kissing kissing Goodbye. 17 comments

It was a cold, snowy morning as the retreat began. The priest opened in prayer and then asked if anyone wanted to go to confession. Without so much as a second thought or a chance for my heart to beat, I raised my hand and followed him excitedly to the make-shift confessional. I sat down as he began the prayers and the routine I’ve come to know so well. “Bless my Father, for I have sinned…yet again.” I know how this routine goes, it is the same old sin that I’m so tired of confessing but enjoy so much in the moment. “Yes, Father, I pushed the lines of purity with that guy I was dating, past tense. And I feel like crap about it.” In my head I just wanted to hear those words of forgiveness so that I could leave the confessional and move on with my life…and probably fall prey to the same old sins. Clearly, God had something else in store for me that day.

That was a confession unlike any other. A confession so amazing, so powerful, so life changing, that I came right out of the confessional, grabbed my phone and tweeted: “CONFESSION!! There is nothing so powerful as coming face to face with your sins before Christ and encountering His mercy.” I walked into that make-shift confessional seeking forgiveness because I knew that’s where I find it. I wanted to hear the words and move on. I left that confessional a changed and freed woman, in more ways than I realized…

Ever since that cold April morning I’ve looked back on that confession with joy and hope. I knew that I’d been freed and that God used that priest to challenge my way of thinking. That confession is one of those moments I think I’ll look back on ten years from now and still marvel at what God started, even though all I was seeking was the same forgiveness I’d come to take advantage of.

I walked in, sat down and confessed my laundry list of sins to the priest. Thanks be to God the priest zeroed in on the sin I was actually the most annoyed about. It kept happening. Those lines of purity get blurry when the passions get engaged. But what’s a girl to do with a guy that cute? The priest challenged me, he called me out on the mat and let me answer for myself. He asked me what my goal was with kissing. Every created thing under the sun has a purpose, so what was mine in kissing these gents? How far was I taking these kisses? Perhaps even more pointedly, he asked me even if I wasn’t being turned on by these kisses, was I really naïve enough to think that they weren’t being turned on by my kisses? A holy slap in the face and I was forever changed.

I left that confessional a changed woman. I resolved that day to change the way I looked at kissing, and determined that I needed to hold off on kissing in my next relationship. After all, I want my kisses to mean something, to say something profound and real, not just something fleeting and habitual. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy kissing just as much as the next girl, so this was a radical place to be, but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was leading me here. So I took it to prayer and asked God how long I should delay kissing for in my next relationship. A month? A year? Until we got engaged? Married? I prayed and had no real answer…

kissing kissing goodbyeIn a beautiful gift that came from God, one night I had my answer. No kissing until marriage. To some, perhaps even most, that sounds crazy. Believe you me, I was in that camp for a long, long time. How could someone date someone else and not kiss? The idea just sounded preposterous…until it didn’t. What started from a place of fear (of crossing the line yet again and needing to confess that same stupid sin one more time) ended up in a place of beauty. There is still an element of chastity to it, but it has grown to more, this not kissing thing. It has become a breath of fresh air after feeling like I’ve been drowning, a drink of cool water as I’m nearing the point of death on the desert floor. Not kissing is like coming home to the realization that it is possible to fall for someone for who they are, not merely the way their kisses make me feel. You see, pushing those lines and testing those boundaries left me insecure and even ashamed. Not kissing leaves me more at peace and doesn’t lead me to make my home in the confessional. Not kissing elevates each little brush of the arm, or hand-holding in a crowded room. Each touch, each glance means more. In some sense I imagine it is like being blind – your other senses are heightened and more focused. When it comes to dating, my heart, my head, and my prayers are more intentional than ever before. Instead of fearing for a sense of chastity, I’m freer and more able to trust my heart to God, rather than try to take control of relationships and hold on because some line has been crossed.

I left the confessional that day freed from my sin. I sit here today more secure than I’ve perhaps ever been. There are far less lines to be blurred (because even when you aren’t kissing, there are still physical temptations), and far more freedom and holy, intellectual conversations to be enjoyed. I can relax and laugh with far less sense of dread that the shame and the sin will come to haunt me. Not kissing opens up doors and freedom within a relationship to truly get to know someone without being as clouded by raging passions.

