Some people believe that the subject matter of the Song of Solomon—romantic love—is not a very noble theme. Some try to allegorize the book in order to provide it with a “higher” or more “spiritual” purpose. But what is “low” or “unspiritual” about the love between a husband and wife? The Song of Solomon is dedicated to the theme of romantic love. The Lord knows we need to see how love should look between a husband and wife.
Of course, Solomon had more than one wife. In fact, “he had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines” (1 Kings 11:3). While it is uncertain how old Solomon was when he composed his Song of Songs, his emphasis on one true love leads many scholars to suspect that Solomon was writing of his relationship with his first wife, before the sinful multiplication of wives occurred.
An overview of the contents of the Song of Solomon reveals many important aspects of romantic love. For example, there is a proper time and place for romantic love to begin to grow (Song 2:7). Romantic love involves a longing between a man and woman (1:2–4), mutual admiration (1:12—2:7), and a desire to be together (3:1–5). Also, romantic love includes sexual expression, and the appropriate context for sexual intimacy is within marriage (3:6—5:1).
After the wedding, couples face many different situations, and it is important for them to keep the romantic love alive. Couples will face occasional indifference to each other or time apart from each other (5:2–8), followed by renewed displays of love—a rekindling of the romance (5:9–16). Also important is communication within marriage. Chapter 7 focuses on improvement in this area, followed by an increase in intimacy (chapter 8).
Romantic love and intimacy in a God-honoring marriage is an important goal for all couples. God presents love as something to be desired: “Many waters cannot quench love; / rivers cannot sweep it away. / If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, / it would be utterly scorned” (Song of Solomon 8:7). True love endures. It overcomes adversity. Nothing is worth giving up on godly love. Love is priceless.
In today’s society marriage is often ridiculed or broken or redefined, but the principles found in the Song of Solomon offer a godly perspective on the importance of marriage, romantic love, communication between husband and wife, and the value of a marriage that endures.