Kiss Me, and Kiss Me Again
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Sharon Jaynes looks to the Song of Solomon for practical wisdom on love and romance. Jaynes studies to find out what is most attractive to a woman, and then tells what Solomon found most attractive in his wife.
Kiss Me, and Kiss Me Again
Bob: What is it that draws us to one another as husbands and wives? What are we attracted to about one another? Sharon Jaynes says attraction is about more than just what meets the eye.
Sharon: I remember when I met my husband Steve—we were both in college—and a friend of mine had a Bible study. I walked into this Bible study, and there is this guy sitting on the floor with these scruffy jeans and a red flannel shirt. He had a little chip on his front tooth, and he had a Bible in his lap. I watched him, paid attention to what he laughed at, how he spoke, how he spoke to other people; but I mean, by the second time I was with him, I thought, “I am going to marry that man.”
I was so attracted to—yes, he was handsome—but his character: what I learned about his character over the next few weeks, just how he interacted with other people—that was so attractive to me.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, January 16th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I'm Bob Lepine. There is great power in attraction—both before we are married and after we’re married. We’re going to talk more about that today with Sharon Jaynes. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. When couples find themselves in a place where they need help in their marriage/need counseling of some sort—if you ask them, “What are the issues that have led you into a counselor’s office?”—there are some pretty common issues—four or five things that will come to the surface.
Dave: You always hear, “money.”
Bob: “Money” can be—yes, it’s one of them; “kids.”
Dave: “Kids,” “conflict,” and you always hear, “sex.”
Bob: Yes; intimacy winds up being one of those issues that couples look at and go, “If this is not working the way it’s supposed to, there is something wrong in our marriage.” I think we need to understand that’s by God’s design. He intended for us to be one in every aspect of our marriage.
Oneness, physically, is what we’re talking about this week—it’s one of the things we talk about at the Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. I want to, again, remind our listeners about the fact that, this week, we have a special offer we are making to FamilyLife Today listeners. If you sign up for an upcoming Weekend to Remember marriage getaway—plan to be with us at one of our getaways this spring—you can save 50 percent off the regular registration fee as long as you sign up this week. You can go online, FamilyLifeToday.com—all of the locations and dates are listed there—or you can call us: 1-800-FL-TODAY is the number to call.
Once you’ve locked in and say, “Let’s go this weekend to that location,”—maybe, it’s a location near you; maybe, you want to travel and get away for a weekend—whatever you want to do—sign up this week, and we’ll cover half of your registration fee.
Ann: That is a great deal—
Bob: It is.
Ann: —worth every penny.
Bob: You think about the investments we make throughout the year—in like keeping our car washed, and keeping the oil changed, and our lawn looking nice—and how much do we really invest in our marriage relationship? To take a weekend away and spend a little money to have a retreat like this, I don’t think there is anything better you can do for your marriage. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about the special offer we are making this week; or call to register at 1-800-FL-TODAY.
And we are talking this week about passion, and romance, and intimacy in marriage—
Dave: Sort of a boring week; huh, Bob? [Laughter]
Ann: Just a light topic. [Laughter]
Dave: Yes, just passion and romance. [Laughter]
Bob: Part of the reason we’re doing this is because of a great new book that our friend, Sharon Jaynes, has written. Sharon is joining us on FamilyLife Today. Welcome back, Sharon.
Sharon: Thank you!
Bob: Sharon is an author; she is a mom; she’s a wife. She speaks at events around the country, and she just spent the last couple of years reading the Song of Solomon, pretty much, every day; right? I mean—
Sharon: Some of it every day; yes.
Bob: So, what is it like to have your devotions in Song of Solomon every day for like a year-and-a-half?
Sharon: Like: “Lord, did You really say that, God?!” “Did You really write that here?!” “Is that really in there?!” [Laughter]
Bob: What did it do for your own marriage?
Sharon: Maybe, see some things differently—intimacy—see/saw it differently more than the physical side of it; but what it means spiritually. One thing I never thought of before is that coming together, as a husband and wife in the physical sense, is almost like renewing that covenant—
Sharon: —every time. This might be strange to hear; but when you take communion, you are remembering—
Sharon: —what Jesus did for you. And when you come together as husband and wife, in that way, it’s almost like you’re remembering again and renewing a covenant again. As I studied more about what the covenant meant—rather than marriage not being a contract but a covenant—that was new to me; it made me approach it differently.
