“My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 2:16
These are words of belonging, words that for an engaged couple can generate tender imagining and anticipation of what life together will be. Lived out by a married couple, these words can hold together in intimacy what much of the world seems to determined to break apart. Intimacy in marriage, sexual and otherwise, was created by God and is to be fought for, delighted in and fiercely guarded.
To yield to one another sexually in marriage is to step into God-created intimacy that takes us out of ourselves and into places where the walls can crumble and we can be tenderly vulnerable and real. There is peace and expansiveness of heart that come with this intimacy, one that offers such glorious contrast to the confusion and momentum of the world.
We must be willing to fight for intimacy in our marriages and to fiercely guard it. We fight for it by being attentive to each other’s hearts, by yielding to God in a way that allows us to more easily yield to one another. We guard it by being intentional, considering what pulls us from intimacy and stepping away from those places, considering what brings us life and stepping deliberately into those places.
“My beloved is mine, and I am his.” We long to belong. Marriage, as a coming together before God, offers a sense of belonging that mirrors our belonging to the Father. While the vulnerability that intimacy brings is sometimes hard or scary to step into, it is such a wonderfully holy place that God gives us, a place of delighting in each another that echoes of the Father’s delight in us.
Father, forgive me the places where, although I long to belong, I rebel under Your covering. Forgive me the places where I choose not to yield. Let me delight so much in You that I can delight in the one you have given me in marriage, that together we might be Yours.
For devotions to help make your faith — and your marriage — stronger each week of the year, see Jim and Jean Daly’s book The Best Year of Your Marriage: 52 devotions to bring you closer.