Will You Accept This Rose?
By Dot Bowen
I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens. Song of Solomon 2:1 (NIV)
I find it impossible to approach Valentine’s Day without mentioning the television show The Bachelor. For the few women reading this who have never seen the show, The Bachelor is Hollywood’s way to find love. The show films 25 beautiful women living together in one house while desperately fighting for the attention of one man. The only thing standing between each woman and her hope for love is receiving a rose from the bachelor each week. If she isn’t offered a rose, she finds herself in the car headed home—dealing with the excruciating pain of rejection and no apparent hope of finding love. In front of millions of television viewers, the rejected woman often blames herself for not being “good enough” to receive a rose or the heart of the bachelor. There are two things this show does very well: it exposes the desperate desire women have for love, and it exposes the lies women believe about love. Please don’t think I’m judging these girls—I am the first to understand the desperation of wanting to be loved. However, after many years of searching for the man of my dreams, the Lover of my Soul found me.
The Bible is a story about God’s love for His people. God calls us His bride. It is a story of the eternal Bridegroom who woos His bride by giving His life to win her heart. “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5) Thousands of years ago, at the appointed time in Bethlehem, God stepped down from heaven to woo you into His heart. God came looking for His bride. Jesus’ birth was virtually unnoticed except for a few shepherds. He came to redeem His bride because God created us to walk with Him (Genesis 3:8).
The Bible calls the life of a believer a walk of faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7) Every day we are invited to walk hand in hand with the Lover of our Souls. As lovers, we have been invited to enjoy long conversations with our Heavenly Father. God wrote us a love letter reminding us there is no greater love than a man who is willing to lay down His life for another. Words are cheap until followed up with action. Therefore, Jesus died on the cross as a demonstration of His love. Not only does God want your faithfulness to Him, He also wants your undivided heart. As we approach Valentine’s Day when everyone is looking for someone to love, I am reminded of the One who has loved me with an everlasting love—the only One who will faithfully love me when I am unlovable.
God doesn’t ask us to become perfect before we accept His love. God—who is perfect—accepts us and loves us perfectly. Song of Songs, a book in the Old Testament, is an intimate love story where God refers to Himself as the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley. He is the only one who knows how to love because He is love. The world will offer you a rose representing a love that can die over time. God offers Himself—The rose of Sharon—for eternity. And with this rose of Sharon, we have been asked, “Will you accept this rose?”
Further Reading Genesis 3:8; Song of Songs; Jeremiah 31:3; John 15:13; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hosea 2:16; Revelation 21:2