Don’t arouse love until it pleases.” Middle schoolers aren’t allowed to drive, they can’t vote, and they still have a few years until they’re old enough to watch R-rated movies.
“Yeah, we’ve been going out for three weeks now.” “Oh really? What I really want to say to the young man is, “Let me get this straight: You don’t have a job, can’t drive and just learned how to wake yourself up in the morning…and you’re in a monogamous, exclusive romantic relationship?
As a Middle School minister, this is a common conversation I find myself having with students.
A passage at the end of the book has been haunting me as I think about and hear our middle schoolers chatter away about “love” and relationships.
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. I’m sure daughters of Jerusalem asked this, and so will your middle schooler.
Song of Solomon 8:4 Here’s another translation: Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem: Don't excite love, don't stir it up, until the time is right. ) describing the passion and emotion associated with love, marriage, romance and sex, the Shulamite woman (Solomon’s wife) gathers her younger sisters and gives this stern warning. If we continue reading, we find the answer in verses 6 and 7.
…for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
It’s as if the Shulamite woman is saying this: “Girls, I can’t tell you how powerful and overwhelming these affections that I now have for Solomon, my husband, are. God created them for this purpose: that my husband and I my share an intimacy and closeness that strengthens our covenantal bond until death parts us.
Things have been awakened and stirred in me that I never could have imagined. So with that, understand that these feelings are dangerous in the wrong context.
Don’t excite them or awaken them before the time is right.