by Raquel Rodriguez
Don’t stare at me because I am dark—
the sun has darkened my skin.
My brothers were angry with me;
they forced me to care for their vineyards,
So I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard.
Song of Solomon 1:6
I don’t know about you but I can certainly identify with the Shulamite woman in Song of Solomon, feeling beautiful at times but not fully accepted. Her dark skin color had nothing to do with her race. Working in the fields, under the sun, had tanned her skin. She lived in a society where the upper class did not tend the fields, therefore, their skin was pale and society praised that. She was self-conscious of what she considered a flaw, but her beloved Solomon thought otherwise.
You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
Leading up to this verse, he calls her beautiful and lovely over 10 times. He deems her worthy of his love and affection even with her imperfections. He praises and recognizes her beauty and character as altogether beautiful. Just two chapters back he compares her to a lily among thorns. He calls her fairest among the women. To him, she is beautiful beyond words. The Shulamite woman captivated his heart. He invites her to rise up and go away with Him.
Solomon paints for us a picture of how God sees us, His precious girls. God does not consider us any less worthy of His love, His salvation, affection, blessings, and plans because of our so-called imperfections. It may just be that your nose seems to be too long or too wide, your hair too frizzy or too limb. Is it a literal scar or that your legs are long, your hips wide, your hands not feminine enough or your arms not as toned? Are you self-conscience about your weight or similar to the Shulamite woman, the color of your skin? You don’t regard yourself as pretty, well-kept or beautiful. Maybe it’s not the outer that causes you to think less of yourself. Do you feel less worthy because you don’t see yourself as smart? Has someone robbed you of your identity and innocence? Perhaps you feel like damaged goods, unfit of blessings and undeserving of love. To all your insecurities God says: You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way, and there is no spot in you.
Proverbs 31:30 instructs us on the reality of outward beauty:
“Charm is deceitful and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
Another great passage is 1 Peter 3:3-5,
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful.”
Incorruptible beauty…how do we maintain that? We must understand that our value lies in that we are wholly and dearly loved by God. We cannot earn God’s approval, we already have it. In the words of Allie, “No amount of striving, accomplishments, or external beauty can make you more valuable or loved in the eyes of your Lord.”
The Shulamite woman’s insecurities were quieted by Solomon’s love. God has loved you from before you were in your mother’s womb. He loved you as He formed you and knit you together. He loved you when you were born. He knows your coming and going and is intimately acquainted with all your ways. He knows every word you are about to say and every thought that roams your mind. He sees and knows the pain, the hurt and the tears you cry. He knows about the depression. He knows about that hidden sin. He knows that you are not perfect and yet He still loves you. He has loved you and will forever love all of you despite your insecurities.
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
He calls you altogether beautiful, darling and lovely. He deems you worthy of his love and affection. He compares you to a lily among thorns. He calls you fairest among the women. To Him, you are beautiful beyond words. You have captivated His heart. And He invites you to rise up and go away with Him.
Do you believe that you are altogether beautiful?