One of the things that intrigue me most about God’s Word is how it reads incredibly like a story, with characters and their development, people with feelings and emotions, people who had serious problem and how they dealt with them or the lack thereof. Piggy backing off the blog “Simply Put,” the Bible has plenty of love stories and characters that I feel are remarkable and great examples as we seek to love and be loved. So out of the many, there are 2 women (Abigail (1 Samuel 25) and the Shulamite (Song of Solomon)) and 2 men (Boaz (Ruth 2-4) and Elkinah (1 Samuel 1:1-21) who executed this love thing in an amazing way.
As before, ladies first.
Abigail’s life is very relevant to today’s culture for the fact she was the wife of a drunken jerk. Just read the story. She had to deal with a mean, rude, and prideful man who was usually drunk, so as you can imagine she had to deal with a lot. However, her faith was strong and she took up for her husband even when he was on his worst behavior, as in when he was crude toward King David. The Bible called her intelligent and beautiful, highlighting the inner beauty before the outer beauty. Consequently, when her husband had pretty much signed his death wish by disrespecting the king, she protected his name and took up for him so much in so that David did not destroy him. In actuality, God did it instead. From Abigail, we see her perseverance and faithfulness to her husband and to God, in spite of the unpleasant person he was, and God blessed her in a mighty way. She picked up his slack in more ways than one and her all around beauty radiated. Likewise, good love is when no matter how difficult he may become, hang in there, don’t give up on him, seek the Lord, be an example (1 Peter 3:1-2), and pray for him, and let God do what He needs to do and show you what you need to do if you stay hidden in Him, and He will surely bless you as He surely blessed Abigail if you read the rest of the story.
Then there is the Shumalite woman, the wife of Solomon, and there is a whole book dedicated to the love between them, Songs of Solomon. If you have ever read that book you see that she was very affectionate toward her man, spoke highly of him, and praised him. As a wife or future wife, nagging and complaining should not be a second language, which Proverbs compares to a dripping faucet (27:15). Furthermore, there are several women in Scripture that failed at this and their stories were cut short. For example, Michal, David’s wife, though she had a good start, was not mentioned again after she criticized David’s praise, instead of supporting him, or Job’s wife who instead of encouraging him at the worst of times, she added salt to the wound when she told him to curse God and die and that one verse was the last of her story. Words are so powerful and as a wife or future wife, we should not be so quick to criticize, complain, or fuss, because a man already has enough pressure and things on his plate. Don’t add to it, instead be his reason to smile. Good love. (And I just want to point out this was an interracial couple.)
Boaz is one of my favorites. There are so many things about him that I find so captivating and attractive. Even though he was well off and successful, he was kind and treated everyone with respect and dignity, even those that worked for him. In reference to the love of his life, Ruth, in addition to his kindness toward Ruth, he was a man with a plan and did what he had to do to show her he was interested. Gentlemen, if you have a woman in sight, take the initiative to illustrate your desire with class, tact, and finesse if you will. Boaz knew what he wanted and went after it. Furthermore, he was accepting. He didn’t judge Ruth on the superficial things like where she came from or who she came from, he accepted her as she was and made her feel significant and special, and she took notice. Likewise, men, good love is making your lady feel like she is the only woman in the world. A woman feels no more loved than that right there. Additionally, he was generous – a husband should be known as a giver – and a provider, a trait that is often mentioned as the primary role of the husband.
Lastly there is Elkinah, who along with his wife, Hannah, make-up my favorite love story. Long story short, Hannah was without child, but still he showed and spoke of his love for her by giving her a double portion over the wife with kids. Then he asked if he was worth more to her than ten sons, reaffirming their love one for another. In that culture, a statement like that meant so much, because of the value a male brought to the patriarchal family structure, so his love was very real and very evident. In the same way men, speak to your lady and let her know how much she is worth to you and how much you value her and what she means to you, especially in times she feels unpretty or less of a woman, as did Hannah when she was barren. Furthermore, he paid attention to her emotions and showed concern when she was upset (1 Samuel 1:8), he treated her well, loved her, was generous, and made her feel special, similar to Boaz. My favorite part of the story however, is found in chapter 1 verse 19. First off, we see that they worshiped together, which is still important today, to have a spiritual connection; then they came home after a high time in ministry and as someone put it before, they ministered to each other. Good love is being in a relationship and not only having the spiritual, but the emotional and physical intimacy as well, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Love is a beautiful thing and if the Lord wills and you have the opportunity to be in a relationship with the person He created just for you, take advantage of it and love with all your might. If God has purposed that in your life, there is a purpose in that relationship that will coincide with the fulfillment of the ultimate purpose for your life and your love’s.