LOVE STORIES SERMON SERIES
THE BIRD’S & THE BE’S
FEBRUARY 22, 1998
Awhile back I was given a book. It is a best selling one that, quite frankly, was a great read. This book pretty much details how a wealthy young author, composer and entepuneur was out one day looking at one of his companies and how he just happened to meet a beautiful young girl. From there it chronicles how he had to disguise himself to win her love. Then it talks about their courtship and wedding and ultimately, their marriage.
For the most part, this book is erotic and poetic and discusses how a husband and wife should make love to one another. This book has helped my marriage and countless other marriages. So I thought that I would give it to a couple here in our service. If you are married, please lift your hands. Hands are going up everywhere.
Here is a fine young couple. “Tell me your name, sir.” “Doug.” “Doug, how are you doing? And this is?” “Nancy” “I know you guys. Doug and Nancy stand up. I want you to face the crowd just for a second. I will not embarrass you at all or put you on the spot. This is the book which I described and I want to give it to you as our gift. It’s an excellent book. Now, Doug, this book is what?” “The Holy Bible.” “I want you to turn to the bookmark there and read the title of that book.” “The Song Of Songs”. “I just described to you the Song of Songs or the Son of Solomon from the Bible. It is the book concerning how husbands and wives are to love one another. And it talks about the birds and the be’s. It tells us how we are to “be” as husbands and wives sexually. Thank you very much. Take care now.”
The birds and the be’s. Do you ever wonder, husbands, what she should be in marriage? How you each should be sexually? I think that the Song of Songs is appropriately names because anytime a biblical writer wanted to emphasize something as really great, outstanding or above the rest, he would always repeat himself. That is why you have biblical writers calling the Lord the King of Kings. That means that He was the absolute best. Nothing is equal to God. The Song of Songs is repetitious because nothing is equal to sex in marriage. I am talking about designer sex. God is the designer of sex. He has given sex as a gift to us. And He bestowed this gift to us before sin entered the equation. He wants husbands and wives to have great sex. So today we are going to talk about the birds and the be’s.
Concerning the original birds and the bees, I will never forget the time when I was six years old and with my mother in church. We were singing a hymn and I noticed a young woman who looked different. I asked my mother why she had such a fat tummy. Obviously, she was pregnant. My mother whispered that there was a baby inside. I told her she must be kidding me. My follow-up question, of course, was how did it get there. She whispered that she would tell me later. I asked again and she put me off again. But after church my mother sat me down and explained to me on my sixth grade level the birds and the bees. She explained everything.
After her eloquent talk she asked if I had any questions or comments. I said yes. I told her that I didn’t believe her. I told her that there was no way people would do that. But you know, after fifteen years of marriage and four children, my mother was right. People do do that. And today we are going to talk about doing that.
Every time I speak there are usually two or three guys who nod off now and then. I watch and it happens slowly. I caught one drooling one day until he jumped up when I said something kind of loud. Today I have no worry. No one will sleep in here. You will listen more attentively, laugh more intensely and take notes more tenaciously due to the fact that we are talking about sex. There is something fascinating, almost mysterious about this subject matter. Last week, we talked about spouse selection. I told you right up front that the message was weighted for the singles. But I warned parents not to put their minds on auto-pilot because one day they will need to teach their children how to select a mate. Well today, singles, this message is weighted for those in our midst who are married. And singles, you can guess where I am going. Don’t do the auto-pilot thing. You need to know as much about sex on this side of the wedding chapel as on the other side.
I have been in a series called “Love Stories”. We have been talking about what real love and real passion and real romance are all about from THE source, the Bible. Solomon and his bride, the Shulamite, tell us in no uncertain terms what we, and how we, are supposed to be and function within the context of marriage. God, as I said earlier, wants us to have exhilarating, mutually-satisfying sex in marriage. But the evil one does not want this to happen. The evil one does not want us to get a grip and grasp on our own sexuality. Plus he really doesn’t want us to understand the sexuality of our spouse. So most of us are in the dark. Most of us don’t understand or know what God’s desire is regarding this great and wonderful aspect of life.
Well, today I want to try and clear up the confusion. I want us to try to get a grasp on our own sexuality and that of our spouse. And we are going to do it by looking at the birds and the be’s. I am going to break this message up into two parts. First I am going to talk to husbands. I want to tell you from the pages of the Song of Solomon what you are to be. The second part is directed to the wives. I’ll tell you from the Song of Solomon what you, wives, are to be.
