“…I charge you by the gazelles and the wild does of the field, do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.”
Song of Songs 2:7
How Do We Date Well?
Do you remember when dating was simply passing a note to your crush and asking them to check yes or no? Well, it’s not that simple anymore, it seems. Between dating apps and the emergence of social media, perhaps there has never been a more complicated time to date. And it’s not as though the isolation of the last couple of years has helped. The desire to walk towards marriage with another person still persists amidst the loneliness of this modern age.
So, what does it look like to date well in a culture that distorts and magnifies the idea of romantic love and yet simultaneously makes it seem so unattainable?
The Chaos of Courting
In a dating world that seems so tumultuous, how are we to honor God and seek His best for us? It doesn’t exactly seem like the Scriptures have too much to speak on the topic. Yet the Word of the Lord—the God of peace!—has some wise principles for us to hold fast to. And this is especially true in light of the chaos in the dating world that surrounds us.
The Song of Songs recounts the tale of a young couple throughout so many phases of their relationship. There’s one piece of wisdom we should focus on from the wife herself, as she speaks to the unmarried women in her midst: “Do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.” The desire for this romance and intimacy isn’t new to more current generations; even throughout Old Testament times, we needed this reminder to wait on the Lord while seeking His best for our lives. It means guarding our hearts as we trust it all to God.
Patience Toward His Provision
We’ve all heard the phrase “love is blind.” It takes time to truly know a person. We cannot always quickly assess whether or not they would be a good fit in our lives as we pursue the things of the Lord as solo individuals. As with all things, wisdom must take the forefront. Instead of having another person check yes or no, we must have an idea of the character we seek to find in a future spouse. We must take their godliness into consideration as we look into their desire to serve the Lord and perhaps even their own family one day.
So, as we take our time, we are to trust in the provision of the Lord as we consider who we are and what we wish to find in another person. The need for patience toward His provision is true within this area of our lives, as well as every other part of who we are. We can trust that He gives us what we need when we need it. So, how about we “check yes or no” towards being the kinds of people who steward their lives well in every season—single, dating, engaged, or married?