We continue with Dillow's book "Solomon on Sex."
THE DANCE OF THE MAHANAIM
(Reflection #13, Song 6:138-8:4)
In the previous reflection, the Chorus has called Shulamith
back, psychologically, to her home in the palace. They say:
Come back, come back, O Shulamite;
Come back, come back, that we may, gaze at you.
This serves as a transition to the next scene. The point of
transition is in the word "gaze." The chorus, an imaginary
literary device, obviously will not do the gazing on Shulamith.
But the idea of "gazing" is picked up in the next scene as
Solomon gazes on the beauties of his wife as she dances before
him (they are alone in the palace).
The logical connection with the preceding scenes seems to be
this. Shulamith awakens after a painful dream only to find
Solomon is not at her side. The dream has set her desires in
motion to make love with her husband (5:8). Solomon appears and
assures her of his love regardless of her performance (6:4-30).
Then Solomon returns to the palace, and Shulamith goes down into
the garden to be alone with her thoughts. Her longings for her
country home are interrupted by the urgent plea of the chorus to
come back, psychologically speaking, to life at the palace. Her
thoughts are suddenly drawn once again to her lover, the desire
she had to be in his arms (5:8) is rekindled, and she seeks him
out in the following passage to make love. Solomon had approached
her desiring to make love many times and at the wrong times, and
she had refused him. Now she picks up on her intent of 5:6-8 to
search out her husband and initiate lovemaking with him
Thus, even though much of the problem is Solomon's fault,
she assumes responsibility for her own behavior. In 5:10-6:3 she
changes her attitude, and in 6:13b-8:4 changes her actions.
Solomon and Shulamith are alone in the palace. Shulamith
desires to make love with her husband and aggressively takes the
initiative. As part of their loveplay, and as her way of arousing
her husband's sexual interest, she dances before him. She
obviously has no problems with inhibitions.
6:136 SHULAMITH (to the Chorus):
Why should you gaze at the Shulamite
As at the dance of the two companies?
As Shulamith dances before her lover, she is being very coy
and saying, "Why would the chorus want to gaze on me?" The answer
is obvious, Solomon thinks she is beautiful and loves to look at
her. She is replying to the quotation of the imaginary chorus of
6:13a. This statement provides a literary and logical transition
from one point in the Song to another. The following verses
clearly indicate this to be a very close, intimate scene
involving Shulamith and Solomon and the conversation of love,
What is the "dance of two companies?" The phrase "two
companies" is a translation of the Hebrew word, "mahanaim."
Mahanaim was a town from which David fled as a fugitive from
Absolom (2 Sam.17:24). It was a small town situated north of the
Jabbok, not far from the Jordan Valley. The allusion here seems
to be the appearance of the angelic host at this site to Jacob on
his return home to the promised land. It is not clear why Solomon
refers to Mahanaim. Perhaps, the dance of the Mahanaim contains
something as magnificent and transporting as an angels dance.
Perhaps he viewed Shulamith as an "angel" dancing before him.
Dancing like this may seem strange to Western tastes, but in the
East in the Old Testament conception, joy and dancing were
inseparable (Eccles.3:4) - joy not only as the happy feeling of
youthful life, but also spiritual and holy joy (Ps.87:7).
Zockler argues convincingly that the descriptive phrases to
follow are from Solomon's lips.
7:1 How beautiful are your feet in sandals O prince's
Solomon comments on the gracefulness of her dancing.
The curves of your hips are like jewels.
The work of the hands of an artist
Both Lehrman and Delitzsch agree the curves of the hips
refer to their swaying motion as she dances before Solomon. The
phrase "curves of hips" is translated by Delitzsch, "the
vibration of the thighs." These movements are of a circular
motion, and probably refer to the windings of the upper part of
the body by means of the thigh joint.
