your little quirks, but that’s not why He loves you. He simply loves YOU! Listen to Him and stay with Him, instead of returning to where you were. Stay in the garden, because this is where you grow and revel in His beauty!

That’s what I found. What about you?

Pure Bride

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Song of Songs 6:4-10–

HE

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. Your teeth are like a flock of ewes that have come up from the washing; all of them bear twins; not one of them has lost its young. Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil. 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. “Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?”

What I found: She’s so beautiful that she overwhelms Him. YOU are so beautiful that you overwhelm GOD. Can you fathom that?! God has seen everything, past, present, and future, but YOU are the thing that overwhelms Him! YOU are the thing that blows His mind! Isn’t that insane? Insanely wonderful! Remember this when you don’t feel amazing: you overwhelm God! What a way to start. I love this! The second thing I see is that purity is special and makes us unique. I bet you can picture that person in your school or youth group that stands out in the realm of purity. They’re just different, aren’t they? They almost carry an atmosphere with them that tells people their standards! I am a huge purity seeker, and although I mess up in a few areas more than others, I like to hope I am one of those people. I hope that when people see me, they see that I’m different in a good way, even if it’s a way they don’t understand. How can you tell if people see the purity inside you that makes you unique? I think there are many ways, and it’s a little different for everyone. A few signs I’ve noticed/people have pointed out to me:

  • When a normally flirty boy doesn’t talk to you or tease you like he does the other girls. Isn’t that comforting? I sure thought it was! You’re not unappealing, you just intimidate him with your goodness! That also goes for nerdy and/or creepy guys “liking” you, because they see you’ll treat them better than other girls do.
  • When people are surprised that you’ve seen [insert movie or TV show here]. By the way, that doesn’t mean you had to enjoy it!
  • When normally rude people are decent to you, or even clean up their language around you. (The latter happens with me, and I like it A LOT!)
  • When people have a hard time including you in conversation but seem to genuinely like you. They’re probably talking about something they know you wouldn’t relate to or approve of.
  • When people go to you when they need someone to listen or godly advice.

These are just a few signs. I know that there are many more, and that maybe these don’t apply to you but others do. I think that has to do with what areas you are especially pure in and what people you are usually around. Try looking for signs of your own! You see in the passage today that people admire you, maybe are even a little jealous of you, when you carry innocence. Be sure to let people know why you are the way you are: “Jesus loves me, and I love Him too! This isn’t me you see, it’s Him. He tells me I am beautiful, and I believe it!”

This is what I found. How about you? Do you notice any signs of purity in you or someone you know?

By the way, I love this message by Mike Donehey about being God’s beloved! I was smiling as I watched it! Please enjoy!