Sexuality has been and is created by God as a good gift to humanity. It is composed of the principles of difference in heterosexuality, sameness in humanity, oneness in monogamy, twoness in intimacy and exclusivity, and being bathed in the gifts of permanence and goodness. Man and woman are human beings of equal value, created to experience a wholistic sexuality of mind, emotion, body, and spirit, not only for procreation but also for God’s gift of pleasure and love.
The apex of the Song of Solomon is found in chapter 8, where in verse 6 the love between the two is likened to a seal. This seal is connected to the heart and to the body. In accordance with the rest of the poetry of the Song of Solomon, there is a motif associated with the illustration. In this case, there are ideas of ownership, privacy, security, and protection associated with the seal. The fact that the seal is upon the heart and body denotes a permanent relationship with external and internal parts of the relationship.
The stanza concludes with, “For love is as strong as death, jealousy as cruel as the grave” (Song 8:6). Just as death and the grave are permanent, this type of love is also permanent that provokes a jealousy. Whereas jealousy over things that are not yours (also known as envy) is inappropriate, jealousy over things that are yours is proper in the context of love. Hence God is righteous in His jealousy over losing humanity, His beloved children (Exod. 20:5; 34:14; Deut. 4:24; 2 Cor. 11:2). This physical love and union between husband and wife then becomes a template to reflect the spiritual love and union God has for and with His people (Eph. 5:30–32).
The next line in verse 6 mentions “a most vehement flame,” which can be translated as the flame of Yahweh. In other words, the most fervent love between a man and a woman, experienced in the body, mind, and heart, is likened to fire—an inferno of a fire, one that needs to be protected under the confines of matrimony. This fire is from God Himself, one that evidences His love and His presence, purifying, refining, protecting, and illuminating the hearts of humanity.
As precious and mysterious as this fire is, we also see the effects of rampant fire because of sexual irresponsibility. Many have burned or have been burned by one-night stands, sexual promiscuity, sexual abuse, pornography, rape, divorce, affairs, and a whole slew of never-ending sins. G. K. Chesterton said, “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” It is not that sexuality is evil, but that sexuality reflects God’s heart—His love, gentleness, tender mercies, passion, and intimacy. It is not that we have sex, but we were created as sexual beings to understand and reflect these aspects of God. It is these connectional qualities that humanity strives for, yearns for, and even needs. But if left unexperienced, sexual understanding is poisoned and its abuse results in the hurt of many.
Given as one of two gifts in the Garden of Eden (the other being the seventh-day Sabbath), marital love has a high potency of holiness. As a result, the devil himself hates these two institutions, seeking to erode the power, veracity, and validity of the seventh-day Sabbath as well as the institution of marriage that shelters the gift of sexuality.