Thus, Shulamith is dancing before her husband as part of
their loveplay. The reference to the top part of her thighs, her
navel, her belly, and her breasts indicates she had little or no
7:2a Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks
The word "navel" is assuredly an incorrect translation,
probably reflecting the translator's modesty. While the Hebrew
word could take that meaning, it is generally translated today as
"vulva," according to Brown, Driver, & Briggs. In other words,
Solomon views his wife's "garden" as she dances nude before him,
and she/him, and he says it looks to him like a "round goblet"
The Hebrew for "round goblet" should be rendered "a bowl in the
shape of a half moon." The allusion to the female genitals is
obvious; furthermore, this interpretation is necessary in view of
the sequential progression upward of his description of his wife,
similar to the sequence in 4:1-8.
(10) hair - tresses 7:5
( 9) head - crowns you like carmel 7:5
( 8) nose - like a tower of Lebanon 7:4
( 7) eyes - pools in Heshbon 7:4
( 6) neck - tower of ivory 7:4 (
( 5) breasts - two fawns 7:3
( 4) belly - heap of wheat 7:2
( 3) "garden" - navel - bowl in shape of a half moon 7:2
( 2) upper part of thighs - roundings of hips 7:2
( 1) feet - 7:1
For "navel" to mean "belly button" would violate the obvious
sequence of the passage.
Solomon says his wife's garden never lacks mixed wine. Wine
is used throughout the book (see 1:2, 2:4, 5:1) and in Eastern
erotic poems as a symbol of sexual pleasure. It would appear that
Solomon is suggesting that her "garden" is a never lacking source
of sexual pleasure for him. It is probable that the "mixed wine"
refers to a mixing of his sexual pleasure with hers - of wine and
milk (5:1); of myrrh and balsam.
Your belly is like a heap of wheat
Fenced about with lilies.
In Syria, the perfect skin was considered to be that which
could be compared in color to the yellowish-white of wheat after
it had been threshed and winnowed. Her navel and stomach are
described as being composed of wine and wheat. These symbols
suggest the common associations of a meal. Thus, the joining of
these two images implies that her "navel" and stomach constitute
a feast. It indicates a desire to kiss these areas as he later
expresses a desire to kiss her breasts.
Your two breasts are like two fawn,
Twins of a gazelle (see 4:5).
Your neck is like a tower of ivory
Her neck is smooth, white, and long.
Your eyes like the pools of Heshbon.
This was a city noted for its soft and beautiful pools. The
symbolism indicates peace in her eyes.
By the gate of Bath-rabbim.
The gates of a city were the chief places of assembly.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon
Which faces toward Damascus.
A tower facing Damascus was for the protection of the
nation. "In alike manner her stately look perhaps reflected the
strong character which was her protection" says one author.
Your head crowns you like Carmel
And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads.
The king is captivated by your tresses
As majestic Mt.Carmel crowned the fertile plains of
Palestine, so her beautiful face sits exquisitely atop her lovely
figure. Since purple was the royal color, he must see her hair as
"queenly." While chains could not hold this mighty king,
Shulamith's lovely tresses have bound him to her.
How beautiful and delightful you are,
My love, with all your charms.
7:7 Your stature is like a palm tree
And your breasts are like its clusters.
She has a stately stature. To look upon the clusters of the
date palm causes the beholder to want to taste them. This simile
of subjective response, then, suggests Solomon's desire to kiss
The palm tree serves as a very beautiful description of
Solomon's beloved. It sways in the wind with inexpressible
gracefulness but seldom breaks. The trunk was tall, slender, and
flexible? Palm branches were traditionally a source of rejoicing
(Lev.23:4; Neh.8:15; Rev.7:9). The tree typified grace, elegance,
I said "I will climb the palm tree
I will take hold of its fruit stalks."
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine.
To "climb the palm tree" had a special meaning. In the
Ancient Near East the artificial fertilization of the female palm
tree flowers by the male palm tree flowers has been practiced
from earliest times. The male and female flowers are born on
separate trees in clusters among the leaves. In order to
fertilize the female tree, one must climb the male tree and get
some of its flowers. One then ascends the female tree and ties
among its flowers a bunch of the pollen-bearing male flowers.
Thus, to climb the palm tree is to fertilize it. Solomon 's
using some contemporary language of the vineyard to say he
intends to make love to Shulamith right away!
