What should I be looking for in a potential mate?
by Pastor Matthew Black, 6/18/2015, 5pm
Your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you. Song 1:3
God made marriage, He made our bodies, and He has direction for us all. And we will be supremely blessed if we heed what God says about how a person ought to approach marriage. There is an attack on the family directed to both singles and married people. The best way to secure yourself or your family from harm is to take shelter under the Word of God.
When you are looking for a mate, remember that this is a person you are going to spend your entire life with. The vows are still “Till death do we part” not “Till my desire changes do we part.” We are committed until death as Christian people because marriage is a picture of Christ and the church (Eph. 5:25ff).
As Christians, we want to look for a mate that we can serve God with – someone that we can raise godly children with (as Mal. 2:15 says, we are to raise up a “godly seed”). Thankfully we have the Bible, and we ought to follow its wisdom in finding a godly mate. The truth is, it is not easy. The world is not on our side. The world thinks that purity is no big deal and passion should always be fulfilled immediately. The most popular philosophy of the day is “instant gratification.” The world does not want you to be pure until you are married. The world says, “You need to test drive your potential marriage.” “You need to live together.” The world is not on the side of marital fidelity. Those without Christ are not on the side of growing old together. The world has established a breathtakingly destructive pattern.
The Dangers of Modern Dating
We have an awful process in our country that is really nothing more than preparation for divorce. Most of what is called “dating” should really be called “destruction” because it ends in disaster and the forfeiting of one’s purity. Young people in this activity are encouraged to hang out together and perhaps “go steady” or be boyfriend and girlfriend. They are often left alone; they give away their purity, and they are scarred morally as a result. There is a cycle that prepares a young person to not want commitment – to be afraid of commitment and marriage. They want to give up easily. The world establishes this pattern very early on in our children.
Joey Likes Sally
Have you ever seen the scribbling testimonies of love on a tree or a wall that said something like “Joey HEARTS Sally”? I remember as a young person, this was something around the 5th or 6th grade that occurred on a weekly basis. A boy would become infatuated with a girl, and the word would get out that “Joey likes Sally”. Word would get to Sally, and Joey would write a note to Sally, “Will you be my girlfriend? Circle YES or NO.” Then they would be a couple. This is what goes on in the fifth grade. That juvenile relationship might last a day or a week or maybe a month, but eventually Sally and Joey “break up” and move on to other juvenile “romances.” Now this all sounds cute, but it gets much more serious in high school, and it prepares our young people for disaster when they get married. Sadly, by the time they get married, they have had plenty of preparation for divorce.
One novel idea practiced in many cultures is to have the parents arrange the marriage. You would be surprised that arranged marriages are far more successful than those built on dating. Often people from other cultures who have arranged marriages are baffled by the stupidity of our “dating” system in America. They cannot believe the practice of a young person choosing who they are going to marry based merely on superficial feelings and the very limited insight I have into a potential mate.
I read about one such visitor to the USA who asked, “Why do these young people think they can make a wise choice about marriage when they’ve never been married? Why do they think they are able to choose their own mates when they don’t even know who they are themselves, much less who they will become? Why don’t they trust their parents, who understand something about marriage and know that beauty is deceitful and charm is in vain?”
This is why in our western context, dating and courtship can be a blessing if there is accountability, especially if parents or godly role models are carefully involved.
For this book, to see the joy of godly companionship on the road to marriage, instead of beginning from our own limited perspective, we are going to go all the way back in time and interview a married man and his wife as they give us inspired biblical advice as to what to look for in a potential mate.
Our journey begins in the Old Testament book of the Song of Solomon. This is a love song that was sung by the ancient Hebrews. We are told that we are to sing “psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19; cf. Col. 3:16). Solomon’s love poem would be a “spiritual song.”
In this song there are certain characters that give advice about passion, purity, and fidelity.
The Characters of Solomon’s Song
The first and most distinguished character we meet is the famous King Solomon. He is the illustrious son of David and Bathsheba and of course the king of Israel during her golden age. As the author of this song, Solomon is one of the main speakers. He gives us the first verse: “The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.”
