Are you done “losing” in dating relationships? I know a girl who recently started dating, and she’s certain that this relationship is going to be a “win.”
How can she be so sure?
Not because she’s necessarily going to marry this guy. Of course, that’s the desired outcome. But marriage isn’t the goal.
If marriage is the goal of dating, then any dating relationship that doesn’t end in marriage is a failure. But if the goal of dating is learning to love another, then even if that relationship doesn’t end in marriage, it will have been worth it. I mean, come on, who doesn’t need to grow in love?!
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
So she’s having a little competition with her boyfriend. They’re taking Romans 12:10 seriously. You might call it their north star:
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
See, the goal in singleness and the goal in marriage isn’t as different as we make it out to be. The goal is learning to love another flawed human being with Christ’s unconditional love.
You know what’s really cool? As this girl practices loving her boyfriend well, she sees that same pattern seeping into other relationships. As she seeks to “outdo him in showing honor,” she finds herself doing the same in other relationships. Pretty sweet, huh?
How about you? If you’re dating (or have dated or hope to date someday) what do you think the goal is? How can you make sure you never lose again in a dating relationship—even when marriage isn’t a guarantee?
I’ve started a new tradition when I speak—collecting girls’ deepest questions on index cards (that way no one knows who the questions belong to). This last time it seemed nearly every girl wanted to know about kissing.
“Is kissing guys prior to marriage okay?”
“Your opinions on kissing before marriage.”
“What is your viewpoint on kissing before your wedding day?”
Well, for the record, I’ve done it—kissed a guy before marriage. Three, actually. And we’re not talking just a peck on the cheek.
I’ve realized God didn’t love me any less when I kissed guys as a young teen, and God doesn’t love me any more since I’ve stopped kissing guys.
However, it’s been fifteen years since my last kiss. That’s right. I kissed for the last time on my sixteenth birthday.
Don’t cheer for me too soon, though. I stopped for all the wrong reasons.
I stopped kissing because in my mind, no kissing = “doing the God thing.” I thought I’d make His VIP list ’cause of my commitment. Since then, I’ve realized God didn’t love me any less when I kissed guys as a young teen, and God doesn’t love me any more since I’ve stopped kissing guys.
Well, if that’s true, does that mean I can just pucker up and kiss any ole’ guy I want to kiss?
Nope. Romans 2:4 tells me God’s grace is meant to lead me to repentance.
Today I have five very different reasons for not kissing:
I want to “kiss the Son” (Ps. 2:12). I don’t literally and physically kiss God (God is Spirit, after all). But my desire is to pursue and exalt God as my greatest treasure—to “kiss” Him through the way I think about and draw near to and obey Him.
I know myself. Kissing just leaves a girl wanting more (at least this one!). If I date in the future, I hope to stay as far away from kissing as possible this side of the altar. I don’t know that I’ll make it (sounds tougher than running a marathon!), but by God’s grace, I will choose to love and not lust after my boyfriend from the start.
I’m not married yet. While I can’t go back and erase my past, I can start new! I’d love to save all my kisses from sweet sixteen on for my future husband as a gift. Once (or rather “if”) I marry, that’ll be the time to be extravagantly generous with my kisses.
I’m brand new (2 Cor. 5:17). God has cleaned me up and declared me holy through Jesus’ righteous record. I choose to live in light of who I am. For me, this doesn’t begin with staying away from kissing—it happens long before, as I control my thoughts rather than letting them control me. I don’t struggle with not kissing in real life ’cause I’m not fantasizing about kissing in my thought life anymore.
I have God’s Holy Spirit living in me, which means I finally have power for holy living (yippee!). I no longer have to be controlled by my desires; I get to control my desires by tapping into the Spirit’s self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). So thankful I have some help!
How about you? Why are you saving—or spending—your kisses this side of the altar? I’d love to hear your reason(s).