So yesterday I was scheduled to elaborate the devotional material on morning prayer at our church (it’s every Mon-Sat at 5-6 AM — talking about how early we wake up). And our Bible-reading plan has reached the Song of Songs chapter one. “Song of Songs? You’ve gotta be kidding me,” I thought to myself. I love this book. But talking about passionate love and sex to my parents’ peers would definitely be weird. I mean, I’m not even married — and I want to explain marriage to them?
I then conducted a mini-research to prepare myself for this weird elaboration. I had studied Song of Songs before, and I thought I’d known all there was to know. But apparently I underestimated the Word of God. As soon as I read the second verse and pondered about it, it hit me.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth,
For your lovemaking is sweeter than wine.”
I quote the New English Translation because I like the word “lovemaking”. The original language has “loves” (plural), and it suffices me that many loves mean many expressions of affection, which is, sex.
Okay. What on earth is happening here? This is the first verse, and we’re talking about kisses and lovemaking already?? Not to mention the speaker here is a woman, who wants her lover to make love to her!
Right, it’s a woman. A woman who, in the highly patriarchal world of the Middle East in the Old Testament time, was marginalized. A woman whose voice would not be heard by the world of man. Even today in the Eastern world, to talk openly about sex is an embarrassment for most women. But God, the Man of all men, Ruler of the universe, who could choose any content He likes for His inspired Word, actually chooses to let a woman have her voice, a cry of love to her man. God acknowledges her desires, her passion, and her sexual needs.
Why? Because He is her Creator. He is not ashamed of everything He gives in her. In fact, her sexuality, her womanhood, is a delight to the Creator. God likes what He makes.
And even more, He delights in a woman’s love for her husband. When we see a couple in love, we giggle. It’s an amusing sight. In more glorious ways, God is happy when we are in love with our spouse. I’m not sure if you’ve heard about all this, but it’s true.
In Song of Songs, the bride’s desire for her husband is finally fulfilled on their wedding night. In the wedding night, on chapter 7, you’ll see that again it’s the bride who speaks to her husband, “Come, my beloved… That is where i am going to give my love for you.” There it is: sex. I like the word “consummation”. You love someone so much, you just want to give yourself thoroughly, body and soul, to him. Sheltered by marriage vow, it is sheer joy. After a period of admiring and praising each other, and waiting in chastity (which, I guess, feels like forever), it’s a “Finally!”
Now, ladies. I once thought my sexual desire was sin. It seemed to make sense to me, because every time I gave up to it, I sinned. But I was wrong; sexual desire in itself is good. God made it and installed it in me, along with my sexuality as a woman. Even the Bible acknowledge that.
I remember one question in a questionnaire given to couples who take marriage preparation class in our church: “Do you think your partner wants you physically?” It is not embarrassing to answer “yes”, and it’s not about whether it is sinful or not. I just can’t think of anyone not wanting his/her partner physically and ask to marry him/her! I mean, if I’m to marry someone, I must want him. It’s totally normal. And to want a man physically, of course a woman needs to have sexual desire. That’s why God grants it to her in the first place.
My conclusion is gratitude. I’m happy that God is happy about the way He made me. I’m thankful that I am given sexual desire. I’m relieved that whenever I have trouble with that gift, I can talk about it with my Heavenly Father. And I’m delighted to think that one day I will be able to share this gift with a man of God, whom I love. Before it’s time, do not awaken or arouse love until it pleases. When the time comes, let him kiss me.