Solomon says he will caress her fruit stalks - her breasts.
Now he changes images from date palms to gape clusters for
breasts, which seems more appropriate. Grapes swell and become
increasingly round and elastic as they ripen, similar to the
female breasts when sexually aroused.
And the fragrance of your breath like apples,
And your mouth like the best wine.
Her mouth is "like the best wine." In other words, it is a
great source of pleasure. Her kisses are "sweeter than wine."
It goes down smoothly for my beloved
Flowing gently through the lips of those who fall asleep
To what does "it" refer? Obviously, it goes back to the
"wine," or high sexual pleasure. She says her love is totally and
completely satisfying to him - "It goes down smoothly." She is
fully confident of her lovemaking skill and knows she can satisfy
her man. As wine causes the body to relax and drift into sleep,
so their love has left them sweetly exhausted, and they fall
asleep in one another's arms.
I am my beloved's
And his desire is for me.
She thrills at the fact that Solomon desires her physically.
This refrain has been slightly but profoundly changed from its
three previous usages.
2:16 My beloved is mine and I am his
6:3 I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine,
7:10 I am my beloved's and his desire is for me.
This could possibly suggest a deepened sense of security in
Solomon's love. When she first mentions the refrain it is during
their courtship, and her possession of Solomon is primary, while
his possession of her is secondary. The second time she reverses
the order, making his possession of her primary, indicating a
greater degree of security in him. Now, after this love scene
where she has totally satisfied her man, she not only places his
possession of her in the forefront, but she strengthens it by
saying that his desire is toward her. She is so focused on him
that she omits her possession of him. She is revelling in her
"woman power" - her ability to satisfy her man physically. The
word translated "desire" is the same word used in Gen.3:16 where
it is said the woman's desire would be toward her husband.
They have just consummated sexual union. As they lie there
together, Shulamith broaches a subject that has long been on her
heart, she desires to visit the countryside and now claims the
"vacation for two" Solomon promised her on the honeymoon night
Come, my beloved, let's go out into the country,
Let us spend the night in the villages
7:12 Let us rise early and go to the vineyards;
Let us see whether the vine has budded
And its blossoms have opened
And whether the pomegranates have bloomed
There I will give you my love.
7:13 The mandrakes have given forth fragrance
And over our doors are all choice fruits,
Both new and old
Which I have saved up for you my beloved.
In these verses, Shulamith invites Solomon for an escape
into the forests of the Lebanon mountains to the north. There,
she says, they will make love outdoors! I think any married
couple would do well to follow her advice in planning a few
getaways every year where they can renew their physical love and
evaluate their marriage and goals in life. My wife and I try to
do this at least twice a year. I wish we could do it once a
Note, wives, Shulamith suggests this adventure away from the
palace. There are places to make love other than the bedroom.
Shulamith is suggesting they make love in the open air of the
countryside. With a little careful research you can probably find
a private spot for you and your mate to enjoy a Sunday afternoon
making love out under the sky. Be sure your research is thorough,
however, or your picnic for two might suddenly be interrupted by
a troop of Boy Scouts tromping through the woods!
Notice she longs to see "whether the vine has budded and its
blossoms have opened" (7:12). It is apparently spring. They had
courted and were married in the midspring (2:10-14). perhaps this
indicates the passage of one year since their marriage. "The
mandrakes have given forth fragrance. . . ." The mandrake was
considered an aphrodisiac in the ancient world. To say they give
forth fragrance is a poetic way of saying the springtime
atmosphere of the countryside is conducive to making love.
When she says ". . . Over our doors are all choice fruits,
Both new and old, Which I have saved up for you my beloved," she
is promising both new and old things in their countryside
lovemaking. The "doors" refer to the fact that they are outside,
and their "doors" are the branches in the trees and the open air.
Fruit is a reference to sexual pleasure in general here. Thus,
she has saved up some sexual pleasure they are accustomed to, and
with the coming of the new fruit of a fresh spring she has some
new sexual pleasures she plans to offer him. She is creative! She
is skilfully building his sense of anticipation by appealing to
his sexual imagination.
Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother's breasts
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me either.
She expresses her desire to be free to unashamedly kiss her
husband in public as well as in private. It is all right to kiss
your brother unashamedly in public because no one will think of
sexual connotations - "no one would despise me either." However,
to kiss your husband like that is deemed socially inappropriate.
Times haven't changed.
I would lead you and bring you into the house of my mother,
who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my
If you were my brother, she says, we could live at my home
in the country. I would feed you from the juice of my
pomegranates (from the vineyard of my sexual pleasures), and sit
under your instruction as I used to sit under my mother's.
Let his left hand be under my head,
And his right hand embrace me.
She is now referring to what she said in 7:12,13. They are
going to make love in the country. The momentary daydream of her
desire that Solomon be like a brother is broken, and she longs
for the opportunity to make love with him in the countryside. She
imagines his left hand under her head as she lies on her back in
some country meadow, and his right hand "embracing" or "fondling"
her breasts and "garden."
For the third time in the book now, Shulamith repeats the
warning not to allow sexual passion to develop until God has
brought the right man (i.e., the one He wants you to marry) into
I want you to swear, O Daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken love,
Until it pleases.
For the third time she addresses the imaginary chorus with
this warning. Let us review the warnings.
First warning, 2:7: If you want to have the maximum sexual joy
and fulfilment in marriage, do not allow sexual arousal to occur
with anyone but the one God intends for you.
Second warning: If you want to be free to evaluate objectively
and to consider the cost of marriage to this particular person,
do not allow yourself to become sexually stimulated, or your
objectivity may be lost, and there are great issues at stake,
Third warning: This one in 8:4 seems to stress the importance of
premarital chastity in view of the sexual adjustments to be made
"after you've said 'I do.'" - To involve yourself sexually before
marriage can hinder your ability to resolve sex problems after
marriage. We now know this is not simply theoretical. Any
marriage counsellor can give numerous illustrations of the
effects of premarital sexual involvement on postmarital sexual
For example, it often results in premature ejaculation
difficulties for the men. The guilt some wives feel over their
premarital sexual involvement can so scar their emotions that
they continue to think of sex as wrong even in marriage and
freeze up sexually. One woman complains of the fact that every
time she makes love with her husband, she carries mental images
of the other men she had relationships with before she was
married. These images generate continued guilt. No, Shulamith's
waning is very relevant to the twentieth century. The new
morality is just the old immorality that has plagued the lives of
many and destroyed numerous marriages over the centuries.
Fortunately, the believer in Christ can experience
forgiveness of sin through the cross. Every sin you will ever
commit has been paid for if you trust Christ as Savior. What a
freedom! "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are
in Christ Jesus" (Rom.8:1). If God can forgive murder, He can
forgive premarital sex. Claim that forgiveness now (1 John 1:9)!
This beautiful love scene and the ensuing conversation
suggest several pertinent applications to marriage today.
The Dance of the Mahanaim
As mentioned in the commentary, Shulamith obviously was not
very inhibited. To dance like this, provocatively displaying
one's body, might seem a little unusual for Western tastes. We
must remember, however, that the Bible is a Near Eastern book,
and such behavior would not seem at all inappropriate in that
cultural context. Furthermore, the fact that Shulamith displayed
this kind of freedom doesn't imply that this is a norm for all
Western wives. She was being creatively aggressive to please her
man within the confines of her own personality and culture. The
Bible does not want any woman to try to be something that is
totally at variance with her personality. However, it could be
that God would have an inhibited wife change her personality a
little and strive to be what her husband needs!
The first thing that would inhibit any wife from this kind
of foreplay in the bedroom is concern about her figure. If she
thinks she is overweight, she will be very inhibited when it
comes to this kind of bedroom behavior. She thinks her husband is
only looking at the bulge around the middle. A wise woman once
counselled, "Stand nude in front of a mirror and take a good look
at yourself. Don't just look at the front; your husband sees the
back too. Turn sideways and get a glimpse of what you look like
to him." If you think there are some improvements needed, make
Many marriage counsellors consider inhibitions the number
one cause of frigidity in women. Nothing so dramatically surfaces
this issue as the contemplation of doing the dance of the
Mahanaim for your husband. Perhaps because of our society's
perversion of sex, many wives tend to react to the other extreme.
