“The Blessing Of Affectionate Words”

March 14, 2018

Bridge over Savannah River
The view of the Talmadge Memorial Bridge over the Savannah River from Savannah’s River Street.

“The Blessing Of Affectionate Words”

Personal note: We are traveling this week and do not expect to post messages daily.

Message summary: Be romantic in your marriage with expressions of creative passion either in words or deeds. Or better yet, express creative passion in both words and deeds.

Due to travel we will did not prepare a podcast for this message.

“How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead” (Song of Solomon 4:1).

We are in the south and enjoying southern hospitality. Yesterday we toured Savannah Georgia and will be heading to Jacksonville, FL this morning to visit with my sister and brother-in-law. Although we’ve met friendly people wherever we’ve lived in the south there’s a comfortableness with strangers that makes you feel like you’ve known them all your lives after becoming acquainted.

We ate at a restaurant and the young server persistently called me “Honey”. I realize that’s been the practice of some servers since I was little but it still made me feel uncomfortable and certainly wasn’t flattering since I was her senior. But mostly because for 44 years now being addressed as “Honey” (a term of endearment) has been used exclusively from Brooksyne to me and from me to Brooksyne (with the exception of some older family members such as an aunt or parents)!

But the experience did prompt a consideration of the blessing of endearing words. Author Gary Chapmen outlines and expounds on five ways to express and experience love that he calls “love languages”: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion), and physical touch. Certainlyaffirming words includes terms of affection.

Today’s message is primarily for our married men but women can certainly find an application as well. The Song of Solomon is undoubtedly among the most unusual literature in our Bible. In fact early on because of its erotic language and complicated structure, the rabbis questioned its place in the canon of Scripture.

The reformers generally saw this book as an allegory of God’s love for His people and some still interpret it that way. But now most Bible students see this book as a healthy expression of romantic love between a married man and woman.

Among its features is the incredibly creative ways in which Solomon verbally expresses his love. These expressions may seem strange and even humorous to us today since we are so far removed from the culture of that time, but in fact with research and study, we find that each expression was indeed a very creative and honorable compliment that would have been received with favor and appreciation.

For instance, when Solomon expressed his affection to his loverusing this metaphor, “Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead”, the rippling effect of a flock of goats moving down a hillside was, indeed, a thing of beauty.

The lesson today is that we need to honor our spouse with expressions of love and appreciation that are creative and come from our hearts. You can certainly get some ideas from the Song of Solomon, but generally I advise you to be careful in using them verbatim. For instance check out 1:9, “I liken you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.”  That may not go over too well!

Be romantic in your marriage with expressions of creative passion either in words or deeds. Or better yet, express creative passion in both words and deeds.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, thank you for those special people with whom we walk this pilgrim pathway, those who are most dear to our hearts; the ones we call right away when we have good news or even when we must share bad news. We’re grateful for our life partners whom we promise to love and cherish till death do us part. May we be passionate in our expressions of love toward them. It’s a harsh world if we don’t have someone special to share our daily lives with so we pray for those who have parted with their mate due to death or other unfortunate situations. We’re comforted in knowing that You are closer than a brother or sister and provide spiritual companionship all the days of our lives. We draw on Your strength and find daily refuge in the shadow of Your wings. Amen.

Container ship
Many huge container ships go up the river frrom Savannah to the port, one of the largest in the country.

Savannah Park live oaks
The live oaks serenade many sidewalks giving a romantic setting all through Savannah.

Savannah azaleas
The azaleas are fully bloomed all through the city adding bright color everywhere.

Fort Pulaski inner corridor
We toured Fort Pulaski and this is an inner corridor.

Savannah tour guide
At breakfast, in our motel, a couple of locals dressed up like “the old south” and visited with those who were here to tour the city. This woman’s smile was radiant and reminded us of our Zimbabwean neighbor, Tho.

Savannah river walk steps
Walking down the steep steps toward the River Walk.

Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“When God Made You”  Video   Newsong and Natalie Grant
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