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Mike Mason, who wrote The Gospel According to Job, became known first for his book, The Mystery of Marriage. He tells of his fear on his honeymoon, that despite his love for his wife, the realization of his loss of independence frightened him. They toured a monastery together on the honeymoon, and Mike’s heart was heavy, and he was crying out to God. When they came out, two hawks were making circles in the sky, “dancing” together in beauty. They watched them together for an hour, and it was an answer from God to Mike.



 Two are better than one, especially when they have learned to dance together in beauty. This is the mystery of marriage, and it points to a deeper mystery still.


When Christ was wooing me as a young woman, I had a great fear of giving up my independence, wondering if I would like what He would ask of me, for I did not yet know the amazing love of my future Bridegroom. I comprehend His love to a degree now, but I know I have not understood its height. The Song of Songs is helping me.

Whether you see The Song of Songs as being primarily about Christ and His Bride, with an application to marriage and the marriage bed — or as being primarily about marriage and the marriage bed with an application to Christ and His Bride, either way, you need to look at both applications. It certainly makes you realize that God believes sex is good, the marriage bed beautiful, and that we are to be released to enjoy it.

This week we will consider various views on The Song of Songs and the mystery of the marriage bed, and how it is related to our holy union with Christ. In a sermon on the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Tim Keller said:

God invented sex as a way for one person to say to another person:
“I belong completely and permanently and exclusively to you.”

Sex is an analogy of that ultimate unitive act by which the human soul cleaves to God in complete fidelity and complete faith, and as a result, the nature of God penetrates him.

Such a mystery. I have been pondering this passage from The Song of Songs:

SEAL3A seal is indicative of a permanent covenant. Marriage is intended to be permanent, and divorce tears into both husband and wife, for they are one. Yet on earth God permits divorce when the covenant has been broken, for in His mercy He will not bind the victim of the hard-hearted acts of unfaithfulness or abandonment.

But with our relationship with the Lord, even when we are faithless, He is faithful. He will ever keep His covenant. Once we are His, we are always His. He has set us like a seal upon his heart, and His love cannot be broken.

In the same way, love within a covenant marriage is strong. I know that. I know in my marriage I don’t think either of us could have loved the other more, and yet there will still ways we failed one another. Our love also could not overcome death, though we tried with all our hearts.

Yet in our marriage to the Lord, there is nothing that can separate us: neither angels nor demons, nor persecution, nor nakedness, nor sword. His love is stronger than death. He proved that, and so we will forever be united to Him.

This wedding song, with verses from The Song of Songs, demonstrates a yearning we all have, that marriage may, in part, satisfy:


Yet the reality is we may come close if we are blessed, but our marriage on earth can never have the permanence that our marriage with the Lord has. Earthly marriage, even at its best, can only be a faint shadow of what is to come. So  if you are single,  if you are in an unhappy marriage — this is not the end of the story. Jesus has set you like a seal upon His heart, and nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.



1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2.  If you haven’t listened to the tutorial from Anne Brestin Lano on this new website on the getting started page, please do. What did  you learn?


Mike Reeves, to whom we have been listening, does not make a major issue out of which is the primary purpose of The Song of Songs, though he believes it is primarily about Christ and the Church.

Does it matter? In some ways it doesn’t, as we should look at both applications. But in some ways it does — for I think the primary way you look at it influences your interpretation of the book. So which is it? I think it is Christ and the Church, but godly men whom I respect like R. C. Sproul see it as being primarily about marriage and the marriage bed. I find his reasoning to be prevalent today. This is how his ministry explains his view:

In his teaching series Wisdom, Dr. Sproul says the church was embarrassed by the sensuous imagery of the Song of Solomon and read it allegorically to get around its approval of marital intimacy. This reflects Greek philosophical assumptions that matter and physical relations are evil. Yet Scripture does not say the spirit is good and the body is bad; our Father commands us to multiply and fill a world that was originally “very good” (Gen. 1:26–31). Sex within marriage is good and holy; thus, Solomon’s song need not embarrass us.

Nevertheless, Dr. Sproul says we may rightly apply the Song of Solomon “illustratively” to Christ and the church. Solomon’s song can indeed lead us to Jesus without violating the book’s content. But Dr. Sproul reminds us this is possible only if we first read it in its plainest, literal sense: “A spirit-inspired expression of love between a bride and her groom. A love that is not to be ashamed.”

2. Comment on Dr. Sproul’s point of view.

My thought is that while I absolutely know there are many Christians who are prudish, I also know that Christianity’s view of sex is unique, in that they saw the body as good, and the marriage bed as a gift from God, and throughout Scripture we are told to rejoice in it. And the the Puritans (despite the way we have thought of them) were robust in their view of sex. I believe, for example, that Richard Sibbes, who is called the Prince of the Puritans, was not embarrassed by sex but saw Scriptural reasons for the primary message being Christ and His church. Read this article (link) and then comment.

3. Comment on what your learned and thought of the above article.


We love Tim Keller here, and he, like many godly contemporary theologians, sees The Song of Songs as primarily a love song of marriage. If I could communicate with him, I would ask him to consider the viewpoints of two men from the past whom he calls his main mentors: C. S. Lewis and Jonathan Edwards. When Lewis was asked how valid a book like The Song of Songs could be, he replied:

“The great saints and mystics of the church have found tremendous spiritual truth in the ‘Song of Solomon.’ … we must remember that what is meat for a grown person might be unsuited to the palate of a child.” I see so much wisdom here and I also see how the immature can terribly distort The Song of Songs making it all about sex until it is perverted.

And Edwards, a keen intellect, was very certain it was primarily about Christ and the church. Though Edwards is challenging, oh, his mind is so rich. Read this (link) and comment.

4. What thoughts and comments do you have on the above?

5. What do you think is the primary emphasis of The Song of Songs — and do you think it matters? Explain.

6. How is The Song of Songs affecting your view of your relationship with God? How is it affecting your view of marriage and the marriage bed?

Thursday/Friday  Keller Sermon

Though I hold a different view than Keller on the primary emphasis of The Song of Songs, I do appreciate the way he treats the subject of sex and I know it is absolutely true that there is an application to marriage and sex from The Song of Songs.  You’ll hear him address Song of Songs briefly.

This is a free sermon from Tim Keller. Here is the link.  Then go to Love and Lust

(Next week we will listen to a fascinating panel discussion Elizabeth found in which three men from The Gospel Coalition discuss preaching Christ from the Old Testament and they have a spirited discussion on The Song of Songs.)

7. What are your notes from the Keller sermon?


8. What is your take-a-way and why?


Leave a Comment

Comment * If this is your first time here, please comment then fill out your name and email as stated at the bottom. Dee will approve you within 24 hours.


