I know it's been since October, but I'll get to our family a little later...
As I'm sure anyone who isn't living under a rock knows, this week is Valentines day! A day beloved by about 98% of women, 90% of whose who secretly or not-so-secretly hate it. But, why...
I've, sporadically, been going through "The One Year Women of the Bible" devotional and today I decided to play a little catch up from Saturday. I started reading in Song of Solomon, Chapter 1... the wording is a bit much for me, so I used my handy dandy little footnotes to delve further into the verses.
For those who have never read it or haven't in a while, it's a book in the Bible about King Solomon and a Shulammite woman (don't ask me what a Shulammite is, I have no idea....I'll probably google that after this post.) Some people think it's mostly allegorical, and not a true account, but for sake of this post, let's go with 'it's true'. The Shu woman (let's call her that) begins in chapter one talking about how great Solomon is and how unworthy, essentially, she is to have his love. He comes back and says she's beautiful, like one of Pharaoh's mare. Which in 2013, would probably be considered an insult, but apparently Solomon was a horse-man (I Kings 4:26) so, it's quite the compliment! The book continues with beautiful language of love and passion; read it, if you haven't, it's fantastic!
But, as I was reading the commentary in my "One Year" devotional, the author said something that struck me deep.
She begins her devotional talking about a lady who is at a party and regretting she decided to come because she doesn't look good. She's not happy with her weight or her clothing, she didn't have time to put on more make up, etc., etc. (SOUND FAMILIAR!?) The author says, but her husband gazes at her from across the room and thinks she's radiant.
Honestly, I don't have enough appendages to count how many times I've had this internal conversation with myself (before or after being married). As women, regardless of our relationship status, we compare ourselves to other women. Unfortunately, our society hasn't made it much easier on us with the airbrushing and photoshopping of magazine covers. But, even so, in everyday life, the lady at the grocery store or the girl in your Art class or your neighbor are always so much prettier, thinner, smarter than YOU! Even the beautiful Shulammite woman, leading lady of one of the greatest love stories written, didn't see her beauty. (Cue One Direction's 'You Don't Know You're Beautiful'). In Song of Solomon 1:5, she begins her monologue of 'my skins too dark, I was busy taking care of my family's vineyard to take care of myself' and so on.... She compared herself to the other 'daughters of Jerusalem' and really couldn't grasp why Solomon wanted HER!
I have to say....this is me. Sure, sometimes I have a great hair day and stare at myself in the mirror a little to long, knowing the next one of these days will be many moons away. But, regularly knowing that I am 'fearfully and wonderfully made', knowing that I am God's 'beloved' or understanding that I am 'perfect' in His eyes....rarely.
But, this is what the author said that struck me....
"During those times, it helps to remember that there is Someone who looks past our stringy hair, acne, and extra weight. He sees us as worth DYING for just as we are--which is why he did! God gazes at his daughters with eyes of unconditional love, and we have no idea how beautiful we look to him!"
Song of Solomon 8:10 "When my lover looks at me, he is delighted with what he sees."
Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
This Valentine's day, regardless of your relationship status, you are so deeply LOVED, more than any man could ever give to you on this earth! If you're in a horrible or an amazing marriage, remember that in good times and bad, we LOVE because Christ first loved us and died for us! Love your spouse as an outpour of your love for Jesus, even if you feel they don't deserve it in that moment. If you're single, know that God loves you and YOU ARE ENOUGH! If you have NO idea who Jesus is, He loves you and wants you to know His love and that it was so deep, He gave up His life to die a brutal death to save you from yourself! Just say, "Jesus, I want to know you...become my everything", then talk to someone (me, a friend, pastor, etc.) who knows who Jesus is!
Thanks for reading!
p.s. Husbands/boyfriends---chocolates and/or flowers don't hurt, though! ;)