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Features of a Healthy Marriage

Daily Reading: Song of Solomon 5-6

Scripture Focus: Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you? (Song of Solomon 6.1)

Devotional Thought: In the process of going to sleep we pass through a state where we’re half-awake and half-asleep and not really sure which. That’s where the maiden is in v. 2 of chapter five when she unexpectedly hears the voice of her beloved outside. He calls out, but she chooses not to get out of bed and open the door. He addresses her in a very polite and loving way, but she still doesn’t budge. She obviously didn’t want to be inconvenienced. Maybe she was annoyed at his insensitive timing. Perhaps she was thinking, “Why should I run as soon as he knocks? He can just wait a little while.” At any rate, v. 6 says by the time she got around to it, he was gone.

In many ways, this passage pictures the dynamic of conflict within a marriage. The maiden was annoyed at her beloved’s actions and, in spite of his kind and loving appeal, delayed her response. By the time she did so, the moment had passed and he was gone.

In this passage we see some of the actions than can chip away at a relationship. Regardless of who does what, these things can erode even the most committed, loving relationship:

  • Holding on to a past irritation or offense and withholding forgiveness

  • Refusing or delaying response when approached in a loving way

  • Being unduly selfish and slothful

  • Not being sensitive to timing

  • Forcing one’s interest and affections on the other and not waiting for their response

If nothing else, these verses provide us with a practical reminder of the other-centered sensitivity and kinds of ongoing adjustments necessary in a healthy marriage.

John Whitsett

Prayer: Heavenly Father—how many times have I not responded promptly to the one I love because I’m annoyed … or tired … or just don’t want to be bothered. Help me be more responsive and aware. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. 7 "Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!" 8 Arise, O LORD, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. 9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let your saints shout for joy. 10 For the sake of your servant David, do not turn away the face of your anointed one. (Psalms 132:6-10)

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