What you may not know about Shulammite and why she’s important to your love life
At a time when I desperately needed help with my failing marriage, it was the Shulammite Bride from the Song of Solomon who taught me in practical ways, how to recover love. She became my love coach. She became my friend.
Since then, I’ve introduced Shulammite to many women and I’d love for you to meet her too. (If you want her full story, see my book Dare to Love a Man where I unpack every jot and tittle of her epic love story entirely from a woman’s perspective.)
Who is Shulammite?
Briefly put, Shulammite is the central character in the Song of Solomon who lived approximately 3,000 years ago. She’s the star of the show who narrates what many experts believe to be the most romantic love story ever told—her love story. She tells her story to a group of women called the Daughters of Jerusalem. So yes, there is a woman in the Bible showing other women how to love a man.
Though many have speculated, we don’t really know Shulammite’s true identity for certain. We don’t even know her real name. She is called the Shulammite from a single verse (6:13) where the people of the kingdom give her this profound name as they witness her uncommon and breathtaking love for her man. Her name is the female counterpart to Solomon’s name. Solomon is pronounced “Shel-o-mo” in Hebrew. So their names are sort of like George and Georgette.
The attention given to Shulammite makes her unique among all women in the Bible
At first glance, Shulammite seems, well, ordinary. She’s a simple, hardworking, country maiden. Certainly nothing about her looks would merit her onto the stage of any beauty contest. In fact, she admits her looks are nothing to write home about to her friends.
Still, there’s something about her.
Eventually that “something” is revealed as specific, timeless qualities which prove to be so winsome and attractive, the most powerful man in the world is powerless to resist her.
As you watch Shulammite in action, you discover for yourself her secret—what makes a woman irresistible is not her physical beauty, but her ability to love extravagantly. We all know beauty can’t be THE primary factor that makes a woman irresistible. Otherwise, our divorce courts wouldn’t be full of gorgeous woman (see Hollywood). Yet, as modern women, we keep beating our heads against the same old wall even though we know that when a woman treats a man badly and becomes negative and critical, she soon loses her luster no matter how stunning she is.
On the other hand, a woman who can love a man beyond his wildest dreams—not in her way, but in a way he can receive, has the power to bring unspeakable joy into his life. THIS is the secret to Shulammite’s breathtaking beauty. Twice, this non-textbook beauty is even referred to as, “Most beautiful among women” (Song 1:8, 5:9). And the best part is Shulammite shows us the way to a man’s heart in her Song.
So against all odds this simple maiden captures the heart of not just any man, but THE MAN. The most coveted man of her time. The richest, most powerful man in the world, young King Solomon. To him, Shulammite is unarming. He has no defenses against such a magnetic woman.
By way of example, in one verse (6:5), Solomon is so overwhelmed by the pure love he sees in her eyes that must beg her to look away, “Turn your eyes away from me,” he pleads. Just a single glance of her eyes robs the most powerful man in the world of his own ability to look away. He must beg her to look away because he is helpless to do so himself.
Because the Song makes it clear Solomon is very young, ancient Jewish tradition holds that Shulammite is probably his first love. Though an entire book is written about her, we never hear from her again. What happened to her? How long did she live after the wedding? Was it childbirth or perhaps an incurable disease, easily curable today that took her life? These are mysteries you and I will only uncover in heaven.
It’s also unclear in the Song how they met. Since her family sharecropped in the vineyards owned by young Solomon and she was the caretaker of the vineyard, most experts believe she probably caught his eye one day while inspecting his holdings. What we do know for certain is, he falls head over heels for this girl. As their love story unfolds, none of us are left with a single doubt as to why he found her so enchanting.
Shulammite will surprise you!
She is no milk-toast, doormat woman. She breaks all sorts of social norms of her culture and time. You’ll find she is dazzling, flirty, confident, strong, and passionate. She openly speaks of her desires and freely expresses her sexuality. Above all, she pours out her love lavishly. And she does it all right before your very eyes. Yes, including the bedroom scenes.
Shulammite is the only female character in the Bible you will ever get to know this completely. She generously shares her innermost thoughts and desires. She sweeps you away through the intoxicating details of her epic love story, and as you go, you get the feeling she counts you as confidant and friend. She tells you directly what a woman in love thinks, what she says, how she feels, and what she does. If you’ve ever wondered what God’s idea of loving a man really looks like, Shulammite clears the fog.
Most of all, Shulammite is real
She’s like you and me. At one point she even blows it and love is lost (a chapter I call “Paradise Lost”). But then, you watch her recapture love again. For me, this was truly insightful. When I made the same correction myself, a love I thought was lost forever was restored in my own marriage. I will be forever grateful God brought Shulammite into my life.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to love, I’m not interested in just surviving or “gut it out” until death do us part. I want to be deeply, passionately in love. Shulammite showed me how and I believe she can show you too.
She invites you into her epic love story as a friend. As you get caught up in her story, you get the feeling she’s daring you to love her way too. And if you decide to take Shulammite up on her Dare to Love a Man, be prepared for a journey through love and romance, you will not soon forget.