Not kissing is a choice, and it is a difficult one. I look at engagement pictures of my friends and realize that I won’t have those cute kissing pictures with my fiancé someday. Heck, maybe our first kiss on our wedding day will look awkward as all get out. But at the end of the day, I don’t really care about the pictures. I care about the man who will stand next to me, who will share that kiss with me before God and our families, and who will stand beside me for the rest of my life. I care about dying to my own desire for kissing and rising to God’s plan (which is far deeper and bigger than mine) for true and lasting love. I care about freedom, about meaning every single kiss. I care about loving in imitation of Christ’s love, by laying down my own desires for the good of my spouse…and everyone else that may come before him. The reality is that if I’m not willing to say I love you with my words and actions (as holy and pure as they can be) and mean it, then I have no business saying I love you with my kisses. I care about love, true, faithful, passionate, holy love.

*I, in no way, shape, or form write this to tell you that kissing before marriage is a horrible idea or that it will always lead to sin. I write this because the freedom and the joy that I’ve found in not kissing is something to share…and maybe make you think!

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17 thoughts on “kissing kissing Goodbye.

  • Celeste

    Amanda, thank you so much for your honest sharing and for your courag to open up about a matter that is very sensitive. I am living a chaste relationship with a wonderful man in Christ. It was his initial proposal to “fast” even the kiss, and this is something that has allowed our relationship with the Lord and our faith to blossom. It has also increased our understanding of the call to chastity and what truly loving each other means. It has helped me attain a purity of heart that I did not previously experience. I eagery await the day when I kiss him as his spouse!

    Keep up the work. You are God’s beloved daughter! +JMJ

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      Thank YOU so much for sharing your experience! Already in my own experience I’m seeing how fasting from kissing allows other aspects of the relationship for blossom, as you mentioned. I think that by holding off on kissing it allows us (meaning people in general) to understand love differently, and perhaps more sacrificially than before. I will keep you and your relationship in my prayers! =)

  • maud

    You are expressing my exact feelings. I’ve kissed one guy before, and because nothing ever happened between us romantically, it feels a little wasted. I think I may just wait for marriage too. I’m glad you hit the point about going too far. Most people don’t think about that.

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      It took me a while to realize how wasted some of my kisses have been. I’ve always talked about wanting to mean them, but I haven’t always put that into practice. Good job in reflecting on your experiences and being open to what God is showing you!

  • Hannah

    From a married person’s perspective, even I appreciate this – I have always been uncomfortable expressing any physical intimacy towards my husband, such as kissing, because I always felt it was a gift for him and not for anyone else to be a part of. When we dated, we kissed and as you put it “pushed the boundaries”, and you are right – there is a sense of shame in it, even now looking back, and we are high school sweethearts with ten years under our belts! Intimacy is a beautiful gift when shared with your husband, but it alone does not prepare two hearts for marriage. After all, as years go on, intimacy may mean different things in a marriage, but a sense of friendship and kinship in faith will transcend any stolen kisses.

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      Thank you so much for sharing! I agree that a sense of shame can come about and that is something to keep far away from a relationship for so many reasons! You are exactly right that intimacy alone does not (and cannot) prepare two hearts for marriage, the foundation of friendship and communication and faith lays a solid and lasting foundation far more than stolen kisses ever will!

      p.s. Has it already been 10 years?! It feels like yesterday!

  • Laura

    Ah, this was good! I’ve been thinking about this for some time….I’m 19 and have never dated or kissed any guy. I’ve been going back and forth about committing to this. You’ve got me thinking about it again, and I’m excited to commit myself to saving every last bit of myself for my husband to be 🙂

  • trinichiqn55

    That is actually something that has been on my heart for a while. I dated my last boyfriend for 8 months and we didn’t kiss, although I had that time and enjoyed it, I still kept telling myself that I would see how it goes but have never made any real commitment to it. Although I have gone around kissing any boys I’ve been very nervous, scared, worried about saying the next guy I’m going to kiss is my husband on our wedding day because I really have no moral problem with kissing.
    Thank you for writing this.

    • Amanda @ worthy of Agape

      I completely understand seeing how it goes! I tend to be the kind of person who likes and appreciates rules and boundaries, but until I got my answer that night, I just let God do the leading and tried to follow as best I could!

      I don’t have a moral problem with kissing, and I recognize that this is a very personal choice. Like I said in the post, this isn’t something I ever really imagined for myself, but I’m actually really excited about it (and I believe that my future husband will be to…or else he’ll have to get over it!) =)