I got a free subscription about a year ago to Women’s Health magazine. I had never read the magazine and didn’t realize what I was about to receive. This magazine is a close comparison to Cosmo in that there is a LOT of inappropriate content for someone proclaiming Christianity. I would quickly leaf through to find any workout items or health articles that I found helpful and in to the recycle the rest of it went.
In the last issue of my subscription, I came across an article called “Your Body on Kissing…”. It went into detail about what happened in different areas of your body during a passionate kiss. While this was meant to be an article that encouraged more kissing between a couple (this was targeted more to the dating scene), it really made my mind think in another direction. I thought about all the times I heard it said or even said it myself as a youth (to myself and others) “It’s just a kiss”.
The truth of the matter is that it simply is NOT just a kiss!
Science gives us the facts:
- When involved in a passionate kiss, a neurotransmitter, called dopamine is released. Dopamine controls the brains reward and pleasure center, which can make us have feelings of intense desire and euphoria.
- Our lips are packed with sensitive nerve endings and are super sensitive to even the lightest touch. It is the most exposed, erogenous zone on our bodies.
- Passionate kissing causes blood flow to increase to sexual organs.
- Adrenal glands release adrenaline, i.e. heart pounding, heavy breathing.
- When you are passionately locking lips, your pituitary gland (and your parnters) began to release oxytocin (also known as a bonding hormone). Thus an emotional attachment can form.
The truth of the matter is kissing doesn’t usually stop with kissing. Thanks to Hollywood, most of us have seen a movie where a couple is kissing heavily. More time than not, it doesn’t stop there. It moves on to caressing, fondling, until before you know it clothes are off and the deed is done. Look at this world, all these people who go from one person to the next, are they really happy? They truly leave a piece of themselves with each person they encounter. They are not truly whole.
Growing up in church we are constantly told to ‘wait’ on kissing, sex, etc. Unfortunately, many times that is all the guidance that is ever given. Kids don’t realize that these emotions are God-given, meant to be shared with their spouse. They are nothing to be ashamed of and are there for a purpose. Even more so, they need to be taught that waiting is nothing to be ashamed of. Waiting for engagement to kiss, waiting for marriage to have sex is not old-fashioned. If waiting till marriage is irrelevant, then we should just go through the Bible and start cutting out scriptures about sexual immorality, like Galatians 5:19 and many others. If you can’t do that, then maybe you should reconsider your ideals about kissing and sex.
I know some will read this article and think that I am nuts, because who really waits till they are engaged to have their first kiss? I realize that it seems unrealistic to expect this. We live in an age where the idea of purity is antiquated. Statistics show that even those claiming to be devote Christians are even participating in pre-marital sex. According to the National Association of Evangelicals, 80 percent of unmarried evangelical Christians between ages 18-29 admit to having had premarital sex. Sexual purity is practically non-existent in our day and age.
Let’s take a second and talk about those that don’t wait. I have talked to many women, who not only didn’t wait to have that first kiss, but didn’t wait to have sex and some had multiple sex partners. They cried and cried wishing they could take it back, wishing they would’ve waited till they were married. They are happily married and committed to their husbands, but their pasts haunt them at times. It also causes issues of trust in their relationship with their spouse. They bare scars of mistrust and pain that only God can heal.
Waiting and saving those precious moments for the one that God intended for you is priceless. They are moments you can never get back, once they are gone. Imagine being able to give all of you to one person, that you can grow old together knowing that you were each other’s firsts (kiss, sex, etc).
I was pretty sheltered growing up, but that didn’t stop me from getting into situations I should never have been in. It doesn’t matter how much you ‘trust’ your kids to do the ‘right’ thing. . .they are human and have very REAL emotions. We need to encourage our children to the best of our abilities to stay pure and to wait. Have discussions with them about the feelings they will experience. Teach them to avoid being alone with the opposite sex in places where these encounters are more apt to take place. Group dating is a good thing!! Who cares about what people will think of you? Heaven forbid you get called a prude or old-fashioned! Let’s challenge our young people to wear their purity like a badge of honor, rather than as one of shame. Don’t threaten them about keeping their purity. They won’t feel like they can talk to in the event they do make opposing choices. Above all, let your kids know you love them, whatever they choose.
I have been reading the book ‘Bringing up Girls’ by Dr. James Dobson. My husband finished it before I did and told me to flip ahead to a story that is in the book. I tell you that I bawled…I mean flatout messy-cried. My husband I both agreed that we will be doing something along these lines with our daughter. More than that we plan to do something similar with our sons. We want them to understand the importance of value of a passionate relationship, but that it should wait for marriage. I hope you enjoy the story. . .
by Sarah Kistler
Sweet 16 had finally come! I never thought I‘d make it. But I did. And it was amazing. My parents threw the birthday party of the century, and I had more people than I could count. The whole day had been awesome. But as I watched the sun begin to set, I knew the best part was soon to come.
It was late in the evening. Confetti had been swept up, helium balloons had started to sag and gift wrap had been folded neatly and tucked away for my mom’s later use. As I sat at my window studying the dusky sky, Dad peeked into my room with a smile.
“Ready to go, Sweetie?” he asked.
Was that a trick question? I wondered as I scrambled to my feet. I’d been waiting for this night for five long years, and it was finally here! I was now officially allowed to date!
The plan was for my parents and me to go to my favorite restaurant on the night of my 16th birthday and officiate the agreement, go over standards and discuss rules and such. And now we were finally on our way.