  1. Welcome, Elaine. We would love to have you join us.

  2. Hello,
    I am dumbfounded by the articles and so wishing that I had them years ago.  Chuck and I definitely had a consumer driven marriage. 
    God is redeeming it b/c He covenanted with us even as we were married after living together but I am speechless with how beautiful a marriage ought to be. 
    How I knew in my spirit that to be unmarried and in love with Jesus was something that was profound. 
    Again I have taken notes and I have saved to favourites every article and link above.  I need to ponder and pray and apply
    Re: My sister Belinda.  I know that when I say sister or brother people have a certain image in their minds but b/c of our dysfunctional family we r more like strangers. 
    My sister was put in ICU.  She booked herself out of the hospital the first time.  The ER doctor actually went out onto the street to beg her to come back.  She did not.  Then my brother Dirk had to take her back to the hospital later on in the same week. That is when he contacted me.   He has two jobs and two teenage dtrs along with a wife. When my brother and his wife saw Belinda they just sobbed. She broke their hearts.
    Chuck and I went down on Sunday.  She is looking like a shell of herself.  I had last seen her in May of 2013.  She has so many ailments to list.  I left after being assured that a full medical team including medical SW was on board.  She dismissed them all again.  Accused the hospital of abuse etc.  It was a disaster.  She does not even have a medical doctor.  They need to do a lung biopsy.  She is refusing.  Her behaviour is erratic, defensive and it is killing her. 
    She had 3 little birds and she lets them fly all over her place.  No one is allowed in her home and my brother’s wife remembers her place from years ago and Belinda’s  housekeeping skills as being less than hygienic.  Please remember that she has congestive heart failure, needs a lung biopsy so clean air/environment is a must. 
    I had left her with such optimistic thoughts etc.  Even though she was weak she could get up off of her bed and walk down the hallway.  I thought with the SW involved then she wld be transferred to VGH whr she could be cared for.  Get home support plugged in and get the therapy she needed or treatment. 
    But it is all to no avail.  She is so blind to how she looks and her conditions.  My brother’s wife is getting her to check in am and pm.  She is so weak  that she is breathless when I speak with her.  Last night I had to hang up on her.  I said God bless u and I but the phone down.  She was in a rant.  It was a firewall of hatred. 
    Chuck and I had to go out of town for his job.  We had such a wonderful time.  Singing etc.  and just being happy and at peace.  Then I came home to 7 msgs on my phone.  Such accusations, defensiveness and lies. Jst a firewall of anger.
     It is why God has been waking me up at abt. 2:30 am -3:30 am to pray.  The spiritual attack is so strong. 
    It is always like this when I become involved with my family.  I want it to be different but it is not.  I still praise God b/c I see God working in their lives.  I cannot save them, only God can.  He is sovereign and so much bigger than our problems. 
    I was thinking of Watchman Nee (Christian Chinese author who died in the 70’s -whn his niece went to pu his belongings at the Chinese prison-all she received was a bible and some books)  a very Godly man. 
    Anyhow….he said u cannot rescue a dying man until he is going down and stopped struggling.  He said it is the same way with people who need to become Christians -they r always saved whn they stop struggling and r going down for the last count- 
    I believe this is very much like my sister.  She is still struggling and she still believes she needs no one and is accountable to no one. 
    It is killing her but I cannot mke her see. 
    I believe my siblings, medical doctors and I have done everything possible, now it is up to God to deliver her,  I can do nothing but trust in God’s sovereign grace, mercy and love. 
    He will mke a way whn there is no way.  She has told us she will not even call us if she has to go to the hospital again.  Which she will.  It is a matter of life and death.   Whn u think of her pls. pray and I will keep u updated. 
    thank u for caring, listening and praying.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about your sister Belinda refusing treatment and then being so angry at you. I will continue praying for her and for you. It is so sad to watch someone struggle so hard against God and hurt themselves and others around them. 

    2. Oh how sad for BeLinda oh how I pray for her

    3. Oh mellany, I am in tears. I am sorry. I can’t believe you have such faith, I would have given up. I thought I had come so far too, but am struggling with my daughter right now and feel lost and lonely and ignored by God. You, on the other hand have such complete faith that God is working and will “get to” your sister. I will pray.

    4. Oh Mellany…your sister’s situation…no words. May I ask the reason for the lung biopsy? Do you know what they suspect? In reading this, I wondered if it is lung cancer – also the severe weight loss, and even her mental state as lung cancer often spreads to the brain. (I apologize if I am off-base here)
      It does sound like there is a huge spiritual battle going on, too. You are so faithful to pray and to keep loving her when she attacks you. “He will make a way when there is no way”…we will pray to that end.

      1. Hello Susan,
        we r not sure.  she went in for tests. One that they took showed something on her lung.  It was like an ultrasound for her lungs.  It took a 3D picture of her lungs.  But when they wanted to do a lung biopsy she refused.  When the medical SW’er wanted to sign her up for long term disability and for home support etc.  she refused.  She started to accuse the hospital staff of elder abuse.  She is filled with fear, anger, and everything that is defensive.  Like I said before, like a firewall of anger.  Only the enemy could be doing this. 
        When she is in the hospital she is fine b/c they give her IV’s and oxygen etc.  They were giving her blood thinners as well b/c they are afraid of blood clots. Pulmonary embolism in her lungs.  My mother died of this.  Plus my mom had heart attacks etc as well.  They did diagnose B with congestive heart failure, poor valve on her heart, She has crones disease and other issues but it is her severe weight loss that is so disturbing.  She looks like death warmed over. 
        She was telling us all that she was fine and b/c she lets no one into her apartment no one knew how she looked.  I last saw her at my dtr.s grad in May.  She looked terrible then.  I gave her a long hug and held onto her. 
        I will give u the e-mail letter that I wrote to her.
        mem_mck@telus.net wrote:

        Good morning B (aka The Flock Leader)

        I hope that u r feeling better this am.

        I hope that yr birds are fine.

        Please keep in touch with my dtrs.
        As I know that they pray for u as well.

        Long before this hospital visit to ICU for u
        The Lord had been waking me up to pray on a daily basis
        Usually early in the am like this.

        Please go to VGH when u need to.

        Please know that many people are praying for u including me
        That Dirk and Colleen love u very much and r there for u.

        It is true that at many times I have been easily offended and filled with unforgiveness
        The Lord has been setting me free from all of that over the last few years.

        It is my prayer that u discover the Lord’s love and blessings for yourself.

        I live u with a cute little video of a lost lamb.

        The lamb has the name B as well.
        In the scriptures Jesus speaks of the shepherd (Jesus) going out and looking for His lost lamb.
        U r His lost little lamb.


        Jesus loves u so much and I hope/pray that u call out to Jesus.

        Mel(aka The Pack Leader)

    5. Thank you for sharing your burden with us Mellany, I will pray for God to draw Belinda, for her heart to melt, and for you, I am so glad you have come here and that your marriage is on solid ground now, before this storm hit you. Praying that you will have an opportunity to love her well and that you will know healthy boundaries.

