Jesus said we are the bride, but what does it mean to be His bride? A bride means first of all that we are the most beloved in His eyes- pure. Jesus sees us as pure although we know that we are not apart from His blood. The issue is that we look at ourselves in the mirror and see all the spots- the dark parts. Often, we lean either towards being very judgmental about ourselves or towards narcissism and in that case, we really don’t see. The truth is that we all have those areas that are unlovely and cause us to feel ashamed. Sometimes we get to a place where we see everything that is wrong with us and we don’t see ourselves in the mirror that He placed in front of us.
In the book of Song of Solomon 1:6, the woman that Solomon loves is feeling ashamed of who she is and unworthy of his love for her. She says, “Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!” This woman was not with prestige and servants. She was working in her father’s fields. Her skin was not flawless like a daughter of a king, but instead she bore the scars from the harshness of the sun. Essentially she is asking the question, “what do I have that you would choose to love ME?”
But her lover repeatedly responds with kindness and affirmation- “Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!”- Song of Solomon 1:15. This lover is like our God. He does not see the scars that we see. He sees us with the eyes of love and He sees who we will become because of His love. Later in the second chapter verse 14, Solomon says to the woman, “My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hidden places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Is this not an incredible picture of God’s amazing love? This woman, like us, is hiding because of her shame and lack of self worth. But the lover, like God, desires to hear her voice, to see her face and to openly, unashamedly, reveal that this is the one he loves!
Beloved, God is saying to you, “Come out of the shadows! I see you for who you are. Do not be ashamed of your scars for you are beautiful in My eyes!
Psalm 45:10-11 says, “Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention: Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Further in verses 14 and 15 it says, “In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her— those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king.” You see, when we receive God’s love for us and walk in our identity as His bride, we are changed and in turn, that change provokes others to want to know Him. Imagine it! Wouldn’t you want to meet the One who loves the unlovely, beautifies the broken and turns the shamed into the glorious?
That my friends is exactly the work of God in our lives…at least it is for those who are willing to receive His love and come out from hiding in the shadows.