I had just finished reading the book “Once Upon a First Love” by Tope Ogunyinka and I was inspired to study the book of song of Solomon (“SoS”). Prior to that day, I had always counted SoS as one of those books of the bible that didn’t really apply to my situation or circumstances. It was, what I will tag as “one of those books in the bible”. Was I wrong? Hell yeah!!. Over wrong was “worrying” me…lol.
Truth be told, I am not the only one who views SoS like that. We are many – sadly. The most popular verse of SoS which seems to register with majority of people is “let him kiss me with the kisses his mouth… for your love is more delightful than wine” Song of Solomon 1:2 (NIV), lol.

The most profound verse for me while studying the book of SOS was:

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”. (Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4)

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This verse occurred 3 times in the book of SoS. The third time, they say is a charm. That was when it stuck and awakened something in me. I couldn’t help but think, while reading this verse, “was this what our parents meant when they admonished us to stay away from men and vice versa?”

I was not the perfect child. Yeah, I faced my studies, was quiet easy going, did not give my parents trouble, did not get into trouble, went to church and was in active service. With all this attributes, you’d wonder why I said I wasn’t perfect right?. The thing is, I thought that was all it took to be perfect and by being all of this, I will land the perfect husband. It could not have been harder than that, right?

I ran with this idea while I was in the University. Yes I might have dated casually prior to then but it honestly wasn’t anything serious serious on my part. So when I got to the university, I made up my mind. No boyfriend, no distractions till I was 18 – I entered the university at 15. I had heard of the popular August rush and I was determined to guard my heart and emotions at all cost.

In my head, I told myself, by the time I started dating, everything will align. Whomever I dated will be the one and we will live happily ever after… i’m such a dreamer..

Please don’t judge me, we’ve all had our Cinderella moment. Guess what!!! I was true to myself. I was not romantically involved with anyone till I turned 19 . Where there “toasters”? Hell yeah!. I am a fine girl, I didn’t expect less. When I started dating, things did not go as I imagine. My first two relationships were disastrous. Not that anybody died, but I think a part of me died emotionally which took a toll on my third relationship. I am even exhausted thinking about the fact that I had dated – .well technically 2 people…that 3rd one, which happened to be the first has small “coma” – within a space of 4 years!!! Whoa..sigh.

Do you know what was missing at every point? the lack of knowledge about God’s plans for my marriage. You know how people make plans and present it to God to okay it. That was me. Thank God for his mercies because it could have been worse. So all the while I was busy thinking of my 18 year benchmark. I was not prayerfully seeking God’s face for the man he had for me. Cliché yeah!!! please don’t scoff. This is true and I am a living example of how important it is to put God first.

Now back to SoS. “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires”. This simple sentence holds a lot of meanings for me. Personally, I believe I awoke love rather too early and hence the mistakes I made in the beginning. Yes, I had given myself a benchmark. But did I stop to think that maybe, just maybe, God wanted me to wait a little longer. Maybe the right time would have been 25 or even 30.

I don’t doubt that I have had positive learning outcomes from every relationship I have been in, however these are nothing compared to the learning outcomes I would have received at the feet of Jesus. I am writing this at a period in life where I am like “I not sure about how I feel about this relationship and marriage thing, at the same time I am also like…I know it won’t be that bad”.

If I am asked now, “if you could tell your 18 self to do something differently, what would that be?”. Simple, “do not arouse or awaken love (romantically) until it so desires, God is love and he knows when the right time is, wait on him, trust in him”.

Another take home form “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” is a picture of two women on two extremes, relaying this message at the top of their voices but from two different angles.

The first woman is speaking from a place of hurt and heartbreak, regret and had-I-known, mistakes and tears. She’s screaming at the top of her voice, pleading to the younger generation not to make the same mistake as she. She had awakened love before it was time and now wishes she could turn back the hands of time.

The other is speaking from the place of joy, peace, tranquillity and praise, because she waited, waited until it was time to awaken love. She’s eager to share her experience and she makes no apologies for calling out to whoever seeks to listen, to wait at the bosom of Jesus for his undying love.

There is no love like the overwhelming, never ending, and reckless love of God. Nothing beats experiencing the love of God in human form. I am glad that I am writing from a place of hurt and heart break as well as a place of love and joy.

Wait patiently for the Lord and he’ll grant the desires of your heart.

I am so grateful to Kofo Toriola for sharing her experience with us.
I am sure she will love to know what you guys learnt or picked from this piece, please be kind enough to share your thoughts, and do share using the social media icons below,
Happy Valentines day friends!
x.o gbemieO


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