Dave: One of the things I thought was interesting about your book is—I’ve read some books on the Song of Solomon, never written by a woman.
Dave: It was fresh to say, “Okay; here is a woman’s perspective, looking at Scripture.” Try this—I’m going to walk you right through your book. You know that first chapter—it’s called “The Mystery of Physical Attraction”—you look at what Solomon had to say; it’s really getting into this. Tell us guys/tell the guys listening: “What is super attractive to a woman?”
Sharon: Let me just say this—that the woman in the Song of Solomon is a predominate character.
Sharon: Most of what we are reading—it’s about her thoughts and her actions. The very first verse, really—besides the verse that says, “This is a song of Solomon,”—is “Kiss me and kiss me again,” which you probably want Ann to memorize in seven different translations; right? [Laughter] It starts off with her saying that; and we see that by the time we meet her, she’s already head over heels with this guy. She talks about his physical appearance, but she also talks about his character. She’s drawn to his character too.
She says this line—this is kind of the code word; so talk about code words throughout the Song of Solomon—that we read things, and we’re really not sure what she is talking about. When she said that “his name is like oil poured out,”—well, that is really a reference to his character; and why would you be attracted to one man over another? The culture will say, “That’s chemistry.” I think that’s something that God puts in us that makes us attractive to certain people. It’s not just something that’s naturally occurring; I think He created us that way.
One thing I say a lot in the beginning of the book is: “We are not just looking at the what to give you tips and tricks,”—even though there is some of that—“but we are looking at the why. Why is a man attracted to one particular woman? Why is a woman attracted to one particular man? Well, I think God puts something in us that makes that happen; so the why of it all, and the why of passion in general, is because God created us that way.”
Dave: Yes; and I’ve found, you know, for my wife—Ann has told me—and it’s right here in your first chapter—this mystery of physical attraction. I’d love to hear you two talk about this—is there is the “kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” Ann has told me, often, nonsexual touch is very important to her; so the kiss thing is almost nonsexual. It doesn’t have to be sexual in a sense. Then, also, in that same thing, the oil poured out is the character part.
I think we men often miss that. We think it’s all about our body; it’s all about the physical: “I’m going to get in the gym and get abs and work them.” There is nothing wrong with that—that’s wonderful. But we think, “That’s what a woman really wants.” Yet, you start right here and say, “It is so much deeper and bigger than that”; right?
Sharon: Right. I remember when I met my husband Steve—we were both in college—and a friend of mine had a Bible study. I walked into this Bible study, and there is this guy sitting on the floor with these scruffy jeans; he had on a red flannel shirt. He had a little chip on his front tooth, and he had a Bible in his lap. I paid attention to what he laughed at, how he spoke, how he spoke to other people; but that Bible in his lap—I mean, by the second time I was with him, I thought, “I am going to marry that man.”
I was so attracted to—yes, he was handsome—but his character: what I learned about his character over the next few weeks, just how he interacted with other people—that was so attractive to me.
Ann: I agree with that because for Dave—same thing. He was so attractive, physically, to me; but that wouldn’t have been enough to take me to the next level. I can remember the time we had—it was one of our first dates. We had a conversation; and I remember driving home, thinking: “That guy wants to change the world for Jesus. What would it be like to be his partner in changing the world?” So, both—God uses the physical attraction but, then, that character piece—that really pulls at our heart as well.
Bob: The package is nice, but it’s the present inside—
Bob: —that is really what’s valuable.
Now, I know I read in Song of Solomon: “His arms are rods of gold set with jewels. His body is polished ivory bedecked with sapphires. His legs are alabaster columns set on bases of gold.”
Ann: That’s my husband. [Laughter]
Bob: And I’m going, “Yes; well, so I’m in trouble.”
Dave: That was your husband. [Laughter]
Bob: There is this glorification of physical beauty, both for the man and the woman, in Song of Solomon. There are some people, who read this, and they go, “Well, I guess I’ll never measure up.”
Sharon: Well, there are actually three times where you read something similar to what you just read. Twice, he’s going from head to toe with his wife, praising her body—actually, the first time is head to toe. The second time, he starts at her feet and works up which is an awesome parallel with starting at someone’s feet and being a servant; but that’s a whole other lesson. [Laughter] Then, of course, she does that with him in the passage that you just read.
