The Lie of Lust
“…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…” (Romans 1:25)
Lies have been going around since the time of Adam and Eve; the greatest one about God and His goodness. As a 30-something single, my heart has been so burdened by the lies the enemy whispers into our ears when we’re feeling lonely, when we’re afraid that we’ll never get married, and we wonder if God really hears our prayers.
For the month of February, I’ll be posting on a lie that is specifically targeted to believing and non-believing women – 50 Shades Of Grey. A tale of a successful yet disturbed business man and the contracted sexual relationship he enters into with a naive college girl.
God has so much to say on the issue of sex in the Bible. One book was specifically written to showcase the goodness of this incredible gift He gave to those who get married. So what does the Song of Solomon have to be with singles?
In my opinion, a lot!
Warning: Song of Solomon is not intended for those who are babes in Christ so if you have just started your relationship with the Lord, I advise you to spend time with the Gospels.
But if you are mature and single, I pray you’ll see what we can learn from this book specifically placed in the Bible by the Holy Spirit.
This post of Song of Solomon & The Single Woman will look at the first 4 chapters of S.o.S. and what we can learn to combat the lies of the enemy when it comes to our desires for love, marriage, and sex:
A Better Love
“For your love is better than wine…”(1:2)
The Shulamite is a woman in love. And it’s not just any man she’s in love with, but a man who’s name is like fragrant ointment poured forth. There’s a headiness that happens when we first fall in love. Everything is brighter and the world is filled with so many possibilities. Wasn’t that how you felt when you first came to Christ?
The Maker of heaven and earth called you by name and you became His. Past sins were forgiven and you could hold your head up high. You learned about His character and the plans that He has for you. It was such an exciting time!
Then the months and years started to roll by. You got involved in ministry, entered into relationships only to find they wouldn’t be your happily ever after, and the thrill of your romance with God faded away.
“Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” (2:10)
What a sweet invitation to come away with the man she loves. My love language is quality time and such an invitation would be like music to my ears.
You receive that offer daily through the gentle tugging of the Holy Spirit to spend time in God’s presence. Quality time with the Lover of our souls is needed to refresh the winter rains of our every day lives.
But like the little foxes in the vineyard (a place that is suppose to be ripe with fruit in the springtime), there are things that hinder us from spending time with Him. It’s there that we’ll hear His voice more clearly, where the fears of this world will melt away in the warmth of His embrace, and where our hearts will be united with His in worship.
In worship, we can be honest with our every desire because He’s placed them inside of us. Too many times, we hide them for fear of embarrassment. Our desires for marriage and sex have become tucked away in the deep recesses of our hearts and erotica/pornography have become the outlet that many women use to feel wanted, desired, and known.
Life is hard. Singleness is hard. But when we come away with our Beloved, we give every burden to Him and find our rest.
Don’t Stir Love Up
“Do not stir up love nor awaken it until it pleases.” (3:5)
The waiting is hard, isn’t it? The not knowing what God’s plans are can be difficult and scary so much so that the more time passes, the more we’re convinced He’s forgotten about us.
So what’s a girl to do?
If you’re like me, you want to give God a helping hand. You know your type and there’s someone at church/work/school that would be “perfect”. But is it really God’s will or timing?
I found myself doing that very thing when I fell for a man who I thought could love me the way I always wanted. I even prayed that God would turn his attention toward me only for me to realize how God had been trying to spare me. It was a hard lesson to learn but one that I did.
God loves you so much that He doesn’t want you mistaking fool’s gold for the real thing. He is not a god of the counterfeit but He wants to give you the real deal. Love is amazing – after all, why would there be so many songs, books, or movies about it? But over the years, the enemy’s lies about relationships have been finding their way to the mainstream and in my opinion 50 Shades Of Grey has wrapped up the dangers and deception we can be prone to fall in the covers of a book.
God’s plan for love and sexuality within marriage is a beautiful one and it’s certainly worth the wait if He promises to bless it.
Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful?
“You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; You have ravished my heart with one look from your eyes.” (4:9)
If I were to ask you to name all of the things you’d change about your looks, I’m sure you would be able to list them in a matter of seconds. But what about the things that make you beautiful?
