Summary: Looking thru the song of songs and what it teaches us about relationships and sex.

INTRO: A hen and a pig approached a church and read the advertised sermon topic: "What can we do to help the poor?" Immediately the hen suggested they feed them bacon and eggs. The pig thought for a moment and said, "There is only one thing wrong with feeding bacon and eggs to the poor. For you it requires only a contribution, but for me it requires total commitment!"

-Today we are going to focus on commitment in your marriage. We learned so far

-The right way to attract

-The right way to court

-The right way to fight

-The right way to deepen your marriage

This morning we will look at what God thinks about devotion.

TITLE: The Art of Commitment

TEXT: Song of Songs 8:4-7

I. Background – the royal couple is on a vacation. They are walking down a country road coming from the forest where they shared their love together.

A. She is not recognizable – in other words she has literally been transformed by the love of her husband. Remember when we first met her? 1:5, 6 READ

1. Missionary story – how the gospel was brought to a tribe because of one abrasive, nasty wife who got saved. God changed her heart, the tribe was so amazed that they wanted to know how this change took place. She told them and the gospel spread.

-The love of God working through husband and wife changed a village.

II. Gold nuggets on marriage and commitment

A. True love and devotion is planned by God – v. 5b

1. This couple, who is transformed, begins talking about their initial meeting.

a. Verse 5b – "under the apple tree I roused you."

-We should understand trees meant different

things in Bible times.

1.Olive tree – a symbol of light and fruitfulness.

2.Fig tree is a place of meditation.

3.Apple tree is a place of love.

2. We’re looking at when love occurred in this couple "under the apple tree I roused you; their your mother conceived you, there she who was in labor gave you birth."

Idea: Love was awakened. In a sense, when you were born by your mother, you were born for me. a. Solomon believes this girl was predetermined by God to be his wife.

a. Let me take a moment and expound on this concept because it is so different to the western mind.

Illustrate: Gen. 24 Abraham tells his servant to go and find a wife for his son. Servant asks, "What if she is unwilling to come?" Abraham tells him, "You are released from your vow."

-Tommy Nelson writes, "Abraham knew God led him this far, and he wasn’t going to let him down. In fact, he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son."

Thought: God is more concerned with our kids’ marriage than we are. In fact, it is a planned thing by God.

-This is the most important reason why you stay together because it was God who brought you together.

3. Singles – you marry whom God has for your life. He will show you. He has created someone especially for you. Don’t you think God will show you [if you seek]?

-Single people, the Author of Life has someone for you. Seek him and he’ll show you in the right time.

B. True love is not only planned, but it’s possessive – v. 6a

1. Seal – Something so precious that in the book of Genesis a woman asked Judah for his seal, an undeniable fact that this baby was his.

a. A seal was a precious thing of ownership.

-When you would take a letter and send it during the Roman days, you would put your stamp or seal on it showing it was from you. It carried your mark.

b. A seal also brought security. This mark carried the authority of that person and his wishes. -Shulamith says put me as a seal over your heart and arm.

-Meaning: "I don’t want any other woman in your heart, and I don’t want your arm around any other woman." [I don’t want you to flirt or even look at another woman].

c. Shulamith does not want to share Solomon with anyone else.

2. This concept does not mean smother or control. Love does not strangle or choke. Jesus does not smother us.

-He allows us to grow and mature without hen pecking or smothering everything we do.

3. The Bible tells us God is a jealous God – that he will not share us with anything else. In fact, that is one of his names.

-Meaning: he will not share Israel with anyone else.

a. So love, in this sense, is the type of love Shulamith had toward Solomon.

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