Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
Song of Songs 8:4
This is a really short and simple verse, but it says a lot about love, or at least the age of love. Here are my reflections on this verse:
1. “Daughters of Jerusalem”
It’s a charge to the daughters of Jerusalem. Is this verse implying that girls are the ones who stir up love?
Yes. It’s girls who arouse or awaken love when it’s not yet time. I’m not saying this to discount the probability that guys make the first move. In fact, I acknowledge that boys usually start the whole process. However, it is still the girls who have control over the whole thing. Let me prove it.
There are two ways in which a girl can awaken love at the wrong time:
- By intention. A girl who wears short skirts, heavy makeup, and is all giggly-wiggly sends out a wrong message. It is a flashing neon sign with the message, “Come and get me, boys.” Sure, in the long run, you probably will have a big problem about the kind of guy you attract, but hey! You got what you wanted, right? If you intend to find love, you probably will. The problem is in the kind of “love” you find.
- By agreeing. A girl can keep saying that it’s not her fault. She can say that it was the boy who courted her or showered her with attention. She can tell everyone that she didn’t intend to attract the boy. She may be dressed modestly and be meek and quiet. But as long as she lets guys come near her, as long as she doesn’t take a stand and control the relationship, as long as she doesn’t walk away and stay away, she still is stirring up love. Even the most resilient and hard-headed boys quit. I know that. You just have to keep saying, “No.”
Girls, you have to be careful about the things you do and about the things you do not do. Fight for right love by fighting against its overly excited evil brother.
2. “Until it so desires.”
It’s funny how kids use this part of the verse to explain how they are simply following their heart. “Ate, my love desires it now. Why can’t I agree to love?”
The answer is simple, kids. Love is not the kilig feeling. Love is a person. Remember 1 John 4:8?
God is love. Love should be everything that God is. It’s right, it’s good, it’s great. Until the time when God is the one desiring love for you, do not make a move. So, how can you say that it’s time for love? Here are three points by which you can measure if it’s the age for love.
- Right Purpose. Do not even think of falling in love if you do not have the right purpose. That right purpose is marriage. Love isn’t something you play with. If you are not ready for marriage, start running.
- Right Period. My twin sister has a whole “4-year periods” explanation about this. I’ll post the link as soon as she puts it up. My take on this is quite simple. The right time is when you’ve already graduated from college, employed, self-reliant. You have to be physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and most of all, spiritually ready for a relationship.
- Right Person. Do not start considering or finding the right person when the first two conditions are not yet met. Girls, do not go out to find the right person. You are supposed to be found. Walk with God. Focus on growing in the Lord. If He wills it, it will happen. No struggling, no meddling. Just wait.
I know that there are loads and loads of books instructing girls to wait. There are a lot of resources available for girls who want to strive for purity. But let me tell you this.
- It is NOT easy. I know this from experience. Every time my friends gather round and share stories, I feel out of place. No. Scratch that. I feel more than out of place. I feel ugly. If you feel that way, find your beauty in God. Go to Him for affirmation. He will not disappoint you. Another advice is to surround yourself with friends who are like you. Find a good Christian support group. Draw strength from each other.
- You will probably make mistakes. I am far from perfect. Being a Christian does not rid us of the inclination to sin. It just strengthens us to be able to face temptation when it happens. You may not always be strong to resist. But if you make a compromise, no matter how little or big it is, acknowledge the mistake, ask God for forgiveness, then start fleeing from temptation right away.
- It is all worth it in the end. I’m telling all you girls out there. It is (insert superlative of superlatives) worth it.
I can say these things because, by God’s grace, my life is a testament to this. God is good and gracious. He heard the prayer of a 14-year old when she asked that He be glorified in her love story. That’s why I can say these now.
So, on love…
And that’s my two cents on that.