calls her beautiful

calls her beautiful

When Dee Brestin announced her new book about God’s love as depicted in the Song of Songs, I knew I had to read it. The book did not disappoint. As I turned its pages, I felt as though God was right there, tenderly guiding me through His words in the Song of Songs. If you’re yearning for a fresh encounter with Him through His Word, Dee’s book will take you there.

Dee Brestin’s passion for sharing God’s love is evident in her work, especially when she speaks in women’s prisons. The hunger for spiritual nourishment in these places is palpable. Recently, in a Wisconsin prison, something extraordinary happened that only God could have orchestrated.

Dee had been feeling led to teach the new believers from the Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon. However, as she drove to the prison, doubts clouded her mind. She wondered if presenting such a challenging book to new believers was a good idea. Would they understand the intimate love story and its connection to Jesus?

Upon arriving at the prison, Dee was greeted with enthusiasm. The women cheered and clapped as she entered the room, their excitement melting her doubts. She asked them to open their Bibles to the Song of Songs, a book they might never have read before. She explained that it is called the “Song of Songs” because it is the best song, much like “Lord of lords” or “King of kings.” This song is the love story of Jesus and His bride, the believers.

The women listened intently, many of them victims of abuse and neglect. Dee shared the story of a great king who falls in love with a peasant woman, a Cinderella story that mirrors the love story of Jesus coming to earth to woo, win, and eventually wed His bride. The woman in the story feels unworthy and asks the king not to gaze at her because she feels dark and unattractive. But the king calls her beautiful, saying, “O most beautiful of women” (Song 1:8).

Julia, a slim blonde seated near Dee, gasped and began to tremble visibly. Dee continued teaching, explaining how the king sees the woman as beautiful and pure, despite her feelings of unworthiness. The king tells her, “You are altogether beautiful, my love. There is no flaw in you” (Song 4:7).

Julia started sobbing, and another woman passed her a roll of toilet paper, a staple in prison Bible studies. Dee paused and asked Julia if she wanted to share what was going on. Julia nodded and, after composing herself, shared her story. She had always longed for someone to tell her she was beautiful and loved. She had done whatever it took to hear those words, which eventually led her to prison. The day before her incarceration, she looked in the mirror and screamed, “I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU.”

Julia continued, saying that in prison, Jesus found her. That morning, she told Jesus, “You are so beautiful,” and thought she heard Him say, “Julia, you are beautiful.” She wondered if she had imagined it and pleaded for Him to say it again, but there was only silence. Then, that evening, Dee came in, opened her Bible, and Jesus said it again through the Song of Songs.

The room fell silent, sensing the holy moment. Dee told Julia that she had just been kissed by the King, explaining that a “kiss from the King” is a living Word, a verse that leaps out at you, giving you exactly what you need. Dee said, “In fact, we’ve all just been kissed!” The women nodded, feeling God’s presence among them.

Dee’s message of God’s love is crucial, not just for women in prison but for all of us. We often look at our hearts and failures, doubting that God could love us. We lose our grasp on the gospel. Up until the early 1800s, the Song of Songs was the most preached-on book in the Old Testament. Pastors believed that understanding the depth of Christ’s love was essential in overcoming temptation and trials. Today, the book is seldom preached on, and when it is, the focus is often on the earthly picture of marriage, with a brief mention of Jesus as the Bridegroom for singles.

However, there is a fresh wind blowing that sees both the earthly and spiritual pictures as essential. When both are seen, they illuminate each other. Marriage and the marriage bed are seen as beautiful and sacred, but the relationship between husband and wife is intended to illuminate the more important and lasting mystery of the relationship between Christ and true believers. We need to recover this lost book to restore our confidence in the depth of His love and respond to His call:

“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, O my dove, in the cleft of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely” (Song 2:13-14).

Dee Brestin’s journey as an author began with her book “The Friendships of Women,” which sold over a million copies. Her other bestsellers include “Falling in Love with Jesus” and the “A Woman of…” series. Dee is known for her Bible studies, which are beloved for their penetrating questions that help women experience the power of God. She publishes a free weekly Bible study on her blog, which has thousands of readers worldwide. Dee also has a prison ministry and a video curriculum for women behind bars. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and has studied at Covenant Seminary. She is the mother of five and grandmother of thirteen. Despite losing her husband to cancer, she is grateful for their marriage and passionately believes in the power of gospel-centered teaching. She has seen the gospel set women free from debilitating sins. Her latest book, “He Calls You Beautiful,” explores hearing the voice of Jesus in the Song of Songs.

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