Who has not, in their youth, dreamed of what it would be like to be married?
Not the day to day, get up and face one another with uncombed hair and unbrushed teeth, or the evening so tired you don’t want to talk, or the monotony of day after day the same old conversations – or worse still, silence. But that electrically charged desire to be near one another, with one another.
There is a comic strip that depicts a fourteen year old boy and the trials of being a mid-teen. He has a friend who is so attached to his girlfriend that the strip writer often depicts them as joined together as one. They can’t imagine being apart.
This is the vision of chapter two, but it is not the vision of youth. These are adults. They are not yet married, but this is their vision of what marriage will be like.
The cynic (or the long-time-married) might say: “they’ll get over that after a few years.”
But really, wouldn’t it be nice (blessed even) not to get over it?
This is part of the value of Solomon’s song. It points us to the way God intends things to be, all the time. Kathy Mattea some years ago sang a song about Claire and Edwin, two people who found one another later than usual in life. The song heralds a love that is so close that each becomes the breath of the other. Later in life, they both are moved to a nursing facility – though in different rooms on different floors. Claire loses her mind, forgets the names of friends and family. It is a sorrowful time many of us have seen with loved ones. She knows nothing until Edwin is moved back into her room. Seeing him, she asks: “Where’ve you been?” (the title of the song) “I’ve looked for you for ever and a day. Where’ve you been? I’m just not myself when you’re away.”
It’s not a love that just happens. You have to make it happen, because that’s God’s will for married couples.