Today, we have an exclusive excerpt from Matt Chandler’s newest ebook, The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Sex, Marriage, and Redemption. In this new release, Chandler takes a look at The Song of Solomon and unpacks it’s candid—and timeless—insights on romance, dating, marriage, and sex. This is the perfect resoource for someone looking to dive deeper into understanding marriage, for the newly-engaged couple that’s curious about what’s to come, or for singles who want to learn more about Christ-centered dating.
Now we move forward in the Song:
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8: 6–7)
For the record, the word for “love” in this passage is that word ahava. It’s the clinging love, the “I’m not going anywhere” love.
Ahava is as strong as death. Its flashes are fiery, sourced in the consuming fire that is God. All the oceans covering the earth cannot drown ahava. It is worth more than all the treasures of the world.
If we’re going to be faithful to the end, we will often have to lean into the covenant that we made with our spouse and with the Lord. We will need to access again and again, by God’s grace, this devoted ahava, which says, “It’s not an option for me to go anywhere because Jesus would not abandon his bride.”
I have been physically fit my entire life. I am tall and lean and have always been strong for a man as lean as I am. I have been told I have a powerful presence. I like to have fun, I like to goof around, and I have been blessed with what seems to be a boundless amount of energy. These were things that attracted Lauren to me. She often described me as our family’s “recreation coordinator.”
But then I got sick.
And all of that strength and vitality, in a matter of months, simply vanished. The ability to be playful, the ability to be creative, the ability to goof off were gone. Not only that, but my ability to really take care of myself, to do fairly simple tasks, vanished. I couldn’t even take a shower by myself, and the kind of accompaniment I needed there was not sexy, all right? I lost the ability to even stand.
I lost so much of my ability to, in a way, be myself. There was no way I could romance my wife. My desire for sexual intimacy was gone. For a while I began to wonder what the brain surgeries had done to me. I wondered if, should I ever get over this cancer stuff, I would always be unable to do some of the things I enjoyed so much. Maybe I was going to be broken this way for a long time.
Lauren saw me at my worst. I wasn’t in that kind of depressive “I hate everyone” mentality, but I was at my worst in terms of being very weak, unattractive, unstable, unable to get myself to the toilet so I could vomit and lie on the cool tile of the floor. I was a mess. And in those moments, I praised God for ahava love. As I look back, I still praise God for ahava love.
I praise God that this flighty kind of Cupidian, Valentine-y, emotive love isn’t what we’re hoping will hold us all together! Praise God that the love we trust to keep us from falling apart is ahava. Praise God that as miserable and messy as I was, my wife was a regular reminder of God’s grace to me. [Click to tweet] She didn’t turn and run. She stayed with me, helping me, loving me, and carrying me. Lauren demonstrated her love toward me in this: that she lived into an ahava love even when I could not reciprocate.
You can download and read the rest of The Mingling of Souls from Vyrso for just $9.59—just purchase the ebook in our ebook store today and read it in the Vyrso app or your favorite web browser via Biblia.com! If you haven’t checked out the Vyrso app, you can download it free for iOS, Android, or Amazon Fire devices.
Today, we have an exclusive excerpt from Matt Chandler’s newest ebook, The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Sex, Marriage, and Redemption. In this new release, Chandler takes a look at The Song of Solomon and unpacks it’s candid—and timeless—insights on romance, dating, marriage, and sex. This is the perfect resoource for someone looking to dive […]