Now before I get into this, let me please help you set up some ground rules. Husbands and wives, there will be no elbowing, eye rolling or sighing. I know how tempting it is when you hear a message like this to think of “HIM” or “HER”. Think about yourself. Think about the be’s.
Are you ready, husbands? Be romantic. I will say it one more time. I was not talking a foreign language, guys. Be romantic. How many of you have ever heard your wives say this? “I wish you were more romantic.” If you have heard that, will you lift your hands? Now you guys be truthful. We seem to have a lot of people lying right now. I’m just joking. Wives are in touch with this thing called romance. To us men, it is sometimes nebulous. Well the Song of Solomon defines it. The Song of Solomon puts some tangibles around romance.
What does it mean to be romantic? First of all, husbands, it means frequent spontaneity. Solomon and the Shulamite had the spontaneity happening. Look what this husband said to his bride.
Song of Solomon 4:8. “Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, we will look down from the summit of the mountain, from the top of Mt. Herman where the lions have their dens and panthers prowl.”
He was saying, baby, let’s go to the bed and breakfast. He was taking her on spontaneous trips. He was buying her gifts. As the king of a nation, his time mattered. People were always pulling on him. Yet, he would just take these long walks in the forest with his wife. Frequent spontaneity.
Husbands, do you realize the power of giving your wife one long-stemmed rose? With no strings attached! Do you realize the power of sending them a love letter, you know, like you used to through the mail? Do you realize the power of taking her to a hotel and making love to her and then returning before midnight? That is frequent spontaneity. We need some of that, don’t we husbands.
Well, romance also means something else. It means consistent courting. You see, Solomon dated the Shulamite prior to the wedding and he dated her after the wedding. And if I had to name one thing that has been a great aspect of our marriage over the last ten years, it has been having a regular date night, consistently courting. We need to define a date. A date is not, husbands, throwing the entertainment section of the newspaper at you spouse and saying, “Hey, is there a movie that you want to see at the AMC Grand?” That is not it. It is not going out with another couple. Double-dating went out with puberty. I think it is great to go out with other couples, but don’t call it a date. When you go out with other couples, what happens? The men end up talking to each other, the wives, the same. Then about a week later a statement is made that you never go out. A date is what it means.
Husbands, it is you taking the initiative. It is you setting it up. It is you telling your spouse. It is you arranging for the babysitter. It is you setting the agenda for the evening. If you have to ask your wife what she wants to do, then you need to sit down and really study her and get to know her. Consistent creativity. I am so inspired by what I hear from very many couples in our church who are doing this date night thing. It is like an oasis in the middle of the week. It will give you something to look forward to. Talk about helping your children. Even though your children are crying for you not to leave them, when you walk out that door and tell them you will see them the next morning, you are saying to them that you and your spouse have something going on. Values are more caught than taught. When children pick up these values, when they begin spouse selection, they will remember back when you used to romance your spouse and they will do the same. Frequent spontaneity. Consistent courting.
Another tangible is regular creativity. Regular creativity. Solomon is talking to his bride in Solomon 1:11. “We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.” This guy was making gifts for her. And, if you read on, it talks about how he decorated their bedroom from the cedars of Lebanon. He bought beautiful furniture. He was regularly being creative.
Some of you husbands are saying, “I don’t have the bank account of Solomon. I am not loaded like he was. I can’t bring in cedars from east Texas to decorate the bedroom. I can’t go out to Weir’s Furniture and buy $100,000 worth of furniture.” You can be creative. You are designed in the image of a creative creator and God wants you to create. Husbands, when you deal with your wives, what kind of creativity is flowing with your relationship? The Shulamite applauds her husband because of his creative love play, nothing pornographic, nothing degrading, but creative.
Let me say something about pornography. Pornography should be something that we all stay away from. It should never have a place in a married couple’s life. Some people maintain that pornography will spice up the relationship. Yeah, it probably will for a couple of weeks. But then you begin to need it to get aroused and you are in trouble. Notice that Solomon and the Shulamite didn’t bring in any outside source to fire them up or to get them aroused. It was just each other. Their love came from inside out, not the outside in. So if you are involved in that, throw it out. Burn it. Get rid of it.
A couple of years ago I did something really creative in our marriage. I decided not to have a television in our bedroom anymore. I figured out that I was watching too much ESPN and CNN, sometimes for hours on end just lying on the bed. There’s Lisa, lying by me, and I’m watching sports programs. “Wow, what a dunk. Man, look at that pass. Unbelievable.” Well, when we got rid of the television in the bedroom, it helped. We began to talk more. We began to have more romance going on, more love-making going on. So men, take the lead and get rid of the television. Make your bedroom an oasis, a place where the climate is of love. Don’t fight in the bedroom. And, wives, a quick word to you. Don’t decorate your bedroom for your neighbors or your peers. Decorate your bedroom for you husband. So, men, I think that you hear me screaming. Be romantic.
