Probably the most delightful of fragrances for me is that of lavender. Everytime its scent reaches me, my thoughts are immediately transported to another dimension, and I could glimpse an infinitesimal vision of Eden restored to full bloom when Christ comes.
But nature is so designed that every such gift created for man’s olfactory pleasure passes by us only for a brief while, enough for us to enjoy it during the few seconds it fills our senses. And then, having given us a forescent of the wonderful world awaiting God’s people, it departs, to waft to us again the next time we pass by that area.
However, if we bottle up a synthetic similitude of that scent, we are able to experience its fragrance everytime we open the bottle and dab a portion of the delight on ourselves. But, after a few seconds the scent vanishes from our senses, and we do not think of it until we spray it or dab it on us again the next day. That’s the wonder of all wonderful sensations we experience, that’s the beauty of all beautiful things we behold.
All delightful experiences, when assimilated continuously beyond a short period of pleasure, take flight from us for our own good – so that we can continually, forever, enjoy the pleasure they give us without being surfeited by them.
The most sensual scent for a man however is not from the plant kingdom or from the great perfumeries of the world, no matter how exquisite they are by themselves. For a man that God has blessed with the second greatest gift for enjoyment of his life – after the gift of the person of Christ – there is nothing that comes even close to the scent of a wife snuggled close to him.
I may state, on the basis of the testimony of at least one wife – that this scent, in its masculine form, is equally true for a woman. The scent of her husband is her supreme sensuality, as long as the emanations from his body do not end at her nasal terminals but permeates deep into her heart that is filled with love for her man.
A heart that has little love for the spouse receives chemically the same smells from the wife or husband, but they are absorbed only by the physical faculties and do not suffuse the deep chambers of the heart. It is the emotional essences that convert even perspiration soaked molecules into reassuring vibes of delight for a husband or a wife. Without overflowing love in the heart of the scent recipient, the daily smells of a spouse have nothing alluring in them, and may sometimes be even an odoriferous experience for the wife or husband.
Now let me tell you what I really mean by scent of a wife. I am not merely referring to the physical sensing of the body smells of your beloved, delightful as they are. It is the sense of togetherness, of the sychological effect of having a lifemate beside you constantly, that the scent of a wife brings you. It is an extended recreation of what Adam experienced when he first beheld Eve. Until then, he was not feeling complete, he was lonely, and God said that this state of not being able to scent a mate, which all the animals in Adam’s care were able to, was ‘not good’ for man.
It is when a man leaves his wife for a few days, or a longer period, that he acutely misses the scent of his woman. A prolonged deprivation in a man of the scent of his wife can do severe damage to his syche. Such deprivation in a man who is not protected by the Holy Spirit puts him in great risk of straying into places where he could get substitute scents illegitimately.
For husbands in God’s family, when situations arise where they are forced to be separated for long periods from their wives (such as imprisonments) they suffer much because of the absence of the daily marital scents. But they are able to patiently endure this suffering, and every other suffering through Christ whose personal fragrance strengthens them (Philippians 4:13), and when they are restored to their wives their appreciation of the blessings of having a life-partner constantly beside them is increased many times. If they had taken their wives’ scent for granted before they were separated, then they vow never to take it for granted again. Which is what I want to tell you finally.
Appreciate every tangible and intangible blessings of married life. It is so easy to take them for granted, so easy for you to lose scent of the wonderful emanations of love from your wife after inhaling them day and night for years. The way to regain scent of the wonderful fragrances of married life is to daily renew your conscious appreciation of all that God has given you in your wife, and to daily praise God and thank him for this most beautiful of scents that fill up your senses every day and every night.
Remember the hit song that conveys the intense longing of a man whose senses are overwhelmed by the memory of his separated wife?
‘You fill up my senses
Like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime
Like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert
Like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses
Come fill me again’1
If you haven’t done it so far in your married life, try this: The next time you go near your wife, take a deep breath, and sniff her in the neck or bosom. Then kiss her. Let the subtle shades of the natural scent and flavor of your wife overwhelm you, thrill you and cause you to praise God for his marvelous creation.
‘You, my love, are beautiful. So beautiful!… Your love is more pleasing than the finest wine, and the fragrance of your perfume brings more delight than any spice! Your lips taste sweet like honey off the comb, my bride; milk and honey are beneath your tongue. The scents of your clothes are like the fresh air of Lebanon… your breath is the aroma of apples. Kissing you is more delicious than drinking the finest wine. How wonderful and tasty! Song of Solomon 4:1,10-11;7:8-9
1′Annie’s Song’ by John Denver. It is the second most melodious song I have ever heard, second only to ‘Unchained Melody’ by the Righteous Brothers. If you haven’t heard them yet, you can find them easily on YouTube.
Image Courtesy: Urs Gerber – iVision