The Sanctity of Marriage: Protecting Marriage from the Little Foxes
Read Song of Solomon 2:8-15
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While your vineyards are in blossom.”
The Song of Solomon has long been an enigma to the reader. Filled with metaphors and unveiled language describes the delights of sexual love in marriage; it causes us perplexity and, at times, even to blush. Yet, the book is rich in practical advice on how to develop a strong and healthy marriage. In an age when marriage is being undermined, it breathes a breath of fresh air as it calls us back to God’s intended purpose for marriage. Like a dazzling diamond, where each facet radiates beauty, the writer sets forth to praise the beauty of marriage in all aspects of the marital relationship.
In Chapter 2:8-3:5, Solomon reminds us to rediscover the joy of marriage. In this section, we are presented with the courtship period as the young couple begins to grow in their relationship. Often, as we move into the day-to-day life of marriage, we dismiss the wonder of the courtship. We cynically smile when we see a young couple intoxicated by their love for one another, and we inwardly think, “Enjoy it now, but just wait until the marriage.” But there is something healthy and refreshing about remembering what it was like, looking back and being reminded of the wonder and joy we experienced when we first fell in love. By reminding us of the pleasure of courtship, we are being called back to the delight of marriage.
In verses 8-9, we find the bride expressing her unrestrained joy in the arrival of her lover. The picture of the mountains and hills draws attention to the various hindrances that seek to prevent him from being with his bride. This is equivalent to our saying, “He moves heaven and earth to be with his love.” She rejoices that he does not allow any obstacle to hinder him from being with her. In verses 10-14, the focus shifts to the groom as he describes the delight of being with her. The spring is often seen as a time of love, and here it is no different. He longs to be with her and spend time just being together. He finds delight in her presence and hearing her voice.
But love is also a tender plant that can quickly begin to wither if not adequately cared for. Consequently, in verse 15, a warning is given. The couple now join together in singing the chorus, calling upon their friends to join them in catching the little foxes that destroy the relationship. They invoke the help of their friends to protect their marriage. But the words point us to the frailty of marriage. The little foxes give us a picture of how easily love is lost. This love is not destroyed by major catastrophes but by the little things in life that cause us to become distracted to the point where we are no longer protecting our relationship.
Marriage is built or destroyed by the small day-to-day interaction between a husband and wife. The joy of marriage is found in the little things: A morning hug, a quick text during a busy day, an evening walk together, spending time sharing the events of the day over the evening meal, a subtle smile in a crowded room, all which communicate the value and worth we put upon the other.
Conversely, the joy of marriage can become tarnished by the little events of life: Becoming too busy because of work, being more focused upon caring for the house than caring for the marriage, becoming too busy to enjoy the gift of sexual enjoyment. If you have lost the wonder of courtship, start with the little things. Start courting your spouse.