Let’s move on. Be complimentary. I love this part. Husbands, we have an ability to build our wives into great lovers and we can do it with words. You see, Shulamite was feeling inferior because of her background, some of the things that she wore and the way that she looked. Here is what she said about herself. Song of Solomon 1:6. “Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun.” You see, back then, tanning beds weren’t vogue. They didn’t have Planet Tan or Palm Beach Tan on every corner. People wanted to be pale or have a peaches and cream complexion. She felt inferior about her darkness because it indicated to everybody where she was from.
Well, look at Solomon. This man had a way with words. He spoke what I call passionese. We all need to learn how to speak passionese, husbands. He compared his love to things that he could connect with in his world. Song of Solomon 1:9. “I liken you, my darling, to a mare harnessed to one of the chariots of Pharaoh.” He was saying that she was like a horse. Now don’t laugh too much. It was a high compliment. Pharaoh only had the best horse hooked up to the best chariot.
The in 2:2 he said, “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.” In other words, he was telling her that she was like a lily among all the briars. Well, husbands, don’t wives love to hear you say that they are one in a million? It is important to take things from our world, men, and use them to express our love for our wives. For example, I have told Lisa that she has beautiful legs, that her calves look like bass bellies. That really means something to me because I love to catch large mouthed bass and Lisa’s calves kind of look like a four pound bass belly.
Let me read on here as Solomon talks to his spouse. Song of Solomon 4:1-4. “How beautiful you are my love, how beautiful. Your eyes are those of doves. Your hair falls across your face like flocks of goats that frisk across the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are white as sheep’s wool, newly shorn and washed; perfectly matched, without on missing.” That was a big deal back then. “Your lips are like a thread of scarlet – and how beautiful your mouth. Your cheeks are matched loveliness behind your locks. Your neck is stately as the tower of David, jeweled with a thousand heroes’ shields. Your breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle, feeding among the lilies.” I’ll stop there.
Verbal discourse is a perquisite to sexual intercourse. We are to be complimentary. Why don’t you sit down, husbands, with your wives and talk about things you kind of feel uneasy and inferior about? Why don’t you share openly about those things? I guarantee you something. When we share some of those physical and emotional things we feel uneasy about, we will find out that they really don’t matter much to our mate. Husbands, take the lead. Be complimentary.
Finally, be sensitive. We have got to become sensitive males. Talk about sensitive, Solomon certainly was. One night Solomon was in the mood for love. He had made his move. Everything was right in his mind. But she said, “No I am tired, and have already showered and am in bed.” Solomon’s response instead of flying off the handle and saying, “Oh, I can’t believe it. I am handsome. There are so many women in the kingdom who would love to be with me.” He didn’t say that. You know what he did? He left a love note on her door. Sensitivity.
He noticed one day that she was a little bit homesick so he took her back to her home and they spent some time there. He was always being sensitive. I like the word sit in the middle of the word sensitive. Sit down, husbands, and study your wife. Are you sensitive to her? For example, let’s say that she has had a tough day, maybe at work or with the kids. When you come home, offer to take care of the kids, bathe them and get them to bed and give her the night off. Or maybe say that you will take everybody out to eat. Throughout Solomon’s marriage he was always being sensitive, at every opportunity. So, husbands, we are to be sensitive. Don’t worry about your wives. Don’t think about what she is not being. Worry about yourself.
- We have talked to the husbands long enough. Let’s talk to the wives now. Wives, are you ready? There are also three Be’s for you. Be available. Going back to the situation where Solomon was in the mood for love and his wife said no, we witness a problem that all of us face in marriage. Many times the husband will be in the mood and the wife is not in the mood. What do you do? Do you have an argument? Do you begin to play the blame game? What should go on here? When we have a situation like this which we all face, we need to turn to scripture. Here is what the Bible says concerning availability. I Corinthians 7:3-5. “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to the husband.” This word fulfill, which you might what to circle, means three things. First, of all it means that we are to satisfy our spouse sexually. Second, it means that we will be held accountable to how we fulfill their desires. One day Lisa and I, both, will stand before the Lord and He will ask each of us how we fulfilled our spouse. Now, I want you to look at your spouse for a second. Third, You are looking right now at your only sexual option. When you said, “I do”, you said that meant your spouse was it, together forever. So we are to fulfill one another’s desires. “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband.” In other words, we are never to use sex as a weapon, a reward or for leverage. It goes on to say, “In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” Now it gets very descriptive. “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent…so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.” When the husband wants to have sex and the wife is not in the mood, most of the time, biblically speaking, you are to fulfill your husband’s desires. And if you passively participate, you are also rejecting his advances. You are to willingly and creatively participate even if you do not want to have an orgasm.
