The Place of Love and Affirmation


Song of Songs 4:1-4

How beautiful you are, my love,
how very beautiful!
Your eyes are doves
behind your veil.
Your hair is like a flock of goats,
moving down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
and not one among them is bereaved.
Your lips are like a crimson thread,
and 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 courses;
on it hang a thousand bucklers,
all of them shields of warriors.


In this chapter the beauty of the beloved is extolled. What the words reveal is a marriage relationship in which there is mutual affection. This is not about a marriage defined by a legal document, but genuine marriage in which love and affirmation rule the day. Interestingly, the lover doesn’t want his beloved, or his bride because she can provide something for him, but because he simply delights in her. 


Throughout history there have been two ways to look at Song of Solomon. One is to take it literally, and the other allegorically. Some say it speaks to the love between a man and a woman, and others, the relationship between Christ and his church. What if we found both within the lines of this beautiful poetry?

Christian marriage is not supposed to be defined by a strict set of rules, but by mutual love and affection. This is a relationship that should never be taken for granted. It needs to be nurtured on a daily basis and filled with words of affirmation. The same is true for our relationship with Jesus Christ. Without daily attention, there will be no growth or discipleship. 

Our world is saturated by sex, all while people are desperate for love. If we misunderstand the author of the Song, we will see sex, and not the true love that is depicted. Unfortunately, whether in marriage, or in relationship to Jesus Christ, true love is in short supply. We live in a depersonalized and sexualized world in which men and women are led to question their own sense of self worth. The relationship depicted challenges us to think about God’s love, which is affirmed through respect and intimacy. 

Christian marriage is supposed to reflect the relationship we are called to have with Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are to worship the Triune God, the one who affirms and loves us. God respects human freedom, but at the same time desires our intimacy and woos us through his grace. All of our relationships are in deep need of affirmation. Just as you and I are affirmed by the love of Christ, so our marriages and friendships need love and affirmation. I would suggest that we can never engage in too much affirmation of the unique worth and beauty of individuals in a world filled with anxiety and worry. 

Reach out, affirm your spouse, your neighbor, and soak in the love of Jesus. 


Lord, thank you for your overwhelming love. Amen. 


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