Advent Reflections from a Young Married Man: The Skill

“In the coming weeks, I will post seventeen short Advent reflections on the Song of Songs from a young man learning to be a lover and a husband, who at the same time struggles to plant his worth as the beloved Bride of Christ.  My guiding question:

How does the birth of God’s Son transform the broken projects of struggling lovers into aspirations for soul mating?

Click here to read the general introduction:

5B       Song of Songs 5.9-16                   His Glory as the Son

9. What is your beloved more than another beloved, O fairest among women?  What is your beloved more than another beloved, that you thus adjure us?  10. My beloved is all radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.  11. His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven.  12. His eyes are like doves beside springs of water, bathed in milk, fitly set.  13.  His cheeks are like beds of spices, yielding fragrance. His lips are lilies, distilling liquid myrrh.  14. His arms are rounded gold, set with jewels.  His body is ivory work, encrusted with sapphires. 15.  His legs are alabaster columns, set upon bases of gold.  His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars.  16.  His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable.  This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

As years pass, a haunting voice enters into the midst of our bonds, “your love is dull.  Is there not another who might better fulfill your desires?” I suppose this is what might have been said about the baby Jesus come to his day of dedication, “what child is this more than another?”  We try our best to defend our bonds and faith from the voice, yet it creeps in a million ways.  Advent reminds us that to fulfill our greatest desires for love, we must learn the skill of appreciation and beholding beauty veiled among the mundane.

There was once a woman, who beheld the glory of hidden baby. She had waited her whole life to meet Him, her divine soul mate. 84 years, in fact.  She found none on earth.

So she endured her whole life in anticipation.  Though she was not married, she exhibited the Skill.  Day after long day, she looked longingly to heaven for love.  It must have not been easy.  Her fulfillment must have come after long years of struggle and a haunting voice, “your love is dull.  You sit in a temple all day.  You have done it for 84 years.  Is there not another who might make your life more worth living?” When we get convinced that our life is ordinary, we loose the spiritual muscles that help us to really see our beloved.

Yet she waited until the day when her lips could testify to redemption.  It was a redemption that would stretch far beyond the nation.  It would reach into each human heart and each lover’s relationship and pave a way that two should reach that most sublime of states: simultaneously beloved and friend.

And, Anna’s story teaches us married men two most essential lessons: 1. We must not struggle against the voice that tempts our mate’s imagination.  We are after all dull in many ways.  Yet beneath jars of clay rests glory. We are all a man distinguished among tens of thousands.   2.  But we are not the ones that must reveal our glory.  That is another’s job.  For married men, we must not spend life proving ourselves to the world; we must give that job in trust to our women.  If the glory is there (and there it is), she will unveil it in due time for all who would have eyes to see.