The longing to be with the one you love is an experience like no other. On most days, the goal is just to keep things as normal as possible. But when love overtakes you, normal just won’t work any more. The desire to love and to be loved is deeply embedded in each of us, and it drives us to want more and more from love.
Today’s reading from Solomon’s story of love describes the longing the woman has for the man, the soon-to-be bride for her soon-to-be husband. Here is a dream about their longing to be fully together on their wedding night—a glorious night of passion and care for each other, a night where they fully embrace each other, a night which marks the beginning of their shared, vulnerable life together.
This longing is heightened because of their faithfulness to “not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (3:5). They want to do things in the proper order. Faithfulness and self-control are marks of great love. To wait out the intensity of our longings is to model our sacrifice for each other, which includes the daily work of loving each other in the normal, boring parts of life as well as in seasons of heightened romance and passion.
Marriage to the one you love is a commitment to sacrifice. The days of waiting described here are part of the reality of loving someone. We can’t always get what we want when we want it. Marriage is the work of loving and serving and waiting, anticipating the ultimate fulfillment of marriage—the return of Jesus and the marriage supper of the Lamb. For young lovers, it can seem like the ultimate longing is just for the wedding night. But the more the two become one, the more they long to intimately wait together for Jesus to return.
In love, the work is often the waiting. The Christian life is a string of days spent waiting for the return of the One who loves us best. And if we love Him, those days will be filled with longing.
Written By Jason Tippetts