Now many times you are going to say no and sex will not occur that night. Wives, if you do say no, don’t just say no. Say no with an appointment. No, tomorrow morning. No, tomorrow night. When you reject your spouse’s advances, you are hurting them deeply. Don’t reject them very often, but when you reject them do it with a contingency. And notice that the Bible says the only time that you are to abstain is not due to fatigue. It is not because the children are throwing up. It is because you both agree and you both want to pray. I’ll pray a lot, but I am not willing to pray all the time. Anyway, what does it mean to be available? Ladies, we are available to our children, to our friends, for the tennis league. But oftentimes we are not available to the second most important person in our lives behind Christ. We are to be available to our husbands.
Some women are saying, “Well, you don’t know my husband. If I was available all the time, we would spend all of our time in bed. I would never get out of bed.” That is not true. Wives, let’s say, for example, you are on a diet. Let’s say you haven’t eaten for five days and you walk by the refrigerator. What are you thinking about when you walk by the refrigerator? Food. Let’s say that you have your husband on a sexual diet. Every time he sees you, he is making the move. If you begin to be available regularly, everything will balance out after a short time. Be available.
Also, ladies, be aggressive. I spent most of my career at Florida State on the bench, as you know. I memorized a lot of cheers. I know most of the best cheers from the early 80s. I guess my favorite was, “B E A G R E S S I V E, Be Aggressive, Be Aggressive”. Remember that? Wives, that is your husband’s favorite cheer in the bedroom. He wants you to be aggressive.
Solomon leaves a love note. The Shulamite comes out and looks for him. Then she begins to be aggressive. She begins to approach Solomon through the eye gate. Men are more visual than women. Oftentimes, women approach men like they want to be approached as opposed to the way their husbands want to be approached. They approach their husbands with romance and gentleness when he wants to be approached in a direct way, physically. And, guys, we mess up in the same way. The Bible says that she began to dance for him. That’s right; the Shulamite danced a seductive dance just for her husband. Be available, be aggressive.
The third Be is be innovative. Solomon 4:11. “The scent of your garments is like the scent of the mountains and cedars of Lebanon.” You might want to highlight this word garments, because in the Hebrew it means Victoria’s Secret! She wore a sheer negligee. And then, talk about innovative, listen to what she says. “My lover, let us go to the countryside and there I will give you my love.” She is talking about making love outdoors. And then she says, “I’ll give you the new as well as the old…” Innovative. Captivating. She was aggressive and available and they had a wonderful sex life.
The Bible, though, is not just idealistic. It is realistic. I wish I could tell you that Solomon and the Shulamite had a wonderful marriage until they died, but they didn’t. You see, Solomon turned his back on his own advice. You know what Solomon did? He began to take many other wives for political gain and because of lust. He had 700 concubines at one time. He was a brilliant man. He memorized 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs. He was worth billions and billions and billions of dollars. At the end of his life, if you look in Ecclesiastes, he reflects. He is cynical and depressed. He says two things. It is all vanity. Chasing after sex, pleasure is all vanity. Then he says something else. He says that he should have remembered the creator in the days of his youth, back when he was with the Shulamite. He should have followed what God wanted him to do. But he got so involved in other things that he forgot his own advice.
So it all relates to being. Now we can talk about being all day and all night. But the most important thing is that we are to be a child of God. That is where it begins. We are to be a child of God. We have been talking about designer sex. God is the authority. God is the person who knows relationships, marriage, communication, intimacy. He says for you to follow Him, get closer to Him, and you will grow closer to your spouse, closer even in sex.
Even the secular world is backing us up now. One University of Chicago study based on a survey of thousands of women reported that religious women were more satisfied with the frequency of intercourse and felt freer to discuss sex more openly with their husbands than non-religious women. The most surprising finding was that religious women reported more orgasmic responses than did non-religious women. So even the secular world is saying that there is a connection between spirituality and sexuality. If you are spiritually fulfilled and you fulfill your husband sexually, you will be fulfilled.
So, concentrate on being. Guys, think about your part. Girls, think about your part. There is no i in sex. It is not there. So I’ve given you the information from the Song of Solomon. Now, husbands and wives, the application is going to be the best part.