I guess just about every young lady has at one time or another had a crush on a boy in her school or at church.
I remember classmates in junior high showing me these elaborate happily-ever-after prediction tools made of paper that fit over the thumb and index finger on each hand.
Depending on how you moved your fingers, certain panels of paper with a color or a number written on it would be revealed. Those colors and numbers would predict how many children you would have, or how many pets, or even which classmate would become your future Prince Charming!
But my favorite, as it was easiest, and gave the most pertinent information—did he love me or not—was the daisy petal test. What girl has not done the daisy petal test?
Plucking a petal, you say “He loves me.” Plucking another, you say “He loves me not.” Until all the petals are gone. The last statement, corresponding to the last petal plucked, is your truth.
O.K. fess up. Did you ever discard a flower, choose another, and start over when you discovered that the last petal was going to say “He loves me not”? Yeah. Me, too!
But in later years we discover that it’s not quite so easy to decide if he truly loves me. I mean, he says he loves baseball. He loves chili dogs. He loves his dog! He loves his truck.
Then he says he loves me!?
So how do I know if he loves me, loves me? The forever-loves-me kind?
You can test his actions and his love by two truths about love.
First—True love gives.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Notice that the outcome of true love is giving. God so loved us that He gave. And He gave His very best…his Son. And not one of many, but the only One He had! He gave to us sacrificially.
In our reading this week, Jacob and Leah’s daughter, Dinah, goes out evidently on her own, “to see the daughters of the land.” (Genesis 34:1) Maybe she was hoping to make a friend. After all, she was woefully outnumbered by brothers!
In his commentary, Albert Barnes places Dinah’s age at this time somewhere between thirteen and sixteen years old, but thinks she was probably in her thirteenth year. And what thirteen-year-old doesn’t crave friendships?
Regardless of her age and how she managed to leave home unescorted, Dinah finds herself in a terrible situation.
And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. Genesis 34:2
Dinah was used in one of the basest of ways…rape.
And to add insult to injury…Shechem, her rapist, tries to sweet talk her! I imagine he tries to use the line, “I love you,” based on this verse—
And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. Genesis 34:3
But the closest to love Shechem ever got was infatuation…because true love gives. It doesn’t take for its own satisfaction. It gives…for the betterment of the one loved. Not their defilement, or injury!
I used to read this story and feel a little sorry for Shechem and his people. It seemed that poor Shechem fell in love and was killed for it! It wasn’t until I was older that I realized what had truly happened and that Shechem’s love was not true love.
And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. Genesis 34:4
Shechem’s love was the “get-me,” selfish and demanding kind. Which is not love at all.
Second—True love waits.
You are probably familiar with the “True love waits” movement that started in 1993. Many young people made the commitment to abstain from fleshly lusts, including fornication, until their wedding night. To remind them of God’s commands and their commitment to Him and their future spouses, many wore purity rings engraved with the words, True Love Waits.
God’s definition of charity, or true love, in 1 Corinthians 13:4 tells us that—
Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
“Suffereth long” means patient. In other words, love is patient. True love waits for God’s timing. And that timing is marriage. For God says,
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
If Shechem had truly loved her, he would have waited for her and sought marriage first. He would have sought to honor and respect her. He would have done things in God’s order and timing. Instead, he took what he wanted first. And then tried to make her his wife. And this was the reason he was judged.
A guy who pressures a young lady does not yet understand what true love is and what true love does. That doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t ever learn the truth about love, but it does mean…“He loves me not.”
God wants His best for you, His sweet daughter. Wait for it!
And while you wait, seek to know Him better and rejoice in His perfect love for you!
What if I’ve not waited for true love?
If you are like so many others who have already made mistakes and sinned in this area of life, take heart. For God forgives all sin! The ONLY exception is the sin of unbelief in His Son Jesus.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
God loves you and will cleanse you and give you a place of service to Him…if you come to Him in repentance. Remember, God loved all us sinners enough to die for us! Give Him your life, sins and all, and let Him make you clean and whole again.
But as Jesus told the woman taken in adultery, “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11) Keep yourself pure unto God and your future husband…from this day forward.
For further encouragement you might like to read…A Woman of Ill-Repute, Yet Highly Favored.
Drawing nigh to Him,
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