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Summary: We must commit to removing any obstacle, obstruction, annoyance or pest that would ruin the relationship we have with our mate/date by hearing the alarms in our relationships and being students of each other in order to remove each other’s foxes and insec

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PRAYER

INTRODUCTION

Let me start my message this morning with a little confession. I have a habit, an addiction that really drives my wife Paula crazy. I pop my knuckles. I try hard not to do it around her. ‘Cause I love her and I don’t want to annoy her, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

But, other times, I Pop my knuckles just to annoy her because something she’s done has driven my crazy. So I’m like take this: Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop.!!

Anyone else been there? It’s not popping knuckles but you do something or several things that drive your spouse or significant other crazy!

Here are a couple of questions: How many of us have little things that come between us and our spouse or us and our boyfriend/girlfriend? ….And, how many of us have let these little annoyances and grievances grow up to become real problems, maybe even monsters in our relationship?

Here is a story about an engaged couple. Their names were Joey and Alicia, and they went to their pastor for pre-marital counseling. The pastor wanting to catch any little issues in their relationship before they became real problems in their upcoming marriage asked both of them to write 5 annoying things about their spouse to be.

The couple looked at their paper for about 5 minutes and when the pastor asked them to share, with stars in their eyes, Alicia said, “There is noting that annoys me about Joey. And Joey responded in kind: “There is nothing that annoys me about Alicia.” (EGH…Young love! I tell you what, naïve.)

The pastor laughed. Then he got somber and said if you don’t really think about this question and take this exercise seriously, ….by this time next year, each of you will need a notebook to write down all the grievances you have against each other.

Anybody have a notebook of grievances about your significant other? You probably don’t have a notebook, but chances are many of you have pretty good mental lists of grievances and annoyances about your spouse or date.

This morning we are going to look at what the Bible has to say about these things and what we should do about them, as we look at Song of Solomon 2:14-15, part of a 3000 year old poem about love and relationships that really speaks into our reality today! That is why I can’t wait each week to teach this series! This book is so applicable to us today.

CATCH THE FOXES (15)

Let’s begin. Are you dating and need a good date idea? ….I’ve got one for you. Take a look at verse 15. Tirzah says let go: "Catch for us the foxes,…” Now that sounds like fun doesn’t? I wonder if it is something like catching a pig at a greased pig contest at the county fair. Can you imagine Solomon, King of Israel, saying Yeah! Let’s go catch foxes! Sounds like fun!

Well, Tirzah isn’t really saying let’s go on a date and catch some foxes. Remember, this is poetry. “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom."

What is she saying? She is saying, let’s catch the little annoying things in our relationship before they turn into big problems,….Let’s get the foxes before they ruin the love we have for each other! Let’s get ‘em while they’re little! She is saying our vineyard, our love is in bloom, let’s deal with the problems in our relationship so we can enjoy the fruit of our love as we grow old together!

Every Marriage Has Foxes

Every marriage has little foxes that come in. Most of the time they are small, you don’t see them. They are sneaky. They devastate and wreak havoc on your marriage if left alone. They grow larger and reproduce or multiply.

Is your relationship like a lush vineyard full of fruit to enjoy with each other, or is the fruit sparser than you’d like? Or, maybe there is very little fruit to enjoy in your relationship with each other? Don’t give up hope. There can be a bountiful harvest in the future if you commit to getting rid of the little or even big foxes in your relationship.

A Few Types of Foxes

One scholar describes the foxes this way: “The foxes represent as many obstacles or temptations as have plagued lovers throughout the centuries.” Perhaps it is the fox of uncontrolled desire …that drives a wedge of guilt between the couple.” I’m going to address this fox in a week or two. This fox usually enters the vineyard when you’re dating! But can come at any time.

Possibly you have the fox of mistrust and jealousy, …which breaks the bond of love. Are you a jealous lover? Do you make your spouse be with you at all times or most of the time? You don’t let him or her out of your sight! …Do you get upset or jealous when you significant other goes out with girls …or does something with the guys? Do you make your wife stay home, except to go to the store and work, unless you are with her? Are you afraid to let your boyfriend or girlfriend have a life outside of you? That is the little fox of mistrust and jealousy.

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