"I now pronounce you man and wife," the pastor and father said, a smile on his face. Then he turned to look at the groom, "Andrew, you may now kiss my daughter."
To the surprise of all, the young couple turned away from each other as the maid of honor and the best man each squirted a few sprays of breath freshener into the bride and groom's mouths. Laughter rippled through the guests.
The couple turned back to face each other. Lifting the veil that had covered the bride's face for the entire ceremony, the new husband put his hand around his young wife's waist.
She smiled and nodded quickly in reply. Leaning forward, their lips met and the young man swept her into his arms, dipping her down and holding her tightly and tenderly as they kissed.
For the first time ever.
A long time before I ever met Andrew- prior to any thoughts of courtship, engagement, and marriage- I had pledged to save my first kiss for my wedding day. I was about ten when my mom first read the book "The Princess and the Kiss" to me and I was touched. I decided, then and there, that I wouldn't kiss anyone until my wedding day. On my twelfth birthday my parents, dressed up as a king and queen, presented me with a simple tiara and a very special ring. My Purity Ring. Dad and Mom asked me if I was willing to keep myself pure as a young woman, leaning on my father for protection and my mother for guidance. I agreed.
I can honestly say that it is only through the amazing love of my Lord that I remained physically pure through my teen years. Our culture is SO saturated with impurity that it is the norm nowadays for young girls to have their first sexual experiences before they finish highschool and, if not by then, certainly before college is complete.
It was hard at times for me. Not so much the not kissing part. Through highschool I never cared about any young man I met to the extent of truly struggling with the temptation to kiss him. I'll admit, I had crushes, but my convictions were strong enough that the thought I might lose control and kiss some guy I knew was rediculous to me. I don't mean this to sound like I didn't have temptations in my life, I am so far from perfect, but the Holy Spirit was working strongly in this area of my life all through my teen years so it wasn't as much of an issue as it could have been.
The really hard part for me was how alone I was. All of the young women I was friends with held to the conviction of remaining a virgin before marriage, but not many (if any I was in constant contact with) shared the desire to save their first kiss for their husband. Some thought it was okay to kiss while dating, some while engaged... some girls expressed fears of pressure from their future boyfriends, awkwardness at the alter, or that abstaining would be too great a temptation to bear.
This is what I am writing this post about: the excuses, the fears, and the TRUTH of it.
From a girl who waited and has experienced her first kiss on her wedding day.
Please know that I am not condemning people who don't agree with me. I merely wish to encourage people who do agree with me, simply because there is so much speculation out there and essays written by single girls on this subject and I want to bring a different perspective to this issue.
For those of you who either haven't thought about this before or haven't been inclined to agree with this, I merely asked that you read this with an open mind and heart, then ask God what He would have you do. :-)
Okay... to make things simple, I'll try to tackle the biggest excuses and fears I've heard on the subject of saving your first kiss in little sections. We'll start with three excuses I've heard many times. And if you've ever thought these things, don't feel like I'm attacking you, so did I at different points.
It's just a little kiss. What harm can it do? Why shouldn't I be able to kiss my boyfriend (or significant-other name of choice)?
Okay. A big debate I've seen over and over on many blogs (written by single gals who mean SO well, but don't know from experience) is how important and effective is a kiss? As a married gal who kisses her husband, I can attest to the fact that kisses can be powerful. Not every single peck sweeps you off your feet, but little kisses lead to more kissing very quickly.
So, to sum it up briefly, a little kiss can be dangerous. And please don't think you are some exception to the rule with a surplus of self-control.
We're engaged, okay?! We're getting married anyway! We should be allowed to kiss. I just don't think I can wait.
Heard this one many times. More than any others. Many couples decide to do this and still remain pure in every other physical way till marriage; I've seen it done.
My largest concern is how easy it is to convince yourself in this situation that kissing isn't an issue. For one, there shouldn't be much difference between dating and engagement as to what is appropriate physically. You aren't any more married after engagement then you were before. First of all, the temptations are still there to do more than kiss sinply because the act of kissing is a large part of the act of completely giving yourself to another person. It connects you physically. Not to the greatest extent, but still quite intimately.
You also have to keep in mind that not every engaged couple gets married. Please know that I'm not in any way telling you to live in the fear of "what if things don't work out?!"... but also keep in mind that if God was to lead you out of a relationship, you should desire to leave without having given anything to this man that should only belong to your husband and with no guilt or regrets.
