Message Outline

Problems in Paradise

Pastor Jonathan Stockstill
Sunday, Aug 31, 2014

Song of Solomon 5:2–6 (NIV84) — 2 I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My lover is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.” 3 I have taken off my robe— must I put it on again? I have washed my feet— must I soil them again? 4 My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him. 5 I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock. 6 I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.

1. Act, don’t react.

  • He saw the fight coming and chose to leave for space and perspective.

Song of Solomon 5:7–8 (NIV84) — 7 The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. They beat me, they bruised me; they took away my cloak, those watchmen of the walls! 8 O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you— if you find my lover, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love.

  • He let God deal with her heart, and he went to the place where God could deal with his heart.

Song of Solomon 5:10–16 (NIV84) — 10 My lover is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. 11 His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. 12 His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. 13 His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. 14 His arms are rods of gold set with chrysolite. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. 15 His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. 16 His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

  • She focused on the good, not bad.

2. Communicate, don’t retaliate.

Song of Solomon 6:2–4 (NIV84) — 2 My lover has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies. 3 I am my lover’s and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies. 4 You are beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, majestic as troops with banners.

a. Rules of Talking

  • Never speak rashly.
  • Never confront your mate publicly.
  • Never confront your spouse in front of your kids.
  • Never use your children in the conflict.
  • Never say “never” or “always.”
  • Never resort to name-calling.
  • Never get historical.
  • Never stomp out of a room and leave.
  • Never raise your voice in anger.
  • Never bring family members into the discussion.
  • Never win through reasoning and logic and never “out-argue.”
  • Never be condescending.
  • Never demean.
  • Never touch your spouse in a harmful way.

b. Rules of Listening

  • Listen with PATIENCE until your spouse speaks.
  • Listen with your face.
  • Listen until your spouse has finished speaking.
  • Listen and file away in the Closet of Privacy.
  • Listen without rude body language.

3. Amend, don’t win.

Song of Solomon 6:5–7 (NIV84) — 5 Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Gilead. 6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is alone. 7 Your temples behind your veil are like the halves of a pomegranate.

  • The biggest losses happen when someone wins.
  • Solomon had a heart to see resolution.
  • He was easily won over.

Be closer, not farther.

Song of Solomon 6:11–13 (NLT) — 11 I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom. 12 Before I realized it, my strong desires had taken me to the chariot of a noble man. 13 Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam. Come back, come back, that we may see you again. Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam, as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?

Nothing can end a conflict quicker than these two things:

  • A repentant heart on the part of the person who has wronged the other.
  • A heart overflowing with unconditional love and forgiveness on the part of the person who has been wronged.

Copyright © 2024, Bethany Church, All Rights Reserved.

Contact Us • (225) 774-1700