I do not and will not ever kiss my girlfriend.
I made up my mind about that long before I had one.
Even though we have plunged consistently deeper and deeper into a profound, unconditional (and recently, romantic) love over these last 3 years of friendship, and it only makes sense that I would’ve kissed her already, I haven’t, and I won’t.
Because I don’t need to.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a very passionate person. At times, I exude enough energy that I can’t help but to use my hands and arms to help convey what my mouth is saying. I’ve been known to get so excited when I’m sharing something valuable, that I even jump up and down or raise my voice to almost obscene levels. I throw my head back and bellow when I laugh and when I’m depressed or upset, I’m not afraid to wear it on my face.
Now that I’ve found myself passionate about a person, I want to live in the same, vigorous, elevated energy with which I pursue my other passions but I can’t. I keep hearing the Bible speaking:
He whose spirit is without restraint is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
– Proverbs 25:28
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5
It’s not that passion is a bad thing, it is definitely a great and admirable thing! But when we fail to control something, then it begins to control us. Sometimes Christians and other people of faith talk about sin like there are some things that are bad in the world and other things that are good, but that’s just not the case. Sin happens when a good thing is done without respect of its proper context. For example, one sin we fail to give proper attention to today is gluttony. All of us can agree that food is a good thing: it give us vitamins, nutrients, and energy. It helps our body to maintain and restore itself and on top of that, food is tasty and it actually nurtures us emotionally and psychologically as well! But what happens when we abuse our healthy need to eat? We get sick to our stomachs, we gain unnecessary weight, we binge, we use it to self-medicate, we contract diseases, become sluggish or lethargic, and even die from eating too much or eating outside of a balanced diet over and extended amount of time. This is all gluttony. I don’t want my passion for my girlfriend to end like this.
So I’ve decided that I won’t worry about kissing a girl until I’m engaged.
Now, I know good and well that rules are not saviors. They are simply guidelines to help us balance our personal freedoms with our responsibilities to one another. This rule isn’t a rule that I think everyone should follow, or even one I’d recommend for everybody because you are not all the same as me. There is NOTHING wrong with kissing, however, I know that kissing would just distract me from my main goal in my relationship, getting to know my girlfriend better.
You could call it creating intimacy. Intimacy has a strong sexual connotation in our culture, but it is not just sex, it is a deep knowledge or understanding of something or someone. Eboni and I want to have that with each other. And physical intimacy often distracts from spiritual and emotional intimacy. We’ve all seen that couple making-out in the hallway on the day they start dating, only to break up before the week is up. Physical intimacy shouldn’t grow at a faster rate than spiritual, emotional, and intellectual intimacy, and those naturally take time, much more time than the physical aspect does. That’s why we need boundaries, ALL OF US. Otherwise, when our bodies tell us that we NEED MORE (and they will! Mine certainly does!) we fall into the trap of believing them until we figure out too late that they ALWAYS want more, no matter how much they already have.
Lust and abstinence aren’t fundamentally about sex, they’re about our desires and whether we can effectively say no to what we want when we don’t need it.
Why? Because we are learning to be content. A month ago, I was overjoyed to talk to her on the phone for a few hours once every other week. Because going out to breakfast or dinner once a month and learning her was exciting! Because I have fallen for the way she shares her well of wisdom with such a lovely speaking cadence, and the way her eyes shimmer like the ocean at high noon when she talks about empowering people, because she is passionate about pleasing God like few other people I’ve seen, and because she wraps herself in strength and dignity as if it were the only clothing she needed.
She is so much more than a hot body and I don’t ever want to be distracted from that fact.
So, I suppose that I still am[very] passionate about Eboni, haha. I’m just passionate about her whole person. All that physical stuff will come when it’s time. This is more important. This is why Eboni and I have decided to wait together. When I commit myself to learning these hidden, beautiful things about her for the rest of my life, then I get the obvious one: the pleasure of knowing her body. Everyone wants to have a nice body, but only because it might help someone see who we are beyond it. No one is looking to have sex with you so they can get to know your personality, yet everyone gives their bodies away thinking that they’ll get real intimacy from it.
The question is, are you willing to do the hard work of demanding that someone love you beyond your body, the way you really want to be loved? Are you really willing to put in the work to know and love a person the same way you want to be known and loved, by knowing their heart and mind before you know their body? I am. And Eboni is too. We challenge you to do the same.