Good afternoon, all.
So some of you may already know this, but:
Jason & I shared our first kiss on our wedding day.
It was one of the most life-giving decisions we’ve made in our relationship, and one that we get a lot of questions about.
Recently, a friend told me about a young couple that was thinking about the same goal, but they had a lot of questions and some doubts. She asked if I would write them a letter, speaking on our experience and how we approached the whole thing.
Here’s that letter. Maybe it’ll serve you or someone you know.
To all my sisters (and brothers!) out there,
It wasn’t that long ago that my husband (Jason) and I were flirting freshmen in college. I remember that season of our dating life very well; it was fun, and also challenging.
Our relationship was already counter-culture in that we weren’t in it soley for ourselves, but for God. I had tried the “dating for fun” in high school, and it almost always ended in heartache, at least on one end or the other. It wasn’t that I had been deliberately trying to do the whole dating thing apart from God. I just didn’t understand how my romantic life glorified God. But through caring role models, research, and lots of prayer, God taught me some very valuable things about this important aspect of my life.
I realize now that I had always tried to just “obey” God in my dating relationships. It was “okay” with God as long as I wasn’t having sex, right?
God taught me that dating (and marriage!) is so much more than that. He created marriage to be a symbol of Jesus and his church. (Check out Ephesians 5). It’s a witness, a testimony to that relationship. Wow!
Paul also says that marriage is a gift. A gift that will teach you so much. It’ll teach you how selfesh we are by nature, how to love sacrificially, how to extend grace, and receive it… All things that will ultimately grow your relationship with Jesus. Yes, marriage is a joy, but that is just one small piece of the puzzle of God’s master plan for marriage. He ultimately gives the gift of marriage because it will draw you closer to Him, and that brings Him glory.
I remember Jason and I learning these things together, and God opening our eyes to His purpose for us. I remember the day Jason shared with me that his next kiss was going to be for his wife. I was blown away by his heart for not only God, but for his future spouse, and I resolved to do the same.
This decision was one of the wisest, most life-giving decisions for our relationship, and I’ll tell you why:
1. Although we intended to marry each other and felt God was calling us towards each other… until the day we said “I do,” we did not yet fully belong to each other. It was my job to guard my heart and Jason’s job to help protect it during our entire dating and engagement relationship because what God gives, He can take away. We knew to hold each others’ hearts with open hands. Had Jason not ended up being the man I married, I would have been able to look his wife in the eyes someday knowing that I did not take anything from Jason that rightly belonged to her. That was important to me, as it was to Jason, for him to be able to shake my husband’s hand knowing that he had guarded my heart and saved my body–and my lips–for him alone.
2. Not kissing was not easy, but God blessed it. Our dating relationship was so rich, and we grew in ways we never would have otherwise. We learned to tremendously rely on the Spirit, to constantly lift it up in prayer, and the importance of accountability partners… because we would not have been able to do it without those things. And such things continue to help us in our marriage and faith relationship today.
I should point out: we don’t think kissing before marriage is wrong/sin. We just saw it as a way to love each other, love our future spouses, and love our God. For us it served as a boundary. Boundaries, like the yellow lines in the middle of the road, serve to guide you. They’re not fool-proof, (that yellow line does nothing to stop a car from crossing it into oncoming traffic), but they help you stay the course. That is what waiting to kiss did for us: it guided us on our course towards a righteous and God-glorifying dating and marriage relationship.
Lastly, I’d like to mention that we didn’t always have these convictions. Jason, having not given his life to Christ until his freshman year in college, had already given everything he had to a girl he “loved” in high school. He can tell you the devastating consequences this had on himself and his relationships after high school. Sex, created by God for husband and wife, is part of the cement that binds a marriage together. It is a wonderful and beautiful thing…when in the context it was created for. There’s a reason Paul tells us to flee sexual immorality, that it is the only sin that is against one’s own body, (1 Cor 6:18). That’s why it is so scarring and painful.
It was a process, but by God’s grace Jason was able to seek forgiveness from the women of his past (by writing them letters), start over with a clean slate, and spiritually lead his girlfriend (and eventually his wife!) into holiness. And amen to that!
So I encourage you: it is possible! No matter your past or what people may tell you, you can save your next kiss for your spouse. And I promise, you’ll never wake up one day and say, “I wish we hadn’t waited.”
Godspeed and happy kissing,
I love this story, I’m happy and blessed to be around as it was unfolding too. Jason cemented his studliness and godliness with those letters he wrote. I don’t know anyone else in my life who did that! Thanks for sharing!
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This was something I needed to very much read Stephanie thank you so much for writing this !