How You Finish is More Important than How You Began
14 Come away, my beloved,
and be like a gazelle
or like a young stag
on the spice-laden mountains.” Song of Songs 8:14 NIV
This is the last devotion from the Song of Songs… and I’d be quick to admit that this was the most challenging Bible book for me to navigate through at this time. We see at the end of this Poetic Book, that Abishag invites her husband to “come away, my beloved and be like a gazelle or like a young stag.” The last verse of our study shows us that after years of marriage, the wife was still deeply in love with her husband and she still wanted to be with him as much as possible. Marriage only stagnates if you will allow it to. If your marriage is growing into the “status quo” then make the effort, spend the money, take the time, schedule the date, buy the roses, give the praise, and intentionally invest in your marriage so that it will continue to be strong.
Sadly we know that Solomon did not finish well with Abishag. We know that while this couple started well, it ended in hurt, betrayal, tragedy, and separation. There are no couples that begin their relationships with the hopes of ending in hurt, betrayal, tragedy, and separation, but sadly we know that statistically, more than half of marriages in America end that way today. We learn from this couple that in marriage, how you finish, is far more important than how you begin.
Be intentional about making time to focus on just your spouse. The greatest gift a couple can give their children is not unceasing time to excel in sports and extracurricular activities. The greatest gift a mother and father can give their kids is to create an intimate marriage that your kids can see and hope to have in their own lives one day. My heart is for my kids to want the kind of marriage that mom and dad have. We are far from perfect, but I want them to know that we are crazy about each other… because we are.
If you haven’t done well in your marriage up to this point, make the commitment to begin today. Repent for your sin. Turn back to God. Invite Jesus to be Your Lord and Savior. Invite the Holy Spirit to invade your heart and relationships. Invite the Father’s heart to overflow from your life. Seek forgiveness from your spouse. Begin to invest in your spouse. Don’t quit on your marriage. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for status quo. Keep pressing forward. Keep striving for better. Keep pursuing God’s best.
As we end this study, my questions are:
What investment do you need to make in your spouse?
What things are you doing to keep your marriage fresh?
When was the last time you and your spouse went on a date – without the kids?
When was the last time you and your spouse went away for a weekend – without the kids?
Holy Spirit invade my marriage. Begin in my heart. Invade and take control of every part of me. Infiltrate every part of my mind, my life, and my relationships. Make me brand new in You. I repent of the many times I have doubted what You want to accomplish in my marriage. Transform me from the inside out, so that my spouse and I can bring glory to You in and through our marriage. Help us not only to start well, but to finish better. In the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen.