There are some interesting words of wisdom in our text today. Peter was married, so he had the marital experience Paul did not have (Paul talked about family roles, too). Even if you’re unmarried yourself, we all know people who are married. Keep them in mind, too, as you read these verses.
Some people may say Peter’s advice is outdated and doesn’t apply anymore. Others may appreciate Peter for calling out how marriage is a partnership. The Bible has a lot more to say about marriage, but it’s interesting to get Peter’s viewpoint of God’s great design. What can we glean from Peter?
Keep in mind that our reading today comes from the Preacher’s closing remarks. As such, we encounter those important “last-minute details” we mustn’t overlook. These few verses handle three hot-button items: Marriage, Sex, and Money.
Times haven’t changed that much because we could agree those are highly relevant topics still today. What wisdom can we glean for ourselves?
We conclude our time in this book by returning again to the courtship and even before. The beautiful, voluptuous woman we know as Shulamith was once a young girl. Can you still remember the innocence of your youth? I can still hear my mother telling me, “be careful of boys,” “protect your reputation,” “save yourself for marriage.” All those messages seemed hard to understand at the time hormones were raging through my body. Perhaps if she had shown me theses verses in the Song of Solomon it would have made more sense to me.
I was a rebellious teen, so you can imagine why she was telling me these things. There was no vineyard in our family where she could hide me away from the world as I blossomed into a woman. Shulamith’s family did that for her. As she toiled in the hot sun, shut off from friends and meeting boys, she probably wondered how in the world she would ever meet Mr. Right.
We’re about to embark on a new discovery of the wedding gift God gave to a husband and wife. As we read through these beautiful and sometimes odd descriptions of lovemaking and how best to cherish our spouses, remember the intention. It’s a love song of a couple, King Solomon and his bride, Shulamith. Some say this is an allegory for God’s love to his people. It can be both, and when we truly enjoy each other as God intends, we can’t help but thank him for loving us that much that he gave us such a gift.
Being part of Scripture, we can be certain that God intends for us to see the beauty in sexual relations within marriage. So much of what we see on television, in steamy novels, and in other forms of media would lead us to believe that sex outside marriage is okay, that perversion is normal, and that sexual escapades are open season. I could go on and on. Rather, God created sex for more than procreation, and it is certainly not dirty or perverted. He wants us to enjoy it, treasure it, and be blessed by it. Could I be so bold to say, sex is holy?
I hope we all know the most important thing is to love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Beyond that, this passage reminds us of others who should receive our affection as well. As our author closes this letter, he wants to remind us all of what should be obvious but often forgotten.
Love one another. That can sometimes be hard. Especially loving those who are hard to love. We all had someone come to mind just now. Maybe it’s the crotchety neighbor or the busybody at church or the obnoxious, loud-mouth co-worker. We are brothers and sisters after all, and we should love each other as family. Love as Jesus loves. Continue reading “Hebrews 13:1-5 – Be a Better Lover”