Little Foxes

The date is set, the invitations sent out months ago, and all the preparations complete. For the man, most of the work was finished without his consultation; he figures that he has done the hard part. He has picked the girl and bought the ring, all other details are icing on the cake. For the young woman about to walk down the aisle this is the culmination of a dream. What he does not know is that every little girl enacts the wedding scene with her dolls, or uses her bedspread as a veil to walk down the makeshift aisle in her own bedroom.  I admit it, I did the same thing with my Hollie Hobbie bedspread.  She has envisioned this day all of her life, how she will look, what she will say, and every detail is etched in her mind as clear as the ice sculpture waiting at the reception. The day arrives, the vows spoken, the dance executed, the journey begun. It is one of those eternal snapshots. 
Fast-forward a few years on the couple so young and in love waiting expectantly at the altar, giggling nervously as the pastor pronounced their marriage complete, a hesitant start and finally the kiss of all kisses silences the fears. We, in the audience breathe a sigh of relief and wipe our own tears as we send them silent good wishes and prayers that they feel this love and commitment each day of their married life. We sigh, because we know all too well that this type of commitment is a daily decision to revel in the love God gave couples within the marriage union. We know all too well the hard work that marriage entails, not the wedding.  We know there are times we awake and we don’t even like the person with whom we have dedicated to spend the rest of our lives.
Song of Songs, a wonderful poetry piece, heralds as the Harlequin book of the Bible. Fraught with imagery of nature and sexual innuendo, it is the hallmark of a Godly union with one’s intended mate. One cannot help but smile wistfully as back and forth the beloved and her young stallion flirt with the descriptions of how they see one another. We smile wistfully, because we know how quickly we have taken for granted the one God kept for us.
We forget because we let life get in the way of remembering eternal snapshots. Song of Songs is full of those snapshots. From the pages, we read of the young man so enamored of his young bride that he equates her eyes with that of doves. He further calls her exciting and speaks of her beauty in terms of flowers and beautiful creation. He knows where her weaknesses lies and he is more than willing to build her up in his eyes and is not afraid to sing her praises aloud for all to hear. Likewise, she recalls that her lover is hers and she is his, displaying the complete union of a couple in communion with Christ and the creation given them. She affirms the ego of her young lover and claims him dazzling and far better than any of ten thousand others. She continues to affirm him as she claims that this is her man, and any other woman would be so jealous as not to have him. She   in her heart what he needs and she is pleased to provide that affirmation for him. They both know where the other’s weakness exists, and are willing to accept one another in spite of it.
We forget all of this. We forget in the daily buzz of life what made our hearts quicken, the grass look greener, and the blush creep into our cheeks as we think of our own wedding night. We forget to recall the rush of that first time our hands brushed against each other, or the anticipation of that first kiss, and the relief when it finally happened. We think we are the only ones to feel this way. How easily we forget that God intends for that quickening pulse and the playful flirting to exist all through courtship, wedding, and the marriage. We dismiss the unconditional love we feel as we welcome that first child in our arms and the look that passes between only us as we share an unspoken communication that this must be the best day in the whole world. We figure we are entitled to it a second or third time, forgetting the complete wonder and creation of it all. We forget where it all began.
In all this forgetfulness, we let what Solomon calls the little foxes become the elephants in the room bout which no one dares confront. The foxes start as little instances of forgetting to put clothes away or neglecting to call when one is running late. They continue to escalate as little problems creep under the rug and the couple that was so in love barely speak to one another, both busy with their own agendas. Both continue to hurl silent insults and become painfully polite, harboring resentment for words that remain unsaid. Finally, the problem is so out of control both have looked outside that communion of marriage to feel safe and loved again in a less Godly way. Maybe it is his wife spending more time with colleagues from work, and coming home to spend her only time left with the children with not so much as a word to him. Maybe he stays later at the office, eyeing the pretty assistant, or drowning his dissatisfaction in animated or internet images or games. In both instances, our committed husband and wife have forgotten the wonder that God created for them.
In the midst of wedding vows where we pledge to honor and withstand until death us do part.  Maybe we forget to include the moments of realness within that relationship. Maybe we forget to mention to remember all those moments that made us fall in love in the first place, maybe we neglect to acknowledge the primal and physical pull that draws us to one another in passion and love. Could it be that we allow all the other thoughts, struggles, issues, misgivings, stress, and pressures to dictate for us the identity of our beloved loved one? If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit we lose the excitement of those first touches. We depend more on our own strength and forget the safe haven that our partner represents. This world, with all its pressures, is not kind to keeping our safe havens intact. Passion and intimacy decline with time, but with continued vigilance and remembering those first thrilling moments we can keep the strength of those eternal moments alive. When we accomplish this, we accept the love that God has for us in our spouse’s gifts. We work each day to make our love a reflection of that divine, passionate, perfect, and passionate love from God himself.

I admit that  I have not a clue what motivated this, just some thoughts in my head as I enter another aspect of my life.  The last few years have seen me fixated on kids and school, my role as a woman and wife have become mottled as I seek to understand other roles.  Without school to divert my attention, I wonder what my other roles look like and what my response is.  I confess I have no idea how to tackle this topic or if it is even relevant to others out there, but as I whirl toward 40 I find my mind and soul want more than what I have settled for and the first person to who I must look is me.  If I have entered into the union, then at least 50% of the problem and solution is mine……till then.

Shalom,

cahl

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