Introduction: This week we take another glimpse into God’s character
and consider another improbable creation: romantic love. Last week
we looked at beauty, and considered how a car, a person, a painting
and a vista could all be beautiful. We decided that what beauty has
in common in these things is to give us pleasure. What does
romantic love give us? Pleasure! Can you recall the early stages of
love (or infatuation)? It gave you an energy. A pleasure. Joy.
How is this a part of God’s character? Why would He create such a
thing – especially since it is also the source of so much trouble?
Let’s dive into our Bible and find out more!

  1. A Shocking Song

    1. Read Song of Solomon 4:1. Your eyes are like pigeons and
      your hair like goats. Is something missing in the

      1. What compliments do you find in these words? (Gray
        eyes? Soft, abundant hair?)

    2. Read Song of Solomon 4:2. Are shorn sheep still white?
      What compliments do we see here? (I’m going to assume
      that they are still white. So, clean, white, regular and
      all present are this woman’s teeth. I like women with all
      of their teeth.)

    3. Read Song of Solomon 4:3. This woman has ruby red lips
      and a lovely mouth. However, what is going on with her
      temples? What color is a pomegranate? The ones that I’ve
      seen seem to be green! (A Bible commentary tells me that
      the “temples” were the “upper part of the cheek” and that
      the inside of the pomegranate is reddish. A mark of
      beauty in the west is high cheekbones, with some sort of
      makeup that highlights the cheekbones. This woman has
      reddish cheekbones.)

    4. Read Song of Solomon 4:4. Solomon’s love must be a
      giraffe! Can you find a compliment in this? (Yes. She has
      a stately neck. Not too short. I’m sure the shields are
      an illusion to the jewelry she wears around her neck.)

    5. Read Song of Solomon 4:5. Many years ago I recall a
      church member telling me (when I was with others) that
      her physician told her that she had “perfect breasts.”
      Should this be part of our conversation among church
      members? (My marriage advice is that you should avoid
      telling church members who are not your spouse what you
      think about their breasts!)

    6. Read Song of Solomon 4:6-7. When does the day break and
      the shadows flee? (The morning!)

      1. What do you think is being referred to here? Use
        terms acceptable for church when you answer! (I
        think this refers to the sex act. I’ve read Bible
        commentaries which refer to the prior verses and
        these verses in terms of the church. The breasts
        refer to the “nutritive virtue in the Church” and
        “mountain of myrrh” is Calvary or Mount Moriah. That
        seems absurd. If God wanted to teach us about Mount
        Moriah, He would have said “Mount Moriah!” For some
        reason God is talking about sex.)

  2. Why is Sex in the Bible?

    1. By now you are asking, “Why is he going through these
      verses? This is embarrassing!” Should we have to
      apologize for studying the Bible? (I’ve gone through
      these verses in Song of Solomon for a very important
      reason. If these are things that it would be better not
      to discuss in church, why are they in the Bible? What is
      God’s purpose in romantic love?)

    2. Read Genesis 2:21-25 and Genesis 1:27-28. These texts
      make clear that before sin entered the picture, God
      created sex. He told Adam and Eve to “increase in number”
      and He said the two would become “one flesh.” Have we
      now come to the practical reason for romantic love? For
      the rather graphic verses in Song of Solomon?

      1. If you say, “yes,” answer this. There is absolutely
        no indication in the Bible that God reproduces this
        way. Why would He have us reproduce this way (even
        though God says we are made in His image)?

        1. Is sex like beauty – something that God created
          for no other purpose than to give us joy?

        2. Think of this from God’s point of view. Could
          God have given us the ability to make people
          like He made Adam and Eve? (God can do
          anything, but for practical reasons I can see
          why He would not want to make us creators in
          the same way He is the Creator. Instead, God
          created a mechanism by which we create

        3. Do you think God took pleasure in creating Adam
          and Eve? (I feel certain this is true.)

          1. Would this explain why God gives us
            pleasure in creating children? (It makes
            perfect sense to me that God tried to
            replicate His experience as much as
            reasonably possible.)

    3. Read Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:6-7. After the entry of
      sin, something happened to the sexual relationship
      between Adam and Eve. What was it? (Their eyes were
      opened and they were ashamed of being naked.)

      1. Read Genesis 3:4-5. What did the serpent predict?
        (That their eyes would be opened.)

        1. How do you explain this? (In many good things
          Satan has a parallel bad thing. Evil lies next
          to good. For example, if I preach a great
          sermon, pride lies next to the satisfaction of
          doing a good job. The joy and excitement of
          romantic love in marriage has next to it
          adultery and pornography. These are Satan’s

  3. The Romantic Love Parallel

    1. Read Isaiah 62:5. If you look at the context, you will
      find that the subject of this verse is Jerusalem. To what
      does God compare His relationship to the City of
      Jerusalem? (God is like the bridegroom and Jerusalem is
      like the bride.)

    2. Read Revelation 19:7-8. Who is the Lamb and who is the
      bride? (The Lamb is Jesus and the bride is the church –
      those who are saved. Those who have put on the robe of
      righteousness given by God.)

      1. Why would God compare Himself to a Groom and the
        church to a bride?

      2. Is it possible that God created marriage and sex,
        not simply for human pleasure, not simply to reveal
        His pleasure in creating us, but also to teach us
        powerful lessons about His relationship with us?

    3. Read Hosea 1:1-3. Why does God give Hosea such a bizarre
      instruction? (To illustrate how our unfaithfulness to God
      is like human adultery.)

      1. When did Adam and Eve first notice that they were
        naked? (When they committed adultery against God.
        When they were unfaithful to God.)

      2. Is Hosea’s situation the first time this kind of
        illustration came to God’s mind? (Of course not. I
        think that God gave us romantic love in part to
        teach us the powerful emotions involved in breaking
        the bond of romantic love. Those powerful emotions
        in adultery teach us about God’s emotions when we
        commit adultery against Him, when we are unfaithful
        to him.)

      3. If you have been involved in a situation in which
        there is marital unfaithfulness, does the appearance
        of the “home-wrecker” make a difference? (If the
        “home-wrecker” is bad looking, or worse looking than
        the spouse, it adds to our frustration. We can
        think of all sorts of other things we might compare
        – money, intelligence, position. If the home-wrecker is lower on any one of these scales than the
        spouse, we say, “What is going on!”)

        1. Who is God’s competition? (This shows us
          another aspect of God’s frustration with us!)

    4. Read Jeremiah 2:1-3. What kind of relationship does God
      want to have with us? (The kind of fresh, exciting
      relationship that we find in youthful romantic love.)

    5. Read Jeremiah 2:20-22. Against what does God warn us?

      1. What do these two emotional extremes teach us about
        God’s desired relationship with us? (God has great
        affection for us. He desires to have the most
        intense and positive relationship with us. But,
        when we turn away from Him it causes Him to suffer
        the most intense pain.)

    6. Friend, have you every thought that God wants to have the
      most intense relationship with you? I think that God
      invented sex both for pleasure and reproduction. But, I
      also believe that He created romantic love for the
      purpose of helping us to understand the great love and
      emotional bond that He seeks to have with us.

  4. Next week: The Promise of His Return.