Our generation of teens has embraced an ugly, evil, and twisted version of the love God created. God made love to be a beautiful, God-honoring, and wonderful enjoyment of life, but the world has taken this powerful gift and transformed it into a messed up, perverted, and blurred image of what it was meant to be. This is Love. Awakened at the wrong time and used for wrong purposes. What is Love?
Well, the Bible answers this very directly in 1 Corinthians 13. If you would like to read it, here it is in ESV:
Now that gives a pretty clear definition of love. First, it states how important love is. Love is extremely important! It says that if you give up everything, offer your body to be burned, have faith to move mountains, and have amazing powers, but have not love, then you gain nothing. You are nothing. That's how important love is to God. God gave you the gift of love, and God wants you to love others. He wants you to love the needy, the broken, and the hurting. He wants you to love your family, your friends, and most importantly, He wants you to love Him.
Shouldn't I Pursue Love?
If love is so important to God, and he wants us to love others, then doesn't He want me to pursue love with that good looking girl or guy over there? Actually, no. It might look like that, but it's not what God's going for in 1 Corinthians 13. Yes, He IS talking about all kinds of love, but NO, He's not telling you to flirt with that hot girl. Pursuing a love relationship with someone is not what God wants you to do. Or at least until He decides that the time is right. Here's what God Himself says:
"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases." - Song of Solomon 3:5
This is telling us that we should not stir up love until God decides that it's the right time. Those same words are repeated again and again within the book, Song of Solomon. This book of the Bible is a sweet, affectionate "song" of love. It's all about how two people love and long for each other. Yet, in the midst of all these hugs and kisses, God keeps reminding the "daughters of Jerusalem" (essentially meaning youth, not just girls) to not awaken love until the time is right. What a bummer, huh? Well, there are many important reasons for this, and believe it or not, God isn't ruining your life by commanding you to wait on love. He's actually saving it.
WHY Should I Wait For Love?
Despite this warning in the Bible, many Christians of our generation have decided to pursue love before God's timing. They flirt, say the right things, live up to peer pressure, and get into relationships that they can't control. They pursue God's beautiful yet fragile gift at the wrong time, and it always leads to trouble. Frivolous love affairs just don't last. For one, people change, and so do their feelings for others. Also, when you're young, you are naturally immature, and you're a lot more liable to do stupid things. Being in a relationship with someone before marriage is dangerous terrain, and that's why we must navigate that territory when we are older, wiser, and with our parent's constant advice and counsel. If you are into a relationship with someone in the early teens and your parents aren't completely involved, then that is very shaky ground to be dealing with. There are plenty of temptations to sin in that situation with a person, and it's not a good place to be. There's just no way to navigate a relationship with someone until God's time, and that's one of the reasons God tells us to wait on love.
Giving your affection to someone means giving them part of your love. If you give parts of your love away to any number of guys or girls before marriage, then guess what? You'll have given away that much more love when your wife or husband comes along. Do you want to have a wonderful, life-lasting, loving relationship with your spouse? Of course! But if you've loved many others before them, then that will only dampen the amount of affection you can give your husband or wife. It's very sad, but if you get to marriage after loving a lot of people beforehand, then you will most definitely regret giving your heart away to anyone else, and you'll wish that you'd saved all the love possible for your spouse. That is why we need to wait for love and preserve our hearts for the one God will lead to us in His timing.
The beautiful thing about waiting on love is that it frees up your life so much! When I decided to quit chasing girls, I couldn't believe the peace I felt in my heart. It was so refreshing to not have to feel like I have to impress every girl I see. It also gave me a much better focus on God. When you remove distractions from your life, God becomes the center of it, and your life is so much more fulfilling and honoring to your Creator!
So what do you do now? Well, for one, limit your friendships. Make it a priority to keep your relationships with the opposite sex at friendship stage. Don't flirt or impress. Spend time with those who love God, and who will not encourage you to get into a relationship with someone. Also, try not to get too involved emotionally with the opposite sex, because this can lead to love relationships. Let them know through your actions that GOD is who you want to impress, and that you want to honor Him by staying pure in your love life.
One other very important thing to do is to put your love where it'll count. No-one can go without loving someone, and that is why so many teens end up getting into relationships. The important thing to remember is that we don't have to put our love into a short relationship. We need to put our love where it'll help us, not hurt us. That place is with God. We need to love God instead of putting our love where it will only lead to hearts getting smashed. We need to love God with all the passion with which we are capable of loving, and then love Him more then anyone or anything else. If we keep love all tucked away inside us, then we are liable to be tempted to sin in it. If, on the other hand, we pour out our love into our relationship with God, then it will give us a much more fulfilling aspect on life and also help us to not sin in our love lives. God made us to love. God also says to wait on the opposite sex. So what now? We give ALL our love to our Creator, live to serve Him, and wait for His timing.
(If you want to know more about waiting on love and living a life focused on God, then I would highly suggest the book: "When God Writes Your Love Story" by Eric and Leslie Ludy.)
So live your life for GOD, not for short-term relationships that will only lead to pain. Save your love for the one GOD has planned for you, and stay pure in your love life. Wait for GOD's timing instead of taking your love life into your own hands, and focus your life on GOD so that you will enjoy His great gift of Love to the fullest when the time comes. This is Love. Unawakened.
About the Author: My name is Luke Mason. I am a Christian teenager in Michigan, USA who lives to turn the next generation's hearts to Jesus Christ. I have seen firsthand (and been trapped in) the lifeless and powerless "faith" of this generation's teens and young adults of the church, and God has called me to spend my life trying to change this. I discovered through starting a blog that I had writing skill, and decided to commit more time and energy to writing for God's glory. You can find my blog here: http://sharpenothers.org/