BELIEVING THAT True Love Waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
When I signed my name to the True Love Waits pledge at the age of 13, I joined millions in publicly committing myself to purity. After being introduced to a new attitude towards dating and relationships, I made the decision not to engage in typical dating by giving my heart or my body to one guy after another. Instead, I was going save myself—all of myself— for my future husband. But actually, it didn't start out the way some think it did.
In the beginning, I simply thought the notion of saving everything, including my first kiss, for my wedding day was the most romantic thing I had ever heard. Later, as opportunities to be like everyone else were presented, I had to reevaluate my reasons.
Why did I want to save everything for marriage?
Was my virginity not enough?
I spent much time in prayer and a lot of time watching my peers. Some had no problem signing abstinence cards, then becoming intimate with their current boyfriend or girlfriend; giving themselves to one person after another. Others held on to their virginity by a mere shred, but offered up their bodies to be looked at and played with like some trinket from a toy store. The more I watched, the more I realized that I didn't want to save just my virginity, because it didn't mean much in light of all the hypocrisy in the lives of those around me. I wanted to give my husband more. I wanted to honor the Lord, not by only saving sex for marriage, but saving intimacy for marriage. No longer was it merely a romantic ideal, it became a deep yearning to surrender everything and give my all to the One who loved me most and gave all for me.
It’s no secret that humans like being in control. We want to have a say so when it comes to our life because we enjoy comfort and the security of being at the wheel. Sometimes we would rather follow a list of guidelines that sound moral and ethical and ask for God’s blessings, than to fully surrender our entire lives to His leading.
Let me make something clear. I do not think it is wrong to kiss before marriage. Nor do I believe that those who do not kiss before marriage are somehow superior and more holy. However, I do believe it is wise and honorable to save every intimate touch for marriage and, yes, that includes a kiss.
Science has proven that kissing both begins and increases arousal in the body. In the Bible, Peter exhorted the Christians to abstain from (meaning: to run from) fleshly lusts. Paul commanded us to abstain, not just from the lust of the flesh, but from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), also stating that it is better to hurry and marry than to burn with lust (1 Corinthians 7:9). So if a kiss can easily bring on a sensual awakening, would it not be wise to avoid such tempting situations altogether?
That's a question for you to take to the throne yourself. But keep in mind that a decision or conviction that is made for any reason other than to glorify Jesus Christ won’t hold up when you are in a situation that offers up every possible cause to change your mind. We can have good motives for pursuing an above-the-average life of purity, but we must always, always, always make certain that our reasons are rooted in righteousness and in a desire to be more like Christ, not for the sake of our own arrogance or pride. We can sacrifice all we want, but it is obedience that God commands and desires of us. It is His holy name that He wants to be magnified.
Is kissing before marriage is a sin? No. But I greatly encourage those who are unmarried to be careful and wise when it comes to intimacy, sexuality, and pleasure because the flames burn hot and what we sow, we will reap. In the words of Elisabeth Elliot, "A good and perfect gift, these natural desires. But so much the more necessary that they be controlled... that they might be reborn in power and purity for God."