Day 10

Praise of Love

from the Song of Songs reading plan

Song of Songs 7:1-9, Ephesians 5:22-30, Revelation 19:6-10

BY Andrea Lucado

Text: Song of Songs 7:1-9, Ephesians 5:22-30, Revelation 19:6-10

I have to admit, today’s reading was a hard one for me, and not because of the descriptive language. As it’s been said throughout this study, Song of Songs can be read as an allegorical text—a poem that parallels God’s love for Israel and points toward Christ’s love for the Church. When I read Song of Songs 7:1-9 in light of Ephesians 5:22-30, I noticed a depth to Christ’s love for us that I hadn’t really considered before, and, if I’m being honest, am still grappling with now.

For some reason, it’s easier to formalize Jesus’ love for us, the Church—to think of Him as a benevolent politician who cares for His people. It’s easier for me to keep Christ’s love at a distance, to imagine Him standing at a podium, rather than by my side. But this is not the type of love we see in Song of Songs.

If the way Solomon speaks of his bride is any indication as to how Christ views us, His bride, then He’s in no way a distant politician waving to a crowd. What we see in Chapter 7 is a deep, intimate, and passionate affection.

Solomon and Shulamith have been reconciled after a time apart, and upon their reuniting Solomon praises his bride’s body and character. He knows every inch of her, every curve and feature. Not one part of her goes unnoticed, unpraised, or unaccepted. Solomon has nothing to say about Shulamith but adoring words of love, devotion, and awe. She is “the handiwork of a master” (Song of Songs 7:1).

This is what made me feel uncomfortable while reading these verses. To allow yourself to be loved in this way takes an incredible amount of vulnerability. To be examined and aware of your every flaw and sin, then be told you are the exact opposite of how you see yourself—that you’re actually the beloved and beautiful handiwork of a master—is a truth that can sometimes be harder to live with than the lie of shame.

Yet, this is what Christ’s passionate affection means for us. As Ephesians 5 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Because of Jesus’ atonement for our sin, this is who we now are: holy, blameless, without stain or wrinkle.

There is an element in our relationship with Christ that requires great vulnerability from us if we are to fully experience His great love. For the striving, earning, and achieving Christian—as well as the guilt-ridden one—this may be one of the greatest challenges of the Christian life: to let ourselves be loved by Him. To allow Him to examine us and declare us good and right and lovely in His sight.

I wonder what would change in your life and mine if we allowed ourselves to bask in Jesus’ love for us, as Shulamith does in Solomon’s—to just sit in it and learn to accept and embrace it. I wonder how we would see ourselves, those around us, and how it would change our relationship with our Savior.

I pray this is the new truth we walk in today: that we would see the purity and passion in Christ’s affection for us, and that we would walk in confidence as His beloved.


Post Comments (62)

62 thoughts on "Praise of Love"

  1. Sarah D. says:

    This is so amazing. I feel like, especially in my generation, the definition of love is so distorted. It is not something described do beautifully here in Song of Songs. It is not compared to Christ’s unfailing, vulnerable, passionate love for us. It is used as a commodity, as an object of getting what we want, that feels good, and then tossing it to the curb. It is controlled by others. It is used violently. The world has ripped out the life and truly awe-some power of TRUE love. I think that’s why this is so amazing for me to see. After struggling with pornography and wanting to “feel good”, love and sex is not at all meant to be so flippant and casual. It is meant to be beautiful. Real and raw and vulnerable. It reminds me of the ending of the live action Cinderella movie from 2015. At the end, when the prince is at Cinderella’s house and she is about to see him, the fairy godmother narrates: “Perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take is to be seen for who we truly are.”. Cinderella was literally in rags, but she told the prince that this was who she truly was. Rags and all. She didn’t hide anything. She even told him her name was Cinder-ella, instead of just Ella. And the beautiful thing was that he accepted her, ashes and all. Wow. Thank you Jesus, your love is just like that. You accepted me and you never stop accepting me as I truly am. All my fears, all my doubts, all my worries, all my past hurts and scars. You love all of me. May I use my life to praise you because of this amazing truth. Ps 86:12-13- I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love towards me.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you for this Sarah! This really blessed me this morning. And I agree with you how distorted love has become in our culture. Praise God that he gave us Jesus to demonstrate what true love looks like.

      1. Ving says:

        A million thanks for posting this inrfomation.

  2. Janis says:

    Yes! It is so hard knowing who I am. But if we can rest there with in the presence of God and allow Him to tell us who we are in Him and listen -really listen-we can draw closer to Him.
    Jesus said “deny yourself and follow me.” I always thought it meant my selfish ways…Maybe it also means accept who God says I am…

    1. Jamie says:

      I love this.

  3. Amanda says:

    This may be my favorite devotional I have ever read in SRT. Thank you, Andrea, for these beautiful words! ❤

  4. Keri McCue says:

    This is a kind of love I am still grappling with as well…even after so many years as a Christian. It’s hard to see your flaws and sins and the darkest parts of yourself and then to let a perfect God see those parts of you as well…it’s so hard. But that’s the Gospel isn’t it. He sees our imperfections, he sees our sin and He still loves us. I loved this, “this may be one of the greatest challenges of the Christian life: to let ourselves be loved by Him. To allow Him to examine us and declare us good and right and lovely in His sight.” So, so good!!

  5. Alexis Maycock says:

    I’m going to take on this challenge. To truly rest in the love of my Abba Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Even in my weakness…just rest in His love. It is there where I will find peace, hope, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. How deep the Fathers love for us ❤

  6. cj8of8 says:

    Jeremiah 1:5 a. . Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… and Psalm 139:16-17… Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, Oh God! How vast the sum of them!

    Our God loves us so much. Our creator, is in us dear sisters. . What joy! All things have been made from nothing for His glory praise and honor. My ash, my dirt, my muck and mire.. He transforms into something only He can use for His glory. He loves us so much.
    We are His individual testimonies with unique stories of His saving grace to a lost and perishing world. Share him sisters.. He loves all He has created.

  7. Heidi says:

    This idea of basking in the complete acceptance of Christ’s love gnaws at me regularly. Resting in the balance between my sin and my justification is very uncomfortable and yet with practice I find it better than wallowing in guilt or denial. I have 5 children. My first at 25 and my last at 40. That last one is now six. And that girl lives loved. She has been lavished with praise and encouragement and I’m pretty sure there is nothing she thinks is impossible for her. The harshness of life has not worn her down yet, she has rested in our protection for these first 6 years. This is how we are to live. Waking to be hugged, living to run, balance, jump,fly, and delight others. Lying down each night knowing that tomorrow it will all happen all over again. Oh, I know she will lose this precious innocence but I pray that I can model living loved to her and my other children – that they all return to their 6 year old selves, knowing our every move is watched and treasured, that the Father is beaming at us in delight. Believing that He claps his hands when we twirl in front of Him fully aware that we are fabulous in His sight.

    1. Terri says:

      Thank you, Heidi. The word picture of twirling in front of our Father with Him clapping was encouraging to me today. Since my husband of 20 years decided he didn’t “believe in marriage” anymore, I have struggled with feeling unloveable. Thanks again. I will try to think of myself as twirling.

      1. Emily says:

        I’m so sorry, Terri. God is faithful, even when our fellow man is not. Hold on to Him!

    2. Krystal says:

      That’s a smart way of thniinkg about it.

  8. DEBBIE says:

    I too, have a hard time reading these verses, as I don’t see myself as Christ does: Not physically, or Spiritually but this was an AHA moment for me , no wonder he loves to answer our prayers and he says nothing is to hard for him. I truly feel LOVED.

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