It’s the desire of our heart for a man to see our beauty, not only the outside but from within as well. We start to doubt it when we don’t get attention and can even feel like we’re invisible. Are you willing to let your heart be satisfied in the way that God’s sees you?
One of the blessings I’ve found in being in my 30s is feeling comfortable in my own skin. In my teens and twenties, there were so many things I wanted to change about myself – my weight, my looks, my personality. I never really liked myself until I started to value myself. God has placed so much value in us because of the love He has for us. It is a long that is constant and faithful. It’s a love that never changes because we mess up or because our hearts are unfaithful.
The God who created us in our mother’s wombs, created our very eyes are ravished by them when we lift them up to Him. Our weak and feeble love delights Him.
When you get your value and sense of self from someone else, you can develop a dysfunctional dependency on them that God never intended. His love is cleansing and freeing from any bondages of your past (or present) sin. You can either say “no” and walk away from the any potential relationships that would hurt you or grieve God because your worth is intertwined with His love for you.
Singleness can be a lonely road. One that we’d often like to forget. The questions of “When, God?”, “Why, God” or “How, God?” are too painful to think about so we mask them in fantasies of love and happily ever after.
Our hearts cry out to be seen and known in the most intimate of ways – a soul deep love that says in the midst of our brokenness we’ll still be accepted and wanted.
But we live in a fractured world where that desire has gotten twisted and soul intimacy has been counterfeited for sexual pleasure. The aim of this series is to make God’s truth known by encouraging single women of God to take a stand against the deception of the enemy. An enemy who took the fellowship of Adam, Eve, and God and turned it into a fearful, broken one. Who took the covenant of marriage that reflected the beauty of the triune relationship (and the gift of sex that came with it) and made it about self instead of sacrifice.
More and more I see the mainstream poison of counterfeit sexual pleasure being fed to our eyes into our minds and hearts. While it’s been happening for many years, 50 Shades Of Grey being released into the movie theaters near Valentine’s Day is salt being rubbed into the wound of every woman’s need to feel adored, appreciated, and longed for.
I sought him, but I could not find him. I called him, but he gave no answer. (5:6)
At some point in our relationship, we get comfortable with God. The Shulamite woman had found the sweet spot in the middle of her bed and did not want to get up to let her Beloved in. We all get there and in some ways, it means that the newness, the excitement has dissipated to an easiness that we don’t have to nurture anymore. But her complacency turned her Beloved away.
Jesus knocks on the door of every heart and you have to make the (daily) decision to open up to Him. He doesn’t force His way in, after all He is a King and a Gentleman. His Presence brings a sweetness that makes us ache for more but it can also be too easy to forget. Other things get in the way – the busyness of ministry, the lack of a spouse or children in our lives, the new television shows that we must see – and when our heads hit the pillow, we’re too tired to get up again to let our Beloved into the reflection of our day.
Why Is He Better?
The young women in Song Of Solomon ask the Shulamite, Who is this person that you’re seeking? Why is he better than all the rest? This is how the Shulamite responds:
My dear lover glows with health –
He’s one in a million
There’s no one quite like him!
My golden-one, pure and untarnished…
He stands tall, like a cedar,
strong and deep-rooted,
A rugged mountain of a man
aromatic with wood and stone.
His words are kisses and his kisses words.
Everything about him delights me, thrills me
through and through!
That’s my lover, that’s my man… (5:10-16, MSG)
Count The Ways
Like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the Shulamite counted the ways in which her man delighted her yet can we do the same with God? Can we remember all the ways that God pleases us? Or have we forgotten? Have we looked to others to satisfy only to discover their flaws and their faults?
Attraction may prompt the beginning of a relationship but it's commitment that sustains it. Click To TweetThis year, my one verse is all about seeking God because too often, I’ve become comfortable in my spiritual bed. God does not want us to fall asleep in complacency. He wants us awake and alert to the deceptive schemes and the twisted perception of love and sex this world all too readily accepts.
You Are Beloved
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. (6:3)
Growing up, I loved romance novels. I started reading them in the seventh grade and I was hooked! From start to finish, I lived vicariously through the heroine’s eyes; I was desired and loved.
