Waiting to Awaken Love

May 02, 2015

by Iain Duguid

One of the agonizing aspects of being in love but not yet married is the need to wait. You long for the day when your lives will be so intertwined that every aspect will be linked together, including sexually. This agony is not helped by the fact that we live in a sex-saturated culture where our eyes and minds are bombarded on all sides by the message that your sexuality is simply another appetite to be satisfied, like hunger and thirst. In such a context, it is easy to imagine that you are the only one waiting for sex until you are married.

Into this cauldron of unfulfilled desire the Song of Songs speaks with calm and reassuring wisdom when it says to the young women of Jerusalem, “Do not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” This caution is so important to the Song’s portrayal of the beauty and power of love that it is repeated three times (Song of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4). This repetition is not because the Song has reservations about the goodness of love and sex in its proper place, within marriage. On the contrary, it depicts and praises the breathtaking intensity of a unique, lifelong, committed relationship between one man and one woman — what we might call, “Friendship on fire.”

…continue reading on Desiring God.

Iain Duguid

Dr. Duguid (PhD, Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at WTS.

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