But that, to me, more than just saying they are focusing on the physical is that they are complimenting each other; and they are giving each other words of praise and adoration. That’s what I learned from those passages when they are praising each other’s physical appearance—is that they are giving each other words of praise.
When does that stop? When do we stop giving compliments to one another? Well, it shouldn’t, really. We start the Song of Solomon that way, and we end it that way when they are most likely older. That is a lesson for us that have been—I mean, I’ve been married almost 39 years—we need to never stop giving those words of affirmation to our spouse. It might not always be about physical appearance.
In those examples, most of what they say are; but when you go back and you study when she is talking about his legs being like bronze, there’s much more to that than the physical aspect, because the legs being like bronze is also representative of his strength. She is still talking about his physical body, but she is also talking about his character as well in that.
Bob: Well, I’ll just point out here. I’ve observed, over the years, that the better I get to know someone, and the more I see the beauty of their character, I watch their physical appearance change. I see someone as more attractive once I know their character than I saw before that.
The other thing that I’ve observed is—and maybe, this is—I don’t know if this is me or if it’s most guys—but for me, a woman’s smile is the most attractive thing about her. I’m talking—I’m a married man; so it’s not like I’m out looking around at all these women, saying, “Who do I find attractive?” But it’s natural—
Sharon: It’s beautiful.
Bob: —for us to look around and go, “That’s an attractive person.” Mary Ann and I will talk about this from time to time: “Did you notice he was a good looking…?” “She’s an attractive woman.” We’ll do that; but then we’ll pull back, and we’ll say, “What is it?” It’s not just body size, or measurement, or any of those things; it’s really the radiance of character coming through and being projected in the physical appearance.
Sharon: When you go back and look at the Song of Solomon—the Shulamite or the woman—she did not think she was attractive. She said, “Tell him the other women don’t look at me because I’ve been burned by the sun.” She saw that her skin was rough like the tents of the Bedouins. She did not see herself as attractive, but Solomon did.
Sharon: So there was something in her that he looked beyond that.
Even as you move into Song of Solomon, Chapter 2, she says, “I am the rose of Sharon.” For us, we think, “Oh, she thought she was a rose”; but no. What that actually means, when you go back and look up what the rose of Sharon was, it was that very common flower. It would be like me saying, “I am just a dandelion; I’m just a weed.” He says, “O listen; if you think you’re just the rose of Sharon, everybody else—they are like briar bushes compared to you.”
Dave: You know, I’m thinking: “Guys, are you listening right now? [Laughter] Do you understand the wisdom that is coming through to you right now?” I’m guessing—because I know my wife very well—that a lot of women feel the same way.
Dave: I think she is stunning; I’ve always thought that. She rarely has thought that. So what, as a husband, can I do?—speak words of praise;—
Dave: —speak words of affirmation.
We just talked about this—you think, “Oh, no; I don’t want to say it every day.” No; say it every day—often, often. Where will that smile come from?—that will come from your words of affirming her. That’s what Solomon showed us in this book.
Ann: Why do we stop doing that, Sharon? Because after people are married a while, they see flaws; they don’t see the good. That praising one another stops. How do you address that?
Sharon: I think it’s apathy and indifference. Even in the Song of Solomon, we see that. The first four chapters, you’ve got this couple—they are wooing each other. Then they’ve got the wedding; and then they’ve got a whole chapter on the honeymoon, and how he is praising her—top to bottom; it’s very, very romantic.
But then you turn over to the next chapter. In Chapter 5, he comes knocking; and she says, “No thanks.” It’s interesting that about 20 percent of the book is related to conflict and forgiveness, so that makes it very real for us. He comes knocking; she’s not interested. Why is that? Why does that happen in marriage? Again, it’s just apathy. We get indifferent to it; we stop trying. Before we know it, we have a marriage that’s void of that, and we’re not doing it. We think, “He’s not doing it; I’m not going to do it.” But you know, somebody’s got to make the first move.
I have a willow tree in my back yard, and it blew over this year. Now, I was not surprised when it blew over because, for five years, it had fewer and fewer and fewer leaves on it. When it blew over in the storm, I thought, “Well, it just died.”