This is a song of Solomon that begins with his wife testifying of her unique journey of how she as an impoverished peasant farm girl marries a great king. We might also add that this love song is highly distinguished as the only ballad to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore this is really the authoritative standard on passion, purity and marital faithfulness. So why should Solomon, who in later years was not known for marital fidelity, write this book? It is a fair deduction to believe Solomon wrote this book before he strayed. The fact that God brought him back by the end of his life, as we see in the book of Ecclesiastes, demonstrates God’s grace and should give all of us hope!
The Shulamite Farm Girl
Of course there is another character we meet in this love song: the Shulamite farm girl who becomes King Solomon’s bride. It is quite intriguing that her actual name is never mentioned.
Solomon’s song is about the love he shares with a peasant girl who becomes his princess. The first biblical record we have of Solomon marrying is to a pagan, Pharaoh’s daughter as part of a political alliance (2 Chronicles 8:11).
Yet, it seems that the Song of Solomon was written well before that—a song written to Solomon’s first wife and first love, a young and beautiful Shulamite girl from the tribe of Dan. She has become known throughout the ages as “the peasant princess.” The record of the Chronicles is not always in chronological order. King Solomon was already married before he began the pagan practice of political marriage.
It could be the Shulamite is Naamah the Ammonite, Solomon’s first wife; the mother of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:21) who was born one year before Solomon became king, which probably occurred around age twenty. Thus she would be his first love. It’s possible that Solomon met her through one of his father’s mighty men, Zelek the Ammonite who might have lived in the rural Ammonite town of Shulah.
This girl was not someone who should have been on the radar of a great king. The Shulamite girl was so poor that her brothers made her a shepherdess—“they made me keeper of the vineyards” (Song 1:6). This was not a flattering vocation for a girl. Not much was on her side. She was impoverished and without striking natural beauty. Yet Solomon loved her and wrote this letter as the standard for marital love in the Bible.
Marriage is a Picture
Though there is great joy in matrimony, marriage was not created mainly for our happiness, but for God’s glory. Ultimate happiness comes from giving our lives away, not to each other, though that is important. Ultimately happiness comes by each one of us giving him or herself to God.
God created marriage as a picture to tell the story of His love for His Bride. Marriage is an expression of God’s love for people who don’t deserve it.
The Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:32-33, “This mystery [of marriage] is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. So, let each one of you [as a husband] love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
God’s Love is Relentless
Everything about Solomon seeking a poor peasant farm girl to marry is meant to tell the greatest love story ever told. This is the story of how God can love the most unworthy people. God takes impoverished sinners and pursues them. He overcomes them with His relentless love.
The Virgin Daughters of Jerusalem
The virgin daughters of Jerusalem appear many times in this love poem. They serve as a point of comparison to the Shulamite bride. These daughters are maidens—unmarried women—and we learn in chapter 6 that the bride surpasses all other maidens. So not only do they provide an entourage, they also showcase the bride as the best of the best.
This group of maidens (“virgins,” vs. 3) appear throughout this love poem. They are addressed only by the Shulamite farm girl, usually with some sort of exhortation or request. Some interpreters see them as the female members of the wedding party. The text itself gives no indication of their identity except their association with the city of Jerusalem. The women then might be those who display the refined characteristics of the city girls of Jerusalem as opposed to the very “backwoodsy” disposition of the farm girl Solomon is displaying.
The Message of Solomon’s Love Song
The message of Song of Solomon is that it is God’s will for God’s people to have a full and happy marriage, which ultimately reflects God’s love for His people. God created marital love to be spiritual at its very root. Married people can only be happy as they give their lives away for each other and pursue one another as God has pursued us. That is most successfully done when each is in a committed relationship with Christ. Without a focus on Christ, a marriage can degenerate into war. In so many ways, marriage is simply a measuring stick of one’s relationship with God. If the marriage is filled with conflict, it is likely one’s walk with God has grown lukewarm. This is not true in every case, since Jesus promised conflict because of the Kingdom. But often a tense marriage can point to one or both spouses not wanting to give their lives away for each other. Marriage should be a picture of Christ lavishing love on His bride.