  3. Welcome Elaine!   You will love it here.

  4. Thank you all for rejoicing with me about my son moving home!   They have two indoor dogs and so do we…so I have been busy babysitting all four dogs….which I love!   Trevor and Sam have been busy moving back in.   By the way Trevors dog is a great Dane and Sam’s dog is a dachshund and we have a wiener dog too along with our yorkiepoo        so I am in doggie heaven…
    I love dogs!       I am loving every minute with Trevor and Sam of course too!                                 Love and my prayers to all my sister’s here in pain or sorrow……I feel guilty feeling happy.  Love you all.

    1. 🙂

    2. So glad to know of these blessings and this joy in your life Joyce!
      Please don’t feel guilty for feeling happy, the thought of it make us smile and lightens the load for everyone.

    3. I agree with Dee and Chris. Your joy brightens my day, Joyce! I am so happy for you in your present joy. Hugs!

      1. Thank you all!     Dee, how is the moving going?  

    4. Joyce, I read your post the other day-and I so love that you love dogs! I can see you being such a wonderful caretaker of them. You have such a tender loving heart.

  5. Dear sisters, I have had a very hard week. It is not insurmountable, but worse than my problems is that I feel God has left me. I have so many who have prayed for Sarah (including you), and her life just doesn’t make any sense to me. I feel like He ignores the prayers and I can’t hear Him. Does He really care? I don’t see that He does. I am sad. I am discouraged; beaten down. I try to talk to myself to say He does care, but I think people would think I am crazy. I think I’m crazy. Why would my life take such awkward, (and in my opinion) awful turns? Why can’t I just have peace and quiet? I remember the summer months when we had such a nice time together with mom. It’s funny, I knew it wouldn’t last. I think I knew then that God was providing that time and saying to me, ‘it won’t last, enjoy it now because something bad is going to happen and I need you to remember these days; the last time you have to be with your daughter.’ It’s true. I even said it to mom jokingly; that i hoped one of us wasn’t going to die. I am in tears. In the past I would have said please pray. I don’t think it matters now. God hasn’t listened to my/our prayers so why bother? He has his agenda, of which I am not a part of and so spending time praying just seems to waste time. I watch others with children who are well; mine are not. One day i will share; not today. Maybe her circumstances will lead her to Him. It is what I did pray for, but oh what sadness for me!

    SoS isn’t doing much for me; I’m sorry Dee. I’m reading the articles and trying to understand how such flowery writing applies to me, but I am failing. It is hard and I get impatient with the myrrh, wine, and breasts. Who cares? It isn’t something I “get.” but then again, I’m not getting my entire life either. Thank you for trying to help us understand Dee. Maybe SoS would work at a different time in my life. I was interested in the Puritan viewpoint. Got bored reading Edwards; tough read with (again) the language. It actually seem like perfect timing now that i think of it…..SoS is supposed to be a love letter from God to me (I think that’s what I am getting out of it). I’m not “feeling the love” from Him these days in my life circumstances, so I don’t really have the patience for the love letter. I read and it’s like I “hear,” “blah, blah, blah.” How sad. Sorry to be so negative. I am tired of the ups and downs of life. Just need straight and narrow now.

    1. I re-posted this for you Laura Dancer-I forgot to put it as a reply to your post! 🙂

      Laura Dancer, your honesty is a gift. I have felt the same way you have in high tide stress and in grieving over situations here at home-as if God doesn’t care-suffering is such a mystery. I can relate-and I am sure most if not all of us can! I know how hard it is right now to cling to Him when you feel as if the waves crashing over you are insurmountable, drowning you! 

      Read Psalm 13 for you are in good company:

      How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
          How long will you hide your face from me?
      2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
          and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
          How long will my enemy triumph over me?
      3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
          Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
      4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
          and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
      5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
          my heart rejoices in your salvation.
      6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
          for he has been good to me.
      Psalm 22 is another great one! If you can stay in the Psalms this week I am sure He will come and comfort you-am praying so. 

    2. oh Laura–I am so sorry. You are in a wilderness, as Dee said–and I empathize with the cloudy thoughts and loneliness it brings. You have had real trials and have been so faithful. We will continue to pray. I know it is so hard to feel like its “working”. I understand that feeling. But let us continue to pray while you are weary. Unload your burden and rest in the truth. He really is here, He really does love you–but this is not all there is, and we know that, and sometimes that “this is not our real home” feeling is much stronger than others. Oh, I do ache for your pain. Love to you Laura–praying for you now.

    3. Hi Laura, I am so sorry. As I read your post, it took me back to when we looked at Psalm 88. We listened to a Keller sermon, “Heman’s Cry of Darkness”. This psalm ends like this, “The darkness is my closest friend.” It sounds like that’s how you’re feeling. You are lamenting…keep talking to God about it. Please don’t believe that you are not a part of God’s agenda…do you remember from God of All Comfort that when the sky falls, our tendency is to back up from God? And in comes the enemy, whispering “See…He doesn’t love you”.
      There was something Mellany said in one of her posts, too…”I will choose to follow Him though none go with me…” something like that. I know it is so hard that Sarah is not choosing the right path, but you keep clinging to Him, Laura. Lament, be honest with how you feel-which you are-but hang on to Him! Praying for you.

    4. Laura, keep turning to God, keep following the Light even when it seems far off in the distance, Susan’s sermon suggestion is a good one, but even better is her exhortation to keep praying, keep saying what you are feeling to God, talk too Him more than you talk about Him, ask Him to protect your mind from believing lies. This is season in your life, it will pass and even if life remains hard, it is a blip on the screen in light of eternity, hold fast to the truth you know.

    5. Oh, Laura – dancer. Sorry you are going through such a rough time. I know you don’t feel like God is listening to your prayers, but that is not true. Please listen to the suggestions of your friends here and keep turning to God, telling Him how you feel. He can handle your anger, disappointment and discouragement. Sometimes, when it seems like I can’t go on, I just pray that God will give me some little glimpse of hope or joy so that I can know that He is still there; and He does. The hard things still remain hard, but God is still there and cares ever so much about you and your family.  Please be assured that I will continue to pray for you. 

