Letting Love Sleep

From what I’ve observed, it seems like dating is something that Christians do exactly like the world does. But should we?

My junior high girls have kissed more guys than this college girl and have consequently had their young hearts broken more times as well. While their junior high relationships are not serious and mature, the cumulative effect of multiple breakups, regardless of intensity, takes its toll. Because most of them, by age 14, have also become more hardened to the world than I have. They’re closing their hearts to love before they’ve ever really experienced it. I can see it in their flippant nonchalance, and it’s heart-wrenching. “He broke up with me, but whatever.” Their voice says they don’t care, but their eyes say something different.

About a month ago, I had a really thought-provoking conversation with my fellow youth leader Amy about relationships, in which she shared with me her story of how she met her husband. She pointed out to me the verse in Song of Songs where the beloved advises, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires,” and explained that she prayed that for herself, that God would not awaken love in her heart until it fulfilled His timing.

I explored it a little further. The admonition is repeated 3 times throughout the poem for emphasis. The other thing that strikes me about it is its surrounding context. In the midst of rejoicing in her own love, the beloved pauses to caution others not to awaken love prematurely. It’s almost as if she’s saying, “Don’t search for this kind of love, because the timing is what makes it beautiful.”

So instead of laughing when first graders tell us they had their first kiss…

Instead of teasing middle school girls about the guy they “like”…

Instead of asking high school guys “when they’re going to get a girlfriend” and assuming they’re gay if they don’t…

Shouldn’t we be guarding those young hearts through intercessory prayer?

Shouldn’t we teach those junior high kids about emotional purity as well as physical purity?

Shouldn’t we be encouraging them to let love sleep until God awakens it in their heart for the one He has planned for them?

We fear that if we don’t date around and make a few mistakes, we won’t know who our perfect soulmate is. And that if we’re not out there searching, we won’t find anyone at all. But do we really have that little faith in God’s plan for our lives? I loved how one of the guys in my community group at Passion put it: “God’s not going to let The One slip away because you’re ‘too focused’ on Him.”

Since that conversation with Amy, I have begun to pray for myself for God to awaken love in my heart only when He desires — and it’s been kind of cool to watch my perspective change. Suddenly guys can be friends instead of “potential boyfriends.” I can focus on my relationship with God and not worry about my love life being up to me.

And in this time of preparation, I’m beginning to see that maybe God’s plan all along was to awaken love only when He’s shaped us, most importantly, into the person He desires us to be — and secondly, into the person our partner needs. And if we pursue that relationship prematurely, we’ll never have a truly fulfilling relationship. It’s only when we let love sleep that we can find the meaning of love… in Him.

Published in: on February 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent!!!!

  2. Best, Yet! “My how you have grown!” – Galaxy Quest. It also makes me want to date again!

  3. Love never sleeps because it has to protect us while we sleep…. The pain comes from allowing love to sleep and awaking lust. God is love and love extents its hand to everyone you come in contact with, hugs a few, but will combine only two hearts to make one!!!! Nice piece!!!!

  4. Absolutely beautiful and true! If only more people would see romantic relationships like this, the way God intended them. Great post!

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