the first kiss rarely hurts

Somewhere this evening a young Christian woman will get her first kiss.

It may be wildly romantic. Or it may be tainted by disappointment or even fear. But some where, another one will make out for the first time. Or have sex for the first time.

And at this point she will join the depressing large number of those who promised themselves they would wait who don’t. One recent poll found that 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex, only slightly less than the 88 percent of unmarried adults generally.

The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

And yes, every young woman makes her own choices. But I’m mostly concerned with Christian young men who have not learned how to care for a young woman, to protect her reputation, or control their own impulses.

A first kiss is rarely spontaneous. The guy, and in some cases the girl, has been dwelling on it, sometimes for days. And after that, rationalization reigns in our hearts.

I’ve written before of how immature young men can be, and how the church has failed to provide instruction about matters of the flesh. And a young woman who fails to keep her own promises to herself tonight will do so because some guy will take advantage of her instinct to trust him or her desire to please him.

With Christian young people it is often even more complex. We quickly spiritualize it. We prayed together or went to church together. It must be God’s will.

Yes, there are signs everywhere, but we don’t read them very well. And we ought not read them at all without respect to biblical principle. The Scripture is pretty clear about this:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. I Thessalonians 4:3-8

I misread the signs as a young man. I took advantage of my girlfriend because we went to a prayer meeting and held hands as we prayed and decided God must have been bringing us together.

For three years this mistake stunted my growth and weakened my faith. It wasn’t the first kiss that hurt me. It was the lies I told myself to keep them coming that destroyed my character and robbed her of her innocence.

I didn’t have sex before marriage, thankfully. But this is no tribute to my virtue. I eventually learned to be careful about raising expectation, both physically and emotionally. This was only by the grace of God. And by lessons learned in the flames of failure, self-indulgence, disrespect and impatience.

I hope each single young Christian woman who reads this understands her knight in shining armor lives under the shadow of the Fall. And I hope ever young man who reads it creates the boundaries he needs to keep him—and his girlfriend—safe.

It is his privilege to protect her in this way. To care for her requires him to limit his freedom. To cherish her requires him to die to self.

New Year’s Eve is as good a time as any to learn this.

And to insure a Happy New Year.

8 thoughts on “the first kiss rarely hurts”

    1. Thanks for being a faithful and thoughtful reader. It is always (and often) a pleasure to see your comments. Be well, friend. And may your year be filled with grace.

  1. A poignant commentary on a sad reality. You included a statistic that disturbs & disheartens Christian parents everywhere:

    “80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex, only slightly less than the 88 percent of unmarried adults generally.”

    I know far too many adult children from the most loving, virtue-instilling, godly families who are part of that 80%. Yes, the church has not supported these families by sufficiently addressing matters of the flesh. . . instead it seems to have been overwhelmed/infiltrated by our progressively permissive culture in the past 40 years.

    Virtues such as modesty & saving sex for marriage were respected in mainstream America when I was in my teens (mid-1960’s to mid-1970’s) While there were certainly Christians who indulged in sexual sin back then, their percentage was far lower than 80% . . . and any nervous admission of fornication was met with immediate disapproval rather than the non-judgmental acceptance they’d receive today. Now those virtues are considered outdated, prudish, stupid, even oppressive, and their few remaining practitioners are viciously & publicly mocked.

    The title of your post “The first kiss (rarely) hurts” immediately reminded me of a parallel title–“The first cut is the deepest”– from a song about the devastating pain of one’s first romantic breakup . . . perhaps the breakup of the relationship sparked by that first kiss. It’s lyrics tell “the rest of the story”:

    “I would have given you all of my heart
    But there’s someone who’s torn it apart
    And he’s taken just all that I have
    But if you want I’ll try to love again
    Baby, I’ll try to love again, but I know…

    The first cut is the deepest
    Baby I know
    The first cut is the deepest . . . ”

    This 1967 Cat Stevens song details the harsh reality of giving away one’s heart prematurely: kisses are not harmless, and breakups can damage one’s ability to trust & bond again, even with the right person. The song was later recorded by Rod Stewart & others, and more recently by Sheryl Crowe. Its ongoing popularity suggests that folks, even evangelical Christians continue to ignore I Thessalonians 4:3-8

  2. Would to God that there were more Pastors, parents, Christians, thus concerned with the emotional and physical purity which God’s Word demands. We are to live by God-given principle: if we let our hearts, or our flesh rule, our heads will follow and we will fall (into sin).

  3. thanks Wally, for letting us as Christian parents have topics to discuss over dinner and life. Again, thanks for a job well done. The silver ring thing, that we just took the kids to, prints this Scriptural reference on their purity rings!

  4. Thanks so much for this. I am a 23 year old unmarried man who really desires to do this thing right. and I learn a lot every time i read your blog. Thanks for being humble enough to share the wisdom the Lord put in you. I’m really blessed by it.

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