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?
“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.” After reading this statement, I felt very convicted within myself. Many times, I have trouble reminding myself that God loves me regardless of how I look or what I do wrong today. God loves me unconditionally and sees me beautiful both inside and out. Also, as I put God as my priority, everything follows naturally and smoothly. God is indeed my beautiful father and I am His one and only unique daughter. God, may I see myself as you see me…
1. She is browned from the sun.
2. A prostitute.
3. Because she is devoted for him and deeply longs for him.
4. By being content with who I am and my identity in Christ.
5. By not being afraid to share my own opinion.
How does the woman describe herself?
Black but lovely, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon, burnt by the sun.
What might the woman be mistaken for?
A slave girl
Why is she taking a risk in searching for her lover?
Because she longs to be with the one she loves the most.
How could you express confidence in your relationships?
By telling others that I love them and care for them
What risks might enhance your relationships?
By being the first one to open up and be vulnerable. By taking initiative to dig beyond surface level.
1. She describes herself as being “dark, but lovely.”
2. She might have been mistaken for a prostitute.
3. Because she longs for his company.
4. By being honest and forefront with one another.
5. Some risks that might enhance our relationships are engaging in activities that your spouse likes but you personally don’t.
1. Dark, and lovely
2. A prostitute
3.Her search will take her to dangerous and disreputable places
4. I believe myself to be fairly confident
5. None that I can think of
1. How does the woman describe herself? As lovely
2. What might the woman be mistaken for? A prostitute
3. Why is she taking a risk in searching for her lover? Because she is in love with him and desperate to be with him
4. How could you express confidence in your relationships? By being confident about myself and more trusting of others
5. What risks might enhance your relationships? The risk of sharing personal situations and emotions with those I am in relationship with rather than keeping them all to myself
I struggle with the concept of taking risks. Over the summer I was teaching summer school with a program in Milwaukee. The program was staffed with mostly undergraduate education majors. The directors were trying to set the tone for our classroom communities in training by demonstrating some methods of encouraging students. Whenever someone read aloud in front of the 200+ teachers, everybody said, “Risk-taker, risk-taker, don’t be a hater, ooooh, check that teacher out!” It was really annoying to me because reading aloud in front of a large group was not something that caused me to feel worried or “risky.” As I reflected on this, I realized that I would never feel like a risk-taker in front of the group because I probably wouldn’t ever take a risk in front of them. I was very uncomfortable in my own position as a teacher in the program, and it led to an unwillingness to jeopardize any semblance of control.
Recently, I confided a lot in a couple of close friends and definitely felt that I was taking a risk. The only reason I felt that I could was because I was confident that our friendship was strong enough to hold. I was confident in my own self worth, too. If I had not shared, I think I would have lost an opportunity to become deeper friends. I am learning that taking risks requires an understanding that we are not in control. It is necessary to forge deep friendships. I am hoping that I will be honoring the Lord by stepping out in faith more and more, acknowledging that He has the control.
I really enjoy this blog post because it reminded me of the risk that is involved of following Jesus. It would be easy to not be sensitive to the Spirit and desire to live life my own way, but I do not choose that path for my life, I choose His way. My husband and I have a saying that we exchange back and forth quite regularly, “Wherever He leads.” It keeps our focus on Him, the One who is guiding us in our lives. It’s easy to say the quote to each other, it takes faith and guts to follow through. But my prayer every single day is that we would not lose site of our Maker as we walk upon the water.
I like the “wherever he leads” approach
1) She describes herself as dark and lovely.
2) The woman might be mistaken for a prostitute.
3) She is taking a risk in searching for her lover because of her desire and longing to be with him.
4) I can express more confidence in my relationships by being confident in myself and who I am in Christ.
5) Some risks that could enhance my relationships could be vulnerability and openness and even a willingness to try things that I normally wouldn’t try.
I am, at heart, a very shy person. My first reaction when I meet new people is to want to hide. When I am going through hard times I want to hide from the world. Of course, if I did those things all the time I would have no friends. Over the years, I’ve been forced to learn to take risks in relationships. Sometimes it has ended badly. Risks are scary, but I am starting to learn that it is a necessary part of relationships. Some of the risks I’ve been trying to take lately include dealing with conflict and sharing myself, even the ugly parts I hide in my heart, with some close friends.
The woman describes herself as lovely. The woman in the passage could easily be mistaken for a prostitute. The woman is taking a risk to find her lover and be with him. The more confidence you have in who you are in Christ, the more confident you can be in your relationships. I can grow in my ability to take risks through prayer and through following the promptings of the Spirit.
is this something that happens for you and Dominic? I know that Kelli and I struggle with confidence.
1. She describes herself as being “dark, but lovely”.
2. She could have been mistaken for a prostitute.
3. She longs to be with him in such a deep way that the risk does not matter or is worth it to her.
4. I need to remember who’s image I am made in and take confidence in the fact that God does find me lovely. I am very shy and my confidence is something I have always struggled with since I was little. I notice that on days when I do remember the above, my confidence heightens and the depth of my conversations or the level of my vulnerability with others increases.
5. I think that vulnerability is something I really need to work on. God has definitely placed that need on my heart during my time here at Moody and has improved that in me, but I am not consistent at it at all.
To be honest, my husband can throw compliments my way all day long and I still find that I am lacking in confidence. It’s something that has nothing to do with my spouse but everything to do with Christ and myself. When I do find that love in Christ and recognize the love that Christ is offering me is real, and when I know that he thinks I’m lovely(even tho “I’m brown”-sinful, ugly at times) he sees his beautiful daughter whom he treasures and who is valued more than rubies. I then find the confidence, even for a little while, to love my husband the way God calls me to.
Taking risks, especially in relationships is no easy task. Taking risks are scary because you never know the response you are going to receive. May we never be afraid to take risks, especially in an effort to further the Kingdom of God. As believers we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, may we walk forward with His confidence in us, and not fear to step forward on the path the Lord has set before us.
Good to see you are catching up
When I was in my early teens, I struggled with confidence in my appearance in many ways. But when I started high school, I began to read the Bible. This grew into a thirst for God’s Word, and what is amazing to me is that the more I read and learned, the less I thought about my appearance and the more confident I grew in who God made me. It wasn’t a complete forsaking of caring for my body and putting a bit of effort into looking nice, but I no longer felt shame and fear at what people would think of me, and I did not criticize myself as much anymore, because I knew that I am His creation.