I sat across from my parents in a quiet corner booth. Having just placed our orders, I figured it was time to get on with it. “So. I can go out with any guy I want to, right?” I squealed, hardly able to contain my excitement.
Mom and Dad chuckled. Dad answered, “Well, we agreed to that, didn’t we?”
“Sweet!” I exclaimed, doing a little victory dance in my seat. My parents had held me off for years, but now that the time had come, they would let me date any guy I wanted! Of course they knew I had a good relationship with God and wasn’t too short on common sense, either.
“Now wait just a second,” Mom interrupted with a smile. “You have to agree to a little something yourself.”
I was expecting a lecture of some sort, so I was already prepared. “So what do I have to do now?” I asked, leaning forward on my elbows.
“Just open this,” Dad answered, producing a small white box. He gave a mysterious smile.
I hesitated a moment before untying the curly pink ribbon. I slowly opened the lid and saw a beautiful silver bracelet. But not just any bracelet. It was a charm bracelet. And they weren’t just any charms. They were gemstones, small but gorgeous. A dozen dainty charms dangled gently.
“Wow.” I didn’t know what else to say. I wasn’t expecting this at all.
“Now you have to understand this isn’t just any bracelet,” Mom informed me.
“I know,” I said. “It’s so beautiful!” I studied it closer. There were six small charms alternating with six tinier ones. The smaller ones were a deep blue. Sapphires, I guessed. And the other six were each different. One appeared to be just a rock, one was pink, a white one, a red one, green . . . and was that a diamond?
“This charm bracelet is symbolic,” Dad explained, leaning in closer to study it with me. “It represents you and your purity. This is what will guide you through your dating relationships. Your mother and I can only tell you what’s right. We can’t make you believe it yourself. Hopefully, this will.”
I looked up solemnly. “I’m listening.”
“This represents the first time you hold a guy’s hand,” Mom said, pointing to the gray one. “It’s just a piece of polished granite. Seemingly cheap, yes, but it’s still a part of your bracelet. This is pink quartz.” She gently rubbed the next one between her fingers. “It represents your first kiss.”
“This green one is an emerald,” Dad continued. “This is your first boyfriend. The pearl is the first time you say ‘I love you’ to a man other than me.”
I giggled. This was so amazing.
“The ruby stands for your first engagement. And the diamond represents the first time you say ‘I do,’ ” Mom finished.
After letting it all sink in, I cleared my emotion-clogged throat. “What do the six tiny sapphires stand for?” I asked.
“Those are to remind you how beautiful and valuable you are to us and to God,” Dad replied. “Now here’s the hitch in all this, the one and only rule you’ll ever have to follow when it comes to dating.”
Only one rule. Sounded good. But little did I know . . .
“Whenever you give one these actions of love-a kiss, an ‘I love you,’ a hand to hold-you also have to give the recipient the gem to match.”
I must’ve misunderstood. “I have to give him the gem?”
“You have to give it to him,” Mom restated.
I was silent for a moment. I thought they must be joking. But they weren’t even thinking of cracking a smile.
“But Daddy!” I suddenly shrieked. “These are insanely expensive! I can’t just give them away!”
He gave a soft, loving chuckle. “Did you hear what you just said?”
I thought about it.
“Baby, your purity, your heart, they’re far more valuable than a few little rocks. If you can’t find it in your heart to give away your little charms, I don’t think you should be giving away the things they represent.”
I could feel my insides melting, ready to gush out my tear ducts. On the one hand, it made me feel valuable and precious. But on the other, it made me furious. It made no sense. But it would.
A few weeks after that night, I was hanging out with my friends at the beach. Chad wouldn’t swim because I wouldn’t swim. I was more interested in reading than getting caked with sand, and he was more interested in sitting with me than swimming with his buddies. He was sweet. He was cute. And he tried to hold my hand.
I was thrilled for a nanosecond when a certain piece of ugly granite flashed through my mind and made me move out of his reach. I was severely annoyed-annoyed at my parents, annoyed at my bracelet-turned-handcuffs, but most of all, annoyed at myself. I was letting a little rock dominate my romantic life.
I furiously glared at it during the whole embarrassing walk to the bathhouse. But then God hit me upside the head with a shocking epiphany. I couldn’t give up my little chunk of granite. It was a part of my bracelet, which in a sense made it a part of me. I wouldn’t be whole without it. It wasn’t a priceless gem, yet it was still valuable. It made sense after that.
Kevin came along eventually. We had fun. We hung out a lot. I thought I might love him. I thought I might tell him so. I thought of my pearl. It turned out that I didn’t love him as much as I thought I did.
So my parents had been right. They couldn’t make me believe the things they wanted me to believe. So they let God and my bracelet do the work instead. Among the four of them, I figured out how valuable I was. How valuable my purity was. How not valuable guys were who just wasted my time and emotions. If they weren’t in it for the whole bracelet, why should they get one part of it?
Nate. He thought my bracelet was awesome. So he never tried to hold my hand. He never tried to kiss me. But he asked me to marry him.
I never knew that so many years of torture could amount to so much happiness. I’d thought it was silly. I’d thought it was overrated. But now, I‘ve never been more glad of anything in my life. As I gave my husband the charm bracelet in its entirety, I wondered why I had found it so hard to hang on to those little rocks when it was so amazing to give them all to the man I truly loved.
But it didn’t end there. Now our daughter wears it.