We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
5 I am very dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
they made me keeper of the vineyards,
but my own vineyard I have not kept!
7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who veils herself
beside the flocks of your companions?
Confidence and Risk Taking in Relationships
In this passage the strong personality of the young woman is highlighted. She does not lack confidence regarding her looks. She calls herself lovely. She knows that she is somewhat wild and untamed but that might be the reason why she has broken out of the harem and gone in search of her true love.
‘One who is veiled’ probably refers to her appearance as a prostitute. It was common in ancient times for prostitutes to be veiled by the side of the road and for them to wait for business. In Genesis we see that Tamar posed as such a prostitute. The fertility cults of the time encouraged that practice. Although David had a heart devoted to God, Solomon allowed the continuation of some pagan practices such as worship at the high places (1 Kings 3). The woman’s passion sends her out into some dangerous territory in search of her true love. She pleads with her true love to come and find her – to rescue her.
Marital love should exhibit both confidence and a willingness to engage with danger. Often we bring a lack of confidence forward in life which is deep rooted. However, when someone affirms our looks we come alive and develop a spring in our step. However, after the complements get old or don’t come as frequently we blame our lover for going cold or drying up. If someone develops a healthy self image, seeing their body as a gift from God, and the loveliness that is in each of us due to the imago dei, we will make more excellent lovers. We bring an assurance that regardless of compliments or flattery I am beautiful in the eyes of God and therefore in my own eyes. This is the kind of confidence that will be consistent if the relationship with God remains primary.
One of the things which originally attracted me to my wife Kelli was that she had jumped out of an airplane – with a parachute. Engaging with danger gets the adrenaline running. Exploring the world, serving God in closed countries, taking risks in careers and romance. All of these can enhance a relationship. They make a person more attractive in terms of friendship and romantic love.
God. May I see myself as you see me. May I have confidence that because of your Son I look good at least to you. May I then hold my chin up high and have the confidence to take healthy risks.
- How does the woman describe herself?
- What might the woman be mistaken for?
- Why is she taking a risk in searching for her lover?
- How could you express confidence in your relationships?
- What risks might enhance your relationships?