Part 1 of a three part series
Because most men have asked that question, God had Solomon write a book to show us what a positive, loving relationship between a man and a woman looks like. He called the book The Song of Solomon, or literally, The Song of Songs.
There are certain qualities found in a man and a woman that make a close relationship possible. God gives them certain needs that only the other can fulfill. And for a marriage to succeed at its highest level, each looks for those needs to be met.
What can a man do to create a better relationship with a woman? Because of the way she has been made by God, what does a woman need and want from a man?
First, Strong Character
She wants to admire him. Solomon is described by the young woman as having strong character and a good reputation.
1:3 Your name is like purified oil.
A man’s name is his character, a good woman wants it to be pure. The woman describes her man as vividly standing out from other men. Among them he was a true man.
5:10 Outstanding among ten thousand . . . This is my beloved and this is my friend
He was both her true love and her closest companion – her friend. A woman is raised or lowered to his level. She wants to be raised.
We are not told in the text. We have to wonder if Solomon isn’t writing about what could have, or should have been. One of the purposes of the Song of Solomon is to give us a sharp warning. The day will come when a man will either talk about what should have been true in his life, or what actually was. The choice is his today. Solomon started well. But he was like a brilliant medical doctor who blesses the world with a cure for cancer, only to die himself, an alcoholic. He was gifted by God with more wisdom than any man, only to be overtaken by his own foolishness and sin. Solomon concluded in the book of Ecclesiastes,
Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, . . .Ecclesiastes 12:1
As we grow older, let’s do what it takes to one day talk about what has been, rather than what could have been. If Christ delays in coming, we want to be able to tell others about the love we won and cultivated with the woman God gave us. Proverbs 5:18 says,
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Love demands courage. Circumstances allow some people to demonstrate courage in extreme ways. But most of us are simply called to be brave as we face the problems of each new day. Marriage is like that. Great acts of courage are practiced through the more simple deeds of patience, forgiveness, and kindness. Their reward is rarely seen in the present, but with the passage of time they are described by words like: strength, honor, and goodness.
A description of a man’s character in the future will be the sum total of his smaller deeds in the present. A man’s wife wants to admire him. And corresponding to that need, a man has a deep desire to be admired, to be respected and looked up to. This is affirmed by Paul when he discusses the responsibilities of husbands and wives in Ephesians 5. It says in verse 33,
. . . each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Within the marriage relationship, God has wired a man to grow and change through his need for admiration. A woman brings out the best in a man!
Dr James P Porowski Licensed Psychologist Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Raleigh NC April 14, 2016