not kissing: then and Now.

not kissing then and nowIt is funny sometimes how time really can change everything. When I first wrote “kissing kissing Goodbye.” the response on the blog was overwhelmingly positive. Honestly, I was surprised that so many people were so affirming of my (which was really our) choice not to kiss until marriage.

The other comments, the ones I was expecting (and some I was not) came largely in real life.

Really? That’s weird.
No kissing? Like at all? Not even on the cheek? I could *never* do that.
Who even does that? Crazy people, that’s who.
What are you, some religious fanatic? Amish?
Are you like one of those Duggar kids who can’t go on dates without a chaperone?
You do realize this is the 21st century, right?
Can’t you handle kissing each other? What is your problem?

I could go on, but I think you get the gist. Dating and not kissing was hard. Being engaged and not kissing is harder. But it is also beautiful, and I could not be more excited for the fact that our first kiss ever will be as husband and wife. There’s something unbelievably beautiful about the sacrifice it has taken to get here, and that sacrifice carries over into our marriage and the ways we already know the other is willing and able to sacrifice.

As I’ve been reflecting on the not kissing thing, I’ve come to realize there has been a big switch in what people say to us now that we are engaged. Maybe they keep their other comments to themselves, but now the overwhelming response that I/we get when people find out we have yet to kiss is something along the lines of:

That is SO beautiful!
What a testament of true love!
How wonderful that is, and what a gift that will be to share!
I’m so excited I get to come to your wedding and be a part of such a special moment in your lives!
What a rare and beautiful gift you can give each other!
Your choice not to kiss shows a real, lasting commitment to honor, love, and to respect each other.

I’m not saying these things to toot our own horns, but to make a point. The point is this: make a decision (i.e. no kissing/no sex before marriage, no cohabitating before marriage, graduate college early, etc.) and people will call you crazy, tell you how weird you are, and all other kinds of things. But when you stick it out, when you hold to your guns and you stand for something, especially despite the criticisms, people will slowly but surely back off. In some cases they may respect you more. In other cases, they’ll applaud your efforts – even if they were the ones mocking you in the first place. In this world of “if it feels good, do it,” I believe people are actually desperate for something firm, something solid to stake their lives on.

People may mock you when you start out, but chances are that if you stand for something, in the end, you’ll be surprised at how people’s attitudes can change. I could have given in and sided with the people who thought I/we were weird. But as the days until the wedding dwindle down, I’m even more grateful that we’ve saved our first kiss. I’m grateful that somehow people are inspired by our story. But most of all, I’m grateful for the God who gives me something to stand for, so that I don’t fall for anything.

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