Song of Solomon, Part 2
One Direction is the biggest boy band in the world right now. In case you’ve had your head in a box for the past year, let me quote from one of their signature songs:
You’re being shy,
And turn away when I look into your eyes,
Everyone else in the room can see it,
Everyone else but you…
You don’t know, oh, oh, you don’t know you’re beautiful.
Most men can’t understand why lyrics like this make 13-year-old girls all over the planet drool and scream and drop big bucks for One-D tickets. But I think most women get it. Even if we’re much too
jaded mature to fall for it, and even though we aren’t attracted to pubescent pop stars, we get it.
And, I think God gets it, too. In fact, I think He was singing about it long before One Direction hit the charts. God understands us because He made us, and He knows what we long for. If you read the guest-post a few weeks ago, His Desire is for Me, you saw that Song of Solomon has a lot to say about God’s love for His people. As I pondered it, I realized it also has a lot to say about our need for His love, too.
Separately reading the words of the bride and groom is a wonderful, worshipful exercise. The bride represents the church throughout history, but she is also amazingly like each one of us, flawed and needy. She loses track of her lover, she fights with her family, and she reveals insecurities about – guess, what? – her beauty. Meanwhile, the groom, who represents Christ, does nothing but reiterate his adoration for her. He tells her over and over, in many different ways, that she is lovely.
We don’t know that we are beautiful. We don’t know that God sees us seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6), shining with the glory He purchased for us (2 Cor. 3:18) and perfect – as we one day will be in reality (Heb. 10:14). The cross shouts that message down time and eternity. We are loved. We are valuable. We are beautiful.
What does this mean for us today? At least two things. First, our marriages should reflect the covenant marriage God has with His people. If part of His mission is to tell us we are beautiful, and if our job is to offer that beauty to Him, then our marriages should look that way, too. Husbands, what have you done today to convince your wife that she is beautiful in your eyes? It’s your job to find her beauty and tell her about it. God never gets weary of repeating that message to His bride. Wives, what have you done today to offer your beauty to your husband in creative ways? (I mean your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional gifts and graces.) Is your beauty dedicated to him or have you withheld it? Have you offered it inappropriately to others?
Song of Solomon also means that we need to listen for God’s voice and believe His words. We need to hear that His desire is for us every day. His gospel is for us every day. We can consciously reject the voice inside which denies this graceful truth and clings to filthy rags of self-deprecation or earthly pride. The girl who doesn’t know she is beautiful will either hide herself in the shadows or give herself away in the public square. The woman who accepts her own beauty as God-given wears it comfortably and offers it appropriately, making others feel beautiful along the way.
Personal exercises (you will need a Bible translation which separates the three voices in Song of Solomon):
- Read only the groom’s portion of the Song of Solomon and see if you can accept it as the love of Christ for you.
- Rewrite the groom’s portion in more modern and personal language, the way you would like to hear it from God.
- Read the bride’s portion and consider whether her fears mirror your own in any way. Are her requests like your prayers? Is her praise like your worship?
- Rewrite the bride’s portion in more modern and personal language, the way you would like to say it to God.
- Lessons from the Song of Solomon: Perfecting the Art of Giving Praise (mainwriters.com)
- Madly in Love (paultrippministries.com)
- The Beauty of God’s People (thinkingchristian.net)
- That’s What Makes You Beautiful (fervr.net)