A columnist whose work I've never read before, Gwen Daniels, at a student newspaper I've never heard of, The Maneater, at a university I've never visited, the University of Missouri, introduced me to a trend with which I wasn't familiar: Saving your first kiss for your wedding night. Basically it's like saving your virginity for your wedding night only, um, a whole hell of a lot crazier.
Kids? It's a bad enough idea to marry someone prior to determining whether or not you're sexually compatible. But marrying someone before you figure out whether you like how their spit tastes? That's just nuts.
Here's Daniels on the phenomenon:
I first heard of the decision to save kissing for marriage—the virgin lips movement, my best friend and I called it—in Joshua Harris' book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, a Christian relationship guide that advocates courtship and prayerful and deliberate dating with the expressed aspiration to marry, over conventional dating.
In my Southern conservative town, where churches are even more common than Walgreens stores, I Kissed Dating Goodbye is practically required reading for teenage girls.... In Christian relationships, "God wants us to seek guidance from scriptural truth, not feeling," Harris writes. "Smart love looks beyond personal desires and the gratification of the moment. It looks at the big picture: serving others and glorifying God."
How can romance glorify God? Harris suggests that Christians should commit their plans, motives, actions and desires—including dating—to God.
There's so much to say. For instance, what is it with Christians moving the goal posts around? It's no longer enough to be a virgin on your wedding night; now, if you want to be right with God, you better not have kissed before your wedding night. It's no longer enough to seek to ban abortion; now they want to redefine birth control as abortion and ban it too. Gay people were a threat to the family when we were all sex-crazed hedonists getting it on the shrubs; now we're a threat to the family because we want to get married ourselves, have babies, and stand on the sidelines in the rain with other exhausted parents at soccer games.
But here's what really caught my attention: Daniels quotes a student whose eagerness to get down on his knees and serve Jesus seems just a little intense...
Jeff Pudelek, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, decided to save his first kiss for marriage so that he will continually seek his satisfaction in God, he said.
After ending a long-term relationship, "I began to see that a lot of my relationship decisions were centered around finding satisfaction in a person," Pudelek said. "The truth is that true satisfaction, what I was seeking in relationships with girls, can't be found in any person, only in Jesus Christ."
"I want to enjoy the fullness of what God has for me, and I think that includes cultivating intimacy with him above all else," he added.
Okaaaay. So Jeff really loves Jesus. And here's hoping Jesus comes along and fills you with the fullness you're aching for, Jeff. (Do Jeff's quotes remind anyone else of Faith +1?) And now, apropos of nothing in particular and making no insinuations about Jeff's sexuality whatsoever: Christian girls? You might wanna think twice before marrying a boy who doesn't want—at the very least—to make out with you once or twice prior to your honeymoon. Some God-fearing, red-blooded, robustly-heterosexual Christian boys are willing and able to save their virginities for their wedding nights, of course, and more power to 'em. But make out with your boyfriend at least once before agreeing to marry him—and get close enough to verify that the lump in his pants is a hard cock and not an iPhone, okay?
Because you'll be really sad Christian wives if you wind up marrying boys who claimed that they wanted to kiss you but couldn't because they were saving those first kisses for your wedding nights—and until your wedding night they were finding true intimacy with their Lord, savior and imaginary boyfriend, Jesus Christ—but were actually great, big, scared homos who were able to delay their coming out until after marriage because, thanks to Joshua Harris and his stupid fucking book, your husbands didn't have to perform sexually with a woman in even a minimal fashion until after their wedding nights.
Okay, back to Jeff:
Besides, physical activity such as kissing and intercourse does not sustain relationships, Pudelek said. "I still want to be madly in love with my wife even if we can't kiss anymore," he added.
An uncharitable man might suggest that Jeff sounds like he's looking forward to the day when he and his future wife can't kiss anymore. But I am not an uncharitable man. Instead I'd like to reassure Jeff that the kinds of illnesses that prevent people from kissing their spouses—oral cancers and, um, spontaneous combustion of the lips and tongue—are very, very rare indeed. Once you find a girl willing to marry you, Jeff, you can look forward to kissing that woman over and over again and again, day after day after day, one decade after another, for the rest of your natural life.
Oh, and you get to feel her boobs too—you've got that to look forward to as well. Hmm... boobs. But for now, of course, you can focus on the fullness that Jesus wants to stuff inside you. Hmm... fullness...