Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. Where did you go on your honeymoon? (Or, where would you like to go?) Why there?
2. Assuming this section refers to the couple’s wedding night, what is memorable about it? What do you make of these compliments? Do you ever compliment someone you adore? How does your beloved react?
3. The husband praises seven different aspects of his wife’s beauty. What makes her beauty and personality flawless to him? In the long run, what will bring out all the wife’s beauty: praise or criticism? Why?
4. What effect does his intimate foreplay here have on his wife? How does she reciprocate (verses 10, 11, 16)?
5. How does the king deal with her fears about marriage and thoughts of home (verse 8)? What role does such reassurance and foreplay serve in the love-making which follows?
6. How is the extended metaphor of the garden used here? Where do you see restraint and freedom expressed?
7. What choral benediction is given this married couple (chapter 5 verse 1c), as if from God? What is the meaning here for those who question the beauty, playfulness and joy of sex?
8. If God’s view of sex in marriage is conveyed here, then why do so many couples experience nothing like it? What does this Song have to say to a divorced person? To the macho man? To prudish women?
9. If single: How might a beautiful courtship (like the one here) better equip you for marriage? What about God’s wonderful creation (you) and your (hoped for) courtship can you give thanks for (or pray for)?
10. If married: Using the garden metaphor as it applies to love-making, what are you now growing: nothing? weeds? perennials? annuals? a new garden?
11. Reflecting on the winds of change since your wedding day, what is now blowing your way: a cold northerly or warm southerly wind? breezy or gusty? clearing up or clouding over? Why?
12. Applying this lovers’ poem allegorically to Christ and the church, what might this story say about the second coming and the great wedding feast that will be?
13. How does Christ’s royal love for the church inspire your devotion and self-surrender? If your “garden” is barren, how can the chief Gardener restore it?