When I was 16 years old, a respected adult in my life suggested I read the Song of Songs as a devotional study of the Church’s life with Christ. Before that time, I had always seen the Song of Songs as “the dirty book” in Scripture – only turning to it when I needed a good chuckle.
Oh, yeah, and then there was the time that a young Mozambican man asked me to give a love letter to a visiting missionary when I was 13. Typical kid – I decided I should preview the letter before delivering it – and inside, I discovered that my Mozambican friend had used some choice lines from Song of Songs to win the heart of the short-term visitor. Those lines didn’t convince her to marry him and move to Mozambique… surprising as that may be. 🙂
But, when I was 16, reading the Song of Songs as a recounting of the love story between God and His people, I fell in love. I fell in love with the Man Jesus, who sees me as more than I am and woos me to surrendered love and radical obedience by His gentle kindness and patient affection. When the lines of that poetic love song come to life in our relationship with God, there truly is nothing we will not give for the One who gave everything for us. As a sixteen year old, that study radically expanded my relationship with Jesus.
A few months ago, I heard Jesus tell me to study this book again with the youth at my church. Three girls have faithfully attended the weekly Bible study, and I know the Lord is expanding their hearts to love Him more.
If you would like to study Song of Songs, but don’t know where to start, there are some great (FREE!) resources HERE to get you started.
(And, if you’ve studied Song of Songs before, check out this dynamic translation by Brian Simmons. It will help you return to the book with fresh eyes. 🙂 )