20 09 2013

One of my favorite Bible Studies that I have had the privilege to lead many wonderful people through over these last 31 years is one that finds us dusting off one of the hottest romantic and fiery pieces of the Scriptures. The Song Of Solomon is an underrated and underappreciated masterpiece of God’s model for all of us of how to not only make marriage work- but get the covenant to sizzle as we pass via the seasons of life!

We need to do something! Two out of three marriages in America presently end in divorce. The rate to break up is just as high in the church as it is for those who never go. Something is definitely broken and to keep on producing damaged goods without examining to see what needs fixing on the production line is foolishness. And God has been there all along with the game plan to partners experiencing paradise but we humans ignore the Lord and consider ourselves to be way beyond His ancient direction. So we keep on doing it the way that it is sloppily being done all around us and before you know it- what started with high hopes at the altar has ended up as heartbreak with a catfight in the alley. And God weeps along with us as we pick up the pieces of what could have been!

So I dig into the Song Of Solomon with anybody willing to commit the time to learn from the One who created the whole idea in the first place. Commitment is not built upon the foundation of marriage because feelings come and go and there are good and days and bad ones in any relationship.

Marriage is built on the rock of our promises! The commitment keeps us pressing forward even amidst the days that neither one has anything to offer to the other. You don’t fall in love. It sounds like an accident! You make the choice to willfully lay down your life for another. You do so not because the other necessarily deserves it! You do it because that is what drives love! Love gives! Love doesn’t let go! Love remains when everything else has abandoned the building! And without love- we have nothing! And it is sad how many marriages are attempting to muddle on missing the key ingredient!

If you are available on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, come on over to The Lighthouse Church and join me and some others as we taste and see what the Lord has to offer in this text that was so controversial that even in Bible days the Rabbi’s would not let children near these smoking Scriptures! Why not see what you’re missing and maybe get active in striking the match that could set your love life on fire once again!

I leave you today with one of my favorite stories of romance. It comes from the bestselling author and Pastor Max Lucado. I shared this with those in my class last week. I had them read this and wonder about the whole art of attraction. What is drawing others to you? What characteristics are you drawn to? I quote the Captain and Tennille as I close.
“Young and beautiful- someday your looks will be gone! When the others turn you off, who’ll be turning you on? I will, I will, I will, I will
be there to share forever. Love will keep us together. Said it before and I’ll say it again while others pretend- I’ll need you now and I’ll need you then! Stop ’cause I really love you. Stop I’ll be thinking of you. Look in my heart and let love keep us together!” If somebody looked in your heart today- what would they really find? Here is the story “The People with the Roses.” Enjoy and share!

“John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army uniform and studied the crowd of people making their way through Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew, but whose face he didn’t, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had begun thirteen months before in a Florida library. Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front of the book, he discovered the previous owner’s name, Miss Hollis Maynell.

With time and effort, he located her address. She lived in New York City. He wrote her a letter introducing himself and inviting her to correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in World War II. During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A romance was budding.

Blanchard requested a photograph, but she refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn’t matter what she looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe, they scheduled their first meeting–7:00 p.m. at the Grand Central in New York. “You’ll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I’ll be wearing on my lapel.” So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose heart he loved, but whose face he’d never seen.

I’ll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened… ‘A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her blond hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were as blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose. As I moved, a small provocative smile turned her lips, “Going my way, sailor?” she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one more step closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell.

She was standing almost directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had graying hair tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankled feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was quickly walking away. I felt as though I was split in two. So keen was my desire to follow her, and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly companioned and upheld mine. And there she stood. Her pale, plump face was gentle and sensible; her gray eyes had a warm and kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her. This would not be love, but it would be something precious, something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had been and must ever be grateful.

I squared my shoulders and saluted and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt choked by the bitterness of my disappointment. “I’m Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am so glad you could meet me. May I take you to dinner?” The woman’s face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don’t know what this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green suit that just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat. And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street. She said it was some kind of test!”
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