  6. Wow…first I want to thank everyone for the prayers. I know my depression will pass, it always does. It just seemed really bad this past week? You might be right Nanci, I think it was you that mentioned, my life had been crazy busy. It always is. Living here, no American schools, our kids are bused 45 mins. away everyday, one way. So it takes two hours out of my day to bring them to the bus stop every morning and wait for the bus and then same to pick them up. Not to mention the taxing to activities and tutoring all week after school, on top of a clean beautiful 5 bedroom home, full of gorgeous windows…(Dutch love clean windows at ALL times) and a huge yard with so much yard work, and NO, my husband does NOT do yard work. He works 16-18 hour days most days…and gone some to other bases for work. So its kind of like being a single mom all over again, and dealing with my oldest and her disrespect, backtalk and attitude wears me down to tears. To where I can not stand my own daughter? Not sure that is normal, but everyone tells me that had a mom, they were really mean to their mom and now they appreciate their mom…I didnt have that privilege to have that choice, not having a mom.
    So with all that, my small photography business on the side, bible study on base…my world becomes overwhelming to me at times, especially when that time of the month is approaching. But I am better today, today is a new day and I choose to praise God, and find joy. I will go out and do some yard work, its actually sunny here today, and I love the Fall weather.  Im usually an upbeat person, so this past week really hit me hard, and I feel after reading so many post on here, we are all under attack and going through life. Life as Jesus warned us we would, but to know HE has not forsaken us and will never leave us, even in our valleys. So my heart goes out to you who are going through so much, and many hugs to you Laura dancer. I can attest how you feel, its OK to be honest and truthful. I will be praying for you sweet sister!!
    Im still enjoying the bible study, I may be behind, but the reading can be a bit much at times, and I have to focus more. I do love this book the most…I think Song of Songs has become my favorite book now. It helps remind me how much God loves me when I am going through awful times.  I also love how true and genuine and real everyone is in this group, it makes me realize we all go through some of the same things or hard times in different ways. You al are very encouraging to me. Love you all so much! Thanks for praying for me and I will continue to do the same for you all.  God Bless!

    1. I started at the bottom of the page and work my way to the top…so now I just read this post of yours:))))
      I am glad you are feeling better today! All I can say is WOW…you do have a full plate, every day, Staci. (I loved the part about the clean windows – I am a window washer myself-love looking through a clean window) But just reading about all you do makes me tired! Are your kids able to help you in the house/yard?

      1. Thanks Nanci, my kids do help, or I would say my son does help a bit with yard work. At times is a struggle to get them to help, and wears me out more than its worth arguing with them. They have busy lives with school the way it is, so I dont ask much of them. ON weekends, I expect more. I guess I try to be more open to them sleeping in on weekends. My dad and step mom were not so open to sleeping in and my weekends were spent cleaning or yard work. Our house was always clean and immaculate…never was I allowed to have an unmade bed or messy room.Something that drove me nuts…so I let their rooms be their rooms, but make them clean them on weekends. I do know from this experience, I probably wont want such a big house when we retire…lol. 

  7. 4. What thoughts and comments do you have on the above?
    It was a long read, to which I did not get through it all like I wanted. I do like the comparison with Psalm 45 and Song of Songs. I will have to spend more time reading it, slowly.
    5. What do you think is the primary emphasis of The Song of Songs — and do you think it matters? Explain.
    I think primarily the Song of Songs is about Christ and His relationship to the church, us. I still remember reading it was taught this was up until 1800 something…that was a big surprise to me. I often wonder how it changed to marriage through the years, what might have lead it to go that route? I ultimately think with anything, everything points to the relationship we have with Christ first, like Dee has mentioned many times, once we get that clear picture in understanding God’s love for us, then all other kinds of love are secondary to His. IT makes total sense too. The bible says to seek ye first the kingdom of God…then everything will be added according to his purpose and will. I cant even view the Song of Songs as a book for marriage, except only after I have viewed this love as for me. I think if God’s church could grasp this first, we wouldnt be so lost and searching in the wrong places or wrong relationships for love, because none of it would compare to HIS perfect love. It would cause people to measure everything according to what God says love is…wish I would have grasped this a lot sooner, would have saved me a lot of heart ache. 

    6. How is The Song of Songs affecting your view of your relationship with God? How is it affecting your view of marriage and the marriage bed?

    I think I stated the answer to this in the above, and the view of the marriage and marriage bed, makes me love my husband even more, appreciate, respect and adore my husband more. As for the bed, I know its a beautiful thing, sex, God has created. But having been abused sexually, its a hard thing for me to get past at times….just being honest. Still working on that area.

    1. Hi Staci, just wanted to let you know I saw your post from yesterday and I’m really sorry you are going through such a rough time. I confess I didn’t know what PMDD was, so I read about it on internet. One article did say it may be a result of a hormonal imbalance…I know you are trying to wait until you can see a different doctor in Germany, so I think it is important to have those blood tests done. Good diet and exercise also mentioned. I will be praying for you and I do hope this starts to lift. I did read, too, that there can also be mood-chemistry imbalances…I know Dee addressed antidepressants in her reply to you…there are newer ones…it must be hard for you to wait on this. I am glad you let us know so we can pray.

      1. Thanks Susan, I know in my heart is a hormone imbalance…and the moods come from this. One day you can feel on top of the world and the next not so much…and I have done extensive research, and diet/exercise are key. I do much better in Summer months too, when I get some sun. Like today Im out raking, and enjoying the sun a bit. It helps a lot. I might go ahead and pursue a doctor here, I know it wont affect our assignment to Germany, but its always something you try to not do when getting all your medical clearance done…it takes months in advance. Im really going to push for the blood testing, no doctor has ever listened to me…sad. I have read countless books and articles as well. I know this sounds odd but it says you can have it if your mother had it etc…sometimes my son goes through moods once a month, has since he was a young boy?? I know its odd, but I believe there is a lot out there our doctors are unaware of that can even be passed onto our kids. Im really praying for the right doctors, answers and medication if we go down that road. I just am so tired of the mood swings and putting my husband and kids through this. Thanks for your prayers, I appreciate them.

        1. Staci, I’m so happy you are feeling better…still praying for the Lord to remove it  or get the best Dr. to help you.  Love and prayers~

      2. Im not going to wait, Im going to call on Monday and get an appointment. I did some research and its possible my adrenaline is too high, thus creating the moods and my sternum bone pops a lot when it gets close to the time of the month. It has for years, but more so this past year and the doctor has said in the past that is not good. It hurts too and my left arm is bothering me…I know its a pinched nerve, I feel it in my shoulder blade…so Im not going to wait.Im a huge procrastinator when it comes to the doctor for myself….my husband to me to the ER one night because he was worried…not me. My heart and EKG checked out fine…it always has…its got to be the nerve and some hormone level that drops and causes this?

  8. clearing this.. 🙂

  9. Rebecca’s good psalms, reminded me of something David Powlison had said about using the Psalms in grief. Then I found this excerpt from his book on suffering through GC- it’s called “Why Me? Why This? Why Now? Why?” I thought it was really good.
    (I do really love that linky thing David put in 🙂

    1. Thanks, I will give it a read.

    2. This was so good Elizabeth, David Powilson is the man!

      “God’s story makes you just the right size.”

    3. Great article, Elizabeth. I need to meditate on this. “Why not me?” We are going through very deep waters right now and I am really struggling. I have not been able to keep up with this week’s lesson at all. But yesterday, I had another opportunity to share my faith in the midst of this struggle with another person and it is true what David Powlison says,

      If my weakness demonstrates the power of God to save us from all that is wrong?
      If my honest struggle shows other strugglers how to land on their feet?
      If my life becomes a source of hope for others?
      Why not me?

