If there is any topic in the world that can be touched on without end, it is the topic of love. Whether it’s movies, books, music, or human interaction, there contains in this four letter word, such an immeasurable wealth of exploration and explanation.
Once you touch on the specific area of romantic love, you’ll find an enormous amount of discussions, examples, quotes, cliches, etc. There’s a specific line though that is very familiar and used by many people, and it is the concept of ‘falling in love’. Since it has such a wide usage it can be taken in a number of ways, whether in expressing the overwhelming feelings for a person or just as a general statement towards one you’re with.
Until very recently, I didn’t give much thought to it, and I personally decided to just never use the phrase at all. However, the concept of falling in love began to take a stark contrast when a verse from the Song of Solomon came to mind in the midst of me thinking through some other things. Often I’ve had God speak to me, and highlight certain things when in the midst of just thinking through things, where He’ll leave an impression for me to specifically focus on what He has to show me. The verse He brought to mind talked about not stirring up love too early:
Song of Solomon 8:4 NKJV
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases.
Once that verse came to mind, I began to see why stirring up love is so different than saying you’ve fallen in love. When you fall, its not something that is planned, prepared for, or chosen..its something that just..’happens’. However, it is significant that the phrase ‘falling in love’ is never in the Scriptures, but the concept of stirring up love is. The reason why it stands out to me now is that whenever you stir something, it is something you have to do willingly.
Thus the difference shows between these two statements, for one is passive, and the other is an active/conscious decision. Lets look at the Hebrew usage behind the word stir in the verse I quoted above:
This shows that when you stir up love, its something you have to wake up, because it lies dormant until we make the choice to love someone. The admonishment in Scripture to not stir up love too early is so accurate in that we all know when someone wakes us up too early; that it messes up our morning, makes us angry at the person who wasted our precious time to sleep in and get rest, and at times offsets plans for things you had to do.
You see, time is precious and when you stir someone up too early, including yourself, it can mess with your life and waste precious time. Choosing to love someone should not just be based on attraction or infatuation alone, for even the Bible says beauty is fleeting. There are many of you ladies who wished you didn’t stir up love for a man that wasn’t meant for you, and everyone can see your frustration, anger, and weariness as a result of waking up love too early. There are many of us men who have manipulated women into their love being stirred and we weren’t even at the capacity to handle love the way its required to be handled.
You must make the choice to love someone, and commit to this choice. There’s a saying along with the concept of falling in love that says, “You can’t help who you fall in love with”, but once again it lends itself to the passive nature of falling in love. It also misunderstands that love is something you choose. What you can’t help is who you will be attracted to, for the eyes of man are never satisfied(Proverbs 27:20), and making the choice to love should ALWAYS take precedence over the attraction you didn’t choose.
One last thing I’d like to touch on is that because love is a decision you commit to, when you choose to love, it shows what kind of man(and woman) you are. My Pastor often tells us that there’s four things God wants from a man, women want from a man, and what men actually struggles with. They are:
I’d add that this is also what love REQUIRES. Since love is a decision you make, it follows that in order to commit to this decision, it requires you to be consistent, strong, and mature through every ebb and flow this decision to love will take you through. The high and glorious standards of love that we see shows us that the God who also wants these things from hs men is the same God who also encompasses it. For in 1 John, it declares the simple but profound truth…”God is love”(1 John 4:8).
Know that as a man to a woman or a woman to a man when you choose to stir up love, always remember Who is love and let His perfect standard of love be communicated through you. Don’t let love be a passive image in your mind, heart, and actions, but let it be an active and continuous choice. Don’t fall in love…stir it up.