While the king was at his banqueting table,
my nard gave forth its fragrance.
My beloved is like a fragrant pouch of myrrh
spending the night between my breasts.
My beloved is like a cluster of henna blossoms
in the vineyards of En Gedi.
Oh, how beautiful you are, my beloved!
Oh, how beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves!”
(The Song Of Solomon 1.12-15, NET)
I had a great seminary professor who, when teaching students how to read, study, and understand Scripture said this:
“We read the Bible plainly and simply unless it produces an impossibility or an absurdity”.
The Song Of Solomon 1.12-15 is one of those passages that can make some people uncomfortable as there are pretty clear references to sexual attraction. Is this an impossibility or an absurdity? Do we, therefore, need to look for an allegory to avoid the plain and simple references to attraction? No.
The lover is aware that she is attractive to the king (v.12) and is also very aware that the king is attractive to her (v.13). She expands on this and describes his love as something alive, beautiful, healthy, and reviving (v.14). The ideas of henna blossoms in the vineyards of En Gedi paints a picture of rich and thriving life in a dry and barren place.
The beloved responds and affirms that the attraction is, indeed, mutual (v.15) and draws a parallel between the eyes of his lover and the eyes of doves.
The fact that the attraction and the love is so clearly mutual allows us to celebrate this relationship even more. We see that this is all part of the Divine design for relationships and should not be ignored because some feel uncomfortable with the truth of sexual attraction.
We are made with a desire to love and to be loved.
We are made to find others attractive and to be found attractive by others.
There should be no shame in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship that honours the Divine design.
This kind of feeling in a relationship is not from God and does not belong.
The mutual (v.15), healthy (v.14) and secure (v.13) relationship is a gift from God, enjoy it with no shame.
For more on the idea of a Divine design for relationships, read this by Preston Sprinkle:
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