Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

How to Talk to Your Teen about Awakening Love before Its Time

How to Talk to Your Teen about Awakening Love before Its Time

“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.”  Song of Solomon 8:4 NLT

Imagine our surprise when our fifteen-year-old daughter came home from a mission trip in Belize with wonderful stories about serving people, growing closer to God, and meeting “someone special.”

That someone special was a boy from another state who was on a mission trip with his youth group. Their van had broken down at the exact time my daughters van was passing by. And as the story goes, the only seat the young man could find was the seat next to our daughter.

Of course, at the time, we had no idea that “special someone” would one day become her husband, but we knew from the start our daughter was going to need wisdom, guidance, and covering as she was being pulled to awaken love before its time.

In our culture, there’s a great need for parents to have honest, heart-to-heart discussions with their teens. But for many, there’s a fear surrounding the topic of dating, love and sex, and parents would rather avoid it. (We were those parents!)

If you’re wondering how to talk to your teen daughter about awakening love before its time, I pray these 4 conversation starters will be of great help to you.

What Does It Mean to Awaken Love before Its Time?

This phrase is found in Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5 and 8:4. Sounds pretty important! Song of Songs is a collection of love poems from during King Solomon’s reign and appears in the Wisdom section of the Old Testament. It shows the beauty of a godly marriage.

This verse is spoken by a young maiden to the women in Jerusalem to warn them not to “awaken love before its time.” There are many ways one could read this exhortation, but the most common is as a warning to not arouse love too quickly, or too early. That love and physical intimacy takes time and needs to unfold at a proper time—not before the couple is married or prepared for it.

1. Tell Them about God’s Design 

When you don’t know where to start, start at the beginning. Tell your teen about God’s perfect design for love and marriage. Read Genesis 2:18-24 together and discuss the beautiful union God created between Adam and Eve. Encourage your teen to seek God’s will for them and their future husband or wife, knowing He has their very best in mind.

Remind them that if they commit their plans to the Lord, He will guide them according to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Here is a conversation starter that might help:

“No matter how you feel right now, take some time to pray and ask God for His direction. Remember, He has a perfect plan for you, and when you walk in it, you will be blessed far beyond what you could expect. Try not to let your emotions take over. I know it’s hard, but letting your emotions guide you almost always leads to confusion and compromise. There’s a reason the Bible says not to awaken love before its time, and that’s because God designed us to wait until marriage before we give ourselves to someone intimately. Always remember I am here to listen, pray, and guide you the best I can.”

2. Tell Them You Understand

It’s easy for kids to forget that their parents were once teenagers too. Within reason, share your stories of dating and relationships and the lessons you learned along the way. By letting your teen know you understand what they are going through, it might help bridge the communication gap, draw you closer, and help them avoid awakening love before its time.

Here is a conversation starter that might help:

“I know it’s hard to believe, but I once had some of the same feelings you have. I remember how hard it was to keep my emotions in check. My feelings were so strong, I was convinced they were right. But I hope you’ll remember the value of purity. I know it’s not easy staying pure when everyone around you is giving into temptation. But by resisting peer pressure, and avoiding what the culture is telling you to do, you’ll be saving yourself for something far more beautiful and special than you could imagine. Always know I’m here for you and I understand what you’re going through.”

3. Tell Them about Times and Seasons

The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” This is a great springboard for healthy conversation between you and your teen.

Talk to them about the different seasons in life, and how important it is to keep those seasons in perspective. Acknowledge the season they’re in—without dismissing it as insignificant—while assuring them there will be a time when they can fully embrace love in the context of marriage. (And what a blessing it will be!)

Here is a conversation starter that might help:

“I realize the season you’re in isn’t easy, but it should be full of experiences that help you grow as a person.

Healthy relationships are part of that growth process, and it takes a lot of discernment to know which relationships are going to build you up and which ones will tear you down. This is the time in your life when you should be thinking about your future.

What is God’s purpose for you? What would you like to accomplish before you get married and start a family? By remembering what season of life you’re in, you’ll be more inclined to wait to awaken love, knowing that at the right time, you’ll enter that season with maturity and peace.”

4. Encourage Them to Have No Regrets

When young people awaken love before its time, it almost always leads to hurt and shame. Discuss this reality with your teen and encourage them to have no regrets.

One idea is to talk to your teen about about their wedding day. Ask them to picture that special day, what kind of dress she’d like to wear or what kind of wife he hopes will be standing at the end of the aisle.

Then, point out how wonderful it will be for them to say their marriage vows without regret. By not awakening love before its time, they’ll have an amazing sense of joy the day she says, “I do.”

Here’s a conversation starter that might help:

“Can you imagine what it will be like to walk down the aisle on your wedding day? Now imagine looking your husband/wife in the eyes knowing you made the decision to wait to awaken love. What a precious gift that would be! I want nothing more than for you to follow the Lord and live without regret. But if you already have regrets, please know that the Lord is faithful to forgive. You can go to Him with anything and know that He is able to restore what was lost. God is there for you no matter what, and so am I.”

More Resources to help:

How To Talk To Your Daughter About Sexual Purity

Purity And Your Teen

Don’t Awaken Love Too Early

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Ryan McVay

Jennifer WaddleJennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayerand is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesnt Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.