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Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Covenant

(for the sidebar)

(continued from "They Meet")

At this point, Miss Hammer and Hammertime are connected online - at least initally. After insisting that they each post pictures of themselves (we are as shallow as you, after all), they began to discuss things that are important - Christ, families, service to country, and Hammertime's Everquest addiction (I quit a month later).

We learned neat stuff. Miss Hammer learned that the Proverbs 31 woman handled the family's finances. I learned that the children of single moms aren't always a mess. She grew to like Rich Mullins, and I learned that there were still conservatives in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, er, California.

It was awesome. We learned that we agreed on the important things, but didn't share a lot of hobbies/interests. I let her know ahead of time that although I was currently a sexy pilot, I was on the road to becoming a very unsexy preacher. She let me know that she was a teacher, that she enjoyed being one, but that she'd drop it in a heartbeat to be a stay-at-home Mom.

I had read an excellent book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Just to make sure I wasn't getting roped in by someone twisting logic, I read a 'response' book to it called I Gave Dating a Chance: A Biblical Perspective to Balance the Extremes. And you know what? The 'extreme' of not dating the traditional American way was clearly correct. In fact, based upon some of the book and prayer, I proposed a very 'extreme' idea to Miss Hammer:

We should not kiss until we are announced as "Captain and Mrs. Hammer".

Does it sound crazy to you? It did to many people. What was telling was who was reacting in which way. Simply put, those who were Christians typically responded with, "That's really cool." Those who were not typically said, "That's crazy."

In fact, Miss Hammer was not down with it at first. However, after I went through my reasoning for why I thought it was a good idea, she agreed, and we made a covenant to stick to it. Perhaps it will help others to see why this is a good plan if I lay out some of our reasons.

1) Will the marriage be weaker if we don't kiss beforeheand?

Right away the lie is exposed. Obviously, if something is necessary for success, then failing to do it will lead to overall 'mission' failure. This isn't true here, but it does lead to the next question:

2) How will not kissing prevent us from getting to the wedding?

It is here that all the counter arguments arise, and are proven false:

"How will you know if he/she is right for you?"

I'm guessing that darn near 100% of divorcees kissed before they were married. It didn't help them figure it out, did it?

"What about the intimacy you'll miss out on?"

There are numerous ways to enjoy intimacy without kissing and the natural physical progression that follows. Hugging, holding hands, and far more intimate than kissing, sharing your dreams, thoughts, and feelings.

3) What is wrong with kissing before you are married?

The issue isn't what is wrong, it is what is best avoided. Physical intimacy is a kind of 'giving yourself to another'. We typically remember every person we have been physically intimate with, even if we never knew their names. What good does a married man get from the memories of other women he has been intimate with - or a married woman, for that matter?

Never mind the aforementioned natural progression of physical intimacy I mentioned before and the trouble with all of that - but if you are going to draw a line, it's a very good place to draw it. The final selling point is this - that true love involves placing the other person's purity above your own desires. Someone who loves you will be willing to wait. Someone who, deep down, seeks only their own gratification, will not. If you think it might be a good idea to save kissing for marriage, and your partner objects - are they objecting for you, or for themselves? The answer is obvious.

Lastly, the line I use, and that I recommend Dads and Moms everywhere use, is this:

"Your lips are a treasure worth keeping for your husband."

So the covenant was made to hold off on kissing until we were married...but we had to make it to that point first. As I prepared to visit Miss Hammer for the first time, it no longer seemed certain...

(next: From the DMZ to the Altar)

5 Comments:

  • I truly understand where you are coming from here and then there are Christians who will tell you that you should not even touch because that is too tempting. I realize you have to draw the line and kissing can be very intimate--so maybe best not do it, but I think that the couple has to make that decision before it happens--and you did. I admire you for that!

    By Blogger Teresa, at 4/07/2005 07:34:00 PM  

  • Thanks, Teresa. Not only does the couple have to make the decision before that, but they must both be committed to it. Otherwise, the covenant will fail. The committment evidenced in this decision provides evidence of the trustworthiness of the committment to come, I believe.

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/09/2005 02:49:00 PM  

  • Do you also buy cars without test driving them? After all, the exhilerating rev of the engine and the quick acceleration could easily cloud your judgement and cause you to want the car too much, even if it's bad for you.

    I don't see how abstaining from kissing and physical contact of that sort accomplishes anything. There seems to be a general theme in pious lifestyles that all sorts of pleasing behaviors are off-limits, simply *because* they're pleasing. Seems pretty arbitrary to me.

    Of course, I am one who believes it's over when you die, so it's probably not surprising that I advocate living life to the fullest every day. A nice kiss is a good way to do that.

    By Blogger enlightenedcaveman, at 4/12/2005 12:26:00 AM  

  • Ah, the classic response. Of course I don't, EC - because the purpose of a car is to be driven. The purpose of a spouse is not physical intimacy.

    Furthermore, I have never seen of any study - or even a single instance - of a marriage failing because they were "sexually incompatible". That's the line used to justify our behavior. If your goal is marital success, abstaining only helps. Besides, not only do we have the rest of our lives to get "better", but if we had both remained pure until marriage, we would have no comparison to tell us we were "bad". The committment to each other that is evidenced in protecting the purity of your partner will ensure your sexual compatibility - becuase that same committment will extend to your treatment of each other in sex.

    I don't think religion is required to recognize the long-term benefits of sexual purity. It is like much in life - the long term benefit is obtained through a short-term sacrifice.

    Thanks for your comments!

    By Blogger Hammertime, at 4/12/2005 10:01:00 AM  

  • Excellent post Hammer!I have explained to our teenage daughter(who is in Christ and has not began dating ...too young yet)that kissing while dating is confusing. Kissing and physical intimacy can lead you to believe that you feel the emotion of love(make you think you are in Love)when you aren't. Does that make sense?This is what we tell her...1. Pray for God to place the Godly man in your life that He would have you someday marry.
    2."Fall in love",grow together in Christ.Pray together!
    3.Then when you marry ...let the Kissing and intimacy begin!I asked her.. wouldn't it be so cool for you and your husband to know that you have shared your kisses with no one but each other!What a gift...that only she can give!
    Ok I will quit rambling...Hey I noticed that you and Mrs. hammer live in KY too!Have a great day!
    Tina

    By Blogger Skooter, at 8/07/2005 10:26:00 AM  

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