So many times in marriage, people will ask that question: “Why are we not doing this anymore? What happened? I wasn’t expecting that.” We have to pay attention. That does not happen all of a sudden; it happens gradually—just like that tree dying—fewer leaves every year. We have to pay attention and not be apathetic about our relationship as husband and wife.
Pay attention and do the effort. Go to a Weekend to Remember. Pay attention. Make it a priority that you marriage is going to be a priority if you want it to last a lifetime.
Bob: I want to go back to something that Dave asked both of you about; because I read an article, years ago, where someone had gone to the top supermodels in America and said, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your physical appearance?” The average number from the supermodels was a 7; and they immediately went and pointed out, “Here is what is wrong with my appearance.” These are women who are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for their physical beauty; and when they look at themselves, they see the flaws. Mary Ann has said to me, “That’s common.”
Sharon: It’s very common.
Bob: Most women do not look in the mirror and go, “You know I really am—
Ann: —“stunning.” [Laughter]
Ann: Yes; “Look at me.”
Bob: Right. So, Ann, when Dave says that a husband should, every day, be praising his wife’s beauty, does it take about 10 or 15 years before you start to go, “Well, maybe, he’s got something there”; or do you ever believe it?
Ann: That’s a good question, because where does our value come from? I think, for many women, our value has come from the world and our culture, saying, “A woman’s worth is totally correlated to her beauty/her physical beauty.”
We come in, I think, as women, feeling insecure/of feeling like we’re not enough. But it is amazing; after all these years, Dave will tell me, “Ann, you look great,”—or whatever—I can sit there and think, “No; I don’t!” especially as we get older. Yet, here is what I do know—he thinks it. Isn’t that the most important thing?
Dave: I’ve got to be honest. When we first got married, I would say something like that—“I think you’re beautiful.”—and she would respond, “I’m not.”
Ann: I would point out why I’m not.
Dave: Yes; and I mean, honestly, I thought she was kidding. I wasn’t even in tune enough to know she really doesn’t think she’s beautiful; she really doesn’t. There was sexual abuse in the past; there was all this stuff that you can add up later.
I remember thinking, “One of my jobs, as her husband, is to relay to her what God sees in her: ‘He sees you as beautiful, and so do I. I’m not going to stop saying it.’” Don’t let a day go by without writing that letter, making that phone call, sending that text, and then verbally looking at your woman and saying, “Thank God for you; you are gorgeous.”
Sharon: I woman said to me one time: “Well, I would treat a man really well if my husband treated me like Solomon treated his wife”; but here is the thing—she treated him just as well. I appreciate you saying that the husband should be telling the wife that she’s beautiful; but we, wives, need to be doing the same thing.
Dave: Preach it!
Dave: Preach it, woman!
Sharon: No; we really do.
Dave: Yes; it is true.
Ann: I would say this—I tell women—it’s very important for women to express that to our men—their strength, their abilities—not lie; but to say, “These are the things that I’m so attracted to about you.”
Bob: I’m hoping that all of us recognize that, if we want to be attractive to one another, we can work on the package. There is nothing wrong, like you said, Dave, with working on the package; but if you’re not working on the character—
Bob: —it doesn’t really matter what the package is. You can get the outside appearance looking great; but if the character is not there, the physical appearance is not going to matter.
By the same token, you can work on your physical appearance if you’re developing character. Your beauty/your physical beauty—your attractiveness as a man or as a woman—is going to be multiplied because, ultimately, we are drawn to the character in another person—to the goodness, to the godliness, to the Bible on the lap as much as we are to how broad the shoulders are.
Dave: Yes; I’ll tell you something quick. I was in a high school, years ago, with the Detroit Lions players as I took them in there to speak about making right choices [to students] in this high school. We do this little athletic competition, and I’m standing beside one of these NFL players.
There are some teachers down, maybe, ten feet from me. I have a tank top on that has our thing—Pro Challenge—and I’m standing beside this big linebacker. I hear this one teacher—and I can see out of my periphery—he sort of looks down and he goes, “Hey, who is that little guy down there?” [Laughter] I’m standing beside Chris Spielman. If you don’t know that name, he’s a Hall-of-Famer broadcaster now. He turns to me and goes, “Hey, man, do you know that guy talking about you?” I go, “No; I didn’t hear a thing”; you know? [Laughter]
Then I hear the other teacher go, “Oh, I think he is a kicker or something”; right? Chris makes a joke then as well. Then we do our thing that day, and I go home that night. When that comment came out, I didn’t say anything; I sort of laughed; but I was like: “Wow! I used to be a quarterback; I was the big man on campus. Now, I’m a kicker-like guy.”
