Dangers: Little Foxes • Devotion 2

Danger of Success
Pastor Ryan and Cathy Story

The opening statement of Song of Solomon is, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Song of Solomon 1:2). This sets the tempo for the entire book. The bride, bridegroom, and townspeople (which is a bit weird that they were so invested in this relationship, but I digress) proceed to dote on the love that is between these two. After sweet talking to each other with imagery of all of the flora and fauna they could think of, the bride turns her attention away from the bloom of the vineyard of their relationship and focuses on foxes. I feel for this man. Imagine sweet talking your wife, gazing into her eyes, complimenting her beauty, being stunned at the beauty of what God had created, and all the while she is responding in kind and she looks at you and says, “There is still laundry that needs to be done.” That is a definite mood killer!

The transition from, “I see your face everywhere I look” (Song of Solomon 2:14) to “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15), is like taking an interstate off-ramp at 70 miles per hour. However, the more you look into this moment, the more beautiful it becomes. The bride and bridegroom are lost in the bloom of the vineyard that is their relationship. There is romance, longing, intimacy, tenderness, encouragement, and vulnerability. All the things are going right. Yet, what does the bride focus on? It is the small foxes. These are the little foxes that snuck into their vineyard to spoil. Now we could conclude that the bride was only focused on the problems. I see it in another way. She is not looking for the negatives, she is ensuring that the vineyard of their love is always in bloom.

Ralph Mastron once said, “One of the biggest threats to success is success.” When things are going great, we seldom put the effort into ensuring that things continue in that direction. When our marriages are healthy, it is easy to become lax on praying together, encouraging each other, and taking the time to be tender with one another. When things in the vineyard of our marriages are in bloom, it is easy to fall into the rut of thinking that blooming is how it will always be. Success can create a false sense of security that “the good times will always last.” Paul David Tripp says, “Perhaps the greatest danger to a good marriage is a good marriage; because, when things are good, we are tempted to give way to feelings of arrival and forsake the attitudes and disciplines that have, by God’s grace, made our marriage what it has become.”

By no means am I wishing everyone to have a rocky marriage, but the willingness to work is the essential attitude to ensure that marriage remains strong and Christ-centered. Success can erode the awareness that there are foxes in every vineyard. Sin is constantly knocking at all of our doors. Our need for Christ is ever present. While it is possible to have a healthy marriage, the inability to see foxes sneaking under the fences can create havoc on the health of a marriage. When we are unhealthy, we know we need to go to a physician for care. Seldom do we go to the physician for a checkup when things are healthy.
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