It is no secret that our society is obsessed with physical beauty. Just turn on the TV, open a magazine, or scroll through social media, and you will be bombarded with images of what the “ideal” body looks like. This unhealthy obsession can lead to many negative consequences, such as eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression. It plays a big role in our identity, how we define ourselves, and how God defines beauty.
The good news is that you don’t have to buy into this lie! You are beautiful, just the way you are. There are many reasons why every part of you is beautiful, and one of those is the posture of your heart. This article will explore 4 of those reasons, as well as how you can be the most beautiful version of yourself by knowing your true identity lies in being the bride of Christ — the ultimate definition of beauty.
Song of Songs 4:1-4 TPT (all scripture links are in the NKJV for those not familiar with TPT)
“Listen, my dearest darling, you are so beautiful—you are beauty itself to me! Your eyes are like gentle doves behind your veil. What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you. You are like a sacrifice ready to be offered. When I look at you, I see how you have taken my fruit and tasted my word. Your life has become clean and pure, like a lamb washed and newly shorn. You now show grace and balance with truth on display. Your lips are as lovely as Rahab’s scarlet ribbon, speaking mercy, speaking grace. The words of your mouth are as refreshing as an oasis. What pleasure you bring to me! I see your blushing cheeks opened like the halves of a pomegranate, showing through your veil of tender meekness. When I look at you, I see your inner strength, so stately and strong. You are as secure as David’s fortress. Your virtues and grace cause a thousand famous soldiers to surrender to your beauty. Your pure faith and love rest over your heart as you nurture those who are yet infants.”Song of Songs 4:1-4 (The Passion Translation)
How God defines beauty: YOU!
“Listen, my dearest darling, you are so beautiful—you are beauty itself to me! Your eyes are like gentle doves behind your veil. What devotion I see each time I gaze upon you. You are like a sacrifice ready to be offered.”Song of Songs 4:1 (The Passion Translation)
Can you just picture Jesus standing before you speaking these words over you?
He knows every facet of our being. All about every mistake we ever made, every time we have stumbled, and yet His unfailing love for us never waivers or falters. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and nothing is hidden from Him.
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”Psalm 139:14-16 NKJV
Jesus is our Savior, who washed us clean, white as snow, and remembers our sins no more. He loves and adores you so much. He offered himself as a sacrifice, shed His blood to redeem you and make you part of His eternal bride! But how does God define beauty?
Of all the beautiful things God created, He says: “You are beauty itself to me!” He alone, who created beauty, describes beauty as His bride. Wow! He does not say the Lilly in the field is beauty, nor the changing hues of the sunset or the star-filled night sky. Oh no, to the creator of all things, beauty is defined as YOU, His bride!
Our Father God calls us beautiful despite our weakness, failures or immaturity.
No matter how many times we miss the mark on this journey to grow closer to Him. Irregardless of our habit to see ourselves as shameful or unworthy of His love. His unfailing love is always there to wash over us again and again. His mercies are new every morning as we awaken to each new day in our attempt to measure up and do better again.
There is no earning His unfailing love. No amount of measuring up by our own weak standards can earn this love. The bridegroom freely gives it to His beautiful bride. His bride that defines the meaning of beauty by His own high standards. This is how God defines beauty.
Works or deeds can never achieve it. No amount of striving and trying could ever bring this kind of unfailing love to us, His bride. Only through our complete surrender to the finished work of Jesus, our Bridegroom King, on the cross could ever immerse us in the unfailing love of God.
Tasting the solid truth of God’s Word
“When I look at you, I see how you have taken my fruit and tasted my word, Your life has become clean and pure, like a lamb washed and newly shorn. You now show grace and balance with truth on display.”Song of Songs 4:2 (The Passion Translation)
By tasting His word, we can mature in Him. We can chew the strong meat of His word, the solid truths of the Word of God. God alone foresees all things in our destiny. He calls us His bride, even when we may still be babes in Christ. For He alone foresees our destiny. How we will continue to grow in His Word and love to become mature and of “full age” in Him!
“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”Hebrews 5:13-14 NKJV
“Like a lamb washed and newly shorn,” Sheep are designated clean animals in the Old Testament.
