I had been seriously doubting my beauty…again. Wondering if a guy would ever notice me. Curious if he would like the things that I dislike about myself. Unsure if he would enter my life anytime soon.
Just as a spoiler alert, I didn’t fall in love with Prince Charming or even meet a potential Prince Charming. Instead, I “happened” to flip to Song of Solomon. And rather than becoming captivated with a great guy, I became captivated by this book’s deep romance. The love between Solomon and the Shulammite woman astounded me. How could such a wealthy king—who could have anything and anyone he wanted—fall in love with her?
Yes, it’s possible that Song is Solomon is simply an allegory (with fictional characters) that demonstrates God’s love for believers. However, it’s normally interpreted as an historically accurate event between Solomon and an actual Shulammite woman. Here are just a few reasons why you should read it for yourself:
[Solomon speaking] “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. [God speaking to the couple] Eat, friends; drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.” (5:1)
Different versions of the Bible have different voices for verse 5:1b, but my study Bible says this voice is from God. If so, this is the only time we hear directly from God in the entire book of Song of Solomon. Which means God seemed to find the couple’s post-marriage sex as pleasing.
Also, out of all the topics God could’ve had men write about, He chose to devote an entire book to romance, marriage, and married sex. As His creation, sex within marriage isn’t dirty or ugly in His sight. Rather, sex within marriage is beautiful to Him and those who participate in it.
[Solomon speaking] “A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up. Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, henna with nard plants, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, along with all the finest spices. You are a garden spring, a well of fresh water, and streams flowing from Lebanon.” [The Shulammite woman speaking] “Awake, O north wind, and come, wind of the south; make my garden breathe out fragrance, let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden and eat its choice fruits!” (4:12-16)
I love how Christians often grab for the “easy” verse when they talk about saving sex for marriage (aka Song of Solomon 8:4, which says “‘Do not arouse of awaken my love until she pleases”). But the whole book produces a much deeper picture of purity than that. As Solomon described, he wanted to have sex with his new bride; and she welcomed him to do so.
However, perhaps unlike his other brides, the Shulammite woman was likely a virgin. And Solomon could’ve viewed her like his hundreds of other wives, but I believe he had a special place in his heart for her. After all, he wrote an entire book about her. Also, Solomon made it a point to say, “‘But my dove, my perfect one, is unique: she is her mother’s only daughter; she is the pure child of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her and called her blessed, the queens and the concubines also, and they praised her…” (6:8).
[Solomon speaking] “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist. Your navel is like a round goblet which never lacks mixed wine; your belly is like a heap of wheat fenced about with lilies. Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like a tower of ivory, your eyes like the pools in Heshbon by the gate of Bath-rabbim; your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, which faces toward Damascus. Your head crowns you like Carmel, and the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; the king is captivated by your tresses. How beautiful and how delightful you are, My love, with all your charms! (7:1-6)
Okay, don’t be grossed out by Solomon’s interesting word pictures here. Believe it or not, these are compliments to his Shulammite wife. He doesn’t see her feet, hips, stomach, breasts, neck, hair, eyes, nose, or hair as even slightly ugly. Rather, he’s enthralled by them.
One day, if it is God’s will, you’ll marry a man who is enthralled with your body, too. He will be attracted to the things you may not like about yourself now, whether it’s your hips, neck, or stomach. This kind of relationship does require patience and letting the guy pursue you. Even the Shulammite woman had to control her strong desire for Solomon before they were married—and I think her patience paid off. 
Naturally, as I read this book, I saw myself as the Shulammite woman and Solomon as my future husband. Obviously, I don’t want to marry a guy with hundreds of other wives and concubines. But Solomon’s love for the Shulammite woman—as lowly and innocent as she was—inspired me. In fact, I believe God used this book to encourage me. Hopefully, through this post, He used Song of Solomon to encourage you, too.
 Introduction to Song of Solomon, in Ryrie Study Bible New American Standard Bible (Chicago: The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 2012), 795.