The Gentle WayWhat does it look like for you to live out Jesus’ gentleness before others?
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After the Honeymoon
But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?” (v.3).
The honeymoon is over. Life is settling back to routine—a new one. Now you have a partner to live with. It’s no longer just about your preferences and habits. You need to learn to tango with him or her in a new paradigm. That’s where we start stepping on each other’s toes. And that’s where Song of Solomon 5:2 comes in.
You’ve cleaned up, slipped into your pajamas, and are sound asleep. Suddenly, your spouse rouses you from slumberland and asks you for a favor. You’re reluctant and offer a cold shoulder. Or, you’re watching something on TV and your spouse sits down and wants to talk with you. You snap, “Honey, can we talk when this program is done?” Soon after, you feel guilty for your indifference and seek reconciliation. You “called to him [or her], but there [was] no reply” (v.6).
Marriage counselors say that in a conflict, you have either the fight or flight response. The fighter wants to talk and seek a resolution, while the flee-er wants to end the discussion and walk away to cool off.
While awareness of each other’s natural reaction to conflict is important, the antidote to selfishness, indifference, and poor communication is found in Song of Solomon 5:10.
As the woman lists her lover’s wonderful attributes, she regains her appreciation for him. She concludes: “He is desirable in every way” (v.16). May we not expect the perfection in each other that belongs to God alone.
May we minimize each other’s weaknesses, be swift to praise, and magnify each other’s strengths and beauty, and see each other through kind and patient eyes. May we never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: “Out of all this world, you have chosen me!”
—Poh Fang Chia
Read Malachi 2:14 to see God’s expectation of covenantal faithfulness in marriage.
Take time to list the wonderful attributes of your loved one. Reflect on whether you’ve taken the other person for granted in any way. Show your appreciation to him or her today.
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