In Ezekiel it says,
“And it shall be, whenever they enter the gates of the inner court, that they shall put on linen garments; no wool shall come upon them while they minister within the gates of the inner court or within the house.”Ezekiel 44:17 NKJV
No sweat was to be in God’s presence!
Priests were not to wear wool while serving God. Wool promotes sweat. This speaks to “works and flesh.” In other words, we do not need to work and strive harder to please God. We need to be shorn like a sheep. Spiritual growth does not come from our own power or works. But by renewing our minds daily in the Word of God. This too is part of how God defines beauty.
“that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,”Ephesians 5:26 NKJV
The washing of the Word cleanses our hearts.
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”James 1:21 NKJV
As we renew our minds and meditate on the Word of God, our hearts are cleansed. Our minds are transformed, cleansed and sanctified by the renewing of God’s Word.
“You now show grace and balance with truth on display.”
Grace and balance speak of the wisdom we need every day to live the life of the bride. In the NKJV, it is translated as “twins.” This can also be seen as a double blessing, since the bearing of twins speaks of fruitfulness.
Our mouth reveals the deep longings of our heart.
“Your lips are as lovely as Rahab’s scarlet ribbon, speaking mercy, speaking grace, the words of your mouth are as refreshing as an oasis. What pleasure you bring to me! I see your blushing cheeks opened like the halves of a pomegranate, showing through your veil of tender meekness.”Song of Songs 4:3 (The Passion Translation)
What we speak with our mouth reveals the deep longings of our heart. The posture of our heart reveals where our passion lies. Matthew 12:34 says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” In Proverbs 4:23, we read, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life”.” We use speech that is edifying to extend grace to others. As we mature in Christ, we speak mercy and grace. We are to be the hands and feet of Jesus for His glory and purpose. To do that, we must nurture the right posture of our heart, so the words of our mouth are “refreshing as an oasis.”
The scarlet ribbon a symbol of surrender.
The scarlet ribbon of Rahab was a symbol of surrender to the redemption of Christ and the mercy it would bring to save her soul for the mercy she has shown to the men of God. It was the purpose of Rahab for the glory of God.
The words of her mouth bring pleasure to the Bridegroom King. The sweet kisses of worship and adoration bring pleasure and intimacy with Him. As this intimacy is found through worship and praise, revelation from His word springs forth. Communion with Him in the secret place becomes sweeter and sweeter.
The blushing of her cheeks speaks to her deep emotions. Behind her veil reveals the deep emotions of her heart for Jesus, her Bridegroom King. Her heart is opened up to Him, and it is in this deeply intimate place of her heart that she shows great tenderness, meekness and modesty void of any boasting or pride. Just pure passion for the unfailing love of Jesus.
It is time to be sold out and passionate about the Lord! We can become passionate about many things in this life. But none are more important than being passionate about Jesus, our Bridegroom King!
Surrender and submission: another way God defines beauty
“When I look at you, I see your inner strength so stately and strong, You are as secure as David’s fortress. Your virtues and grace cause a thousand famous soldiers to surrender to your beauty.”Song of Songs 4:4 (The Passion Translation)
In the NKJV, it says, “your neck is like the tower of David…” The neck refers to the will of a person. For example, a stiff-necked person is stubborn and proud. On the other hand, when we bow our head in humility and submission to God, we bend our neck when we bow. This is an act of surrender and yielding to the power and presence of God the Father. We submit our own will and pride to the submission of our Bridegroom King.
Weakness does not define surrender; God defines it as beauty
In the yielding and surrendering, the world so often sees this as weakness. However, to God, it is the opposite. The act of humility, submission and surrender are a picture of strength and security in Christ. It is yet again a beautiful picture of the maturing Bride of Christ.
The Bridegroom King views the beauty of the Bride’s surrender and submission, like an armory of mighty weapons against the enemy’s warfare. The enemy cannot defeat her strong will of dedication and passion for the Bridegroom King. The more she grows in maturity, the stronger her weapons become, and she nurtures and guides those who are yet babes to grow in maturity themselves.
The deeper we study the symbolism and meaning of the Song of Songs, the more vibrant the picture emerges of God’s true definition of “beauty” — the Bride. God defines beauty in so many ways in His Word, we just have to slow down and look for it. Knowing how God defines beauty is so important to understanding our identity in Christ.
To learn more about knowing your identity in Christ go here.
To learn about surrendering to God go here.