      Sometimes life is a mystery, especially the struggles. I need to learn to trust God has His reasons and let Him do His hard work on me and on others. 

  10. 6. How is The Song of Songs affecting your view of your relationship with God? How is it affecting your view of marriage and the marriage bed?
    Songs is encouraging me to contemplate my relationship with Jesus in a new way. I wrote this quote from Mike Reeve’s in my Bible on the first page of Songs: “This is poetry…it’s drawing you in to taste, to savor, to sample, this love. In fact, you are explicitly invited to come and taste the viewpoints in the song.” Now that I think of it, since this book describes the love/marriage of these two lovers, I kind of feel like I’ve been invited to a wedding…but the neat thing is I am an “observer” and I can also be the “bride” at the same time; if that makes sense.
    How is it affecting my view of (my) marriage? I feel my husband and I have a long way to go, in the areas of intimacy and communication. We rarely have what I would call meaningful and deep conversations. I’ve had a few times of mild crises in my life where I feel he kind of abandoned me, like when I had major surgery and he said I’d have to go somewhere  afterwards because he couldn’t take care of me, so my sister took me in for 8 days. He took care of the kids with the help of grandparents, but his life was mainly not disrupted as he returned to work. So the idea of this kind of marriage here on earth (or at least a shadowy picture of it) is hard for me to grasp. Honestly, it’s hard for me to get excited about the “marriage bed” when there is no sense of closeness/intimacy the majority of the time. Real honestly, I don’t like it.

    1. Oh Susan, I hurt for you reading this, praying for hope and God honoring change for your marriage, Ephesians 3:20 & 21
      “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his powerthat is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

      1. Thank you Chris…it is so nice to “see” you here this week! We miss you when you’re not here!

    2. Hello Susan,
      I have been through this in my life as well.  I had to share with my husband that I needed, required intimacy, hugs, hand holding, gentleness and kindness otherwise the “marriage bed” would not work for me.  I had to be strong b/c it never occurred to me to speak with him about it.  I was crying out to God b/c it was painful and horrible at times.  My husband did not like what I said but he respected me enough to listen.  I think at first he was hurt b/c I had pretended when in fact  many times I was crying at the time.  Now we can be honest and wait.  I discovered that the marriage bed is for me as well as for him.  That I can articulate what I require.  He discovered that it is not all about him.  God is faithful to deal with the “marriage bed”.  He does not want us hurting.  Sometimes it is so embarrassing like now, to type this but I am being vulnerable here b/c I have been in the same place u have been.  For awhile now God has us abstaining until we can truly fall in love with one another.  I got so much out of this last lesson.  That we need to be in a covenant relationship not a consumer one.  My husband and I were in a consumer relationship.  God is slowly changing that. 
      Blessings Mel 
      By the way this is the last e-mail that I sent to my sister:  mem_mck@telus.net wrote:

      Good morning B (aka The Flock Leader)

      I hope that u r feeling better this am.

      I hope that yr birds are fine.

      Please keep in touch with my dtrs.
      As I know that they pray for u as well.

      Long before this hospital visit to ICU for u
      The Lord had been waking me up to pray on a daily basis
      Usually early in the am like this.

      Please go to VGH when u need to.

      Please know that many people are praying for u including me
      That Dirk and Colleen love u very much and r there for u.

      It is true that at many times I have been easily offended and filled with unforgiveness
      The Lord has been setting me free from all of that over the last few years.

      It is my prayer that u discover the Lord’s love and blessings for yourself.

      I live u with a cute little video of a lost lamb.

      The lamb has the name B as well.
      In the scriptures Jesus speaks of the shepherd (Jesus) going out and looking for His lost lamb.
      U r His lost little lamb.


      Jesus loves u so much and I hope/pray that u call out to Jesus.

      Mel(aka The Pack Leader)
      I am at peace with everything.  Unless God intervenes in a supernatural way B will be lost.  I continue to pray as others do but it is totally up to B.  Her response was to thank me and acknowledge that she thinks positively too.  It breaks my heart but God has given me peace.
      Thank u all for praying,

      1. Mellany, this sounds like a good suggestion, what you did with your husband – that you told him you needed hugs, hand-holding, gentleness, etc…
        It has been amazing to watch how your marriage has changed as you’ve shared with us!
        That was a sweet email you sent to your sister, too.  It sounds as if she is angry (at God?) and lashes out at you, b/c you have Jesus in you.
        I’m glad her response to the email was positive. I just wish the doctors there knew what was going on…the nurse in me is suspicious of that spot on her lung and the weight loss.

    3. oh Susan–I did not know about that story after your surgery. Makes me so mad and sad at the same time. Honestly, I just hurt for this huge area of loss in your life. I continue to pray for a miracle break through in Jeff’s heart.

      1. Thanks, Elizabeth…it was five years ago; I guess I should let it go by now:)))

    4. Dear Susan, I understand how you feel , but you can dream of how much Jesus loves you…even tho we can’t comprehend it, isn’t it awesome to try and imagine it?  Love you and praying for you.

      1. Joyce, I smile thinking of you with those four dogs, and one a Great Dane! My sister used to have them so I know how big they are!
        I know deep down my husband loves me…he’s just not great at showing it.

    5. Susan, breaks my heart for you. I hope you find the love that God can give and joy and happiness where the voids are. Praying for you. I had a similar experience with my ex..no surgery,but when our first born was born…wont go into it all..not the point. I pray God would surround you with His loving arms in those times you feel neglected, distant or hurt. I pray God will bridge the gap between you and your husband in all areas of your marriage. I will say this, some men think there duty is to work and provide for the family, and nothing more, if they have been taught this from their own fathers or dont know any better…just a thought. Like my husband now, he doesnt do yard work or fix things because he grew up with his parents divorced and his mom always hired someone to do all that, as to where my dad always did yard work and fixed things.I had in my mind set that all men were like my dad…like it was built into them being a man. I was wrong. I will pray for you and that God would speak to your husband’s heart more and more in areas that concern even simple things, like holding your hand. xxoo.

      1. Thank you, Staci. Your point is well-taken about men and their duty to provide. My husband is under so much pressure at work, all the time…works many hours (not quite as many as yours) but it’s like he has nothing left by the time he gets home. I know that’s not his fault.

        1. Well I hope you didnt take is as I know all the answers to men…lol. I just know what God has done in my heart towards my husband. Bless your heart and your poor husband…makes me sad how much he has to work so much. I know the feeling or worse when Jon deployed 7 months at a time. I will pray for your husband and God’s favor for him as well. I know I have a book we received at a marriage retreat last Fall, and it blew my mind on how alls men want is respect and alls women want is love…and if we could just get that point…it was a huge wake up to me. I was doing what I  wanted in hoping my husband would reciprocate the same and it back fired and I would get mad when he didnt. So it became the cycle of me not respecting him because he was not showing me love like I wanted….little did I know…that was not my answer…lol. God has slowly and graciously began doing things in my heart..and God continues…I have my days….Im only human and prone to error…A LOT….LOL. 

