His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my lover, this my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Songs 5:16)
This statement comes during a fairly steamy section of the Bible (metaphorically speaking) where the lover and the beloved are singing about how beautiful the other is—with what appears to be a romantic dream sequence in between! The interesting thing here is that she calls her groom both her “lover” and “friend.”
God seems to know a lot about both, contrary to popular opinion, and has made it evident in His word to us. Here are two people caught up in the swelling tide of romance and looking forward to commencing their honeymoon unashamed. Yet, God makes it clear that they are also friends. Friends are people who speak up for each other (Job 16:21), help each other (Ecclesiastes 4:10), sacrifice for each other (Proverbs 27:6), have common goals (James 4:4) and so on. Seems like God thinks it’s a good idea if people who hook up are friends as well.
We’ve got to be careful, however. In too many movies and books there’s this thing called “love at first sight.” This totally discounts friendship, since it is almost impossible to be someone’s friend without knowing how he/she thinks, speaks, or acts in various situations. And in too many marriages, couples concentrate on the romance that isn’t there instead of the friendship that isn’t there. It takes both—it says so in the Bible.