In view of so much perverted exploitation of the human female
body, it is natural to think that since the world displays it, a
wife should conceal it. But certainly inhibition, whatever the
causes, can generate considerable sexual tension in a marriage.
Overcoming it is a very difficult thing. It might be helpful to
consider that many of our ideas concerning modesty and "virtue"
are really not related to the Bible at all. In their book, "The
Freedom of Sexual Love" - Joseph and Lois Bird speak directly to
this concern. "Nudity between husband and wife has nothing,
repeat, nothing, to do with the virtue of modesty. In the
intimacy of marriage, undressing for each other should be as
natural and unself-conscious as a shared laugh or a mutual
Shulamith recognizes men are more aroused initially by sight
- by a physical approach. Women often approach their husbands in
a way they like to be approached - with romance, gentleness, etc.
While that is certainly appropriate, it is sometimes a kind of
selfish indifference to the husband. On the other hand, husbands
sometimes approach their wives in the way they, the husbands,
like to be approached. Men tend to be more physical and direct.
Wives often say their husbands move too quickly to genital
stimulation. The reason they do is that they are selfishly
approaching their wives the way that appeals to them, not really
thinking of their needs for tenderness and romance. Notice that
Solomon always approaches his wife sexually with romance,
atmosphere, and tenderness (Song 4:1-8). Shulamith, on the other
hand, aggressively approaches her husband in a more physical way
- with a dance (Song 7:1-9). Both are concerned with meeting
their mate's needs and not insisting on sex on their own terms!
While such a dance would be inappropriate for many marriage rela-
tionships, if you and your husband have the kind of freedom and
lack of inhibition described here (and there is nothing
necessarily wrong if you don't), you might try some of these
suggestions. Near Eastern Dancers often wore provocative
negligees while dancing. Shulamith did and she also wore sandals
(7:1,2). Thus, sandals and sexy negligees are part of a biblical
description of foreplay!
The intimate afterwards
Tim LaHaye has pointed out a basic difference in the male
and female sex drive cycles. He diagrams it this way:
(the diagram is not reproduced, but the diagram for the man is a
straighter up curve and a straight drop down after climax. The
diagram for the woman is a much longer curve up and a longer out-
stretched curve down - Keith Hunt)
The difference in cycle is beautifully brought put in the
Song. After they consummate their love, they fall asleep in one
another's arms after engaging in loving conversation (7:9-13).
Many husbands fail to express this post-orgasm intimacy and
expression of love. This is because, as the diagram indicates,
once the man has experienced orgasm, there is an almost immediate
return to normal relaxation and even exhaustion. At this point
many husbands roll over and go to sleep! However, it's not over
for her. As the diagram indicates, there is a gradual tapering
off of her sexual feelings back to normal relaxation. If you are
not sensitive to thus, your wife can begin to feel taken for
granted. "All he wants me for is sex," she may think. Or "The
only time he gives me attention is when he wants sex!" If you
roll over and fall asleep as soon as you're satisfied, what other
conclusions can she draw?
Paul taught that sexual intercourse was to picture Christ
and the church (Eph.5:31-32). This is an astounding parallel and
certainly ought to have forestalled the common notion that
Christianity is against sex. What is the essence of the parallel?
Death! Paul said the husband was to love his wife as Christ loved
the church and gave Himself for her. The believer is told that in
denying himself and losing his life, he will paradoxically find
it (Mark 8:35). Mutual death to self is the key to total oneness
spiritually and physically.
To what does the wife need to die in the physical realm? She
needs to die to inhibition. Inhibition is sometimes a subtle form
of rebellion. Paul says the wife no longer has authority over her
own body and the husband no longer authority over his. Once you
are married, you own your mate's body (1 Cor. 7:4). Thus,
inhibition is insisting on an authority that you no longer have
and thus is sin. (Sin in the physical realm of sin I would say -
The husband, on the other hand, needs to die to the feelings
of embarrassment or awkwardness in expressing tenderness and
romance. Both must die for the intimacy of the total oneness of
sexual love to be experienced. You both die to anything that
would obstruct your mates pleasure.
