The Great Lover
by Joseph Franks
It is romantic. It is sweet. It is sensual. It is Scripture. Listen and hear the fantastic affection of the bride for her beloved:
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine; your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. (Song 1:2-4)
The bride is hungry for additional physical display of affection. She longs to be held in his arms and receive the kisses of his mouth.
She is intoxicated with her prince; his love is better than wine. Yes, as wine sweetens the feast and gladdens the heart, so too does her man. As wine encourages comfort and relaxation, so she has learned to rest in the care of her beloved.
Do you see how she expresses thanks for his luxurious gifts? It is because he adores her so that he regularly gives undeserved and unexpected gifts. Though, truth be known, because he has given presents so regularly, she has probably learned to expect such. Yet, she still finds great delight in receiving the fragrant oils presented as rich expressions of his love.
Then she glories in his name. Her man’s name is one of great value in the community. To be attached to him is an honor — one other women would love to have. Therefore, with dignity she intends to wear his name proudly as she walks through the city.
The bride next lauds her man’s confident initiative. She loves to hear him call and draw, and she promises to respond by running toward him and with him wherever he goes.
Then listen as this beloved woman comments on his chamber of love. It is his intimate place, and it is a place where she can always experience communion, safety, and pleasure. Thinking of his chamber causes her to exult again. She lifts up her heart and rejoices afresh. Again, like wine, her lover is pleasurable, intoxicating, addicting, and growing in fascination as the years go by. He is the choicest of vintage. He is the choicest of men. What a lover she has found! What a lover has found her!
Ladies, this is not a fairytale. Such a man really exists, and his name is Jesus Christ. He has used his hands and feet to free you from Satan’s tyranny, and he waits in glory to embrace you with his arms and kiss you with his lips. Like wine, Jesus is pleasurable, intoxicating, addicting, and growing in fascination as the years go by. He will never become blasé or sour. He is of the finest vintage, and he sweetens, soothes, and satisfies every time. He also loves to give and give and give. If you were to try and count his many blessings, you would run out of numbers, and he has no plans to stop gracing you with undeserved gifts — an eternity of blessings is in store. And what a name! His is the name above all names, and those who wear it are highly esteemed by saints and angels. It is an honor to have, so wear it proudly. And without a doubt, in the end, all around you will honor his name and wish they too were attached to it. Now, look how he has pursued, called, and drawn you to himself. He is the cause, and you are the affect. He is the initiator, and you are the responder. Look again! Listen! He is still calling you and urging you to draw near and be blessed. Run to him. Run with him. Follow his lead, he will not turn you away, lead you astray, or do you wrong. Finally, be encouraged by his intimacy towards you. He invites you into his chambers that he might delight himself and encourage your soul. He already knows everything about you. Naked you stand before him, and he is filled with raging and tender affection for you. He wants you to intimately know him as well. Therefore, you need not worry. You need not hide your scars and be bashful. He has seen you at your best; he has seen you at your worst; and he loves to enjoy intimate communion with you. Ladies, contemplate this; Jesus is the Great Lover; he is worthy of all praise. Like the woman in this passage, give him thanks and express your affection for him.
Men, this is how he loves you as well. You too can rest in the intimate embrace of Jesus. But how about another application? As Jesus has so loved us, can we endeavor to so love our wives? Can we make progress in loving our wives as Christ loves them? In the way we do marriage, can we preach the Gospel to our spouses, our watching children, and our watching world with greater veracity?
- Can we nurture our wives through our numerous and varied physical embraces?
- Can we be men who sweeten, calm, and comfort our wives like the best of wine?
- Can we pour out upon our spouses undeserved gifts and blessings as tokens of our rich love?
- Can we maintain such a reputation in the community that our name becomes a badge of honor for our wives to wear?
- Can we cease being passive and lead? Can we take the initiative and pursue our wives? Can we be so engaging that they long to run after us?
- Can we be so safe, loving, and encouraging that our spouses glory in being vulnerable and intimate in our presence?
Men, Jesus has set the bar high; he has set the bar too high. There is no way we can love our wives as Christ loves them. We fall short of his standard. However, he is the Glorious Savior and Wonderful Counselor, and he has a great track record of turning self-serving punks into self-sacrificing men. Fellows, let us read, meditate, confess, repent, and recommit to looking more like Jesus and better loving our wives. Let us glory more in the affection of Christ for us. Then, perhaps after our wives give all glory, honor, praise, and adoration to Jesus, they might also have one small word to say of what Christ has done for them in giving us to them as their husbands.