So Song of Solomon is not only a love song about godly marriage—it ultimately points to a far greater love—the love Jesus Christ has for His church. We must always remember that marriage is a temporary institution which will be ended by death and whose purpose it to tell us of God’s everlasting love for His people.
Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” said this about the Song of Songs:
“This Book stands like the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and no man shall ever be able to pluck its fruit, and eat thereof, until first he has been brought by Christ past the sword of the cherubim, and led to rejoice in the love which hath delivered him from death. The Song of Solomon is only to be comprehended by the men whose standing is within the veil. The outer-court worshippers, and even those who only enter the court of the priests, think the Book a very strange one; but they who come very near to Christ can often see in this Song of Solomon the only expression which their love to their Lord desires.”
What we are going to see in the first seven verses is two married people reflecting on what it was that attracted them to each other. Of course this is a love song, but it is filled with wisdom for both single and married people. It teaches us how to deal with our passions in a godly way and in purity until marriage and to be faithful within marriage.
What Kind of Person Should I Be Attracted to for Marriage?
As we enter the first chapter, we must remember that this is a married woman remembering the days leading up to her wedding day. She’s going to talk about what attracted her to Solomon.
The initial level of attraction mentioned is physical attraction. Immediately we notice the first words from Solomon’s bride would have to be the words of a married woman. The Jews would have forbidden any and all sensual contact outside of the context of marriage, recognizing that such contact would inevitably lead to intimacy.
Solomon’s bride gushes with love reflecting on her love for her husband: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine” (1:2). Certainly, there was the kiss of a greeting that at times was allowed, such as when Jacob kissed Rachel (Gen. 29:11). These are not the kisses of a greeting. Here is a married woman testifying to what we all know about physical attraction.
Love is powerful. There is a powerful jolt of electricity that God designed with physical touch. There is a physical urge in most of us that is reserved only for marriage. This kind of love is worth the wait. Physical love is like electricity – it can very helpful, but it must be harnessed, or it will destroy!
I remember the first time I held my wife Jill’s hand. We were on the Farris Wheel at the annual carnival in Oak Forest, Illinois. About half way up she told me she was afraid of heights. She grabbed my hand and asked if I would sing “Amazing Grace.” She was not aware, but as the adrenaline of fear was cursing through her veins, my heart was pounding with joy! I do not remember if my version of Amazing Grace was in tune or not, but I’ll never forget the electricity of her innocent grasp of my hand.
We do have a level of passion and attraction in our hearts that is not wrong, but it must be very guarded. Solomon’s Shulamite bride reflects on her battle with attraction before she was married: “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem… that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases” (2:7). How easy it is for us to stir up the emotional and physical fires of love prematurely.
The sad thing is that the world paints this kind of sexual love as the ultimate goal of love for those who are not married. That is tragic. Solomon’s pure Jewish bride says that sexual love in marriage is “better than wine.” It is holy intoxication. It is a godly ravishing in the marital union which God invented. Sexual love in marriage expressed in God’s time and in God’s way is truly heavenly and holy. It is something to be esteemed. It is sacred and pure – precious and priceless. It is not something that we should ever say is “dirty.” It is holy and it should be carefully guarded and reserved for marriage.
What Solomon and his pure Shulamite bride symbolize is the same as what the writer of Hebrews says: “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” (13:4).
Sexual intimacy in marriage is pure, but if you remove the marriage covenant from the equation, all sexual activity (including that which occurs only in the imagination) is nothing but fornication, a serious sin that is especially defiling and shameful—so much so that merely talking about it inappropriately is a disgrace according to Ephesians 5:12. This is why the words about marital intimacy are shrouded and hidden and mysterious. God uses words that are purposely metaphorical to guard the sacredness of marriage.
This physical desire must be harnessed by holiness, not as dirty, but as sacred, God-given, and precious – reserved for marriage alone. We must never establish a marriage on romance alone. That is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand physical desire for one’s spouse is designed by God to be intoxicating. Love that is reserved for marriage will make a person light-headed. God says to the husband concerning his wife: “be intoxicated always in her love” (Pr. 5:19). Sexual love in marriage is exhilarating. This is why it is extremely dangerous if this is all you have.
