Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Better check yourself before you wreck yourself

Sometimes as a kid, my Mom would use this phrase as a humorous and light disciplinary reprimand. It was usually spoken when one of us kids were on the verge of misbehaving or being on her 'last nerve.' I know between my two other siblings, we zapped all my Mom's nerves. Bless her. 

"You better check yourself before you wreck yourself." Profound, right? Well, at least profound to me, because it made me stop and ponder where I stood in that moment. And it was usually too far across 'that' line that had been drawn for me.

I've been thinking about the phrase since I came upon something in the Song of Solomon two weeks ago. Now, you must know, the Song of Solomon is perhaps one of the books with which I am least familiar. My knowledge of it is completely inadequate and the various interpretations of it leave me a little overwhelmed. Nonetheless, the Spirit is our Teacher and He can lead us into knowledge and truth.

The one rare thing I feel safe to comment upon is this: "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." (SofS 2:7, 3:5, 8:4, and a variation of it in 5:8, ESV).

It really speaks for itself, so I don't know why I'm blogging about it. But I have been totally digging it. And it has been a verse that I've began praying over my single girlfriends, my engaged girlfriends, and even the potential unborn Griffin girl Nate and I could have one day (grin...).

One thing is for certain in the Song of Solomon - the young woman and young man are deeply and passionately in love with one another. Their descriptive words, longings, and compliments of one another are shameless, edifying, scandalous and pure (yes, those can go together in the proper marriage context). These two can think of nothing but the other and know without a doubt that they belong to one another. However, in the midst of consuming passion, so close to her marriage, the woman stops to plead and encourage her girlfriends 4 times to 'not awaken love until it pleases.'

 Even in the best pursuits of holiness, the young godly single women of today have a rough time keeping love at a slumber. They are bombarded with emotionally-lusting movies and having to attend one wedding of their girlfriends after another. They are reminded of their singleness. Their Christian and wholesome times of nurturing are often imbalanced in a setting of hundreds of other single men and women, gathered together for the purpose of a teaching. But amidst the dimmed lights, eyes search from wall to wall for someone attractive or cute. And amidst the tables filled with Bibles and ready pens, sit girls' journals whose pages from only a night before echo moments of loneliness, questioning, and self-degradation. I declare myself a fan of such gatherings. But it desperately needs to be balanced with an individual's own time before the Lord as well as mentorship in some form by an elder (Titus 2 anybody?).

Even in the best pursuits of holiness, the young godly dating and engaged women of today have a rough time keeping emotional and physical love at a slumber. Let me tell you this darling one, all the promised commitment in the world doesn't justify the awakening of sensous love that leads to consummation. No matter how in love you are, no matter how hard it is (don't even get me started on how hard it is), no matter how ready you think you are, I am going to tell you like it is: You are NOT ready. Because you are NOT married. It is only meant for fulfillment in the marriage context. The end.

You, oh Lord, open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living things (Psalm 145:16). The One who IS Love is the only One able to fulfill your need and desire for love, whether you're married, engaged, singled, or widowed. That is the reason we can pray this over ourselves and others all day long.  And that is why we can courageously pray that our love is kept at rest towards the unknown or known significant other.

Girlfriend, your friends may tell you its time. Your heart may feel like it will die if it's not time. Your entertainment culture may tell you your behind time. But from the truth of His Word, and the power He puts behind it, we can be sure that if marriage is not the context, it is not time.

Siestas, would you please pray over the single ladies, friends and daughters God has placed in your sphere? Theirs is a tough lot. But not one that God hasn't called and meant to be pleasant (Psalm 16:5-6).

I ask now, in the zealous love of Jesus, that your heart oh sister, would not be awakened with emotional or physical love until it desires...or in other words, until the time is right on His Kingdom calendar. Or, as my Mom would say, check yourself before your wreck yourself girlfriend :)

[Disclaimer: I, like countless others I'm sure, have 'wrecked myself' to an unmentionable degree on an unnamed spectrum. So worthy of another post on another day, forgiveness is your's to be had if your love not only woke up but walked around a bit...He is our Righteousness.]


Amanda said...

Shelly, there was no one more scared of and less interested in motherhood than I was. Although it's hard, it is WAY, WAY more awesome than I thought it would be. Love you!

mandy said...

Well-said. Love you!!

beckyjomama said...

Pretty sure I will be printing this out, laminating it and saving it for two little girls who are now falling asleep down my hall.

Thank you for putting it so beautifully and powerfully!

Toknowhim said...

Sweetie...Such a good post for today... for any day really!!! God's ways are always for our good...

It was so darling to see you mention a baby Griffin :) What an awesome mommy you will be :)

PS. The word verification for this comment is the word LOSER...can you believe that?

Emmy said...

I love that phrase! I think I'm going to have to use it! : )

What an awesome post! Will join you in praying!

Thank you for my sweet note yesterday! That made my day! Have a blessed evening! : )

Steph S. said...

Wow. Thanks so much for this post! I read it the other day, and have been pondering it since. IN FACT, today as I thought '*sigh* be in love---I really want to be w/ someone NOW...', I mentally revisited what you wrote about.

This is truth (in love), truth that has fed my Spirit. Thank you.

Warren Baldwin said...

Just linked here from Fran's blog to say good response. I thought there were a lot of good answers to the 'bullying' issue.

New blog starting you might be interested in:

Toknowhim said...

Hey Girl...

I didn't get to see your man this weekend. I was volunteering for Lifeway. The conference was so awesome... Beth said that God is up to something in Springfield, and I believe it.

The theme "Prepare the Way for the Lord" is sticking with me.

One day my sister I am sure we will get to meet up at an event... But I sure hope when we meet we get to go out for lunch or something so we can talk and talk... I know you have much wisdom to share my sister :)


Brooke said...

Oh! THANK YOU for this post!! I just had a 2nd date with a boy yesterday and I'm currently having to face myself towards the
Lord every other moment or so just to keep my feet on the ground, my heart in my chest, and my head out of the clouds!! L-O-V-E the Ps. 145:16!!

Ang baylis said...

Were you in North Carolina this past weekend listening in on a conversation between me and my daughter? These are exactly the words I needed to hear. It seems some girls think we are a bit old-fashioned in our thinking. It's SO hard to explain the damage that can be done when they don't check themselves. A shipwreck to say the least. Thank you for this post, Shelly!
Angie xoxo

Vivian said...

Love your blog post...spoke to my heart... I really think that the biggest thing women need to know today that awakening passion before its time can only bring pain in the end and funny enough the women who go around thinking that its okay to have pre-marital sex and making it seem like its something everyone is missing out on, are the ones who are suffering the most. Great post!

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

You are fabulously full of wisdom. Great words girl..

And now I'll fall asleep singing, Cha chickety check yo'self befo' you wreck yo'self. I do believe that is how the song goes?? :)) I have a hard time pulling off gangsta.

Lindsee said...

You, my sweet friend, are one wise lady. This was so for this single girl! I love it and love you. Thank you for sharing you heart. :)

brittanybaker said...

I have been SO behind in catching up on reading (and writing) blogs, but I just had to comment on this post...though I am late.

I so love your words of encouragement to keep on pursuing the Lord in these years of "waiting". Somedays when I let my emotions take over it can feel like wasted time, but I then I read something like this that puts me in check and reminds me that it is some of the most precious time I could have. I know deep within my soul that waiting for God's best is going to be unbelievably worth it in the long run, but in the meantime, I like being reminded :)