When Tommy Nelson began his teaching series from an Old Testament book, his church in Denton, Tex., had about 700 people. Within a few weeks, attendance was up to 1,400. His service for college students grew from 300 to over 700.
And what Old Testament book was the focus of this pastor’s messages? Would you believe the Song of Solomon?
Many Christians have barely read this book (which is also called the Song of Songs in some Bible translations), much less understood it. It’s a story of Solomon and the woman who becomes his wife, and its poetic language is full of phrases like, “My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi” (1:14).
But in the hands of a skilled Bible teacher like Tommy Nelson, it becomes much more: a book full of godly wisdom about sexuality, marriage, and romance. His sermon series was popular, he says, because people were so intrigued with the idea that God’s Word had something to say on such a contemporary topic.
Tommy believes that romance is a discipline that should be learned and practiced … especially by Christians.
We long for marriages that are as romantic and passionate as the courtship, engagement, and honeymoon. And that’s the type of marriage described in Song of Solomon. But at some point many of us become lazy in romance—we stop pursuing each other, and in our selfishness we develop patterns of sin that damage the relationship. As Tommy says, we “settle into the habits that become grooves that become ruts that become graves.”
One of the best romantic disciplines a husband or wife can develop, he says, is putting down what you’re doing and listening to each other. “Listening is one of the most passionate things a human can do.”