“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” --Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
This description of "the secret garden" from Burnett's book could also describe the detailed account of the sexual relationship between Solomon and his wife that began to bloom on their honeymoon. Solomon shared this account in detail in Song of Solomon Chapter 4 of the Bible.
In fact Solomon tells his bride in vs. 12, "You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. And in vs. 15 she invites her new husband to, "Come into (his) garden, (and) taste its finest fruits."
Before we move on, I want to point out the difference in the adjective used by Solomon to describe this "marriage garden" and the one used by Burnett to describe the actual physical garden: "private" verse "secret." A good sexual relationship between a husband and wife should be "private" (intended for one particular person) but shouldn't be a "secret" (kept hidden from others).
There is nothing wrong with other people knowing that you and your spouse have a healthy sex life. I want other people, especially my kids, to know I have a good sex life with my wife and to fully and understand and experience this with their spouse as well.
I will not rewrite the chapter 4 of Song of Solomon in it's entirety here but it is one of the most giving, sacrificial, and moral "sex scenes" ever recorded and I will use it to talk with my kids about a good sexual relationship between a husband and wife.
The overarching theme from this chapter of Song of Solomon is most likely not breaking news to anyone who has been around the opposite sex for more than 15 minutes but none the less important to a healthy sexual relationship. The theme is that women are prepared for sex by what is said and men are prepared for sex by what is seen! That is why my wife always jokes that if she doesn't want to have sex she has to get undressed in the closet. And we don't have a walk in closet! It takes carefully chosen words given at the right time deliver in the right way to motivate a woman's libido.
Most women don't understand how men can be ready for sex so quickly and the typical man of few words has a hard time finding the right words to help his wife "get in the mood." If you read Song of Solomon Chapter 4 you will notice this played out. Verses 1-15 are Solomon talking to this bride and verse 16 is his bride talking to him. This is normally what the balance will look like--as a couple you will spend 15 minutes talking to get the woman "in the mood" and then the man will be ready in just a minute.
We are by nature selfish beings and it would be easy not to put in the effort it takes to have a giving and sacrificial sex life with your spouse but true intimacy will only blossom in the marriage garden when the miracle of self-sacrifice is practiced on by both the husband and wife as they prepare and participate in the private garden of sexual intimacy.