Song of Solomon 4 is the first intimacy between the maiden and her beloved after their wedding procession and ceremony that ended the prior chapter. Solomon is quite good at expressing his love for his bride. “Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful”! Simple words, but showing his affection for his bride. This sets the example for how we out to treat our wives – Paul writes about it in 1 Corinthians – that every wife has affection due her. Jesus shows that affection to His bride – the church – in the same way.
He goes on to make a list of things that define her beauty:
- “Your eyes are doves behind your veil
- Your hair is like a flock of goats leaping down the slopes of Gilead
- Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing
- Your lips are like a scarlet thread
- your mouth is lovely
- Your cheeks are like halves of a pomegranate behind your veil
- Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone
- Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies
- Your lips drip nectar
- honey and milk are under your tongue
- the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon
- Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits”
While these are probably not the words you want to use today to describe the beauty of your bride, it certainly gives us an example of almost a dozen different characteristics that Solomon calls out – details that show how tuned in and attentive he was – that would make his bride feel loved.
After he shares the first seven of those traits, he stops and says these words. “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you”. He could have easily summarized the detail of the seven characteristics with this one sentence, which is what many of us might do. But it would not have been nearly as powerful as the way he shares his adoration for his bride. He reinforces the individual things he said with this powerful statement that tied it all together and showed her that he was blessed by the whole as well as the parts. If only we would always look at our spouse through this kind of lens and focus on the things of blessing, not the few that we would like to change. Solomon doesn’t focus on changing anything – only enjoying the goodness that his bride brings.
The other thing that he says which is so important is “You have captivated my heart”. He goes beyond describing his bride’s beauty and character and talks about the impact she has on him. He got beyond the surface and shared the emotion. He expresses how her love has changed him and how she has completely overwhelmed his heart. Jesus should captivate our hearts. If we are in a personal relationship with Him, it should not be something we put on the shelf and merely call on when we need something. He should be everything to us, just like Solomon’s bride was to him. All consuming, all perfecting, all blessing. That’s the way we need to live our marriage and our walk with Christ!