A Banqueting House

Today was week four in a series I am teaching on women and marriage, updating an old tape series that Canon Press has been carrying for many years. The subject today was the marriage bed, and don’t expect me to dive into the whole topic here. But, I will mention one or two things. The first thing has to do with the bed itself. What kind of place is your bedroom? Is your bed inviting? Or is it buried under loads of laundry waiting to be folded? If we want our marriage bed to be comparable to what is described in the Song of Songs (a banqueting house with a banner of love), we might consider purchasing a small storage shed in which to keep the spare bicycles so we can get them out of the master bedroom!
The second thing I will mention here is the beautiful garden imagery. The bride is a locked garden, and the beloved is invited into the garden. It is a private place for them to enjoy alone. Do you view yourself as an inviting garden? Or is the garden a bit bedraggled, untended, full of weeds? Well then, time to start doing some tending, weeding, planting. Could be some little resentments have sprung up, crowding out the joy. What better time than now to start clearing away the debris?
Conjugal love is compared to feasting; it is described as celebratory; it is a time of rejoicing together. The wife says to her husband (Song of Songs 1:2), “Your love is better than wine.” Not grape juice. Not even sparkling grape juice. But wine. Rich, potent, intoxicating. But here’s a problem: What if we don’t drink wine, not even in the Lord’s Supper? If we only drink grape juice, how can we understand the potency of this passage? And if we never feast and celebrate around our tables, how will we understand the comparison made here between the marriage bed and a banqueting hall?
Marriage is to be honored and the marriage bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). The Bible is not prudish when it comes to the marriage bed. So we should not be prudish about it either.

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10 thoughts on “A Banqueting House

  1. Nancy, are you saying we should be drinking all wine for our weekly feasts with God in worship???? Is there a depth of feasting we cannot understand when we do not drink the deep red that brings shalom to the belly? Shocking!! : )
    I like how you snuck that in there. So appropriate all the way around the board. Bring on the deep red in Worship; that it will overflow into feasting in our homes and the feasting in our bedrooms. Glory!!

  2. I do hope that your new series will be available from Canon Press. I have learned much from your orginial series. I am so thankful that you teach on this subject. I am a mother to 5 sweet children. Often times I forget to tend my garden and boy do the weeds grow up. Thanks for the encouragement. I love the imagery of not only weeding but also planting, the putting off and putting on!!!
    You are a blessing to so many wives and mothers. Thank you for the good work that you are doing.

  3. Nancy

    Can you draw out the “wine” bit? Teach me, we do not drink alcohol. Please give me some insight into your words. I too am interested in your teaching on this.


  4. Alas that I don’t enjoy wine…usually makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach! So, I really hope that if/when I marry someday his love will be FAR better than wine. 🙂

  5. Maybe Hannah would like a nice Moscato d’Asti. My husband just described it: it’s sweet, fruity, bubbly and low-alcohol. This wine has changed the minds of a number of people who “didn’t like wine.”

  6. I must admit I get a little discouraged sometimes when I think of the aesthetics of our home. We are at the moment living in a one-bedroom student housing. We enjoy our little space and is grateful for how the Lord meets our needs. It is not, however, “beautiful”…
    I chuckle whenever I tell friends that the nursery is next to the refrigerator, which is next to the dining room, which is next to the bookshelves, which also my studies. The bedroom also serves as my husband’s work station.
    Any suggestion on how to make this little home beautiful? =)

  7. Dear Seda,
    What a cozy little place you must have! I would just suggest to you that you keep it tidy, sparkly, with good smells coming out of the oven, and a flower on the table. And if you have a happy attitude, that’s the most beautiful decoration a home can have.

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