Sunday February 14, 2010

SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds


Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.



William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)


EPHESIANS 5:2, 22-33

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up
for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ
is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its
Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also
wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church
and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her,
heaving cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might
be holy and without blemish.
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their
own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and
cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
because we are members of His body.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother
and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become
one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying
that it refers to Christ and the church.
However, let each one of you
love his wife as himself,
and let the wife see that
she respects her husband.


I can’t necessarily count on you to click, if I just include the link to Mrs. Wilson’s latest entry on marriage. And since it’s so appropriate right now for Valentine’s day… I am just going to copy the entirety of the text. And hope you take a couple minutes to read it. 🙂

A BANQUETING HOUSE, by Mrs. Nancy Wilson

Today was week four in a series I am teaching on women and marriage, updating an old tape series that Canon Press has been carrying for many years. The subject today was the marriage bed, and don’t expect me to dive into the whole topic here. But, I will mention one or two things. The first thing has to do with the bed itself. What kind of place is your bedroom? Is your bed inviting? Or is it buried under loads of laundry waiting to be folded? If we want our marriage bed to be comparable to what is described in the Song of Songs (a banqueting house with a banner of love), we might consider purchasing a small storage shed in which to keep the spare bicycles so we can get them out of the master bedroom!
The second thing I will mention here is the beautiful garden imagery. The bride is a locked garden, and the beloved is invited into the garden. It is a private place for them to enjoy alone. Do you view yourself as an inviting garden? Or is the garden a bit bedraggled, untended, full of weeds? Well then, time to start doing some tending, weeding, planting. Could be some little resentments have sprung up, crowding out the joy. What better time than now to start clearing away the debris?
Conjugal love is compared to feasting; it is described as celebratory; it is a time of rejoicing together. The wife says to her husband (Song of Songs 1:2), “Your love is better than wine.” Not grape juice. Not even sparkling grape juice. But wine. Rich, potent, intoxicating. But here’s a problem: What if we don’t drink wine, not even in the Lord’s Supper? If we only drink grape juice, how can we understand the potency of this passage? And if we never feast and celebrate around our tables, how will we understand the comparison made here between the marriage bed and a banqueting hall?
Marriage is to be honored and the marriage bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). The Bible is not prudish when it comes to the marriage bed. So we should not be prudish about it either.


~~And her follow-up about wine:

I made a comment a couple of posts ago about how wine should be something within our Christian experience, so we can understand a verse like “Your love is better than wine” in Song of Songs. And I got a question about this, so here is a little explanation. The Bible says not to be drunk, and that is as clear as can be (Eph. 5:18). In fact, that’s a simple one. But the Bible does not prohibit wine. If it did, there would not be much need for the admonishment against drunkenness.

Psalm 104:15 describes wine as gladdening the heart of man. At His mother’s urging, Jesus made quite a bit of the very best at the wedding at Cana (John 2:3). So it is safe to assume that wine is a given. At the same time, Scripture warns about misusing wine, and so we should be wise about wine. Older women are singled out in Titus 2:3 with a warning against too much wine. I have wondered what it is about the older women that creates a particular vulnerability for wine. I have a friend who suggested a good possibility: perhaps in the days before pain killers for the many aches and pains of old age, older women were tempted to rely a bit too heavily on the benefits of a glass of wine (or two). Wine is a mocker (Prov. 20:1) and “whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Wine requires wisdom because it is potent.

Proverbs 5:19 addresses the husband and says to always be enraptured or intoxicated with his bride’s love. Married love should be intoxicating. Comparing the marriage bed to grape juice would be weak. You may as well compare it to lemonade. But wine is rich, potent, and intoxicating. Thus, for the Christian to be unacquainted with wine is not a sin, because the Bible does not require wine drinking. But non-drinkers simply have fewer biblical metaphors in their experience.

One Reply to “Sunday February 14, 2010”

  1. I’m glad you posted this; even though I probably would have clicked on the link later….

    It was a good read and good thoughts there. And the advice can go for any relationship really.Are there weeds of resentment, jealousy, bitterness or anything we need to examine and get rid of?Definitely a good time for some self-examination and coming before the throne of God as we ask for His help…. something I definitely need to do from time to time (don’t we all?)…
    Thanks!~S

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