My lover is radiant and ruddy
outstanding among ten thousand.
~ Song of Songs 5:10

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest
is my lover among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
~ Song of Songs 2:3 

What can we learn from the Song about how we as men need to think and behave in order to have a great sex life with our wives?

Commitment, Companionship and Closeness

Men, I am about to tell you the most important fact you will ever learn about how your wife thinks about sex. If you get anything out of this book, get this! Blessed is the man who understands, accepts and lives in harmony with his wife’s God-given sexuality.

Here it is, Love Lesson #1:

For her, sex is about your total relationship.

Her sexual union with you is based upon, nurtured and inspired by commitment, companionship and closeness. The only way she can fully respond to you sexually is if she believes and knows in her heart that the two of you have a sacred and secure relationship of love. For your wife to be excited and motivated sexually, she must feel close to you, and be confident that you deeply and dearly love her.

Sex proceeds out of this commitment, not the other way around. And guess what? God has designed it this way. The need for closeness before sex is not a feminine foible or weakness. It is a divinely-given gift, a gift that you as a husband must understand and respect, and with which you must work in harmony.

Women want to know that they are the one and only woman in your life—for all of your life. Listen to this request made by the bride in the Song:

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of his house for love,
it would be utterly scorned. (Song of Songs 8:6–7)

So how do we assure and reassure our wife that she has our full commitment? One of the most powerful ways is with our words. The husband in the Song excels in assuring his wife of her unique place in his life.

He lets her know that she owns his heart:

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;
you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace. (Song of Songs 4:9)

He lets her know that, though there may be other beautiful women, she is unique, one-of a-kind. He assures her that there is no one else like her in his life, that she has no competition for his affections, desires and love:

Sixty queens there may be,

and eighty concubines,

and virgins beyond number;
but my dove, my perfect one, is unique.
(Song of Songs 6:8–9)

He warms her heart with his endearing names: six times he calls her his “bride.” [1] What does that say to her? It says he still regards her as the beautiful bride with whom he fell in love, and to whom he made a marriage vow, and pledged life-long fidelity.

Nine times he calls her his “darling.” [2] This Hebrew word also has in its meaning the concept of “companion.” In other words, he recognizes that his wife is not just there to meet his sexual needs—she is to be his best friend, lifelong partner and closest confidant.

But he does more than talk. He takes action. He invites her to go away alone together:

“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.
See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.” (Song of Songs 2:10–13)

His first recorded request is not, “Hey baby, let’s get it on!” No, he asks her to go away with him, and in so doing gives her the message that he wants some time with her all to himself. He wants to be with her, away from people, pressures and interruptions, to enjoy the beauty of the spring countryside with her.

Most wives love to be alone with their husbands—especially when they know that you are just as excited about it as they are. They long to know that their company is all you need to be happy, and that you like nothing better than spending time with them. What you do is not of first importance—what is essential is that you are together. Some women are especially desirous of “quality time” with their husbands. If your wife is one of those women, and if you are a man who bears a lot of responsibility and who is easily distracted by worry, you especially need to follow the example of the husband here in the Song as he initiates to have undistracted time alone with his wife.

Let’s gain additional insight into the wife’s desire for companionship as she requests a romantic getaway:

Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my love. (Song of Songs 7:11–12) 

Does this sound like a boring bird-watching trip or shopping expedition? Read on. The invitation ends with her saying: “There I will give you my love.” Now we’re talking!

Here is how it works: in the privacy of a country retreat, your wife will be able let her worries drift away. She will be able to put aside her concerns for the kids, the house, her to-do list, her job and her friends. She will be able to relax, enjoy herself and give you herself and her body without distraction and without reserve. So are you making reservations for the Bed and Breakfast yet?

But let’s note one other important detail: the husband, when he extended his invitation, did not say, as she did, “Let’s go away to make love.” He tactfully and wisely left that out. Are we learning anything, guys?

Your wife wants to know that she is close to you and valued by you as a person, for who she is, and not just for giving you sexual release and pleasure. Really, isn’t this a more godly way to look at sex? Because the male sex drive is usually more inflammable than that of women, men must take care or we can become more focused on sex than on our friendship with our wives. Men might have to make an effort to think about what women instinctively dwell upon. And while God purposefully designed the male gender with stronger passion, he never intended sexuality to overshadow the relationship of love and companionship.

So men, here is your wife’s motto:

This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

She must have you as friend and lover. “Lover” alone won’t cut it. Be her best friend. Then, and only then, can you also be her exciting lover. [3]

[1] 4:8–12; 5:1

[2] 1:9, 15; 2:2, 10, 13; 4:1, 7; 5:2; 6:4

[3] We have mentioned some important ways to make our wives feel loved, but we have not exhausted the subject. Study your wife and learn just what it is that makes her feel secure and special. A recommended book on coming to understand your wife’s needs is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, (Chicago: Northfield Publishing, 1995).


Taken from The Five Senses of Romance by Sam Laing (Discipleship Publications International). (c) 2008 by Discipleship Publications International. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Known for his spiritual wisdom and insight, Sam Laing has ministered to people for more than thirty-five years both in the US and abroad. He is the author of numerous books including Be Still My Soul, the Guilty Soul's Guide to Grace and Friends and Lovers. He and his wife, Geri, have a passion to help others find the joy and meaning that they have found in their marriage. They live in Georgia where Sam is a teacher and an evangelist with the Athen's Church of Christ.