In Song of Solomon chapter 2, the couple’s love is growing.
They continue to express their appreciation and admiration for each other. He describes her as a lily among thorns. She describes him as an apple tree in the wood (v.1-3). She appreciates how:
- He refreshes and encourages her (‘As the apple tree among the trees of the wood’).
- He provides protection and security to her (‘I sat down under his shadow with great delight’).
- He opens up his heart to her (‘his fruit was sweet to my taste’).
- He is publicly proud of her and wants everyone to know how much he loves her (‘his banner over me was love’).
All of this affection and attention made her ‘sick of love’ (love-sick) (v.5-6).
Their love is growing, but they are being patient to allow love to grow. Song of Solomon 2:7 is repeated in 3:5 and 8:4 and says, “I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, By the roes, and by the hinds of the field, That ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.” It is the words of the beloved woman telling others to be patient and not force love. The lesson is that all who desire the type of love found in this book should be patient and wait on the Lord to bring it to pass.
They also deal with problems in their relationship. In 2:8-13, he comes to visit her with great excitement. When he gets to her house, he invites her to come on a walk with him through the beautiful spring air, but she is reluctant (v.14). The reason is that ‘foxes’ have ‘spoiled the vines’. Something has crept into their relationship and caused problems. Maybe guilt, pride, mistrust, disloyalty, misunderstanding, any number of things. Somehow, they resolve the problem, and move on because once more she feels secure (v.16) and desire to be with him (v.17).
This is a beautiful chapter about how to cultivate love. It requires work, patience, generosity, selflessness, forgiveness, and trust in the Lord. Loving relationships don’t just happen, especially in our broken world. But with the Lord’s help, we can grow in love.
What can we do to cultivate love for others? How can we consider the needs of those around us before ourselves? In what way do we need to be patient and trust the Lord with our relationships? What ‘little foxes’ have crept in and need to be dealt with so that loving relationships can grow?