In the following passage, the Zohar explains the phenomenon of the transference and manifestation of supernal spiritual loving-kindness (chesed) from the "parents" - the partzufim of Abba and Imma to their "children" - Zeir Anpin and Nukva. In particular, it is via the six intermediate sefirot of Zeir Anpin that this energy is directed towards its "final" destination, that of Nukva.
When do they [the lights of chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, and hod, manifest in the sefira of yesod] appear? At the time when the rainbow is revealed in the world. Because at the time the rainbow appears then they are revealed.
The beaming colors of the rainbow represent the shining of the attributes chesed, gevura and tiferet into the world.
And at that time [when the rainbow appears], "The time of song has arrived" (Songs 2:12) [implying] the time to cut the wicked from the world.
Through singing to G‑d, the powers of evil are annihilated….
Through singing to G‑d, the powers of evil are annihilated. The best way to do this is through praising G‑d and singing to Him, ridding evil from one's own heart.
Why will they [the wicked] be saved?
The sins of the wicked in the generation of the Flood caused destruction. What prevents this from re-occurring?
Because the buds appear in the land.
Because the lights of chesed, gevura and tiferet shined down and sweetened the judgments caused by the sins.
And were it not that they [the buds] appeared, they [the wicked] would not be left in the world, and the world would not endure.
Children… generate such merit as to justify the world's endurance, despite its sins….
And what makes the world endure and caused the Patriarchs to be revealed?
What awakening from below, in this world, caused the drawing of these spiritual lights from above?
The voice of the children who speak words of Torah.
Being below the age of maturity, children are not responsible for their deeds, and are therefore free from sin. The words of Torah emanating from their pure lips therefore generate such merit as to justify the world's endurance, despite its sins.
And because of these youths of the world, the world is saved. Relating to them, the verse states, "Doves of gold we will make for you" (Songs 1:11), for these are the children, the youths, the lads, as it is written, "And you shall make two golden cherubs." (Ex. 25:18)
The children's' melodious chanting of words of Torah is likened to the sweet song that the doves sing….
How do we know that this verse refers to the children? Rabbinic tradition teaches that the faces of these cherubs, or angelic figures, in the Holy Temple were like that of children. and were made of gold. (Chagiga 13b) From this we can deduce that the gold mentioned in the aforementioned verse hints to children. These are allegorized in the Song of Songs as "doves of gold", because the children's' melodious chanting of words of Torah is likened to the sweet song that the doves sing.
Also, the dove is known throughout the words of the Sages as being always loyal to its mate. Children are similar in that they are always loyal to G‑d. The cherubs also have the faces of children because angels share with children the quality of being free of sin. And the Torah hints to us the connection between the two verses specifically through the word "gold", because this exalted quality is rare like gold.
In terms of the verse in context of the Song of Songs, the Jewish people are expressing their love for G‑d by telling how we have our children sing the words of Torah to Him.
[Adapted from the Zohar by Peretz Auerbach]