As a result of reading Solomon's dissertation, I have come to believe the media has misled us. It's not about being model-thin with wais t-length hair and chiseled cheekbones. It's about being a complete package. This requires giving attention to both the outside and the inside of our beings.
CULTIVATE EXTERNAL BEAUTY The first thing that arrested the king was the Shulammite's eyes (see Song 4:1). He said that they were like doves, which signifies that she did not boldly come on to him. She made a louder statement with her silence by displaying modesty and humility.
It has been said the eyes are the windows to the soul. This statement is not from Scripture, but it is true. If you are harboring any pain, any anger, any distrust, it will come to light in your eyes.
It is important to clear your heart's deck with God so these negative things don't become deflectors when you look at others. Your lips may smile, but your eyes will give your bitter heart away every time, and no amount of eye makeup can camouflage a wounded heart.
The king also liked his beloved's hair. Women today have so many options that there is no excuse for not having beautifully groomed hair.
Don't be above doing whatever it takes to get your head together--in more ways than one. Hair occasionally had significance in Scripture. For example, a Nazirite priest's uncut hair was a sign of his commitment to God. What does your hair say about you?
Solomon mentions the Shulammite's teeth, mouth and speech. She spoke things that were inviting, that caused him to want to spend time with her. Though she did not reach out to him, her mannerisms drew him to her.
ACQUIRE INTERNAL GRACE In mentioning the Shulammite's inner qualities, Solomon revealed his heart to her. He called her his sister, his bride. He treasured her completely, granting her the same consideration and protection he would give to a sister.
The Shulammite woman was beautiful to the king because everything about her character was good. The fruits of her life were things that he valued because they mirrored the fruit of the Spirit (see vv. 13-16).
You might feel that the Shulammite's standard of beauty is impossible to attain, but it isn't. It's not about being thin or about having perfect teeth or great hair! It's about your being the best woman you can be, inside and out. Work with what you've got.
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS When you've achieved your own personal best, you're going to feel good about yourself. Your different attitude will attract a different type of attention, because when you're comfortable with you, others will be too.
When Queen Esther was being prepared as a candidate for the king's bride, she, along with the other women, went through a beauty treatment that lasted for 12 months. They were entering a different lifestyle. Nothing of their old life was to remain. So they were treated with scents that delighted the king.
The day came when Esther and the others were ready to be presented to the king. On this occasion, the candidate for bride was given her choice of attire.
Esther asked the eunuch, who had been in the king's employ for quite some time, what he thought she should wear. The other girls probably picked what to wear based on what had worked for them in the past. But it didn't work for the king.
Seek wise counsel about what looks good on you--inside and out. Don't get defensive when others offer constructive criticism; use it to your advantage, and get free. Don't be afraid to let go of some old habits and embrace a new line of thought.
Esther listened when the eunuch told her how to dress for the king. More than enhancing your physical appearance, dressing reflects the countenance of your spirit.
All the fruit that Solomon raved about with the Shulammite woman should be evident in your life as the fruit of the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit what you should wear daily in terms of attitude as well as what you should put on your body.
The bottom line is that we can all stand to improve ourselves. Change should be viewed as a positive adventure.
PLEASING THE KING Don't consider losing weight, changing your hair or even finding trendier clothes in order to get a man. Instead, take on each of these challenges as self-improvement steps toward being the best you can be for you and for the one who loves you most: the Lord Himself.