Let’s look at “Strong’s Concordance.” This is where we find the root of the words used for ‘love,’ ‘darling,’ ‘beloved,’ etc. (Please Note: Since Songs is an Old Testament book, we’ll be looking to the Hebrew section of “Strong’s Concordance.” Feel free to follow along in the online or print versions. Also note that I have combined a few of the descriptions for ‘love’ under similar headings.)
1730 – Song of Songs 1:1
-To tend flock
Combination of 1474 / 7453 / 7462 –
-Keep company with
-Use as a friend
-Make friendship with
-To associate with
Combination 1730 (Songs 1:4, 4:10) / 157 / 160 –
Let me draw your attention specifically to 1474 / 7453 / 7462. This example of love says that it will: ‘Keep company with,’ ‘Devour,’ ‘Eat up,’ ‘Feed,’ ‘Use as a friend,’ ‘Make friendship with,’ ‘associate with,’ etc. Sound familiar?
This romantic love shown in Songs is very much linked to friendship. When a guy ‘keeps company with’ a girl by hanging out with her, there is a darn good chance she will believe he is doing so for a reason. And if he isn’t, if he’s just lonely and wants someone to stroke his ego or wants to feed off her cool personality, then he’s basically lying to her. He is getting her heart involved and not respecting emotional boundaries, as far as I’m concerned.
A woman’s heart is a woman’s heart, whether she’s eighteen or in her thirties. Dear guys, please don’t use us or ‘feed’ off of us. Don’t show us love in the way that the Lover in Songs does. Be careful with our emotions. Don’t stir up love in our hearts until the right time. And when you do stir up love, please do it with a purpose and a direction, and let us know what’s going on.
Strong, James. The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990.