  11. I have had sick kids home for three days so I don’t have time to edit and refine but these are the thoughts that stood out to me in Keller’s sermon. I loved it. And will listen again!
    Consumer relationship- you adjust to me or I am going to upgrade. This actually makes you a slave to your feelings. (And perhaps to the “next best thing”)
    If you are committed to a person despite your feelings, deeper feelings grow. 
    Covenant -I will adjust to you. Sex becomes like a sacrament. Outward sign of an invisible reality. A vehicle in engaging the whole person in an act of giving. It represents what you have done with your whole life.  it becomes a covenant renewal ceremony. (This really spoke to my heart, much to ponder)
    sex is marketing in a consumer relationship. (Bad)
    Don’t do with sex what you are not willing to do with your whole life. 
    Bible starts with a naked man signing to a naked woman in the presence of God. 
    Greed-you want it for you. It’s addicting. Fantasizing about it, wanting it to give you what only God can give you. Making sex into greed. 
    Premarital sex in America. Book to read. Most have sex to keep the relationship going. 
    Fairy tale dream of perfect marriage, family, sex? This is idolatry. 
    Be drastic! What lengths do you have to go to?! Whatever it is, get the sin out of your life! Amen. 
    We were built to know Him. So when we walk away from Him we loose the satisfaction for our deepest desires. Water everywhere and not a drop to drink. 
    good marriage is but a foretaste of our true spouse. 
    If you don’t love Jesus more than your spouse then you won’t be able to love your spouse well (this would apply to my kids, too). If you look to each other to fill that deepest need you will crush each other. You will never be ‘married well’ until you love Christ most (again, this applies to my kids, too). 

    1. Good notes, Jill withal. Thanks. Good perspective on how to view marriage and sex.

  12. Test

  13. I keep trying to fix my picture w/o success! 

    1. It worked this time, that is my son Zach last time he was home on leave.

      1. Love the picture of you and Zach, Chris.  It’s time I changed my picture too, just too lazy to think about it.

      2. I love this picture, Chris! How you are looking up at him!

      3. Chris, I love this picture of you and Zach so much!  It shows how very much you love him….and what a handsome boy!! Praying for him …in the service of our country.

      4. What an awesome photo! You are absolutely beautiful Chris! If you get a chance to visit your son over here, let me know. Im only like an hour drive away. We will be moving to Germany next June, which will be 4 hours away, but everyone comes to Ramstein, Germany…huge base and hub for all military branches. 

    2. chris- I was just logging on to say how I’ve missed you–and here you are:) And the picture—OH I LOVE IT!!! It is precious–your smile up at him–oh so sweet.

    3. Thank you sisters, you are so sweet to me!
      I feel uncomfortable about changing from my Daniel picture, I am sure you can understand why.
      Your kind words are a salve to my soul.

      Diane if my old picture would have shown up I would never have switched, so don’t feel lazy!

      1. Lol…funny that the picture went away! I have to run, have a super blessed Saturday everyone!

  14. Laura-Dancer, I also am grieved for you.  If you can say nothing more to God than just, “Help”….he hears and knows your pain.   I’ve felt exactly how you are feeling now and wondered if God was even there.   Hang in therre and things will get better…we are all praying for you.  Love you sister.

  15. All week I had an article by puritan Thomas Watson I was hoping to read. I’m just beginning and found so many gems I had to share some:

    “Before this union with Christ there must be a separation. The heart must be separated from all other lovers,” There is a closer union in this holy marriage than there can be in any other. In other marriages, two make one flesh, but Christ and the believer make one spirit: “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” (I Cor. 6:17).

     Then this reminded me so of Sibbes we heard from Mike Reeves:

    “When the law brings in its indictments against you. The law says, “Here there are so many debts to be paid,” and it demands satisfaction. Acknowledge the debt, but turn it all over to your Husband, Christ. It is a maxim in law that the suit must not go against the wife, as long as the husband is living. Tell Satan when he accuses you, “It is true that the debt is mine, but go to my Husband, Christ; he will discharge it.” If we took this course, we might relieve ourselves of much trouble. By faith we turn over the debt to our Husband. Believers are not in a state of widowhood but of marriage. Satan will never go to Christ – he knows that justice is satisfied and the debt book cancelled – but he comes to us for the debt so that he may perplex us. We should send him to Christ and then all lawsuits would cease. This is a believer’s triumph. When he is guilty in himself, he is worthy in Christ. When he is spotted in himself, he is pure in his Head.”

    1. Beautiful, love your post on Christ being our husband, handling and canceling all our debt…ironic as Im going over our bills for the upcoming month with my husband…this really hit home with me. A great analogy over our lifes debt, and truth…

  16. Thank you for sharing the verse and the last pharagraph; very interesting!     “It is true that the debt is mine, but go to my Husband, Christ; he will discharge it.”

  17. re-watching Miss Potter tonight–and oh-the scene where Beatrix is telling Millie that Norman has asked her to marry him–and Millie says “you have a chance to be loved! Take it!” oh as I heard it tonight I thought of it not as Norman to Beatrix, but as Christ pursuing us–as our cry to one another, to those who do not yet believe, to ourselves when we are resisting His love–we have a chance to be loved by the Lover of our soul–how can we not take it, to the fullest degree?! Just had to share that with you all. I love this movie 🙂

    1. I watched the movie the week we talked about it and my computer froze up in the middle of the movie. I must download and watch again. Such a beautiful movie. Im going to watch my all time favorite this weekend Pride and Prejudice…my husband said to me today he doesnt know why I love this movie so much…to me Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful love story…kind of like God’s love for us. 

    2. I watched Miss Potter too and loved it too!

    3. I love your application of that line, Elizabeth…we have a chance to be loved!

  18. does anyone know if the sermon (TK) is actually free? I am finding that it says it’s free and then won’t let me download unless I pay.

    1. Praying for you Laura, many hugs to you. May God show you His love, even in the distant ad quiet times.

  19. I am not sure I have the time or the ability to make my thoughts coherent, but though I haven’t been ‘doing’ this study as actively  as I ought to, I have been reading and following along, some of the material from our book study at church is helping me unpack what is being revealed in here in this SoS study.

    In The Praying Life Paul Miller says that Jesus was the most dependant human that ever lived:
    “In our seminars we tell people, “Imagine that in a restaurant you overhear a man at another table say, ‘I don’t do anything by myself. I just do what I see my dad doing.’ Analyze that person from just that snippet.” People jump in and talk about how immature he is, how poor his boundaries are, and how he needs to grow up. Then we turn to John 5:19 and read it. They realize they’ve been talking about Jesus. Jesus is the most dependent human being who ever lived. We know that because He says it repeatedly, particularly in the book of John. That is what made the cross so terrifying for Jesus. He’d never been separated from His Father. Our normal is His hell. So to grow in maturity is to grow in childlikeness.”

