Part 3 of a three part series which began on April 14, 2016
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, Second, Loving Leadership, and Third . . .
A Passionate Faithfulness
A woman wants a man to be devoted to her. The life of a Christian woman is bound up in two men. First, in the man who bled and died on the cross for her and now lives to make intercession for her. And second, her heart is bound up in the man she gives herself to on the day of her wedding – the day she began rehearsing in her mind when she was a small child. If you have a daughter, you’ve seen it in her.
This is why when a man fails to live with his wife in an understanding way and to honor her, God will not listen to that man’s prayers. God made her as she is, and He loves her absolutely.
You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. I Peter 3:7
A woman wants to know that, after God, her husband loves her above all things. This is probably the most important factor in a positive relationship with a woman! Even when a couple is struggling, the courage a man shows, as he patiently communicates his love day by day, makes all the difference.
A woman wants to be close. Her sense of closeness spells happiness. We see it throughout the book, but most vividly in three verses,
2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his . . .
6:3 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine . . .
7:10 I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me . . .
With so much at stake, a woman asks for a central place in a man’s thoughts and actions.
8:6 Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm.
In Solomon’s day, an engraved stone or metal seal was used to mark ownership of a person’s valued possessions. She wants to be his most valued possession: To have her name written on him. And it was right for her to ask it, because love will either lift a person up, or destroy them. In obedience to Christ, a man must choose to live with only one woman in his heart, and in this life, she must be his most valued treasure.
Paul says in Ephesians 5:25,
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up for her;
The Song of Songs shows us what a close relationship between a man and a woman looks like. It shows us both the high value and the beauty of a man and a woman in love.
These are the character qualities written in The Song of Solomon that define a close relationship. The book also describes the qualities in a woman that a man needs. But that’s a topic for another day!
Dr James P Porowski Licensed Psychologist Professor – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Raleigh NC April 21, 2016