Sadly, many people rush to marriage only on the fumes of romance. It is like putting lighter fluid on a fire. There is a great explosion of fire at first, but then the fire quickly dies out and gets very cold. There is nothing of substance to make that fire burn. In our day, couples too often rush into marriage on passion alone. Soon after marriage, after the romantic vapors evaporate, what is left are two very flawed and selfish people. So we have to build on something greater than mere physical attraction.
AMBROSE (333-397), “Therefore such a soul also desires many kisses of the Word, so that she may be enlightened with the light of the knowledge of God. For this is the kiss of the Word, I mean the light of holy knowledge. God the Word kisses us, when he enlightens our heart… It is with the kiss that lovers cleave to each other and gain possession of the sweetness of grace that is within, so to speak. Through such a kiss the soul cleaves to God the Word… She sought the kiss, God the Word poured himself into her wholly… that is, his teachings and the laws of the wisdom that is within, and was fragrant with the sweet fragrance of his ointments. Captive to these, the soul is saying that the enjoyment of the knowledge of God is richer than the joy of any bodily pleasure.”
Jesus is Better than Wine!
Truly, as we consider the true picture of marriage, only in Christ can we find a perfectly satisfying love that is “better than wine” (1:2). Spurgeon’s words are especially insightful:
“Wine in the Bible is frequently used as the symbol of joy; so certainly, Christ’s love is better than wine. Whatever joy there may be in the world’s love (and it would be folly to deny that there is some sort of joy which even the basest of men know), yet the love of Christ is far superior to it. Human joy derived from earthly sources is a muddy, dirty pool, at which men would not drink did they know there was a stream sweeter, cooler, and far more refreshing. The love of Jesus brings a joy that is fit for angels, a joy that we shall have continued to us even in heaven itself, a joy which makes earth like to heaven; it is therefore far better than wine.”
No Spouse, Besides Jesus, Can be Your Savior
It must also be said, that since only Jesus is a perfect Savior with a perfect love that satisfies and intoxicates far more than wine or any human love, then we must not think that a spouse can be depended upon for lasting and satisfying love. No spouse, besides Jesus, can be your Savior. A person who is needy (and there is usually one in every marriage) can depend too much on a spouse for emotional, social, and sexual satisfaction.
Do not misunderstand. Every spouse should build a lasting and satisfying friendship that is socially, emotionally, intellectually and sexually stimulating. But this is not what makes a marriage. True and godly love is far more than companionship. Love can take place even if one spouse is incapacitated. We are called to love one another in marriage “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘till death do we part.” This means that if an accident occurs or a disease takes hold of a partner’s body and physical relations were rendered impossible or social interaction was limited, that the marriage would still be intact. The vows are still in effect, until death parts that couple. Therefore, though we are usually initially attracted physically to someone, that it is not the most important aspect that ought to attract a person to a mate.
Another aspect of attraction mentioned in Solomon’s song is social attraction (1:3a). I have heard girls say, “He’s such a hunk!” My first question is “a hunk of what?” What is this guy made of? What you ought to be looking for, single girls, is a man that is made of godly character. Young men as well need to remember that physical attraction in a woman can be very misleading. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Pr. 31:30, NIV). Dads and moms, you need to teach your children what to look for in a mate.
Listen how the peasant girl begins: “your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you” (1:3).
Orderliness ought to attract us. The Shulamite says, I like your “anointing oils.” She is saying, “I like his cologne.” The first thing she notices is that the king is well put together. He is well groomed. Solomon took care of himself.
In Solomon’s day, men rarely bathed. They used scented oils and ointments—kind of like cologne. These oils kept their skin from drying out in the dry Middle East climate. Often the superficial outward things like being well groomed and clean first grab our attention.
I can remember in college we would get intercollegiate letters (from the various dormitories on campus), and no matter who it was from, every letter smelled like perfume!
You can tell when love begins to awaken in young people. The kid who used to hate baths is taking showers twice a day! They are constantly brushing their teeth and swishing with mouthwash.