    Thinking of Jesus being dependent didn’t sit well on me at first, but it is true, he was always deferring to the Father, for guidance and in obedience.
    Our culture overvalues independence to the point where it is hard to see how silly it is to think myself independent.

    I began to ponder the biblical and marital themes of unity….becoming one flesh, apart from me you can do nothing, I only do what the Father tells me…

    I thought about the old Anglican wedding vows:
    “as the groom places the ring on the bride’s finger, he says the following:
    With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
    About how a bride takes the name of the groom, leaving behind the name she had before.
    Jesus prayer for us, the church, his bride
    John 17: 20-22
    “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;…”
    These next two quotes are from Paul Davis Tripp:
    “Many believers also fail to see the other side of their gospel identity: their identity in Christ. Christ not only gives me forgiveness and a new future, but a whole new identity as well! I am now a child of God, with all the rights and privileges that this title bestows.
    This is important because each of us lives out of some sense of identity, and our gospel identity amnesia will always lead to some form of identity replacement. That is, if who I am in Christ does not shape the way I think about myself and the things I face, then I will live out some other identity.”
    “This lack of gospel identity shows up in two ways. First, many Christians underestimate the presence and power of indwelling sin. They don’t see how easily entrapped they are in this world full of snares (see Gal. 6:1). They don’t grasp the comprehensive nature of the war that is always raging within the heart of every believer (see Rom 7). They’re not aware of how prone they are to run after God replacements. They fail to see that their greatest problem exists within them, not outside them.”
    Colossians 3 1-4
     “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is yourlife appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

    I don’t have time to finish trying to articulate my thoughts on these themes of unity and identity ( I have a busy day ahead), but I feel so convicted and encouraged by them, I see more of how my seeking to make a name for myself apart from my identity in Christ rends his heart, how our lack of unity as the church, our willingness to be at war with one another is like disease, another mark of our fallenness.

    I do feel like the marvelous gift of grace that has been given me, his purchasing me off of the slave block and making me a beloved part of the family, even a bride, I feel more willing to believe it is all true, and a desire to seek to live in fidelity, to believe that I have worth comes from the identity He has given me, real worth, something the world cannot touch…I feel excited about it in a way I don’t think I ever have before!

    1. Wow Chris…you sound very coherent!     Especially love this……” I feel more willing to believe it is all true, and a desire to seek to live in fidelity, to believe that I have worth comes from the identity He has given me, real worth, something the world cannot touch…I feel excited about it in a way I don’t think I ever have before!”   Wonderful Chris!!    (I miss you picture!)

    2. Chris, this is all excellent…this struck me, “Our normal is His hell.”

    3. “Our normal is His hell. So to grow in maturity is to grow in childlikeness.” This hit home with me as well.

      Thinking of Jesus being dependent didn’t sit well on me at first, but it is true, he was always deferring to the Father, for guidance and in obedience.Our culture overvalues independence to the point where it is hard to see how silly it is to think myself independent. 
      Love your notes…beautiful and excited that God has touched your heart in an exciting way as well. Many Blessings Chris!!
      I recently attended a 3 day meeting and listened to a guy from CAnada give one of his sermons on this very thing. How the world teaches independence, its good to be independent, shows maturity…etc. It’s all wrong, we are never to be independent, but DEPENDENT at all times on God. I have so many notes from this one day he taught on this…now it strikes me to go back and reread all the notes…wow…love when God gives confirmation moments!

  20. 7. What are your notes from the Keller sermon?
    All of it was great, but I really started taking notes at the end:
    If sex outside of a covenant points toward hell, sex inside a covenant points to what? Why is it in Romans 7, why is it in Ephesians 5, the Bible says that the most rapturous sexual love between husband and wife is just a dim foretaste of what it’s going to be like to fall into the arms of your True Spouse at the end of time.
    I loved his discussion of Jesus and the woman at the well:
    Jesus: “I have a water that if you drink it, you’ll never thirst again.” In other words, “I can satisfy your deepest needs, those unfulfilled longings and needs – I can satisfy them.”
    Woman: “Sir, give me this water.”
    Jesus: “Bring me your husband.” Why is He talking about her messed-up sex life? “I can satisfy your longings…” “Tell me how I can have my longings satisfied.” “You’ve been trying to find in the arms of men the kind of deep consolation, deep love, and deep closure that only I can give you. You’ve been looking for it in men.” This is lust.
    Keller said about his wife, Cathy, “If she doesn’t love Jesus more than she loves me, she cannot love me well.”
    Even inside marriage you can be guilty of sexual idolatry. Keller: “She will look to me, and I will look to her to fulfill each other in a way that only God can do and we’re going to crush each other…everything that goes wrong…anytime she doesn’t live the way I want…it will fall into a consumer relationship. I will try to make Cathy into something that only Christ can be for me.”
    You will never be well-married unless Jesus is the spouse of your soul.
    What this sermon did was first, show me my past (of sexual sin). The real truth about sex outside of marriage. With the “cover” ripped-off, with the lie of the enemy exposed, you can see how truly ugly it is; how selfish and self-serving, how consumer driven. I wish every young person would listen to this message.
    When anyone engages in sex outside of a covenant, we are “playing” at what is real…we think we “have it all” and are fulfilled, but we are really beggars, starving and scraping out in the streets. (Keller put it like this – on a raft surrounded by water…water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink).
    The woman at the well came daily and got her water, but in reality she was dying of thirst.
    Keller made an impactful point when he talked about the idolatry of the fairytale romance/marriage…the fantasizing in our minds about having the perfect spouse, the perfect marriage, the perfect children, the perfect home life. I know personally what it’s like to fall into that kind of idolatry and how it takes over your thought-life and only fuels your dissatisfaction with the spouse you have.
    8. What is your take-away and why?
    One question from Jesus (from Keller’s sermon where he talked about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well). “Bring me your…….”
    I ponder, what would Jesus ask me to bring to Him? For this woman, it was “Bring me your husband”, because she was trying to get her needs and longings met by men. What would he ask me to bring? This is putting His finger again on the idols in my life.
    I see how in any relationship, I can be guilty of idolatry. It can happen between husband and wife, or between mothers and their children…in relationships with parents, sisters, or friends. We can turn any relationship into a consumer one, if Jesus is not our “all”. Keller didn’t touch on it in this sermon, but he has in others…we can even bring our idolatry into our relationship with Him, when what we desire is what He gives us more than just desiring Him.
    I hope and pray that as we study Song of Songs, it will kindle a deeper love for Jesus in my soul. To “know”, intellectually, that He loves me and even to say I love Him is different than to know by experience. I have been inspired by all of you here as you express in your posts your love for Him. Mellany has such a poetic way of writing about her relationship with Jesus and “Father God”, as she puts it…it just seems to flow right from her heart. Joyce has a sweet innocence and purity in how she trusts and loves Him. Rebecca has a fire…I could go on about everyone:))