Not that we were the ideal couple and everyone should do exactly what we did... but I'll just give you some examples of restriction Andrew and I placed on ourselves.
Prior to engagement: Pretty much nothing "clingy". We really focused on just sitting with each other and talking, taking walks, and doing things together. We didn't hold hands or wrap our arms around each other.
Between engagement and marriage: We hugged then and began holding hands. Still were careful not to be "all over" each other.
Marriage: Complete freedom!
It's pretty crazy to ask people to wait to kiss before marriage! No one waits to kiss anymore.
No, its not crazy except to people who don't put a high value on their own bodies and purity (which is very common in this society). And yes, there ARE people who wait to kiss until their wedding day! I know it isn't common, but I did and have several friends that did! If you feel God convicting you to abstain completely from any kind of sexual acts (I strongly hold to that including kissing), you are not alone and have no reason to feel insecure or weird about your decision.
Okay... so these are the main three excuses I have heard. Another thing I've come across is young ladies who want to save themselves, but have fears that make them uncertain. Here are three of the greatest fears I have seen expressed and debated about.
What if my future boyfriend wants to kiss before marriage?
Okay. I hear this a lot. And each time I can't help but shake my head. If you have already committed to save yourself for marriage, then why would you desire to be in a relationship with someone who does not share the same conviction?
I wondered at times if I would ever meet a young man who felt the same way I did about purity. I'd read books with beautiful courtship stories where the guy and girl met and lived happily ever after, but that only seemed to happen to girls who had written books or knew a lot more people than I did!
Guess what? God is not limited EVER by how many people we know, whether we go to college or not, how much we travel, how "restrictive" our convictions are... whatever you think might make it harder for there to be a man out there for you. If the Lord desires you to marry, then there is nothing you can do or fail to do to make it happen. He will bring it about in His timing and He can also bring someone who would never ask you to do something that you feel convicted not to do. More then that, He can bring someone who shares and treasures that conviction.
What if I mess up? Temptation is out there, you know. If I'm in love, it chould get so hard.
Yes, there is always the chance you could mess up. Even strong Christians are still sinners. The biggest problem comes when we start to think that we are "in control" of ourselves and let our guard down. The greatest way to quell this fear is to never allow pride to get the better of you. You can be confident in Christ and the strength He provides, but also remember that you are human and are prone to moments of weakness.
If you do mess up or have already, there is forgiveness and soul-renewing in the love and grace of God.
Honestly though, fear of failing is never the right reason to not try. God will provide the strength you need. Remain humble, knowing your heart and weakness, then trust Him with the outcome.
Another great way to help in those moments of weakness is not permitting yourself to be in situations where you would be able to compromise. If you are talking together in a room by yourselves, keep the door open. It's that easy!
Seriously, who wants to kiss for the first time in front of a bunch of people? What if we do wait and our first kiss is so awkward? Plus, we'd be going from nothing to everything in one day physically! That just sounds hard.
I've heard and read this fear expressed more than any other! My nerves were a bit shaky on my wedding day.
Before marriage, I had heard many opinions about the pros and cons of waiting. I took a chance though and trusted God that He would bring peace and make that first day something beautiful.
I've been to weddings when the bride and groom kissed for the first time at the alter... it has never looked awkward.
I waited till my wedding day for my first kiss with Andrew and guests said that we looked "experienced", not embarressed or awkward. :-P
The best way to describe our first kiss and how it felt is "new". It truly just felt new! Just like many other things, it took a little getting used to after not being allowed to do it for a while. But it is also one of those things that comes naturally and there isn't any reason to be nervous.
And it is true. Remaining completely pure physically prior to your wedding day means a lot of new experiences all in one day. But you have freedom in marriage. Freedom to do what you want and ALSO freedom to take things at your own pace. The intimacy included in marriage is a beautiful thing. It doesn't have to be anything complicated or a source of worry.
Okay... there it is in black and white. Nothing complicated, dramatic, or baffling. :-) I know everyone is different, but I have been feeling a strong urge to share my heart and experience when it came to purity and, more specifically, waiting for my first kiss.
Purity is a beautiful thing prior to marriage and the benefits of saving yourself for your spouse are incredible AFTER marriage. Andrew and I have talked about it and are so thankful that we have only experienced any form of physical intimacy exclusively with each other.
It is so sacred.
So worth it.