A recent conversation with my 15 year old son struck a chord in my heart. We were discussing what the Bible says about love in Song of Solomon. It says more than once to not awaken or arouse love before it’s time. Although we didn’t discuss it at the time, I went back and read through that book of the Bible and discovered in 8:6 that it says: For love is as strong as death. When I read that, I thought to myself, this is the key to teaching my children about relationships! You see, we can tell our children that love should not be awakened or aroused before its time but when they ask why, what will our answer be?
My children are getting to that age when interest in the opposite sex is starting. Going back to the conversation I was having with my 15 year old, he said the sweetest thing I can remember ever hearing him say. I was explaining to him why you don’t want to put yourself in a position of believing that you love someone before it’s time. He responded with, “I know” (typical teenager response…but then followed it up with): “I only love you and dad and Jesus.” Yes, my mommy heart did melt!
Now lest you think I have it easy, that coming from a 15 year old, I have to say that I also have a 10 year old who declared to me during a drive we were taking together to pick up a pizza that when he turns 15 he is going to have a girlfriend. He couldn’t seem to understand why his big brother doesn’t and isn’t allowed to have a girlfriend right now. At the time, my only answer was what my 15 year old and I had been talking about, how you don’t awaken love before it’s time. Now we need to have a second conversation and I need to provide him with the reason why. Simply telling my children you can’t do something because I said so isn’t really enough. But now I have a clear-cut reason…love is as strong as death.
Think about that. Love can feel so strong that you can literally feel like you will die without the one you love. Do you remember that feeling the first time you had it? I was in middle school when I felt that. I was absolutely convinced that I was in love with “C.” He was convinced of the same and I will never forget my first Valentine’s Day gift. He came to school and presented me with two gifts. One was a necklace where the trinket is half a heart. He wears the other half of the heart. The other gift was in the shape of a plastic fan. You know those fans you open to fan yourself when you’re feeling hot? Well it was red, in the shape of a fan and when you opened it, there was this waxy perfume inside. My parents made me give the gifts back to him and I remember feeling hatred toward them. Then they decided we could no longer have anything to do with each other so our phone calls stopped.
I was absolutely devastated and like I said, convinced that we were in love and would be together forever. Of course, now I can chuckle about that but I have never forgotten the power of that feeling and so I don’t take it lightly when my children indicate any type of interest in another. I understand very well what that feeling can do to you and what it can bring out.
The Bible tells us that we need to guard our hearts. Well, I also believe that we need to help guard the hearts of our children. There will come a point in time when we will have absolutely no control over our children’s lives. In fact, even now, I cannot control what my children do when I am not around. I cannot control what happens when they are at school or hanging out with friends. I can only pray that what I instill in them will make a different that impacts their lives.
Maybe it’s time you had a conversation with your son or daughter about love. Not just about the fact that we shouldn’t awaken or arouse love before it’s time but also to explain the powerful emotions involved in love. Death is a blow to anyone and love can be a blow just as strong. It can be unquenchable as we also read in 8:7: Many waters cannot quench love…
May the first love, the very first love of our children be the unquenchable love of Jesus Christ!