Something old and something new
Shulamith is a creative lover. Instead of sitting around
resenting Solomon for his preoccupation with his job and his late
night approach, she assumes responsibility for her behavior and
changes the relationship. First of all she is more aggressive
toward him sexually, as illustrated by the dance of the Mahanaim.
Then she reveals she has planned a vocation in the Lebanon
mountains where they will walk, enjoy the springtime, and make
love outdoors. Furthermore, she builds his anticipation of the
time together by enticingly suggesting she has something old and
something new to offer him. She has planned some new sexual
"fruit" or surprises for them to enjoy (7:13).
There are THREE basic keys to fully satisfying your man
Be more aggressive
I really think most men long for their wives to be more
aggressive sexually. A man wants to know you long for him just as
he longs for you. In a survey of 500 men, 39 percent said their
biggest dissatisfaction in then sexual relationships with their
wives was that their wives were not aggressive enough. Recent
books have recommended you call your husband at work and tell him
you "crave his body," or that you will meet him at the door when
he comes home wearing only high heels and jewelry! (If you are
shy you can wear lots of jewelry.)
Many people react to this sort of thing and say, "That's
just not me!" Then don't do !L Do what IS you. Ask God to show
you what you can do, and be willing to put your inhibitions
aside. Just remember to approach him according to the way God
designed him, through the eye gate as Shulamith did. If your
husband does not want you to be more aggressive, then don't be.
The goal is to be what your man wants. Know your husband and what
he wants, and if what he wants is the dance of the Mahanaim, get
on your dancing sandals!
Be totally available
The Scripture plainly says, "The wife's body does not belong
to her alone but also to her husband" (1 Cor.7:4). One doctor was
telling a wife that she should be totally available to her
husband, and the wife got a look of horror on her face. "If I was
totally available to him, we'd never get out of bed!" she said.
The doctor assured the distraught patient she and her husband
wouldn't have intercourse nearly as often as she expected. He
told her, "Someone who bangs on the door forty times when it
stays locked only knocks once if you open right away."
Most wives who haven't reached sexual harmony with their
husbands find them making some kind of advance nearly every
night. These women are afraid they will be asked to participate
more often than they can bear if they let down the barriers. But
actually, a man who has intercourse as often as he wants finds
that in a week or two the pressure of his physical urge is
relieved, and the psychological pressure to overcome resistance
no longer applies, so his sexual pace tapers off.
One man explained to me that his wife is available to him in
"spurts." After she has read a book about what a wife should be,
or heard someone speak on it, or when they have a fight about
sex, she has a good attitude for a few days; soon, however, she
returns to her old habits of rejection.
He said when she is responsive, "I take advantage of it
because I know it won't last long. And because I do, my wife
thinks all I ever think about is sex."
You know, when you are on a diet, all you can think about is
food. When you can have food anytime you want, you're not nearly
so interested. It's the same with sex. When a man or woman knows
they will be rejected, they will very likely be consumed with
what they can't have. When a man knows his wife is totally
available, his desire will gradually decrease. It may take some
time, but gradually as he sees you lovingly and eagerly available
to be loved by him, the frequency of your lovemaking will come to
a level more acceptable to you.
One woman had a husband who approached her very often,
several times a day, including the middle of the night. They had
fights; she told him he was oversexed. Finally, he said he had
had it and would approach her no more. She called my wife and
said, "Linda, I've heard you say publically and privately your
goal in life is to be, a godly woman. Well, let me tell you, my
goal in life it to make my husband scream for mercy!"
The poor man didn't know what had hit him. She told my wife
she knew she was succeeding when she approached him sexually
while he was watching television and he said, "Please! Let me
finish this program." She found she had to prove her total
availability to him by being aggressive.
