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Jan 31 2014
Was her sexy Grammy performance with Jay-Z actually good for marriage?

For all its physical description, the Song does not celebrate a precise kind of female beauty. Unlike Beyoncé's performance, which plays into a narrow vision of female attractiveness and sexuality—little clothing, thinness, and accentuated curves—the Song is delightfully obscure. Her beloved honors her beauty in a way that affirms her particularity without enforcing a universal, and limited, standard of beauty.

A comparison between the Song of Songs and the Carters' Grammy performance reminds us why this book, which never mentions God in all its verses, is a part of the Bible. The Song upholds true marital intimacy, and it celebrates an inclusive vision of feminine beauty.

In our culture and in our world, those two messages matter. Marriage does not, by definition, make sex sacred. And marital sex is not, by its very nature, intimate. Even in marriage, we can devalue sex and dehumanize one another. The Song of Songs is a great help in guiding us toward the better way.

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