Bob: —“the little guy.”
Dave: —“the little kicker guy.”
Ann: —“the little guy.”
Dave: I love kickers; there is nothing wrong with kickers; but, man, it was an ego thing. I told Ann that night, so I just relayed that little story. She knew me in college; so she could easily go: “Whoa! That had to be a blow”; you know? I didn’t even say, “Oh, it was…”—I just said, “You know, I’m like a kicker now?”
I’ll never forget this—she looks me across the—she was on the couch; I was on this La-Z-Boy. She goes, “Dave Wilson, look me in the eye.” I look over there, and she says, “Let me tell you something; you have a great body,”—that’s the first thing she said. I, now, know she was lying; but she said that.
Sharon: No; she wasn’t. [Laughter]
Dave: Sometimes, it’s okay to say it; but here is what she said—I can almost quote her word for word because it was so important for me to hear at that moment. She said: “You are an amazing man of God. Your character is something that is stellar. When I see you pray with our boys/when I see you lead me spiritually, that is what a man is. Don’t you ever forget that!”
Sharon: Good job, Ann.
Dave: I mean,—
Sharon: That is awesome!
Dave: —it was a moment that I’m like, “I needed to be reminded it’s not about the outside.” It really is—it’s both—but it’s really about character. She’s still in love with my character, and it was something I had to be reminded. I’m saying that to every person listening.
Bob: Well, it may have been too long since you’ve looked at each other and said, “Let me tell you what I love about you.”
Bob: It may be something like: “…the way your eyes sparkle”; it may be something like, “…your hair.” There may be physical attributes that you can point to and say: “I’ve always loved this about you: your cheeks,” or “…your smile,” “…your dimples—whatever it is.
Dave: —or “…your no hair.” [Laughter]
Bob: But then to say, “But you know what really I’m drawn to?”—
Bob: —and to speak to one another about the character/the godly character you see in your spouse.
If you are thinking, “There is nothing I could say,” ask God to point out to you three things you can affirm about your spouse today.
Ann: I would say, with that, go back—if you can’t think of anything, go back to the day you married them. There were things that you were drawn to/that you were attracted to—remember those.
Bob: If you need some help, get a copy of the book, Lovestruck. Read through it, and see if doesn’t inspire romance and attraction in your marriage. We’ve got copies of the book, Lovestruck, in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. You can order it from us, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY to order it. Again, the book is Lovestruck—by Sharon Jaynes—Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon.
Then plan to get away as a couple and spend a weekend, just the two of you—I say, “just the two of you”; there will be hundreds of other couples with you—I’m talking about spending time at a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway. This is a great, fun, romantic getaway where couples can just pull aside from the day to day/from everything that’s going on around you, and just say: “How are we doing? How can we grow? How can we do better?”
I know some couples come to these getaways, and they are in a tough spot—they are wondering if there is any way to make their marriage work. What so many of them have found is that, when they understand what the Bible has to say about relationships and when the Holy Spirit begins to move in their hearts and lives, there can be a turnaround. We’ve seen it happen over and over again; but for most of the couples, who are coming, they are in a great spot in their marriage. They just want to do some marriage maintenance and have a great weekend together.
If you sign up today for an upcoming getaway, you’ll save 50 percent off the regular registration fee. That offer is available to FamilyLife Today listeners this week and next week, so take advantage of it today. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about the getaway. Find out when it’s coming to a city near where you live or a city you’d like to visit, and then register online; or if you have any questions or you’d like to register by phone, call us at 1-800-FL-TODAY and sign up to attend a FamilyLife®Weekend to Remember marriage getaway. We hope to see you at one of these getaways this spring.
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to talk about what it is that causes our marriages to drift toward isolation. How do we deal with what the Song of Solomon calls “the little foxes that spoil the vineyard”? Sharon Jaynes will be back with us again tomorrow. I hope you can be back as well.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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