Sometimes I find nuggets of humor as I read the Bible, and for some reason verses 4 through 10 always give me a good laugh, more than all the other physical descriptions the lovers give one another. I take it seriously of course, but I can't say my husband won my heart by telling me my hair looked like a flock of goats or that my teeth looked like sheep pregnant with twins.
When it comes to socially acceptable compliments, it's important to set cultural differences aside. It's clear as we read this entire book that the lover and his beloved share a beautiful and intimate relationship in which they freely praise and constantly seek the other.
In reading chapter 6, I keep coming back to verse 3: "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." The woman does not just answer the question plainly, saying her beloved is in his garden. She makes a point to say that she is also her beloved's. She belongs to him just as much as he belongs to her. I find this such a simple statement that has profound significance.
Many times I forget this important fact in my relationship with God. I talk about everything He has done for me and all the blessings I've received, but I fail to remember that He isn't just my God and my Savior - I am His. My identity comes through being His daughter, His creation, His love. When I forget that and start focusing on what He gives me, I do not live fully alive because I am not conscious of my identity in Him as a woman. However, when I do live according this, I am confident and joyful because I am His beloved just as much as He is mine!
A priest once told me to reflect on what it means to be God's daughter. He said, "Spend some time in prayer and think about your daughter-ness. What does that mean?" So I invite you to do the same. Whether you think you've got your womanhood, femininity, and daughter-ness all figured out, or if you feel like something may be missing (like I did), reflect on what it means to be God's daughter, His beloved, so we can say with the woman Song of Songs, "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."