"My darling, you are beautiful! Oh, you are beautiful, and your eyes are like doves."---Song of Solomon 1:15(NCV)
I'm excited to pen because I am aware of a lot of the symbolism behind doves. So, when the Shulamite woman's beloved told her that she was beautiful *and* her eyes were like doves, in just a minute, we're going to see just how...widespread that statement was.
Let's begin with the eyes.
It is a man by the name of Henri Bergson who once said "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend." And already, right there, we can see how a lot of women find themselves in some serious (relational) trouble. They are trying to catch a man's "eyesight" when they are not yet a part of his *vision*. One definition of vision is "the ability or an instance of great perception, esp of future developments". A lot of women wonder why a man won't "see them" when the prayer should actually be for wisdom (James 1:5) regarding if they are *the one* that "he" should be seeing (and preparing and planning) a future with.
Yet the eye reference does not stop there...
An eye is defined as being an organ for sight. An eye is defined as being the external part of the eye. An eye is defined as being a look, expression, glance or gaze. An eye is defined as being a sexually inviting or provocative look. An eye is defined as being attention or observation. An eye is defined as being able to recognize, judge or appreciate. An eye is defined as being an opinion, point of view or authority. An eye is defined as being vigilant. Whew! I know, right? All of that goes into an eye.
So, when her beloved said "...and your eyes are like doves", I hope *none of us* (pardon the pun) "overlook" all that this man was seeking to convey. In her eyes, *in all of the definitions of an eye*, he compared what was inside of them to being like doves.
OK, it's pretty much common knowledge that a dove is a symbol of peace. So, before we delve any deeper, let's look at what peace is:
Peace: a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations; cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension; (at peace) in a state or relationship of nonbelligerence or concord; not at war; untroubled; tranquil; content
So when he looked into her eyes or when she glanced over at him, he saw harmony and tranquility. What she chose to give her attention to and perspective on where matters of concord and contentment (Hebrews 13:5). The Shulamite woman is someone who is vigilant about not being at war. She is able to recognize and appreciate all that goes into having a nonbelligerent relationship.
Also, the Hebrew word for peace is "shalom" and while getting into all of its meanings is a blog unto itself, the main thing that I am being led (Luke 12:12) to focus on is the fact that it's the greeting that Jews give coming in and the farewell that they speak when going out. When you come into their space, they wish you "peace" and when you leave, they wish for you the same. Peaceful people don't have time to hold grudges (Ephesians 4:25-26) because they are too focused on being, well...*peaceful*.
Yet, as I was digging more into what doves symbolize, I discovered (Matthew 7:7-8, 2 Timothy 2:15-AMP) that it went a bit deeper than the obvious. Because doves are white, they are considered to be a symbol of purity. Remember how it said that one definition of eye was a sexually inviting or provocative look? If you pay enough attention to Song of Solomon, you'll see *all kinds of sex* (literally-LOL) up in there and yet, when her beloved looked at her, even with sexual desire, there was a purity about her.
One definition of purity is "virginity" and so if you are one, take it from me, *please stay that way*. However, there are a lot of women who havent' had sex with a man who are still not pure. Purity also means "freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes, etc." (mind, body and spirit) and "freedom from guilt or evil; innocence". I really dig that last definition because there are quite a few women who follow the blog who write me about their "guilt addiction". How absolutely beautiful it is that one definition of being pure is being *free from guilt*. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if we are *in Christ* we are a new creation and the old stuff is a part of our past. Romans 8:1 reminds us that one of the perks of being *in Christ* is not having any condemnation. Yes, being in Christ makes a person pure.
That's still not it...
Another thing that a dove symbolizes is love. God is Love (I John 4:8&16) and so there is simply too much about love to "narrow it down" for this particular blog, but it is really special that her beloved could look into her eyes and see love. He could see her patience and her kindness and her willingness to bear and endure whatever came their way. He could look into her eyes and see that she would not fail him as well (I Corinthians 13:4-8). Something else that comes to my spirit about this part is that when you look at all of the "ingredients" in the "Fruit of the Spirit juice box" (Galatians 5:22-23), it starts off in this order: love, joy peace. So many people want more peace but they don't pay attention to what comes before that: love and joy. Eyes are the windows to the soul, right? Being that her beloved saw so much peace in her, this means that he also could detect a lot of love *and* plenty of joy. One of my favorite "joy Scriptures" is Isaiah 61:10(NKJV): "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." The world is hard enough for men without them having to come home to a woman who is full of misery, unhappiness and grief (all of which are antonyms for joy).
And still, there's more...
Thanks Wikipedia for sharing this: "In Christian Iconography, a dove also symbolizes the Holy Spirit, in reference to Matthew 3:16 and Luke 3:22 where the Holy Spirit is compared to a dove at the Baptism of Jesus." A dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit. I *love* that because John 14:26 speaks to the Holy Spirit being a helper and how are we as women introduced onto the scene? As a HELPER, right? (Genesis 2:18) Indeed, no one and nothing can teach a woman how to be a good spiritual helpmate for her husband more than the Holy Spirit can! If you want some insight on how you can prepare in order to "help better", that would be the first place to "outsource".
And finally, I do like the fact that doves are often released at wedding ceremonies. Y'all know I think hard and so when I really gave that some thought, I thought about how Noah released a dove in a chapter of the Bible that is called "Noah's Deliverance" (Genesis 8). A dove let him know what his boundaries were to be (land wise) after the flood. In some ways, I can't help but to wonder if that's what couples should be seeking spiritual direction and discernment on when they do the same.
So, when the Shulamite's beloved said "Your eyes are like doves", as we've just seen, that is a pretty loaded statement and in the New King James Version of the Song of Solomon, he references her as his dove five more times. Hmph. I do enough counseling to know that if there's one thing that women don't make nearly enough of a priority is to have "dove like eyes". Makeup doesn't bring out the beauty of a woman's eyes quite like a peaceful spirit can.
I hope we all can see that much clearer now...