“If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds’ tents.” (Song of Solomon 1:8).
In the greatest of all songs, Solomon did not sing first. His (future) bride had started the singing, rejoicing over his love. But her song deteriorated into self-doubt and insecurity. This is why she sang, “I am very dark, but lovely…do not gaze at me…my own vineyard I have not kept” (from SOS 1:5-8).
Clearly, she dealt with insecurities in her heart. Some of this was tied to the treatment of her family. Her brothers had forced her to work in the vineyards. The hot sun and long days had weathered her appearance. That harsh treatment and her perception of her outward beauty weighed on her.
It is here Solomon sings. He bursts onto the scene with honesty and healing. He sings of her beauty. He calls her the “most beautiful among women.” His words must have been good medicine for her heart sickness.
In marriage, spouses have an opportunity for God to use them. We can be instruments in the hand of God. He wants to heal the brokenness in us all, including our spouses. He wants to use our words to help that healing process along.
Solomon used his position as husband well at this point. His words were not harsh, but helpful. He knew of his powerful voice in her life, so he used it well. He opened his heart and mouth and told her how he saw her. She needed to know. He fulfilled that need by speaking — singing — about her beauty. He sang it to her. She needed to know.
Used rightly, married love can be a great help to our brokenness. We cannot live and die on our spouse's words, but we do have a great opportunity to build up the other. We all come into marriage as incomplete, for we are not glorified (i.e. in heaven yet). Jesus is still working His redemptive ministry on our souls. So when our spouse speaks an affirming word it can be used by Him to continue His rebuilding work in our lives.
My encouragement here is simple: open your mouth and heart in restorative praise of your spouse. Tell them of their beauty, how attracted you are to them. Admire them out-loud. Adore them. At the end of the day, we get our security from Christ, but our words help. Like medicine, our words of praise help the heart sickness within.