God in the center of our relationships

Posts tagged ‘awaken’

The Dangers of awakening passions at the wrong time

Who can deny that we live in an overly sensuous culture? The popular media have done a very effective job of awakening sensuality even in children. I’ve seen G-rated, family movies where pre-teens shared mouth-to-mouth romantic kisses. Such displays are the natural and normal course that romance takes, but are these actions appropriate for that stage in life? Where can a romantic relationship go at the age of 12 or even 16? The awakening of romance at this age is often a futile road that can lead more to lingering pain than to long-term pleasure.

Let’s look at a few warnings in the Song of Solomon and examine some reasons why teens need their parents to help them cautiously guard their hearts, not only their physical purity.

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the swift gazelles and the deer of the wild, not to awaken love until the time is right.” (NLT) Song of Solomon 2:7
“Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is ripe and you’re ready.”  (Message Bible)
“… do not stir up love until the appropriate time.” (Holman Christian Standard)
After studying these verses and several others from the Song of Solomon, (3:5, 8:4)

a common theme stands out – beware of awakening romantic love before it is time.
Romantic awakenings lead to thoughts, accompanied by feelings that lead to actions.

It is God’s wonderful plan for romantic love. However, if these awakenings happen during a season when they can’t be righteously fulfilled, they often lead down a path of hurt and regret, not only a loss of virginity.

What are some of the dangers of awakening passions before the time is right?

No matter how passionately a teen wants to serve God, crushes can happen. Attraction is a normal and healthy gift from God; however, dealing with those feelings, while trying to stay emotionally and physically pure can be a challenge. The teen needs a parent to help stay accountable, to help deal with feelings and to be encouraged that with God’s help he can stay pure.

Love triangles
I’ve seen girls try to help their girlfriends get their focus off of a guy only to find themselves having a crush on the very same guy. This doesn’t just happen with girls; it also happens with guys. What about friends who find themselves liking the same guy or girl? What about guys or girls who are attracted to more than one girl or guy at the same time? I’ve seen examples of all these happen and harm good relationships.
In a teen’s life, these are not laughing matters. Serious hurts and wrong patterns of relationships can hurt young hearts. Seeds of unforgiveness and jealousy can hound a young person for years.

Ruined Friendships
A guy and girl in the same youth group or Bible study may grow to be very close friends. That is a natural product of sharing the same values, pursuits and goals. However, sometimes that friendship goes in the direction of romance before the couple is in a season of life where they can follow through with a serious commitment. Moving back into the direction of friendship is sometimes tough and even hurtful as one or the other teen begins to back off the intensity.
Another danger of early romantic awakenings is that they can become a stumbling block to a young person’s passionate pursuit of God.

In the years I have worked with youth, many young adults have told me how they wished they had spent their teen years more effectively seeking God and serving Him without these distractions and the pain of broken hearts. Many young people look back and grieve about the time they wasted and how some of their plans to pursue their life goals went by the wayside. We need to think about how we can help the next generation to awaken to God, before they awaken to untimely romantic passions that sometimes serve only as decoys to God’s best plans.

Teenagers who passionately want to pursue God will need a lot of help navigating through our highly sensuous culture that screams romance and even lust through every medium of sight and sound. The greatest support they need is someone who will gently help them steer away from romantic distractions and back to using their time and energy preparing and pursuing their life goals until the time they can pursue a relationship. Without teasing or scolding, parents should be the ones offering this kind of graceful support and guidance. How can we do that?

source – http://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting

Do Not Awaken Love Until It Pleases

by Godly youth

The most profound advice for romantic relationships is found several times in the Song of Solomon. The phrase “do not awaken love until it pleases” is used within the Song as an encouragement to others and a reminder to be patient in one’s own relationship. What does this phrase mean?

Love can be compared to a lovely flower that blooms beautiful in its proper season. No amount of sunlight, water, or nutrients can force the flower to bloom before its time. Attempts to physically force the flower from the bud will only damage or destroy the flower. However, if you provide the nutrients and proper environment the flower will bloom beautifully on its own and often at an unexpected, unobserved time.

Consider some common mistakes in failing to “awaken love until it pleases:”

  • Trying to force a romantic relationship. I have known frustrated people who liked someone then relentlessly pursued them trying to make them fall in love. They usually repelled the person instead. Usually the other person feels like prey in a predator’s shadow instead of flattered by the attention. A manipulative person might take advantage of the pursuer, acting interested to get what they want from the desparate person, then dropping them when they are finished playing.
  • Changing oneself to please another. When you try to change who you are to appeal to someone you are infatuated with, you are trying to force the flower open. Ultimately the relationship is due to dissatisfaction, unhapiness, and failure because you will tire of playing the part and long to be yourself again. When you revert to yourself the other person will feel decieved and hurt that you could not be honest with them. They will probably be unintersested since they fell in love with a character you were playing–not you.
  • Settling for someone. Sometimes people will decide to “fall in love” or marry someone because they either dated for a long time or because they are older and “there aren’t many available men/women.” There is no predetermined time or natural law that states when people will fall in love. How sad it would be to just marry someone because of habit or fear then meet someone that would be the ideal spouse. If you have dated someone for years and you are often fighting or have no deep love for the person, spare yourself and them future heartache and damage and break off the relationship so you can be ready to meet someone with whom love can bloom.
  • Rushing physical expressions of love. True love develops through friendship, not the passionate scenes of Hollywood productions. Couples should not feel pressure to hold hands, kiss, or show other physical signs of affection. In fact, it is healthy to hold off on any physical expressions while you let the relationship develop. When the physical expressions of love are introduced sometimes they become the focus to the neglect of the non-physical and the pressure to escalate the physical aspects of the relationship intensifies.
  • Sex before marriage. Some feel that if they give in dating what should only be given in marriage, that they will win the heart of their love interest. Statistically, it has the opposite effect. As with the one trying to force a relationship, a user will play on this tendency and get what they want until they are bored or an opportunity with someone else arises. God gave the sexual relationship for marriage to bind the couple closer together but the secret to its power is the ’til-death-do-you-part committment between the husband and wife. Keeping this relationship for marriage alone will allow it to blossom and grow: a special flower for the husband and wife alone.

True love is more beautiful than any flower but it must be allowed to grow and bloom in its own time. “Do not awaken love until it pleases.” Be patient and enjoy the friendship until the love blooms then take care of it like a precious tender plant.

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