Ice Breaker Question:
Years ago, Paul McCartney and Wings sang, “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. I look around me and I see it isn’t so.” Why is that? Why do we never get tired of love songs?
In Pastor Tim’s message, what did you find challenging, helpful or even confusing? Share with the group.
Pastor Tim talked about looking for a man or a woman of good character. What are some the challenges you’ve had? Or if you are married, what are the character qualities you love about your spouse?
Do you have a spiritual silhouette that you have in mind?
Apply the Bible
In the opening verses of the Song of Songs, we learn that love brings us pleasure. The song begins with the bride saying, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.” Right from the get-go, the writer leaves no doubt as to what this book is about. We jump right into the timeless, universal, physical expression of love—the kiss. “Kiss me, you fool!” the bride is saying. “Lay one on me!”
The song is telling us that one of the reasons love is so wonderful is that it is a source of great pleasure and delight. A passionate kiss from the one you love is like nothing else in life. It’s better than wine, the singer says. She wants that experience—she wants to be kissed passionately and tenderly by the person she loves. And so do we. Do you remember, as a kid, sitting in class, daydreaming about some boy or girl you liked and writing their name in your notebook over and over again? Suddenly, you realize that the teacher is calling on you, and you’re sitting there with this silly grin on your face. Just thinking of the person’s name makes you happy.
She fantasizes in verse 4 about running away with the one she loves, of having him all to herself, of spending the night together. Again, whether she is anticipating her wedding night or remembering it, we’re not quite sure, and it doesn’t really matter. The point is that nothing would make her happier than to be alone and intimate with the one she loves.
Have you ever seen an older couple holding hands? It makes us smile. We are happy for them. Love is wonderful because it brings us pleasure, from that first pubescent pang of desire right through to the tender, twilight years of life. We never get tired of it. We never get enough of it. It’s like wine, the chorus says—sweet and intoxicating.
[Q] Read Song of Songs 1:3. What happens when you pour a vial of perfume out? How does it affect the room? How does this describe the way the bride feels about her bridegroom?
[Q] In what way does the latter part of verse 4 remind you of the wording in some Psalms?
[Q] How do you think God feels about our sexual pleasure in sex?
- A necessity for procreation.
- A joyous celebration of intimacy.
- Only a consequence of our sinful, broken world.
[Q] Why did you pick the statement you did? How does it affect the way you view marriage?
The first voice we hear is the young woman. This is significant because women in the ancient world were regarded very little. They were viewed either as possessions of men, servants or slaves. Yet here we read of the woman initiating sexual intimacy with the man that she chooses. This shows that she stands on equal footing with the man, not subservient. This actually stands against the cultural narrative of the time that normally depicted women as subservient and less than men.
[Q] How does this passage reveal God’s character? Why do you think He reveals this in a feminine voice?
Switch things up! Rather than waiting till’ the end to pray, why don’t you try praying in the beginning, middle or the end. You may end up spending your entire time in prayer, don’t view that as a negative. Whenever you are connecting with God in community, you will experience God’s Presence and Power through prayer and your group will come away encouraged.
Chance to Serve
Looking or an opportunity to serve? Check Out Night To Shine. This is a prom for teens and adults with special needs. We are still looking for buddies at our Mountainside and Union County locations. Check out our Night To Shine website to check it out.
In the message Pastor Tim talked about the struggle we have with insecurity. If you google the definition of insecurity it says, “uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.” Or “the state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection.” Whether you are single, dating, celibate, married or single again we all struggle with insecurity. In this section, let’s explore how we can find our confidence and courage in Christ when we feel insecure. Our insecurities are rooted in fear.
[Q] Think of some of your insecurities. How are they connected to fear? What are some of the things you are afraid of?
When Joshua and Caleb went with the 10 spies to scope out the land of Canaan (which was to become Israel), most of the men were terrified of the people they found there. However, Caleb said, “my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly” (Joshua 14:8).
[Q] What does it mean to follow God wholeheartedly? Describe what you think such a life looks like.
[Q] How can we follow God wholeheartedly even if we struggle with fear and insecurity?
The strength that overcomes fear can only come from God. Read Isaiah 35. Jesus quoted part of this passage in Luke 4, and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
[Q] How can a relationship with Christ give you strength to overcome fear? Give a personal example, if you can.