So orderliness is important, but what really impressed the Shulamite girl was something much more important than his outward togetherness.
We ought to seek a mate that has give themselves to God. What should we look for that would clue us into to their spiritual vitality?
Godly character ought to attract us. The young woman exclaims: “your name is oil poured out” (1:3b). A person’s name in Israel was equal to the person’s character. Solomon’s cleanliness goes far beyond how he kept the outside. His godly character is pleasing and above reproach. There is nothing in Solomon’s character at this time that “smells bad”. His reputation is like “oil poured out.”
This oil is referring to the most purified oil there is. It is the first pressing of the oil—this was the oil that “was used in the lampstand that burned day and night in the Temple. The first pressing of any olive harvest went for Temple use only…it was designated solely for the worship of the Lord. Purified oil, therefore, was the best, but even beyond the best, it was the best given to God.”
The hidden person of the heart is far more important than the external beauty a person may have. Peter encouraged wives in the way of prioritizing inner beauty over outer beauty, and wrote:
“Do not let your adorning be external— the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Pt. 3:3-4).
A Potential Mate May or May Not Have a Godly Past
The person you spend the rest of your life with ought to have a godly name and blameless reputation. This does not mean that a person has had a perfect upbringing or a spotless past. For instance, I was raised in a non-believing home and was very tainted by the world before I knew Christ. Sadly, I gave away my virginity as an unsaved, worldly teenager. When I trusted Christ, the Lord cleansed me and restored my dignity. He made me a new creation. When I sought the girl who was to be my wife, I felt so unworthy. She was raised in a devout Christian home, but I was a new believer with a blemished past. She was a virgin with a blameless life, a gentle heart, and a godly character.
I came to realize that because Christ had washed my sins away that I really had a new beginning. It is true the Apostle Paul declares that the “sexually immoral” person will not enter the Kingdom of God. But then he says: “and such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
Once I was born again, by the grace of God I maintained a blameless reputation. The fragrance of Christ attracted my future wife. I was not bound by my past sins. Because I was radically committed to following Christ, that special girl who I am now married to would one day say: “your name is oil poured out” (1:3). God is able to “give a crown of beauty for ashes” and “festive praise instead of despair” (Isa. 61:3).
It should also be noted that in order to attract a godly mate, you must first live up to your proposed standards. If you want a chaste spouse, then you must be chaste. If you want a spouse with a heart for God, then you must first have a heart for God. You will inevitably attract someone of like character. David said, “I am a companion of all who fear you, of those who keep your precepts” (Psalm 119:63). We might say in today’s language: “Birds of a feather flock together.”
Chastity ought to attract us. Godly young women were attracted to Solomon because of his godly spirit and character. “Therefore virgins love you” (1:3c). Young women of marryable age loved Solomon. They respected him. The chaste women of Solomon’s court felt safe with Solomon. Why? Solomon had the reputation with others of having a pure, godly, and chaste lifestyle. He apparently treated women with dignity and respect. He kept himself pure. This was well known. He was chaste and careful with the opposite gender. The unmarried girls felt safe around him. He had a reputation of godliness and purity.
Are you chaste? If you are a flirt around the opposite gender, you will attract a person who is flirtatious and careless as well. Ladies, if you flirt, you are prostituting yourself and will attract the wrong kind of man. Men if this is your practice, you are not protecting and respecting God’s daughters. When considering a lifelong mate, ask yourself:
- Do I have the reputation as a chaste, godly person?
- Am I attracted first and foremost to the physical, or is this person’s beauty more than “skin deep”? Is their godliness the primary reason for my attraction?
- Would I be proud to bring this person home to meet Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, aunts and uncles?
Chivalry ought to attract a young woman. What is “chivalry?” The future queen says to Solomon: “Draw me after you; let us run” (1:4a). Chivalry is when the man takes the lead. A young man sets the tone for his future marriage by being a man. He “draws” the woman after him. He demonstrate trustworthiness. He is a gentleman. He opens the car door. He esteems her with his words. He treats her gently. He draws her in the right way.
