In a quick Google search, it's estimated that only about 18% of people save their first kiss for marriage. Concluding the number of weird looks Ben and I received leading up to our marriage, I suspect that number is even lower.
In a quick Google search, it's estimated that only about 18% of people save their first kiss for marriage. Concluding the number of weird looks Ben and I received leading up to our marriage, I suspect that number is even lower. As a teenager, I never went on a date. Partially because no one ever asked me out. Partly because I probably wasn't ready, and the Lord knew best. I always prayed to date and marry one person. When Ben and I met, we weren't a "love at first glance" couple. He loved Information Technology and video games. I loved to dance and all things aesthetic. He could be seen on the embarrassingly funny and nerdy ads for the college help desk, while I could run the trails and recruit dancers for my team. Before Ben knew what hit him, he was my dance partner. And before I knew what hit me, I was going on my first date with a guy I never thought about dating but whom I would eventually marry.
Five years later, on July 3rd, 2023, Ben and I got married. And on that day, we had our very first kiss. I think the people in the crowd were more anxious and excited than us at that moment! Nevertheless, saving that part of ourselves and the rest of our bodies was worth it, and I would love to share with you three benefits or reasons why.
1. Saving your first kiss until marriage allows you to focus on friendship.
Flashback to 2017. The month was August, and the foyer of Ohio Christian University grew humid. Attempting to recruit dancers for my dance team, a friend I'd met the year before brought Ben to my table. "Are you interested in joining Movements From the Heart?" I asked confidently. His gaze barely met my vision. But before I could say anymore, he was gone. "That's just Ben," my friend consoled. He can be a bit shy. That's okay, I thought. "You can meet him later," she offered, filling the empty and awkward spaces with her voice. Less than a year later, I searched the university for mission trip companions. I never imagined meeting Ben yet again, but here I was, asking, "Have we met before? Aren't you the guy who ran away from my dance table?" In the blink of an eye, Ben and I clicked. I'd surrendered my desire to be in a relationship with God, and Ben wasn't looking for anything now. We're safe, I thought. Little did I realize God was in control.
Flash forward to July 2018. Ben and I had been "talking" for a month, and by "talking," I mean sending books of texts to each other every day. I'd never been pursued before, but I knew something about this was right. We decided to date but broke up in September because we couldn't get along. On paper, he was the perfect match. I didn't understand and was devastated. I even wrote a journal entry telling God I was sorry for praying to meet and marry one man and save my first kiss until marriage because it was stupid. But dear reader, please know that's not true if this is you. It's not impossible, and those dreams certainly aren't stupid. God hears you, and they can come true.
Over the next few months, Ben and I remained in touch. He was in my dance group, but more than that, we began to foster friendship. Something we both missed the first time around. And as the laughter grew, so did the chemistry. By December 2018, we knew it was time to define the relationship and began dating again. Because Ben and I decided to save our first kiss until marriage, it helped us continually focus on our relationship's friendship. While yes, there were many, many, many times we wanted to break that rule, holding off forced us to focus on what we would need every day for the rest of our lives: friendship. And that's something we still believe to this day was worth it.
2. Saving your first kiss until marriage builds self-control and respect.
I want to congratulate you if you've decided to save your first kiss until marriage, like Ben and I. It's such a beautiful and God-honoring thing to do. However, I do want to note that it's certainly not necessary. And certainly not easy. Many friends have kissed before marriage, and God loves them the same. Kissing before marriage isn't a sin (unless it leads you into other things I'll address in point 3) and can be fine for some couples. For Ben and I, however, saving our first kiss helped us to build respect and self-control for a lifetime. Because Ben and I had different struggles mentally and physically going into dating, we wanted to be attentive to one another's needs. Removing physical expectations like kissing or having heated make-out sessions allowed us to exercise the fruits of the spirit and deeply love one another, not lust or infatuation, but in love.
It's noted the honeymoon phase of dating lasts about a year, and then things start to go downhill. But I'm here to tell you that after five years of dating, though Ben and I had our mountains and valleys, not mixing any form of sexual intimacy helped us to know one another truly. If you asked Ben or me about our favorite thing to do together while dating, we would both tell you talking and hanging out. Because when you're not making out for hours, you're usually talking or hanging out (come on, you know I'm right). And that is certainly what arrives with marriage. Being transparent and open with my husband has only benefitted us on this new road we're walking. And the same has gone for him. Not kissing until marriage allowed Ben and me time to learn and focus on each other. From behaviors to struggles and likes and dislikes, we became informed in various ways.
Suppose you're going to wait until marriage. In that case, we recommend reading books like The Great Sex Rescue, Not Yet Married, The Mingling of Souls, and Getting Ready for Marriage and participating in pre-engagement counseling. Diving into deep questions before engagement or marriage will especially help in the challenging days to come.
3. Saving your first kiss until marriage can help reduce sexual temptation.
The third benefit of saving your first kiss until marriage may seem obvious, but I still felt it was important to mention. As Christians, Ben and I both knew we wanted to save intimacy for marriage, not just because it sounded good but because we knew it was what God commanded of us. While God doesn't condemn kissing before marriage, he does note sex is reserved for marriage. Unfortunately, whether we'd like to acknowledge it or not, kissing can open the gates to sexual intimacy---even for the best Christians. Of course, those around us didn't understand. We were called petty, immature, stupid, and guaranteed to have a horrible wedding night (as if that was their business anyways).
While our first official kiss in front of the people at our wedding wasn't magical and didn't include fireworks, those first few kisses are memories I will hold in my heart for the rest of my life. Not because they were perfect or the most romantic thing in the world, but because they represented something special we could share together and honor God through. Saving your first kiss until marriage doesn't make you a saint or a better Christian than anyone else. It also doesn't mean you won't still struggle with the same desires and temptations that those who kiss do. But if I could offer you one closing thought, it would be this: Saving your first kiss until marriage is a bittersweet gift. Sweet because it's sacred, bitter because once it's gone, it's gone. You'll never be able to replicate that moment again. But at the end of the day, it'll be worth it.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Vasil Dimitrov
Amber Ginter is a teacher, author, blogger, and mental health activist who resides in the beautiful mountains and cornfields of Ohio. She loves Jesus, granola, singing, reading, dancing, running, her husband Ben, and participating in all things active. She’s currently enrolled in the Author Conservatory Program and plans to pitch her book: Mental Health and the Modern Day Church for Young Adults, soon. Visit her website at amberginter.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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