When A Once Sweet Relationship Turns Sour – Song 5

Chapter 5 of Song of Solomon begins by describing the couple’s love as precious perfumes, as sweet honey, as wine with milk. They are encouraged to drink of this love abundantly.

But then, we read of coldness and indifference in the relationship (v.2-5). This causes separation and searching (v.6). It also leaves them unprotected and more open to hurt (v.7). The pain and distance in their relationship is even sadder because they are both really fond of each other (see v.8-16).

We learn several valuable things from this chapter:

  1. It requires work to maintain a relationship. Those who want to stay close must do the things that brought them close in the first place – spend time together, talk with one another, forgive, etc. Revelation 2:5 challenges the church that left its first love to repent and do the ‘first works’.
  2. Division in our relationships with others, especially in the church or family, leaves us in a dangerous spot spiritually and physically. Consider the man who was put outside the fellowship of the Corinthians church ‘for the destruction of the flesh’ in 1 Corinthians 5:5 and how Satan may tempt couples who don’t come together in 1 Corinthians 7:5. Also, sinful anger and unresolved conflict can give place to the Devil according to Ephesians 4:26-27.
  3. Thinking right about others is important to help us reconcile and stay close. As the estranged wife in Song of Solomon 5 reflects on her husband, she talks about all the things she appreciates about him, concluding that he is ‘altogether lovely’. She also says he is her beloved and her friend (v.16). These thoughts help her to want to be with him again. This teaches us that it is very important how we think about others. We must choose to think thoughts of love, of gratitude, of humility when it comes to others. As 1 Corinthians 13 says, ‘Charity…thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.’

How much work are your putting into those relationships that are important: your relationship with God, with your spouse if you are married, your family, your church, your co-workers, and others? How do you need to change the way you think about others? Have you allowed pride and arrogance to cause you to look down on others and despise them? Can you allow God to fill your heart with love for others again? May God help us to protect our relationships with others and work to restore any damaged relationships we might have.

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