“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15).
Marriage is a beautiful thing that can be spoiled not so much by giants in the land as by “the little foxes.” The giants would be adultery, abuse, cancer, or whatever huge challenges might hurl into a marriage. Those must be handled if they come, and there is grace for it:
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
“… I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
But the little foxes are dangerous because you do not see them, but over time they can do as much damage to the “vineyard” as the giants. These little foxes would be things like a spirit of complacency (Romans 12:11), or laziness in relationship (Hebrews 6:12), or unexpressed resentments (Hebrews 12:15), or creeping hard-heartedness (2 Corinthians 6:13).
Not all of us will encounter the giants in our marriages, but all of us will encounter the little foxes. This is because while not many of us are adulterers or murderers or wife beaters, all of us are prone to bad habits and mild addictions and assorted baggage we carried into wedlock with us.
The thing about little foxes is that they might even seem cute or harmless or funny, and sometimes they are dormant for long stretches of time. But it is interesting that the writer of Song of Solomon mentions these, and not giants, as the culprits to watch for in this beautiful romance he describes in the middle of your Bible.
Do you think you have no little foxes in your marriage? Maybe you don’t. But you may want to check for recurring little frictions that you tend to pooh-pooh because they are not major. You may even think they are simply the inevitable “human condition” and not worth dealing with because you will never be perfect before heaven.
That attitude is not the attitude of Song of Solomon. God wants us to work on eradicating the little foxes—that temper problem, that tendency to walk out of the room when things are unpleasant, that habit of getting the last word in an argument, or of excessive TV watching that robs time from your spouse, or that obsession with cleaning, or shopping, or polishing your car, or Facebook.
Let us get rid of the little foxes. And here is the promise: Your vineyard will blossom.