Do Not Awaken Love Before Its Time: Waiting and the Dating Game

I’ve been preaching through the Song of Solomon at the church where I pastor and through this work, my faith is being strengthened in the character of our wonderful God.

In my study, a key phrase for grasping the message of the whole book, as it turns out, is from Song of Songs 2:7, which says, in effect, “do not awaken love before its time.”

In the Song of Songs, this intriguing saying of the Shulamite woman precedes a situation in which she tells her Shepherd-King and husband-to-be to come back later–that the timing of his request (“come away with me, my love, my beautiful one!) isn’t quite right! He’s ready, and she’s not.

I can’t think of any more helpful counsel than this for young people who are pursuing dating relationships today. As I’ve both seen and experienced it, nothing is more frustrating and even heartbreaking bout the dating process than this matter of what appears to be “wrong timing.”

You know what this is like: “She’s interested in me; I’m not into her”; and a month later, I’m interested in her, but she’s not interested in me.”

In this essay, I want to sketch out seven thoughts regarding the “problem” of imperfect timing and the tension it can create in dating. My hope is to offer some encouragement to those who desire to honor God with this aspect of their lives, something that’s increasingly difficult in an age and in a generation where it seems like “anything goes.” Continue reading