Song of Solomon

by Connie Hodsdon Champeon | August 30, 2023

Our pastor is going to do a series in Song of Solomon, so a few friends and I thought we would study it along with him. I usually go much slower than he does though 🤷. We will see if I can stay up with him this time or not.

Song of Solomon is a book that has actually had a lot of impact on me through the years even though I’ve never studied it carefully for devotions.

Birch and I have “Set me as a seal over your heart” engraved on our wedding bands and probably like many had, “Arise, My Love Sung” at our wedding.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7

What always stood out to me is the nuanced view of love in the book. It is far from the easy bed of roses in most Christian novels. It definitely doesn’t have the “marriage is like Disney World” teaching I’ve heard shared in Christian circles.

Love in this book faces many obstacles and it is something that grows and changes throughout marriage. It’s also something intense that takes courage and they have to fight for it. Actually, the whole community has to fight for it. But it is full of joyous surprises, depending and growing.

Marriage is the beginning, not the grand finale of the story.

If all the teachings in Song of Solomon that have impacted my thinking over the years, however, none probably more than the concept of En-Gedi

“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.” (Song 1:14)

En Gedi was/is an oasis at the edge of the Dead Sea. It contains one of only two freshwater springs around the sea which cause it to be fertile and abundant in the midst of a desert.

That image struck a deep cord in me.

Homes are many things, often they are more battleground than oasis. You hear the phrase, “what goes on behind closed doors” and it’s always ominous – things look good on the outside but on the inside it’s another story.

I committed that it was what I would make our home. The rest of the world may be a desert or a battleground but when you walked through our doors it would be peace and refreshment, or home would be a place of healing and sustaining where my sons and husband longed to be. I haven’t done it perfectly but my perspective definitely shifted about what home is. It’s not as spotless and perfectly organized as it used to be but it’s a lot more comfortable for everyone.

Dear Father, thank you that not only do you love intensely but you call us to love in the same way. You don’t call us to be nice, to build sand castles on the shore, but to deep waters. Forgive me for playing it safe, for not wanting things to get messy. Help me to love deeply, to care intensely, and to be a refuge for those struggle to survive the desert of life.

Connie Hodsdon Champeon is a beloved daughter of the King, besotten wife, loyal friend, and international linguistics consultant.

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