Kiss me and kiss me again,
for your love is sweeter than wine.
Song of Solomon 1:2 (NLT)
I sit in a hotel lobby as I write this. I have a couple of days in client meetings early this week, so Wendy and I left on Saturday morning to tack on a little weekend getaway to my business trip. We’ve had a lot of fun and it’s been one long date since we left on Saturday morning. As I write this post the elevator music in the lobby is playing “Babe” by Styx, the sappy late 70’s early 80’s power ballad that conjures up memories of school dances, teen romances and off the chart infatuations. I laughed to myself as I heard it and thought about it in context of a romantic getaway with my bride. For some strange reason, I thought it would be fun to start Song of Solomon this morning.
The lyrics of Solomon’s ancient, romantic power ballad bills itself as “more wonderful than any other.” The duet (with back up chorus) starts with the young woman saying that her lover’s kisses are “sweeter than wine.” The truth is that love is intoxicating. I feel it this morning. I’ve felt it all weekend. I’m feeling drunk and sappy with love for Wendy who is my wife, my lover, and my friend. And, I’m enjoying it thoroughly, thank you very much.
Conservative theologians like to point out that Song of Solomon is an ancient allegory of the relationship between Jesus (e.g. the king) and the church (e.g. his bride). I get that, but that’s where the stuffy legalists like to leave the conversation. God forbid we actually have a conversation about the healthy sexual relationship between a husband and wife. What a shame. God is an artist and great art communicates truth on a multitude of different levels. Song of Solomon is an incredible set of ancient lyrics full of sappy romance and strong sexual references both overt (e.g. “my lover is a sachet of myrrh lying between my breasts”) and subtle.
God, the artist, created us male and female. He created us naked. He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Love, intimacy and sex between husband and wife was part of the original ideal and when we are blessed to experience a moment of it here, East of Eden, it is allows us to capture, even for a brief moment, a hint of the original paradise.