"Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin our vineyards.
Our vineyards that are in bloom."
Song of Songs 2:15
I was rereading Song of Songs (also known as Song of Solomon) a few days ago when I came across this passage. It struck me over the head, haunted me all day as I repeated it in my mind: "the little foxes that ruin our vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom..."
Amidst a beautifully sappy depiction of Godly love and sex in marriage, we get this thinly veiled admonition. Be warned. Be cautious. Be watchful. Love is a delicate thing that is destroyed by the small things that eat away at us: money, children, work, stress, boredom, sin. These little foxes creep in and devour the delicious fruit of love one vine at a time. My marriage has not been immune from the little foxes, our vineyards not without the devastation of neglect or willful sabotage.
Our marriage class at church is currently completing a small group study of "Fireproof," and I am hopeful that this will help us to identify and strangle those "little foxes." It is time to reclaim the passion and fulfillment that God intended for us within the great mystery of marriage. It is time to stop hoping the vineyards will flourish, and start doing the work of tilling the soil, watering the vines, mending the holes in the fences. How would the world change if marriage was reclaimed for the sake of Christ? How many families saved from the fire if we would take the time to trap the foxes in our midst? What are your "foxes" today?
For me, the foxes have always been the absence of time and energy. They threaten everything that is precious, including marriage. When those things are in such short supply your entire life, you begin to cherish them and treat them differently than other people. I find that dealing with something the second it does't feel right makes marriage so much easier. I refuse to let the foxes get from one side of the vineyard to the other. Maybe marriage does't have to be hard. But time and energy sure would make it easier for me!ReplyDelete
I would have to agree with your poem you read the other night that one main fox is negligence. It is easy to say, "Our marriage is fine" when really it is drying up because of negligence.ReplyDelete