Saturday, July 9, 2011

Solomon's Mine

Forget gold... Solomon's real treasure was wisdom.

Song of Solomon 2:15 -
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.

I’ll aim this verse at the men. What are the little foxes that are ruining your vineyard? They are any thing that is getting in the way of your marriage being what you and your wife want and need it to be. Are you working long hours and depriving your wife and kids of your presence? That could be causing resentment and leaving your wife questioning your commitment to the family. As men we tend to define ourselves by our jobs, and it is all too easy to put work before our loved ones. We may think its necessary for financial reasons or to stay on the career path we desire, but this is a dangerous train of thought with potentially catastrophic results. Our ‘jobs’ as husband and father must come first. If you aren’t there, is your wife swamped with her own work responsibilities plus the housework, leaving her wanting to do nothing but pass out by the time night rolls around? Does the pressure of dealing with kids lead her to shout “They’re yours!” as soon as you walk in the door at the end of the work day? Do all these things leave you both yearning for days seemingly long gone when your focus was on each other, when you sought to meet each other’s needs and fulfill each other’s hopes and dreams of what a marriage was supposed to be?
If so, what can you do to make your wife’s life easier? If you are unsure, I’ll bet your wife would give you some  suggestions. Could you arrange flex-time hours at work that would allow you to be at home more often, where you could be more involved in the kids’ lives and their schedules? Could you pitch in more around the house? Could your wife come home once in a while and not have any domestic chore demanding her attention? Its no coincidence that Kevin Lehman has a book called Sex Begins in the Kitchen, and that Laura Schlessinger once said on her radio program that “the sound of my husband running the vacuum cleaner counts as foreplay.” Think about it. Do not, however, expect a quid pro quo exchange of needs-meeting. Make it a habit to help without expecting anything, and in time the very nature of the relationship will change for the better.

And now, a verse for the ladies, Song of Solomon 7:13 -
...and at our door is every delicacy, both new and old,
  that I have stored up for you, my beloved.

That’s Solomon’s wife speaking, talking about a trip out of the city to a secluded hideaway, just the two of them. “Every delicacy, both new and old...” What she’s essentially saying is “Come bedtime, I’ve got tricks you haven’t seen yet.” Not ‘some delicacies’ she says, but *every* delicacy. Choice fruits, she says elsewhere in the Song of Songs. Being the initiator might not be in your comfort zone, but rejoice in the fact that “naughty” in the context of a loving, devoted marriage is in fact blessed and holy.
So surprise him. Let your husband know that he’s worth your effort. Let him know that you’ve listened when he’s talked about his needs, dreams, wants and desires. If he hasn’t talked to you about them - ask! Initiate the conversation. Most likely he desperately wants to have these talks but may worry about starting them; there’s a vulnerability in discussing desires, in the bedroom and otherwise. You opening that door will be a blessing, as will you acting on the knowledge gained. A man who feels his needs are a priority to you will do just about anything to make sure yours are met as well.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:5 that both spouses should fulfill each other’s needs, and not deprive each other. You won’t know how to do that without talking about what those needs are. Both spouses need to put forth the effort to create an environment where the other truly wants to follow Paul’s direction, where it is not considered a duty or a chore to meet your spouse’s needs, but a privilege and a gift.

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