Ladies, if a man wants to put you into a compromising situation, then he is not a leader but a coward. A godly man will always lead you to safe places. He will insist that you never be alone. If you suddenly come on to him, he will warn you! He will be a man. It is that kind of man that every young woman wants to “run” with. “Let us run” says the Shulamite.
By the way, women ought not to put themselves forward. A godly woman will wait for a godly man to draw her after him. A godly man will take the lead and never lead to compromising places.
We might add that a chivalrous man will be one who is able to provide for his potential wife. If a man does not have a job and a means to support himself, a bride, and future children, then he ought not to be considering marriage.
That leads us to the last thing that the Shulamite names that attracts her.
A person with self-control ought to be attractive to us. Solomon was of such blameless character that he took the lead in his courtship of his pure Jewish bride. There is a need for self-control. Notice that the desire for marriage is strong. “The king has brought me into his chambers” (1:4b). The bride is looking back from her wedding day with no regrets!
The sacred day did arrive for the Shulamite. But they kept pure until that day. Solomon protected her. He was a man of reputation. He never put her in any compromising situations. Here is a married woman reflecting on her courtship and what attracted her to Solomon – The king waited until the wedding day to bring her into his chambers.
To single men and ladies, what is reserved for marriage is so precious that you must carefully guard it. Some men will say, “Well I love her!” Single men, if you want to express your love, then you protect her, and never treat her like a prostitute. We must never act as if we are married if we are not married. Be careful not awaken that overcoming romantic love until you are married. You ought never to put yourself in a situation where you are alone with your potential mate.
Notice Solomon’s future bride speaks of marital love as a place that is hidden and secret: the “chambers.” Intimacy is reserved for marriage! Marital love is sacred and should be mysterious. It should be something shared only between a man and the wife that he has covenanted to be with whether they are poor or rich, whether they are sick or in good health. They are together until death parts them!
This is why we ought to be offended when marital intimacy is prostituted on television commercials and on internet ads. We ought to be incensed and infuriated! If we men are truly men at all, we will guard our homes from this refuse. We will guard our own eyes from that which trashes the most sacred love between two people.
Do not misunderstand. The couple who is engaged should look forward to marital intimacy. God designed sex. The Israelites of old did not have a prudish view of the physical union. They looked forward to it is something beautiful. And because of this great respect for intimacy, they took every measure to guard themselves from wasting the gift God gave to them to give to each other. We need men and ladies who have this kind of character.
Where is a man and this woman of character? Every lady who is interested in marriage ought to want a man like this. Every mother ought to diligently teach her son to be a man like this.
Listen to the godly daughters of Jerusalem: “We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you” (1:4c).
A man like this is one in a thousand. Men – married or single – be a true man that protects that which is sacred. Be a man who honors what God honors. Do not contribute to the decadence of our culture. Keep sacred that which God calls sacred. If you do that you will be highly honored by women in general. They will point to you and “exult and rejoice in you.” They will rightly respect you.
Perhaps you thinking about marriage. The first question you ought to ask yourself about your potential mate is: Is this person born again? Do they truly have a walk with Jesus Christ? Has this person grown in the faith? Do they have a reputation about being forward and courageous about the things of God? Is God more important in this person’s life than any human relationship? The heart of a spiritually dynamic believer in Christ ought to be what is most attractive to you as you consider choosing a potential mate.
 Tom Nelson. The Book of Romance (Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, 1998), 2.
 E.g., see 2:7; 3:5, 10f.; 5:8, 16; and 8:4.
 Carr, G. L. (1984). Song of Solomon: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 19, pp. 84–85). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
 Charles Spurgeon. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 42, Sermon 2469, “The Incomparable Bridegroom and His Bride” (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896), 285.
 See John MacArthur. The Rape of the Song of Solomon. Blog archive. Challies.com.
 St. Ambrose. Isaac, or the Soul 3.8–9 in Fathers of the Church: A New Translation. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1947, 65:16–17.
 Charles Spurgeon. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 42, Sermon 2459, “Better than Wine” (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896), 157.
 Nelson. Romance, 4-5.
 Chandler, Matt (2015-01-01). The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption (p. 33). David C. Cook. Kindle Edition.