Never Been Kissed

I want to become more open/serious in my blogging. Maybe this will backfire. Maybe it won’t last. But at any rate, here it is.

There’s a variety of responses I’ve gotten when I tell people I’ve never kissed anyone and I don’t plan on it until I’m sure I’m with the person I’m going to marry. I used to be scared of those responses, but now I’ve realized it’s often quite entertaining.

Some people quickly attribute it to my homeschool background. I’ll admit this probably had something to do with it, but I haven’t been homeschooled for about six years now, so that explanation has pretty much lost all validity. Also, this has less to do with people blaming my circumstances (“this just kind of happened because of how you grew up”) and more to do with them just slapping a quick judgment on me, relegating me to the ranks of Amish people who wear skirts and head coverings and never even hold hands until they’re married. Not that that’s a bad thing – we should probably all take some lessons from the über-conservatives – but 98% of the time, the people who say this think it is a bad thing.

Others think it’s a really good thing. This response has occurred more since I’ve moved out and met more of a variety of people. These people are typically either just more mature and realize how emotionally damaging physical touch can potentially be in a relationship, or they’re legalists who think it’s a sin to kiss before you’re married. I’ve been on both sides of this argument myself, which I’ll explain shortly.

Still others think it’s ridiculous. They either think I’m judging them for what they’ve done and immediately get defensive, or they think they can convince me otherwise, like no one I’ve met in the 22 years I’ve lived could until this very moment. One guy in particular told me it was selfish to expect a guy to wait to kiss me until we were engaged. This made me sad at first, but later I realized he had ulterior motives. (And this is one big reason why I’m currently not dating him.)

None of these responses explain my current personal reasoning behind this, although some of them come close. There is a longer and more complicated explanation than me wanting to be a good Christian or just not having an opportunity.

God has protected my heart in a lot of amazing ways when it comes to guys, and that’s a whole different story for another time. But when I was about 11, my mom made me read I Kissed Dating Good-bye by Joshua Harris. Nowadays, I don’t necessarily agree with everything in that book, but I believe God used it at that time to make me decide I wouldn’t date in high school. I realized it was pretty much a waste of time because that book made me realize I wanted dating to be a precursor to marriage, not just a fun thing to do. And if I couldn’t get married until I was closer to college age, why date around in high school?

So because of that, I never dated anybody in high school. That was definitely a blessing solely from the Lord, because on my own, I would’ve never done that. Because I never dated anyone or talked seriously to any boys until I was older, I was never in a place where I would even come close to kissing anybody, even after I graduated. And the few times  I could have gone there, God stopped it in its tracks despite my insistence that it should keep going. Then, afterwards, I was so glad he did it even though I protested.

Throughout the high school years, I was able to objectively observe my friends in their relationships. None of them were glad they had been in a serious relationship or kissed anyone after they broke up, so I concluded I was the most righteous one in the group.  So. I happily marched into the legalist camp when I went to college. Kissing before marriage was wrong, I decided, as was dating around. I would wait until I was at the altar to kiss anybody, and then when I realized about how awkward I tend to make things, I changed it to after I get engaged so I wouldn’t have the added pressure of all my friends and family watching. I was sure that I was better than most people because of this.  Because I believed in “courting.”

However, this is not in the Bible. And this attitude made me judge other Christians who did kiss before marriage, which is just sinful on my part. And I guess you could say what I want now is still, technically, “courting,” but I think of it more as a more mature approach to dating. I date someone because I think I might want to marry him, not necessarily just because I like him. I just used “courting” as a word to make myself seem holier than I really was back in the day.

Before my conservative friends accuse me of being too liberal, let me clarify: I do think that kissing every person you date is a bad idea. Second Timothy 2:22 has been a very influential verse in my life: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Fleeing youthful passions is a vague commandment, and it looks different to different people, but I’m pretty sure no matter what your personal convictions are, kissing every single guy (or girl, if you’re a guy) you like isn’t a good way to flee, like this verse says.

Through actually reading the Bible and understanding sin more, I realized this “I’m-holy-because-I-haven’t-kissed-anybody-and-don’t-date-around” was bad. I can’t claim to have the right answer on something if it’s not explicitly commanded in the Bible. Maybe I believe I have the best answer to dating, but I can’t let that affect how I view others unless they’re clearly in biblical sin. I can give them my opinion, and I think my opinion can be backed up biblically, but ultimately I can’t think I’m better than anybody else because of what I do. Because I’m most definitely not. (See Romans 3:23, if you’re interested.)

Also, my attitude changed as I got older and saw my friends get in real relationships that ended in marriage rather than a tearful high school breakup or a sterling silver promise ring with no real commitment.  Then I realized that maybe that guy with ulterior motives who told me I was stupid to wait might have been right, in a way. Maybe being absolutely determined that I would wait until I was at the altar or engaged to kiss was a little silly.

Don’t get the wrong idea, though. I still want to wait, because of what 2 Timothy 2:22 and other similar verses say. Also, since I’ve waited this long, I want my first kiss to be special, and preferably with my husband. But I no longer have an absolute timetable, because I’ve seen how much relationships are about compromise – not compromising things God explicitly says are wrong, but compromising on personal preferences. Watching my friends get married has taught me love isn’t all romantic and fancy and a dream come true. It takes work, and part of that work is willingness to compromise.

So my current view goes like this: I haven’t kissed anybody because the Lord has guarded my heart for reasons I don’t exactly understand, and I want to wait until I’m pretty sure I’m with the person I want to marry. However, I don’t think kissing (or dating around, for that matter) in and of itself is wrong. It’s all about motives. And if the person I marry wants to kiss after getting engaged, that’s fine, although much before that would be pushing it. Or if he wants to wait til we’re at the altar, that’s also fine (although I’d prefer not to. I would be so incredibly awkward in that situation). I just don’t want regrets, in this area especially, because it affects more than just me. It affects my future husband, my future children, and the friends and family who watch my life now.

Maybe I’ll change. I know I’m not wise on my own, and God changes my mind all the time. But I definitely want to wait on God and my future husband for my first kiss. If that means I never kiss anyone because I never get married, fine. But I’m confident that no matter what, I’ll never look back on my lack of experience and think, “Wow, I wish I had dated and kissed more guys.” I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that their grandpa was my first kiss, and he was worth waiting for.