Speaking to a friend and sister in Christ who is in a relationship – we often confuse emotional intimacy with sex. So many women of God have given away their virginity because they wanted to please the man they were with at the time but in reality, they gave it in fear. If they weren’t sexually active, the men would find their pleasure elsewhere. Sex inside the boundary of marriage can be celebrated and freely given without thought of shame or judgment. It can be given with joy because everything leading to that moment has been based on our belovedness – mutual respect, affection, admiration, selfless service, and love.
Beloved becomes our identity in Christ. No longer are we the soiled doves of the enemy but the spotless daughters of the Most High God. We belong to Jesus as cherished treasures, free from the bondages of our old sins and our old selves. And as much as we belong to God, He belongs to us!
Our heart’s cry is to be chosen and claimed. Who doesn’t want to hear that out of the billions of people on this earth, we are the one that man has picked above any other? Yet, God tells us exactly that even if we are single, we’re still chosen and beloved.
Side Note: Sisters, if you go to your marriage bed not being a virgin, I pray that the man God blesses you with shows you the true love of Christ and there’s no fear of guilt or shame. God’s grace and mercy has made us whiter than snow and if He can forgive us and not charge it against us (like the enemy does), so will the men He allows us to marry.
Set Apart For Him
Fruits fresh and preserved that I’ve kept just for you. (7:13, MSG)
Chapter 7 of Song Of Solomon is enough to make any erotica writer blush!! The Beloved lists all the beautiful features of the Shulamite woman from her sandaled feet to her silky skin. But it’s the last verse she says that caught my attention.
Many of us come to Christ (or sometimes even after our conversion) not being virgins. It can be a sad burden to carry in our hearts because we understand the precious gift we’ve given to someone who was not our husband. Coming to Christ did not turn off the desire I had in my heart to be loved. It also didn’t short circuit my body’s physical longings. There’s an unrealistic expectation when we become Christians that our desires will be numbed, purity gets put on an unrealistic pedestal, and we’re supposed to suddenly be able to turn the “on” switch to our sexuality on our wedding night. How do you to from 0 to 100 in a day?
Singleness = Celibacy
Your sexual desire is a gift from God yet it can easily be turned into a nightmare when used before the appointed time. Singleness then becomes synonymous with celibacy. The two can’t be separated. We become set apart for God’s service totally focused on Him. Celibacy does not mean that we give up on intimacy. You can still share with Him and a few trusted older mentors the desires that you have. Romance novels and erotica twist these desires, makes us feel good in the moment, but leave us wanting more. When the images and sensations these types of books or movies produce become our master and we its slave, we have a real problem on our hands. Jesus died to set us free!
Just because you’re not using your sexuality now doesn’t mean it becomes stale or wasted. It is preserved as you are set apart for Him. As a single woman, you show the world that you are not consumed or controlled by your sexual desires. Your satisfaction comes from delighting in Him. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matt 6:33).
Sealed By Love
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm… (8:6)
Before Christ, I contemplated getting a tattoo for many years but I never did. I knew I could never be rid of it if I got bored. In Isaiah 49:16, it says, “Behold, I have engraved you on the palm of My hands…” (ESV).
God cares about you so much that He set you as a seal, engraved on His heart.. You are always before Him, not just in word but in deed. God so loved you that He sent His only begotten Son so that you have everlasting life. That is what you’re living for – eternal life, loved and in commune with God. But in the meantime…for the single woman reading this: God has not forgotten about you!!
It can be too easy to appease your desires in ways that God will not bless. The truth is your actions are going against your words. If you profess to trust Him then your actions should be reflections of that. Galatians 2:20 says, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
What are you willing to give for God?
Love is an action verb and if you say you love Him will the decisions you make reflect that?
Single sisters, there are no amount of Mr. Greys or Magic Mikes that can satisfy the selflessness and sacrifice of our First Love.
The fight for your heart and loyalty is real and happening at this very hour.
You can either be like Esau who gave up his inheritance for a bowl of lentil stew or trust the One who is Faithful and True. It’s never an easy decision but it will certainly be worth it.