    1. Hello susan,
      Thank u for your sharing above.  U said so much of what I wanted to say.  My husband and I listened to the Keller sermon.  Me for the 2nd time and Chuck for the first time.  Chuck got one word out of it “commitment”.  I wanted to write a book and send it to all the young people I know including my dtrs.
        How I wish I had heard the sermon long ago.  Keller makes everything clear.  I finally understand wht Jesus was saying.  I am so thankful for people who teach the bible like Dee, Keller, Pastors.  I do not know where I would be w/o their teaching.
      Sometimes u r so encased in shame.  I was!  I know now that Jesus is layer by layer taking shame off of me.  Washing the dirt away with His loving words.  Taking away my idols of self pity, control, anger, blame or judgement.  Showing me that I can love, that I can have peace and joy. 
      I can honestly say that even though I do not totally comprehend how much Jesus loves me I totally accept that He does.
        Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so! 
      In our church we are doing the book called the “The Story”. 
      It speaks of what God is, our Pastor started with God is creative. 
      It made me cry b/c I love to create.  I love to write, I love to make afghans or do my crafts or decorate a house.  Make things beautiful.  Take what was ugly and make it beautiful like Father God does.  From ashes to beauty.  It made me weep to think I am like Father God.  That I can be like Him, be with Him, b/c of Jesus.  Jesus is the lover of my soul and one day He will introduce me to Father God in heaven.  My heavenly Father and that makes me weep with joy.

      1. Mellany, that is awesome that Chuck listened to the sermon with you!

    2. “You will never be well-married unless Jesus is the spouse of your soul.” I loved this part as well as the woman at the well.
      “What this sermon did was first, show me my past (of sexual sin). The real truth about sex outside of marriage. With the “cover” ripped-off, with the lie of the enemy exposed, you can see how truly ugly it is; how selfish and self-serving, how consumer driven. I wish every young person would listen to this message.
      When anyone engages in sex outside of a covenant, we are “playing” at what is real…we think we “have it all” and are fulfilled, but we are really beggars, starving and scraping out in the streets. (Keller put it like this – on a raft surrounded by water…water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink).”

         This whole statement just feel like confirmation to have my two teens listen to this sermon..Im convinced at least my 18 year old daughter needs to hear this, more so than ever…she is going to graduate and go off to college soon enough. I want this to always be in the back of her head…I wish I knew all this when I was her age…

      “I know personally what it’s like to fall into that kind of idolatry and how it takes over your thought-life and only fuels your dissatisfaction with the spouse you have”  guilty in the past….a huge wake up call. Even to think I have idolized over my kids and having a perfect home..big wake up call.
      Thank you so much for your notes, points I heard and didnt get a chance to write them all down, Im going to copy and paste them to a word document so I can have them to go over with my teens. God Bless Susan, you are a true gem to this group!

  21. My take away:
    First let me just say thank you to all of you lovely ladies. I have so enjoyed and been challengand by your open hearts, further insights, and additional resources. I am so very glad to be here and be learning! My heart is truly refreshed (as Mike Reeves said) by God’s truth being taught in Song of Songs, and through my sisters in Christ. 
    While there were so many good points this week that will stay with me, the biggest take away has been application to the marriage bed. I am fully engrossed in this lesson of love between Christ and the church (me), and while that is the primary lesson here, I cannot ignore the application to marriage.  Some days I want to run away and just be with Jesus! But there is joy in the growth of earthly relationships, too. There is much more in my heart’s wondering thoughts on this but I will leave it there for now. Blessings to you all!

    1. dear Jill…you have provided your bible study blog sisters with much…thank you; so glad that you are here!  Hopefully your household is back to being healthy.  Blessings on your Sunday!

    2.  “Some days I want to run away and just be with Jesus! But there is joy in the growth of earthly relationships, too.” I completely feel the same way. 😉

  22. 7. What are your notes from the Keller sermon?
    Okay…I think from Susan’s notes that I listened to the wrong sermon…I thought it was probably the same or very similar (i.e., done at an alternate time…”Love_Lust_and_Liberation”); it was the one that was free for download.  For those of you interested…I think that this was well worth listening to (are any of Keller’s sermons not???…:) )
    In this sermon, Keller talks about how our culture is very conflicted about sex…some affirm that anything between two consulting adults is okay, and others realize that the “free love” approach is causing much brokenness, disillusionment, bitterness, etc.  Keller goes on to say that our culture does not recognize and respect the power, mystery, and uncontrol-ability of sex which leads to brokenness.  He advises that sex is not just another “appetite.”  Keller notes that until God is the lover of your soul, you will be unable to be the lover of another, i.e., you will always be trying to gain something out of intimacy/sex (e.g., acceptance, security).
    Keller defines lust as an “impersonal” desire…wanting to be physically with another, but not personally one (desiring to maintain independence; not want to fully entrust one’s self to another) and an “inordinate” desire…an over-desiring; an idolatrous desire; wanting something that only God can give (i.e., if only I had the perfect spouse or perfect family or ??, then I would be happy.)
    Keller ends with the statement that if Jesus had only come as “King” then all would be in obedience, but Jesus came as King and Bridegroom which allows for the gospel (truth and mercy).

    8. What is your take-away and why?
    My answer is similar to Jill’s…”I am fully engrossed in this lesson of love between Christ and the church (me), and while that is the primary lesson here, I cannot ignore the application to marriage.”

  23. 7. What are your notes from the Keller sermon?
    There was so many notes I took while listening, I had to stop and restart a lot to get all the notes I wanted. I wont share them all here, but one of the most beautiful points Keller made was being naked in covenant marriage shows our vulnerability, giving our true self, flaws and all to our spouse. Saying here I am, take me as I am, truth, identity…ones pure heart, weaknesses and all. There is freedom in covenant sex and marriage. We are committed despite our feelings and our love grows deeper for our spouse. I just sit here in awe pondering this. We each adjust to each other in our marriage, because each others needs are more important…deep love. Sometimes one spouse may adjust more than the other…but its life.
    To have sex outside of marriage Keller states is selfish, why would you commit physically and not 100%…to commit outside of marriage, you are being selfish in wanting physical satisfaction without the total commitment as in marriage. There is a lot, the consumer kind of marriage/sex and all that he said. He just was an aha moment. Makes me even more diligent to talk to my teens and let them know where God stands. We always say save yourself for marriage, have read some good books along with out teens, but this sermon has to be the most beautiful explanation I have ever heard. One I will listen to again and again.
    8. What is your take-a-way and why?
    Wow is what I have to say to his sermon. Im still thinking about it. I have never heard sex,the covenant of marriage and how we relate to sex the way he put it. It just makes me realize how special sex is in marriage, and how God meant it to be. Makes me want covenant for my kids future marriage. Also I am so in awe at how beautiful and sacred covenant is, I want to renew my vows with my husband. We have a wonderful relationship, but to now see how sacred covenant sex is…it just makes me see my husband in a totally different way now.