Read: Song of Songs 4
[He] You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you. (Songs 4:7)
You are a garden fountain,
a well of flowing water
streaming down from Lebanon. (Songs 4:15)
Flawless beauty. Absolute perfection. That is what this groom sees when he looks at his bride. It’s what every bride wants her groom to see on their wedding day. It’s certainly not what my husband sees when he looks at me.
Our marriage is almost 18 years old (I joke it’s almost a mature adult) and over that time my physical beauty, such as it was, has deteriorated. More significantly, no-one can hide their sinful nature from a spouse for 18 years, and so Jeff is now far more aware of my lack of spiritual beauty than he was when we married. I’m more aware of my spiritual ugliness as well. My need for Jesus Christ is plain to both of us.
Yet Jeff loves me despite all this, and he persists in drawing water from my fountain, as I am delighted for him to do – and as Scripture advises him to do (in Proverbs 5 and 1st Corinthians 7, for example).
As with Songs 3, I am drawn to consider this passage also in a different light: the light of Christ. I can see in this passage hints and a foretaste of the marriage of Christ and his bride, the Church. Now the Church (like me) is certainly not flawless at present; news headlines tell us that. But one day, the day Christ returns to claim her, he will make her entirely perfect, without blemish, sanctified. Even now, streams of living water flow from her (from me!) because Jesus Christ made his Spirit dwell within his bride, as Jesus promised in John 4 and John 7.
Jesus is sanctifying me, making me his flawless bride.
LORD God Almighty,
Thank you for washing me clean, cleansing me from within with your living water which you have made to well up within me as if I were your fountain.
Please sanctify me. Please continue to strip away my spiritual ugliness.
Please take my selfishness, my lack of compassion, my pride and vainglory, my lust, my sloth and laziness, my dissatisfaction, my wilfulness, my self-aggrandisement, my competitive spirit, my ignorance, my disorganisation, my quick tongue and quicker temper.
Please remake me until I form a clearer image of your Son. Please make me flawless, full of your attributes which are true beauty.
Please make me loving, kind, gentle, peaceful, caring, patient, humble, submissive, joyous, self-controlled, diligent, disciplined, winsome, good. Please make me like my Saviour, Jesus Christ.