Read what MOSS is about here. Dalene Reyburn, beautiful writer of today’s MOSS (found out what that is here) post, is the kind of person that leaves you feeling refreshed just by walking by. This woman of God is graced, not only with a gift of writing (which you can check out here or here), but in the very way she is. Definitely worth getting to know, she is – start by following her on Twitter. Enjoy!
Three thousand years ago, it was cool to compare the girl of your dreams to pomegranates and flocks of goats and stuff like that. The little book sandwiched sexily between Ecclesiastes and Isaiah is kind of freaky, in an ancient-Near-East-erotica kind of way.
Still, I love reading Solomon’s Song of Songs. I think the poetry is all at once poignant and down-to-earth and transcendent and gloriously romantic. But it’s not just the poetry. There’s a beautiful theme that recurs. I chatted to my husband, Murray, about writing this post. We agreed that all the marriage advice we have to offer is probably underpinned by this one theme.
Just listen to the girl: ‘Take me with you; come, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedroom… My lover is mine, and I am his.’ (Song of Songs 1:4, 2:16) The guy says, ‘You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.’ (Song of Songs 4:12) Their passionate sense of belonging exclusively to each other creates a sensual sanctuary. They’re together. Hidden. Safe.
The world is monumentally messed up. It’s a crazy, broken place. There are hazardous people who hurt and hate. Landmines lurk. Even the sincerest intentions don’t necessarily shield you from being blown up on the road. It’s war out there. And I’m not a pessimist. In fact my glass isn’t half full; it’s freakin’ overflowing. But I’m being realistic. You shouldn’t expect the world to be anything other than sad and stukkend. That way, when you notice how by God’s glory it is still shot through with devastating beauty, that beauty is all the more breath taking. The point is, if lovers are to survive in the war zone, they need a refuge.
When I started dating Murray, I knew he was different because when I was with him I felt wholly, inexplicably safe. It was like coming home from a long, rough, dirty journey – and then having a hot shower and walking barefoot on soft clean carpet and having tea in your own kitchen. That feeling, you know: Ah. At last. I’m home. I belong. I’m away from the dangers of the elements and the unknown. Safe.
I also knew he was different because the refuge I had found wasn’t boring. It freed me. I felt it was a safety that allowed me to become what I was born for. A world of adventure was unlocked. It was thrilling. We had Our Song, as you do (because cheesiness is part of falling in love). It was Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. Murray would get a look in his eyes when it was playing and I was a goner. Intoxicated.
‘…let me in, I wanna be your friend,
I wanna guard your dreams and visions…
…I gotta find out how it feels;
I want to know if love is wild, girl, I want to know if love is real
…I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday, girl, I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and we’ll walk in the sun
…baby we were born to run…’
Marriage is a picture of how Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5). We were born to run into the arms of Jesus, to find refuge in his forgiveness and to be set free to live his dreams for us. Maybe you’re intrigued by this series of posts because you are keen on an awesome marriage (now or later). Maybe a place to start would be to ask: Am I the kind of refuge that a world-weary, true-love-longing traveller would be passionately relieved to discover?
For me and Murray, the refuge of a Jesus-centred marriage means a forever commitment. It means no secrets, no deceit, no competition. It means trust and forgiveness and understanding and win-win. It means being fed and clothed, rested and restored – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. It’s a haven for gathering body and soul together, and for regaining passion and perspective. It’s shelter from storms and assailants. It’s private peace when the world is falling apart. It’s unedited, unadulterated fun.
We’ve welcomed the gift of others into our refuge. Two super cool little chaps, for example. They live with us. And it’s our deep desire that others who need temporary respite from the craziness out there would know that our home is a place of peace where Christ is King.
But for the grace of God go we.
Go to previous post: By the way, Christians are pretty messed up too | MOSS Part 2
Go to next post: Marriage: it’s simple | MOSS Part 4
Go to intro post: Marriage and Other Scary Stuff | MOSS Intro