(Photo by Selma Komisky)
By Sarah Komisky
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”
– Song of Solomon 4:7 (NIV)
Who are you and when you look at yourself, what do you see? We look to our social media feed to answer our soul’s longing question. We scroll our feeds for a comment to reassure our needy heart. We obsessively check our number of likes to affirm our identity. We freak out over our so-called imperfections and we work hard to maintain what we feel will make us loved. We long to be validated. Accepted. Seen. Loved – unconditionally as our true selves. Chrissy Hynde of The Pretenders summed up this prevailing cultural void when she sang, “’Cause I gonna make you see/There’s nobody else here/No one like me/I’m special, so special/I gotta have some of your attention, give it to me.” But the problem is, the attention isn’t working. The expectations to be more are daunting. The words aren’t filling. The affirmation is fleeting. So where do we go to find the acceptance and security our souls really need?
When our souls are depleted, we are exhausted. Somewhere we’ve been hurt or given into the lie that the world’s standard of a singular picture of beauty is indeed beauty. Therefore, we are never at rest because being ourselves, sadly, isn’t good enough. We resort to people pleasing and a constant state of insecurity. Coupled with fear of rejection, there is the need to control our bodies, our look, our feed, and our filtered selfies to feel loved, accepted, and secure. All the while, we are in bondage.
My friend, can I share something with you? There is a place where you can be accepted and truly be who you are. This place of rest is in the safety and assurance of relationship in Jesus Christ.
A book in the Bible called the Song of Solomon poetically depicts this kind of unconditional love so well. For any broken soul, it is a soothing salve. In this book, the reader discovers a love story of a young country girl known as the Shulamite and her beloved, King Solomon. As we get glimpses into this beautiful relationship, there is a segment when the Shulamite calls herself a “rose of Sharon” in Song of Solomon 2:1. Google “Rose of Sharon” and you will see a simple flower that is totally unrelated to a rose. In fact, it’s categorized as “common” in the Crocus plant family. This is how this woman is describing herself! Aren’t we as people just like that?
Yet, the King’s response is this, “like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women,” (Song of Solomon 2:2). In our vernacular, he is pretty much saying, “Girl, you surpass all others! None can compare!” Can we get this for a minute? Safety. Assurance. Love. In his eyes, she is the most beautiful flower.
Second is the repeated use of the phrase “My beloved is mine and I am his” in this book. Later, King Solomon would say of this woman, “…my dove, my perfect one, is unique,” (Song of Solomon 6:9). Let’s think about this. The parallel to the King is King Jesus, who in relationship calls us His. Therefore, our identity becomes who He says we are. Like the King here, King Jesus sees us perfect and unique. He sees beyond our own criticism and the criticism of others. He sees us flawless.
True acceptance, assurance, and safety in love does not come in a relationship, your Instagram comments and likes or the words someone might say. True freedom and safety, the safety our souls long for, the love we were made to experience is found in Jesus. This love is powerful. Transformative. In fact, Song of Solomon concludes saying, “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.” In Jesus, we are secure. He is ours and we are His. We no longer have to look in the mirror with disapproval. We can abandon fear. We can let go of lies and in Him, we can know who we are resting in the voice that matters: we are flawless, consistently loved and always accepted in relationship with our Beloved King.