Many a young person will agree that when you are in college, you see a lot of things – particularly when it comes to relationships. For a young lady on campus that follows Christ, sometimes – well a lot of times – it feels like you just don’t win in this area, especially when you are surrounded by others who don’t uphold the same values. On an average weekend, your girlfriend or roommate boasts about her night with her “other.” It was perfect, she enjoyed it – it started with her favorite this, and it ended with her favorite that (use your imagination). And well, you had a date with Prentice Hall and McGraw Hill…yet again…on a Friday night. Beautiful.
Maybe you are someone who chooses not to present yourself as an open book to the opposite sex; or as a giving tree, eager to offer whatever they ask for. It is very likely that you will be considered as cold, or stiff; and at these times, it is easy to feel like you need to loosen up just a little bit. But something dawned on me recently…
I like to read Song of Songs every now and then. It’s a book in the Bible where two lovers freely express their affection for each other. What you find here is a desperate, passionate, “ache all over your body” kind of love – it seems so out of place in the Holy Bible. At a certain point, the Lover begins to charm his Beloved. He says her eyes are doves. Her mouth is lovely. Her love is more captivating than wine. Then he proclaims to her:
“You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” SOS 4:12
At first, I wondered what was so great about a locked garden or a sealed fountain. After all, you can’t enjoy these things because they are not accessible. Then, I realized that the Beloved is also called his sister and his bride. At this point, they couple has developed a bond so close to the point where the man sees his Beloved as his sister. The man had patiently worked on her until he could break down her walls, and unlock her treasures. He finds a garden with choice fruits for his enjoyment alone, and he relishes it. Likewise, the Beloved opens up to him, saying “let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Without reservation, she lets her guard down and invites him in.
In God’s plan, the right man, the Godly man, is a gardener – one that will tend and keep his garden, till death do they part. In the beginning, God carefully planted the Garden of Eden and placed the first man in the garden to “work it and take care of it.” Likewise, lady, you are a carefully and precisely planted Garden. You have gifts and strengths in certain areas, weaknesses in others. Your gardener should see the potential in it all, and wait to unlock its treasures. He should water the garden’s choice plants, and weed out the unsightly ones.
If the man knocking at your gates lacks the patience or desire to do this, let him keep stepping. And don’t let him run away with a piece of your heart. After all, he will not take care of it. Until it is time to unlock your gates, keep your heart with the Master Gardener, the One who planted you. You can’t possibly go wrong with that.
PS: Happy New Year. A little late, I know.