Song of Songs 2:10,15 – My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away…Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards…”
There are probably times in every romantic relationship or marriage, especially early on, where you can’t imagine the other person ever hurting or annoying you. But because we’re all human and sinful since the Fall in Genesis 3, this changes at some point in every relationship.
In Song of Songs 2, the woman (who we are referring to as Abbi) is making deposits into their relationship by the words she speaks, as the way we speak and act towards each other can be described as deposits and withdrawals, similar to a bank account. We want to make many, many deposits so that the withdrawals, or tough conversations, can be in a more relational context and hopefully not sting so much. She calls Solomon “my beloved” (2:8-10) and says things like “…your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” (2:14)
In the very next verse, she starts talking about “foxes” in the “vineyards” (something coming between you and your spouse, whether big or small) that can take root and create bigger problems in a relationship. They go from flirting to fighting.
Some of these “foxes” could fall into one of these categories, but there are innumerable things that can come between you and your spouse:
- Differences – Is one a spender and the other a saver? Is one a night owl and the other an early bird? Does one like the toilet seat down and the other always leave it up?
- Priorities – Is one spouse putting someone or something above their spouse that shouldn’t be above them? (Pastor Jimmy Evans calls this the Law of Priority in his book “The Four Laws of Love”.)
- Boundaries – Do one or both people need to set different or more strict boundaries with family, friends, work, technology, or something else?
- Disorganization – Is your schedule, budget, household, or bedtime disorganized, leading to chaos in your marriage?
- Past pain or shame – This is a legitimate issue to work through that can come between you and your spouse if left undealt with.
- Technology – Is your spouse always on their phone when you’re trying to talk or have quality time together?
While times of difference and discontent is inevitable in a fallen world, our goal should be to minimize these times as much as possible and move back into healthy, happy relationship no matter what it takes. If a Christian counselor or godly, wise, older couple would be helpful, we would encourage that as long as it’s a person or couple you both agree upon.
If you’re married, are there any “foxes” in your “vineyard” that are undealt with? If you’re not yet married, what can you take away from this lesson to better support and love your future spouse?
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