This book is filled with symbolism, and it sometimes creates confusion on our parts.  We wonder if it is promoting premarital sex or possibly physical abuse in a relationship, because the scenario seems to imply that.  In those moments, we must remember that this is poetry and not reality and then look for parts we do understand.  The word that caught my attention was the word "friend."  The beloved says, "this is my lover, this my friend..."  Do we still see a marital relationship as a friendship?  I understand that it involves physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy, but does it also include friendship?  I believe that it should!  A marriage is more than making babies and filling up a retirement account.  It is two people completely committed to one another who truly enjoy spending time and sharing life together.  I want that in my marriage, and I want that for my children.  We sometimes push so hard for grandchildren that we forget to teach our kids the importance of a best friend in a marriage partner.  If you cannot share all of life together -- laughing together, crying together, and just enjoying each other's company -- then that marriage is shallow and never really becomes all that God wants it to be.  I realize that my marriage will set an example for my children's marriage; therefore, I want them to know that my wife is my best friend; my closest confidant, and my greatest supporter.  I want them to know that so they can look for the same in a marriage partner.  Besides their faith in Christ, they will make no greater decision in life and I want to give them every advantage possible as they seek for that lifelong mate.

Help me, Lord, to celebrate the friendship that I have with my spouse.  Help me to show my children the incredible joys of marriage and to enjoy the blessings of my marriage each and every day.