Romantic Love: God’s Idea not Cupid’s
Columbia International University professor Dr. Brian Gault says the Bible’s Song of Songs shows us that human love and sexuality are good gifts from God. Gault, an assistant professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, has written numerous papers on the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon.
Gault says the Song of Songs is best understood as a collection of individual love songs, celebrating the delights of romantic love between two ideal lovers.
“The book is structured around refrains and repeating cycles, each unit opening with lovers separated and desiring intimacy and closing with reunion and sexual fulfillment,” Gault said.
Gault says until the Enlightenment, the Song of Songs was often read as either an allegory representing God’s relationship with Israel, or Christ’s relationship to the church. However, he says the Song does not resemble other allegories in Scripture, plus the nature of the imagery is very sexual, especially at a wedding scene in the middle of the Song.
“The groom praises his beloved’s beauty from head to foot,” Gault explains.
In addition, Gault says the Song details the human emotions and feelings many couples experience in a relationship.
“Reading the Song may feel like a roller coaster ride, repeatedly following the lovers from their intense longing for one another to the fulfillment of those desires,” Gault said. “The Song focuses mainly on the pleasures of love, but there are also hints at the difficulties of love as well.”
Furthermore, Gault says even though the Song of Songs is found in the Old Testament, it can still teach us much about romantic love in 2016.
“Sexuality has been twisted and cheapened in our culture,” Gault said. “The Bible teaches both God’s prohibitions and God’s pleasures. The Songs of Songs shows us that sexuality and passion are gifts from our Creator that are to be enjoyed and indulged in the proper context: marriage.”