Song of Songs is a rather mysterious book to have in our Bibles. Maybe it’s just that I am not very inspired by poetic images, but I think it’s giving a picture of a love relationship that expresses the thrill of intimacy with God.
Written by American mental-health counsellor and ordained minister Jay Stringer. The book explores the processes of how we begin to “understand our lust”, seeing our present-day sexual fantasies and behaviours as road maps that can help us to understand our unresolved experiences from the past.
About a year and a half after becoming a Christian, I remember crying in my church’s toilets while the Word of God was being proclaimed from the church hall. I can’t remember what was being said or even if it was something that dramatic. I only remember sitting there asking God why I had to have this pain. I was nearly screaming to Him asking Him where He was. It felt like someone had got a knife and made a slit all the way down my soul. I thought I was letting God down and He was letting me down.
Pornography, masturbation, sexual fantasy, lustful thoughts... They’re just men’s issues, aren’t they? The ways in which women struggle may often be subtly different to our male counterparts, but the fundamental issues of our sinful hearts seeking fulfilment in the wrong places are just the same.
The word holiness can give rise to thoughts of legalism. Or it can bring to mind the image of someone who is dower and puritanical - isn’t it a shame that the puritans didn’t smile for their portraits?! For example, when I was volunteering on the TFT speaking team a few years ago, I remember one of my colleagues being called a Pharisee - unfairly, I should stress! Rightly teaching what God’s Word says on ethics and godly behaviour can so easily cause this reaction.
Some people who are single and/or attracted to the same sex find that physical touch is something they feel they lack. Therefore, feelings I began to have a few years ago took me somewhat by surprise. I became aware that I felt acutely untouched. I felt like I needed to be held. I felt like I had a craving for physical intimacy.