Beautiful

I wrote this  to the coaches of In His Steps Dance Ministry http://ihsdance.com/page1.php, but I think it applies to every woman on the planet.

 It’s 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 11.  As I write, many of you are headed to Winter Jam 2011.  I’m praying over that trip for so many things for you as leaders and dancers.  I pray that girls will come to Jesus who don’t know Him, and that those who do know Him will have a fire lit in them to pursue Him even harder.  I pray that God will leave you all standing in awe of Him as He moves on your behalf in this and many other situations.  Who knows how He will choose to reveal Himself, but I’m trusting whatever He does will be wonderful, unforgettable…and life changing for many! 

 Since you will get this on Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to write about issues that are inevitably, for most women, associated with this day.  The Bible itself is a beautiful love story about God’s love for us.  We girls tend to get swept away by the romantic love stories within its pages, like Ruth and Boaz or Jacob and Rachel.  Most of us love a good romantic story, whether in the Bible, a novel, or a movie for that matter!  It’s easy to daydream ourselves into the role of the girl whose prince charming sweeps her away in the sunset.  We often long for the relationship someone else has, or a different life altogether.  We tend to see the grass as greener on the other side, and we make comparisons.  Not only do we compare our relationships, but we compare ourselves, our appearance, our spirituality, and our worldly successes.  Let’s face it, we even compare our handbags and shoes!

One of the most romantic, even sultry books of the Bible is Song of Solomon. There are three main characters in this book…the Beloved (the woman), the Lover (the man), and the friends.  I think it’s interesting that even this woman named Beloved is self-conscious of the way she looks. She says “don’t stare at me.” And, she makes excuses for her appearance by mentioning being forced to work in the vineyards and becoming darkened by the sun.  We all do that don’t we?  We worry about how others see us, whether our complexion is clear, or our skin is too dark or too pale.  She didn’t need to worry, because her Lover saw her as most beautiful.  He affirmed her in her beauty with words and actions.  We as women are designed this way, something in us longs to be affirmed just like this woman in Song of Songs. 

 King Solomon wrote this story to paint a picture of how a love relationship between a man and woman should look.  However, many scholars believe it also describes Jesus, His relationship to us as individuals, and His relationship to His bride, the church as a whole!  So we need not compare ourselves any longer to other people.  Our worth isn’t defined by whether we are affirmed by a man, whether we’re married or single, wear the latest fashions, or have a certain body type. And it’s especially not defined by whether we have a date, receive roses, or even receive a compliment this Valentine’s Day.  Our worth is defined completely and wholly by our relationship with Jesus…the Lover of our souls.  We are His beloved and our confidence comes from Him alone.  He longs to be in relationship with us.  He died for us, and for that very reason we can stand tall with confidence. 

It’s our nature to look around the room to see how we measure up.  But Jesus wants us to look to Him. As the Lover in the story affirms his Beloved by saying, “How beautiful you are, my darling!  Oh, how beautiful,” (SOS 1:15) Jesus looks at us, His beloved and He says, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7).  And as we look upon His face, keeping our focus on Him and not on others, His reflection makes us even more beautiful. His face shines upon us. His light shines forth and others are drawn to His beauty in us!  So hold your head high this Valentine’s Day knowing you are beautiful and loved with an everlasting Love…not one that fades with time or aging or circumstances.  His love is never-ending.  Oh how He loves!  And Oh how beautiful you are in Him my darling!

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.             2 Corinthians 4:6

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God (Jesus), let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22

No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah (my delight is in her), and your land Beulah (married); for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married.  As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:4-5 (emphasis mine)

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