Sunday, February 13, 2011

While True Love is Waiting

This was part of my lecture delivered last February 11, 2007 to the young people. Almost everybody is celebrating this day so in order to grab this time and yet not to spoil my (unfinished yet) lecture for the young people on Friday, I wanna share this first.

This was titled while true love is waiting because many young people are asking what they are supposed to do if they are not to pursue romantic relationship early. But before we answer that question, let us clarify first why we need to wait.

Why true love waits?

Waiting until I’m ready for commitment before pursuing romance is just one example of letting Christ’s love control my relationship with the opposite sex. (Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p.20)

In Song of Songs, Solomon defines love as strong as death (8:6). The power of love is beyond human comprehension and comparing it to death is the proof of its power.

The wisest man on earth is the same man who acknowledged that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Eccl.3:1). And there is even a proper time to love (Eccl.3:8a).

1. Waiting is obedience.

Waiting for the right time to love the right person is not a violation of man’s freedom to love. But treating/seeing your brothers/sisters as potential “partner” or spending time to seek for the right man/woman is a violation. It is disobedience towards God for not loving one another as Christ and it is sinning against our brothers/sisters for not portraying the love of Christ for them.

2. Waiting is trusting God.

Rushing is not trusting God at all. Our primary concern should be to seek first the kingdom of God (Mt.6:33a), not to seek who is he/she that God has prepared for us. Because if the latter is our concern, we don not trust God that all these things shall be added unto you (Mt.6:33b). We don’t trust God He knows we need and long for someone to love us. We forget to see that God knows the inmost part of us, we neglect to remember that Adam didn’t ask for Eve, God knew it is not good for him to be alone (Gen.2:18).

3. Waiting teaches us to be patient as we learn to acknowledge God’s sovereignty.

In the book of Ecclesiastes it says, there is a proper time and procedure for every matter (8:6a). And our Sovereign God is the Author of that perfect time and procedure.

4. Waiting is submission to God as you allow Him to mold you until the proper time.

Joshua Harris says that the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.

5. Waiting is an opportunity to enjoy singleness as a gift from God.

This is the moment for every believer to grow in Christ and serve Him with an undivided devotion (I Cor.7:32, 34).

How to know the right time?

And the wise heart will know its proper time and procedure for each matter. (Eccl.5:5b)

The Bible doesn’t tell us to weigh our emotions and feelings to know if he/she is the right man/woman. It tells us that a wise heart will discern it. That is why, we need to pray and seek for the wisdom, not to seek him/her.

We need to guard our hearts (Prov.4:23a) especially that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jer.17:9). Let us pray for God’s guidance and blessing of a wise heart. A wise heart is a patient heart. A wise heart is an obedient heart. A wise heart is a heart that loves like Christ.

“Waiting for God’s timing requires trusting in His goodness and wisdom. We develop patience as we trust that God denies us what we think is good only because He has something better for us- both now and in the future.” (Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, p.81)

And While True Love is Waiting…

Waiting for the day, ‘til I hear You say, “Here’s the one I have created just for you.”

(Jaci Velasquez, I Promise)

I will celebrate in its due season, and wait for the one who’s waiting for me.

(This Promise I Made)

While waiting for the proper man and the proper time, what are we supposed to do?

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Eph.5:15-17)

In Genesis 24:10-66, it is not the sign prayed by the servant that has made Rebekah the chosen girl for Isaac. God has already made Rebekah to be for Isaac even before they were born. What made Rebekah perfect for the perfect timing of God is that she was just doing her daily tasks without knowing that God was already arranging every scenario of her love life.

Greg Harris said that Rebekah was able to meet God’s divine appointment for her life because she was faithfully carrying out her current obligations.

What are our current obligations?

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matt.22:37)
It’s easy to say that we love God and we trust Him. The following are just some questions that will help us evaluate our relationship with God now:
  1. How intimate or deep do we know our God?
  2. How much time do we spend in a day with God?
  3. Is God our first thought in the morning and the last thought before we sleep?
  4. Do we enjoy reading God’s Word and do we meditate on them?
  5. Do we enjoy our prayer time and do we have our quiet times?

The evil in desire typically does not lie in what we want, but in that we want it too much. (John Calvin)

It is not a sin to desire for a future partner. It becomes a sin when it already strips our focus on God’s glory and sovereignty. When longings and imaginations fill our hearts, when discontentment enters our hearts and that we long for someone and fails to see God.

A relationship with God through faith in Christ is the answer to the insecurity of our earthly life. (Jim Elliff)

Let us pray for satisfaction in God, the contentment for His love in us, and the assurance for the hope we have in Him is secured in His hands. Be a godly man, a man after God’s own heart.

A deep and an intimate relationship with the Lord will make us secure even if the people around us pressure us to be like them, even if they all have partners and we don’t have.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. (John Piper)

If we are committing ourselves in service to God, in devotion to prayer, and in meditation of His Word, we are sure that we are on His will. And God is most glorified if we are contented and satisfied in His love.

  • Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt.22:39)

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Rom.12:10-11)

Next to God, our current obligation is our duty towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul reminded the Romans to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. God gives us godly people not for us to pinpoint who, among them, is our future partner. God wants us to grow with them, enjoy the fellowship as we glorify God in loving each other as Christ loved us.

We need to develop pure and genuine friendship with others. C.S. Lewis defines friendship as two people walking side by side toward a common goal. For Christians, this common goal is the growth in Christ’s likeness as they glorify God.

Treating others as friends, as brothers and sisters in Christ, will help us demonstrate Christ’s love. It is greatly encouraged to develop deeper friendship with the same sex to avoid any romantic intimacy. Yet, opposite-sex friendship is not discourage, for there are some things that you may learn from them also. However, this friendship requires greater accountability and responsibility for both sides of men and ladies.

The Responsibility

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with absolute purity. (I Tim.5:1b-2)

Men’s responsibility

It is the nature of a man to be protective and gentleman, especially to a person so dear to him. Yet, men should take an extra care to consider the vulnerability of a woman’s heart. It is your responsibility to be very careful with what you do or say with a woman. You need to guard the heart of a woman against any arousal of unwanted feeling and expectations. You have the accountability with your sisters to share with their burdens but take a lot of care for them (us) not to be dependent on you, lead them back to the cross always.

Do not treat any of your sisters as potential girlfriend. Any special treatment you show to a girl might distract her from her focus on the Lord. Her focus will not be the service you are doing for her, it will be you.

Girls’ responsibility

The responsibility doesn’t lie on men alone. Girls, we need to guard our feelings against any romantic attraction or much emotional dependence. We should not misunderstand nor give extra romantic reasons for every action our brothers do to us.

Any single idea of seeing a brother as a partner will lead us away from the will of God. And being intimate with someone, especially in the opposite sex, is quite dangerous. It is our responsibility to draw a line between friendship and intimacy. We are more emotional and fragile to affections.

It is our weakness to desire for the excitement of romance and we love the comfort and the feeling of being liked and loved by someone. Infatuation may focus us away from God.

Let us take seriously this warning from Joshua Harris:

Instead of making God the object of our longing, we wrongly direct these feelings toward another human. We became idolaters, bowing to someone other than God, hoping that this person will meet our needs and bring us fulfillment.

Copyright His Beloved 2011.