Why isn’t hugging and kissing in public (otherwise known as “public displays of affection) appropriate? I remember when the kids were younger, they would often remind David and me, “get a room” if our embrace was a little longer than they were comfortable with. Here in Mexico, we see a lot of affection being displayed, on sidewalks, park benches, etc. At least before COVID-19 came to town.
In our short passage today, we see it was a “thing,” even back in the day for our couple in love. Still today, it’s okay to hug or kiss a relative but not a spouse. Interesting dynamic. Shulamith lets her desire be known that she wants to be free to unashamedly kiss her husband in public as well as in private.
Affection is kept for in private. I suppose that keeps it special and between those involved. Shulamith can take that pent-up need for intimacy away from the watchful eyes of the kingdom. She is realizing how being married to a king puts her and their relationship on display more than the average couple.
I know how that feels to some degree. Being married to a pastor meant there were a lot of eyes on us. It seems like the congregation was always watching. I felt as if I had to be on my best behavior. I know our kids struggled with that, too. People tend to look at you differently when you are in a position of authority.
Behind closed doors, Shulamith would be free to be creative and adventuresome in her love making. She wouldn’t have to worry about anyone else’s eyes but her true love’s. She wanted to spoil him and be spoiled. She says, “I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.” I’m not sure what she is referring to, but it sounds like it is sensual and experiential.
How is your sex life with your spouse? I’m not asking to get an answer but for you to think about it. (If not married, you can skip this paragraph.) A wise woman, Marabel Morgan, once said, “You can become a Rembrandt in your sexual art, or you can stay at the paint-by-number stage.” What do you do to spice up your love making? Have you ever read books or bought courses to help you be more creative? The important thing is always to do what “fits” you. We all want to feel loved. Think about how your spouse will feel loved. Do that.
Shulamith concludes this passage using similar wisdom, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Two other times (2:7 and 3:5) we see a similar warning. It is obvious that she realizes the dangers of being in a relationship with someone else before marriage. Unforeseen problems can arise. Comparisons can be made. Old relationship issues can infiltrate the new. For it to show up again does seem to indicate the importance of the message. Good news, Jesus can forgive all sins, even premarital sex.
Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for giving me the gift of sex that I can share with my husband. There is such a sweetness to the closeness and sense of belonging that come from encounters that are holy. Forgive me for those times in my life when I haven’t lived up to your ideal for sex. Help me to be a creative and loving wife. In Jesus’ name. Amen.