This woman furthermore found her husband was truly
satisfied. Sex to a man isn't only physical. When she was warm,
responsive, and aggressive to her husband, he felt he was loved
and not just endured! His psychological needs of acceptance, of
wanting to be needed, and of wanting total involvement from his
wife had been met. As a result his obsession for sex began to
diminish. He still was very active sexually, but their
relationship was much improved because of her changed attitude.
People do have different amounts of sexual desire. If you
are married to a man with a high sex drive, ask God to make your
desire equal to his. Perhaps your husband has a low sex drive.
It's possible that it is physiological, but it could also be
psychological. I know of one case where it was directly related
to the fact that the woman was trying to lead the family, and
therefore he just wasn't interested in her.
Let's look a little more at the psychological aspects of
availability. A man once told me about his wife, "Even when she
satisfies me physically, I come away with a need. I feel she
hasn't really given or really enjoyed but just put up with me. I
need a sexual release again quickly because I'm longing for that
total oneness and release that comes when both partners
completely give of themselves. I know if I was satisfied
physically, emotionally, and spiritually that I wouldn't walk
around thinking about sex, wanting it and aching inside."
On the other hand, let's look at it from the woman's point
of view. Perhaps she is busily making presents. The children are
finally in bed, and for the first time that day she has a chance
to do something she wants and needs to do. While she is totally
engrossed, in walks her husband with that special gleam in his
eye. At this point she has a choice. She can say, "Oh honey, not
tonight," or she can decide and choose to love this man God has
given her. Even if her initial response is "Oh, no," she can
change that immediately to "Oh, yes!"
And once she is in his arms, she has more choices to make.
I'm convinced that much of a woman's sexual response is in her
brain. If he is kissing her and she is still thinking about the
gifts, she can decide to think about loving him and ask God to
give her a desire for him. If she will think and dwell on how
nice his body feels and what a privilege it is to love him, the
thoughts of the presents she was making will fade away.
A wise woman once said, "You can become a Rembrandt in your
sexual art, or you can stay at the paint-by-number stage." The
woman who would never think of serving her husband the same
frozen television dinner every evening sometimes serves him the
same frozen sexual response every night. Sex, like supper, loses
much of its flavor when it becomes predictable. It is biblical
for a wife to be a skilful lover to her husband. Solomon said of
Shulamith's love skill, "How beautiful is your love, my sister,
my bride! How much better is your love than. wine. . . " He said
she was more skilled than any mistress the empire (Song 6:8). The
young man of Prov.5:19 is told to be drunk with his wife's sexual
What is skill? It's a lot more than technique! It is
primarily an attitude of total availability, that is 90 percent
of "skill." If a woman has this attitude, she and her husband
together can figure out all the "skills" they need without having
to read any books. To be "creative" is to bring into existence
something that hasn't been there before. Here it applies to
bringing into existence a vital and invigorating sexual life. It
involves taking the initiative. And finally, it does involve some
imaginative new ideas, but they are not nearly as important as
the fundamental attitudes we have been talking about in the
preceding chapters of this book.
Where does that leave you? O.K., so I'm supposed to be
creative. But what do I do? In chapter 6 we made some suggestions
to the men, but for a woman's point of view may I refer you to my
wife's excellent book (I'm not at all prejudiced!), "Creative
Counterpart" (Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1977) in which she devotes an
entire chapter to the subject of the "Creative Lover."
(That book may not now be available. I do not have a copy of it.
But I'm sure there are some other fine books on the present
market in Bible Book stores, that will expound the same truths
and instructions - Keith Hunt)
The conclusion of our tittle song is upon us. We have left our
lovers strolling along a country road as they come to Shulamith's
home in the Lebanon mountains. As they emerge from the forests
where they have shared their love, Shulamith for the third time
warns against the premature arousal of sexual passion (8:4). Her
warning that it not be awakened until you are committed to your
future husband becomes the introductory theme of the book's
conclusion. The poet in his final song will direct our attention
to the nature of the love Solomon and Shulamith share and how it
can be developed.
The final chapter before an instructional APPENDIX is called "A
Vacation in the Country."
Entered on this Website September 2007