Lesson 04: Song of Solomon 04/04: Finding the One Your Soul Loves
With beautiful imagery, Song of Solomon tells the story of this couple’s wedding day. Yes, their outfits were gorgeous. Yes, the carriage sounds grand. And yes, I am sure their playlist was popping. However, I want to focus on a repeated phrase in this chapter. She celebrates, “I sought him who my soul loves.” How beautiful is that thought? When you are looking for “the one your soul loves,” then you should be looking for these three traits: They help you grow spiritually, they help you develop personally, and they pursue Jesus as they pursue you.
Large Group Instructions
I am an avid collector. I collect art, pottery, and antiques. In my pursuit of collecting, I have managed to handle some extremely valuable items. From abstract Miro paintings to ancient pottery from native tribes, I adore holding something with a history. "Can you imagine all the stories this thing tells?" I comment to my wife while she looks for the price tag.
Of all the random trinkets I own, one of my prized possessions isn't terribly valuable, but it's extremely sentimental. It's a fourteen-inch crystal bottle that sparkles like the New York skyline at night. I didn't find it at a gallery or antique store; I found it in my grandmother's closet shortly after she passed away. After doing a little research, I discovered that my grandparents proudly displayed this decanter upon the "bride and groom" table at their wedding. From that day forward, it was their go-to centerpiece for special events. They'd bring it out for holidays, parties, and anniversaries.
ILLUSTRATION: Bring out your valuable/sentimental prop.
Whenever I remove my beloved bottle from the cabinet, how do you think I handle it? Do you think I toss it around, put it in the dishwasher, or attempt to do tricks with it? Certainly not. I carry it the same way you would a newborn baby—gently, carefully, and respectfully. I treat it like a treasure, not a mere trinket or trash. We should see our relationships the same way.
Can we play pretend for a second? Let's say your boyfriend or girlfriend eventually becomes your fiancé and your fiancé eventually becomes your spouse. (Congratulations, by the way.)
On your wedding day, with all your friends and family watching you, God is lending you his prized possession.
He is entrusting you with a one-of-a-kind work of art.
Be sure to treat them as such—with value, dignity, and respect.
We can see this sentiment expressed in the third chapter of Song of Solomon, where our poetic partners reminisce about their wedding day.
Contextualizing This Passage
With beautiful imagery, this passage tells the story of their wedding day.
Yes, their outfits were gorgeous.
Yes, the carriage sounds grand.
Yes, I am sure their playlist was popping.
However, I want to focus on a repeated phrase in this chapter. She celebrates, "I sought him who my soul loves.” How beautiful is that thought?
When you are looking for “the one your soul loves,” then you should be looking for these three traits.
When you look for a spouse, I hope you aren't just looking for someone who is beautiful, handsome, successful, funny, or has the same taste in music as you.
Those things are important, but they're not the ultimate.
I hope you, like Solomon, find someone that your soul loves.
Your relationship shouldn't just be emotional or physical.
God-honoring relationships are deeply spiritual.
Imagine Jesus sitting in the front row of your wedding. What does he think of the union?
Do they help you draw closer to Him? Do they treat you like a treasure? Do they prioritize God over everything?
If not, please follow the advice of Solomon's bride: "Do not awaken love until it so desires" (3:5).
God-honoring relationships help you develop into the person God made you to be.
Your partner should encourage you to continue growing and changing as you pursue your calling from Christ.
I hope as you date, you develop.
I hope they bring out the best in you.
I hope they push you towards holiness.
I hope they encourage you to follow God’s will for your life above their own desires for your life.
Sometimes God calls us to a school that’s far away, a job that consumes our weekends, or outreach that takes up a lot of our free time.
Follow God’s calling for your life and the right partner will not only support you, but encourage you in those endeavors.
Lastly, but most importantly…
You should be in a love triangle. No, I am not talking about a cheesy Hallmark movie plot.
Rather, your relationship should include three individuals — you, your partner, and your Savior.
Jesus should be at the top.
As you both grow closer to God towards the top of the triangle, then you are also growing closer together as a couple.
It’s basic geometry right? Relationships thrive with God’s presence as the number one priority.
As you grow closer to each Jesus, you should be growing closer to each other.
If your relationship pulls you away from time in God’s Word, church services, or Jesus, then you need to take a little inventory.
Pursue God above all things, and your relationships will be better for it.
So what is my advice to you? Run after God with everything you have. The right person will keep up.
If you don't see that person yet, then just keep running.
They will show up at the right time.
Small Group Instructions
TALK IT OUT Go through these questions with your circle. Be honest. Be open. Talk through the tough stuff.
Ice Breaker: Go around your circle and share this week’s highs and lows. What was the best part of your week and what was the lowest part of your week?
Q1: How should you treat someone you love?
Q2: How should someone who loves you care for you?
Q3: What does it look like for a relationship to glorify God? How can a couple really center their relationship around Jesus?
Q4: How does a God-honoring relationship help us grow spiritually and personally?
Application: What healthy choices can we make now to prepare ourselves for a good, God-honoring relationship in the future?
This reading plan includes:
Romans 10:1-13 Ephesians 2:1-10 Proverbs 14:4-6 Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Galatians 2:20 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 Luke 15
Do the following with each passage:
ASK– God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down and inviting God to be present. Begin with focus and openness to see what God has for you today.
READ– the selected section of Scripture slowly. Take note of the words and phrases that intrigue you, reading them a second time if necessary.
REFLECT– on what grabs you. How does this passage personally relate to your own life and experiences?
RESPOND– to the Scripture. Speak directly to God about what’s on your mind and heart. Look for ways to live out what you’ve uncovered.
About For Ministry Resources Youth Series
FMR develops a monthly youth ministry curriculum that is free to all local churches. Each monthly release includes a sermon series, small group series, Bible devotional, and supporting graphics packs that are original, practical, and ready to use.