Song of Solomon 8:8-10
We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts.
What shall we do for our sister
In the day when she is spoken for?
If she is a wall,
We will build upon her
A battlement of silver;
And if she is a door,
We will enclose her
With boards of cedar.
I am a wall,
And my breasts like towers;
Then I became in his eyes
As one who found peace.
Never Too Young to Start Guarding Fidelity
The discussion of the excellence and power of covenanted love now leads to a question from a family. In the Song, it is possibly that same family that had thought so little of the Shulamite that now has seen Love's effect upon her and wants to guard the other sisters for the same.
So they have a question--a rhetorical question, "what shall we do for our sister in the day when she is spoken for?" The King has spoken for each of our children. His love is so transforming, so life-giving and death-destroying, that we too should be willing to build strong battlements on these little walls and cedar enclosures for these little doors.
It's amazing how easily a young heart can get carried away with the most recent idea, possession, activity, entertainment, or person. We have a duty to every covenant child to have the living God far outpace everything else in our family's conversation, desires, joys, activities, motivations, etc. We should be more afraid of their entering Hell than touching the stove, more desirous of their coming to faith than going to college, more hopeful of their seeing Christ's face than accumulating great riches, more eager to see them worshiping than any other activity.
And we ought to identify the competition and ruthlessly humiliate and eliminate it.
Never Let Your Guard Down
Well, what about someone who has come into her maturity and is already married? By the analogy of the Song, what about when you've come to faith, and you've been greatly changed, and you're now living your life as a "leaning upon your Beloved"? Is it safe now to be less "militant"?
No, actually. Towers may be beautiful in their architecture, but they are military in their purpose. For her, "peace" was not the ability to let her guard down; it was the result of keeping her guard up. When she determined that she would keep herself for her husband with the vigilance of one keeping a watch in a military tower, not only did she guard her own heart for Him, but it endeared her to His heart.
What is the most important tower in our lives? It's not the list of things that we don't do because we belong to Christ. This list, to be sure, is extremely important, and the neglect to keep a military vigilance against those things that are spiritually damaging--or even draining--is an epidemic of wasting disease in the churches with which I am familiar.
But the most important tower is our wholehearted devotion or affection toward Him. I don't know how anyone can possibly do it without re-warming the heart at the beginning of every day, or spending an entire day adding fuel to the flame at the beginning of every week. But, with this fire burning strong, we will jealously oppose anything that threatens to weaken our commitment to be His alone, and to serve Him in all things. Thankfully, our Lord has commanded these means of communion with Him and the keeping of the Lord's Day in His Word.
What competes with your time for daily fellowship with Christ? What are you tempted to spend thoughts or minutes on every Lord's Day? What consumes dollars unnecessarily that could be used for kingdom extension (n.b. kingdom extension starts at home!)? Is there perhaps even a sin that you are just unwilling to let go of?
Chastity from the Cradle to the Grave
In the secondary application, to our earthly marriages, it would be easy to start listing off rules. No "steady" boy/girlfriends. No dating. No romantic crushes. No exclusive time with anyone from the opposite sex. No clothing that reveals any part of your breasts, buttocks, thighs, or parts more private still. No clothing that reveals your particular one of any of these parts. No painting up your face like an advertisement in one of those grocery store checkout mags. No "just hanging out" with people who aren't openly committed to the same.
In an age when so many young people are more worried about Right Guard (picking their deodorant), they should be far more concerned with National Guard (the military guarding of the heart, body, and life for their spouse).
These are all important "battlements," "enclosures," and "towers." We could certainly come up with more. But the aim of the apparatus is far more important than any detail of the apparatus. And the aim is itself a part--the most significant part--of the apparatus itself.
The aim is for the day that she is spoken for. A desire for a one-flesh union of life that will be that greatest earthly blessing and integral component of our eternal and spiritual blessing of which we were thinking in vv5-7. It is the positive nurture of that affection, the giving of the self to Him (and therefore to him, the future husband) with all the heart, that drives modesty of dress, modesty of manner, and a careful refraining from any possibly compromising situation.
But this doesn't end when we marry. Rather, we then add to the vigilance and diligence. Now, we are not only exercising them in reserving ourselves from all others, but in giving ourselves wholly away to our spouse. And again, it will be the eager and determined and persistent and delighted and energetic giving of the self to the spouse that will drive the vitally necessary guarding our hearts and bodies to be for spouse alone.