BIble Center Church
Relationship Goals, Part 1
Desire Intimacy - First in a 6-part series titled: Relationship Goals: God’s Design for Friendship, Dating, Marriage & Sex | Pastor Matt Friend | 02.24.19
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  • 100 Bible Center Dr, Charleston, WV 25309, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM, Sunday 11:00 AM
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1. Allegorical View – It only has a spiritual meaning.
This is an ancient book of Jewish love poetry with 3 common views of interpretation...
Strengths of this view:
- Ancient Jews and early Christians saw it this way.
- The book is filled with metaphors.
- God often uses garden imagery to teach spiritual truth. (cf. Gen. 1-3; John 18:1; John 19:41; 20:14-15; Rev. 21-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; 58:11)
Weaknesses of this view:
- Interpretations often get really weird. (4:5)
- It mentions actual names and places. (Solomon, Jerusalem, Lebanon, etc.)
- Some metaphors couldn’t apply to us and God. (8:5-7)
2. Literal View – It only refers to physical love and sexual intimacy.
Strengths of this view:
- Ancient Jews and early Christians saw it this way.
- We’ve discovered thousands of similar ancient love poems.
Weaknesses of this view:
- Sex has always made the Church uncomfortable.
- We’re tempted to love the gift more than the Giver.
3. Illustrative View – It’s about a real, physical relationship that illustrates a spiritual reality.

“We do not need to choose between literal and allegorical interpretation of the Song of Songs, as earlier generations of Christian readers felt they had to. There is no good reason to see erotic, earthly love as problematic either in itself or in its ability to speak by analogy of the divine-human relationship.” –Iain Provan, The NIV Application Commentary

- The meaning is more than literal, but not less.
- Jesus combines both views.
(Matt. 19:1-12)
- The NT combines both views.
(Eph. 5:21-23)
- Church leaders have historically combined both views.
Earthly relationships make us long for eternal relationships.

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust tothem; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.” –C. S. Lewis
Desire Intimacy
First in a 6-part series titled: Relationship Goals: God’s Design for Friendship, Dating, Marriage & Sex

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