Celebrating One Another.
Song of Solomon 4:1-16
“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you.”
As a photographer, there are times when everything comes together, and you get a remarkable photograph. You are at the right place at the right time. The lighting and colors are vibrant. The angle is just right. When you take the picture, the focus is perfect. In the end, you know that you captured a rare photograph. Someone once asked a well-known nature photographer how many great pictures he would take each year. His answer was surprising. For all the thousands of photos he takes each year, his goal is to get four exceptional pictures. For those of us that are amateurs, that maybe only be four in our lifetime. But when we capture that outstanding picture (at least in our own eyes), we want to have it enlarged and displayed in our house. We never tire of looking at it, for it not only captures a particular moment in time, it not only captures a beautiful scene, but it also captures the essence of why we love photography.
While most people stand and turn to look at the bride as she enters and begins to walk down the aisle, I like to look at the groom. Up until that moment, he is a mountain of nerves. He is jittery and apprehensive about the events of the day. But the moment the bride enters, there is a dramatic shift in his focus. From nervous eyes darting about the room, he becomes laser-focused upon his bride. Suddenly all the nerves are gone, and he is captured with an overwhelming sense of love as he is captured by his bride's beauty (both inward and outward). It is etched upon his memory forever.
While a photo may capture the beauty we see with our eyes, how do we describe what captures the beauty of our soul? This is the challenge the groom faces as he looks with love upon the beauty of his bride. In chapter 4, Solomon tries to convey with words the beauty of his bride and his love for her. For the modern reader, the words seem foreign, and the analogies seem strange. However, for the ancient reader, the terms would have had meaning and significance as they expressed both his bride's inward and outward beauty. In his words, we see his desire to publicly express her worth to him and his subsequent commitment and love for her.
This brings us again to an essential ingredient in a healthy marriage. On the wedding day, it is easy to see in the eyes of the lovers their mutual love for one another. At that moment, they are captivated by the beauty and qualities that sparked the fire of their love for each other. However, after the marriage, it is easy to start losing our focus. Instead of seeing the other person's beauty, we begin to see their flaws. As time marches onward, the knight in shining armor because a rusted tin can. The beauty of Cinderella becomes the servant girl mopping the floors. Instead of being enamored with their qualities, we become frustrated by their shortcomings.
The problem is not the change that occurred in our spouse. The problem is the change that occurred in our eyesight. Instead of looking at the qualities we love, we start to look at the qualities we find irritating. In the Song of Solomon, God reminds us of the importance of realigning our perspective. Instead of looking upon the faults of one another, we are to extol the qualities we adore. This starts by praising your spouse and telling him/her the things you appreciate about them, and, In the process, they will become beautiful in your eyes again.