“You are like a private garden, my treasure, my bride! You are like a spring that no one else can
drink from, a fountain of my own…” (Song of Songs 4:12)
Don’t you enjoy this description of love? We should, as it holds a wonderful promise to those who really understand it. It all starts from the heart, ‘for whatever is in your heart determines what you say’ and of course what you do. Your relationship to anyone is governed by the heart, but the heart is a treasure that belongs to some and not to others. In fact the heart belongs to one and all others after are lead or controlled under that one. For the promise of the ‘private garden’ or ‘spring’ or ‘well of living water’ is only available through Christ.

Yes, many may disagree but without a relationship with God, the promise of ‘a lovely orchard’ is lost. Do you not want to be refreshed by the living well? Let us look at two things which are important for a private garden.

The first is privacy (obviously) and then time. What do I mean? The first is a choice, where to have the ‘private garden’ means you choose God or you don’t. Oh, that we would see the treasure in front of us! To choose God means that your heart if fully His. That means that everything we say and do now should be based on Him not ourselves. So what happens when we choose God but then let something or someone else in? The garden is ruined! It would be like letting in a disease or some kind of bug. The garden becomes destroyed.

That’s what we do when we let something or someone get in the way of our relationship
with God. By God’s Grace only, can the damage be repaired. What about time? Well, how does a garden remain in good condition or beautiful and lovely through every day? You have to work hard and spend time looking after it. We have to water and nurture it. Our relationship with God, if neglected, will only worsen in condition. If we spent time with God, in His private garden, we will see growth. We will see the garden blossoming and bearing fruit. The truth is, the private garden, needs all our time. We often don’t look after our relationship with God, spending on a little time with Him. That is if we spent time with Him at all? Again, if it were not for Grace working in our lives to lead us to Him, where would our relationship be?
Now this is why I love this description of love, because through it we learn from Christ what our
relationships should be with everyone else. A look at the relationship between a husband and wife can help explain this further. We know how to love our spouses because God has shown us through our relationship with Him. That is why it is so important to marry someone approved by God. To not do so could bring complete ruin on the private garden. Once in that relationship, in marriage, to let something or someone else in will have the same results as before.

You destroy the ‘lovely orchard bearing precious fruit’ that is your relationship with your husband or wife. Yes, some damage can be fixed as we learn to look after our private garden but as scripture says earlier, ‘Quick! Catch all the little foxes before they ruin the vineyard of your love.’ Also, to not spend time nurturing that relationship will eventually lead to a garden of neglect. What was once beautiful and lovely will become ugly. How sad it is to see a world broken apart as relationships that should reflect our relationship with God are ruined.
You see, our relationships with other people should reflect the ‘private garden’, the relationship we have with God. We can give thanks to Him, for showing us how. We can rejoice as we walk in and look forward to His promise. For a day will come when we will spend all our time in His private garden. How unimaginably beautiful that day will be!

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