Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saving My Kisses

My sister Beth called me the other night to tell me a TV show she watched made her think of me. TLC runs a program about a real life family of 19: "17 Kids and Counting." The Duggars are devout Christians who have invited the network to share their life with the world. The episode my sister saw recently highlighted the eldest Duggar son's engagement to his girlfriend - and their decision to save not only sex but also kissing for their wedding day. The Duggar parents have encouraged all of their children in this idea and those of dating age shared how they have embraced it.

This made Beth think of me because of my own decision not to kiss anyone but my future husband.

"So, now you know I'm not the only weird one," I said.

"Right!" she replied. :)

I didn't really date in high school (I was too busy with academics and athletics). By the end of my freshman year of college I had committed myself to honoring God in my relationships - for me, this meant I desired a chaste and holy courtship. This fuzzy ideal became a concrete reality days before my 21st birthday, when I began my first courtship. Deo gratias, my first boyfriend had been raised in a devout Catholic home where respect for God and for women was taught and modeled on a daily basis. He told me that he had decided to save kissing for engagement and, though the concept was fairly new to me, I agreed. He modeled purity throughout our courtship and I learned the practical side of chastity. Even though our courtship ended after 11 months with a discernment of "no, God is not calling us to marry each other," I am incredibly grateful for all that I learned from that brother in Christ, including the art of patient passion.

Two courtships later, I (finally!) discerned a "yes, God IS calling us to marry each other" with David and we got engaged - and shared our first kiss. I was 25-years-old, terribly awkward, and terribly (in the good way) excited. What a mysterious gift!

I share all this to encourage any singles who are considering what boundaries to set on their physical intimacy within courtship: you will not regret saving kissing for engagement or even marriage. I also encourage all you parents to suggest this idea to your children - and pray for them to experience (or, for the boys, lead) chaste and holy courtships.

3 comments:

*carrie* said...

Frances,

Thanks for sharing your experience and for encouraging others to consider this decision.

I've heard of that show but never seen it.

Greenup Family Blog said...

Hey Frances! Thanks for visiting our blog. Hey I was reading some of your blogposts and just wanted to share a few thoughts. I learned about the Bradley method and a friend of mine did her childbirth classes that way as well. One thing I caution you is not to feel guilty if you decide you need medicine to help you through giving birth. You will not kill your baby like some people might say and your have not failed, but that method does have some good ideas about birthing. It's definitely a one of a kind experience (thankgoodness!). God bless, Heidi

Shannon said...

thanks for sharing, Frances! How wonderfully romantic, prayerful, and special. Thanks!