Monday, December 9, 2013

mutual attraction

As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women. As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. 

Song of Solomon 2:2-3a

There is no denying that romantic love begins and grows with mutual attraction. In this world we will meet thousands of individuals throughout the course of a lifetime. But only one person can be the love of a lifetime. And that is what is being sung about at this point in the song. The two lovers exalt the exclusivity of their mutual, marital love.

Of course, we have these same phenomena occurring today. We are mystified by it sometimes: "I don't know what she sees in him." or "Love is blind." But what we are commenting on is an outsider's view of a unique and sometimes inexplicable attraction. He sees a lily among the thorns and is mesmorized by its beauty, tenderness and assessibility. She sees an apple among the dry cedars and is drawn to it for shade, provision, and protection. They are looking at each other through attraction.

This process is good, but it has its dangers if it is not at least recognized as incomplete without more mature aspects of a relationship such as commitment and wise evaluation. If we focus just on the physical aspects, such love may not pass the test of time. I doubt that after 30 years of marriage she is still the flower of youthful beauty. And he cannot leap over mountains when he limps up the staircase. But by that time commitment's love is stronger than the power of physical attraction alone. And marriages that mature in this way find that it is the sweeter love still!

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