This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Melissa, Meghan, Anna, Macy, and Julie for each winning a copy of What Are You Waiting For! Even though the contest is over, I still want to know what you think! Leave your comments below.
Lips aside, I'm nose deep in a book deadline and if I don't have your help, I may drown in my own thoughts. I'm going a bit antsy over something potentially controversial, and I need your stories and convictions. Don't worry if you don't have time. I'll probably just miss my deadline, throwing me into a fit of untimely stress. (Feel guilty?) Oh, by the way, I'm going to send free copies of What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Told You About Sex to five randomly selected commentors. (Feel motivated?) OK. Here's what I need to know. Ready? Drum roll please. (And do remember, I'm not sure what I think about this yet, that's why I'm asking.)
Is it ever OK for a girl to ask a guy to kiss her? Before you answer, let me show you some scandalous stuff I'm finding in the Bible about girls who asked for kisses.
As I'm studying Song of Songs to write Get Lost: A Guide To Finding True Love, I find a brilliant beauty in the picture of male leadership. He is a pursuer! Solomon has been pursuant of the Maiden for some time when the book opens.[i] He has waited patiently for her readiness, never controlling or attempting to possess her. He wants her to desire him, too. But he waits because he will not settle for a relationship with a reluctant lover.
In Song of Songs 1:2, we see that the Beloved is not that! She sheds all pretence, goes against every cultural boundary and verbalizes her craving to taste a passionate kiss. In a day and age when female love was rarely—if ever spoken of or written about—this breaks every taboo! This is no acceptable formal greeting or tradition, but an obvious request for deeper intimacy. She has no reluctancy!
You can see the same kind of expression of availability in the book of Ruth. Well, OK. You can see a whole lot more of it. She’s inviting more than a kiss in the dark of night. She dresses herself, sneaks off to his bed chambers, and lies at the bottom of his bed waiting for him to cover her with his cloak. This would be a sign that he was willing to take her as his wife. Shameless!
The New Testament conveys a permission for a married woman to be the pursuer in the bedroom. It's the one area where they are clearly called to submit to each other. To be clear, they are called to mutual submission but within the context of his headship. (Complicated, I know.) And yet in the area of sexual expression, it is specifically written that they should enjoy mutual submission. Mutual leadership. I Corinthians 7:3-5 reads:
“The husband should give his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time…”
Now, I want to be really careful here. I know I’m walking on thin ice but I believe that the pattern of courtship or dating should lead naturally into the kind of marriage you’ll experience. You won’t start submitting to a guy just because you said, “I do.” You have to slowly practice your way into a relationship in which you can submit. And you won’t lead freely in the friendship of sexual play until you have learned the ask him to have lunch with you, or sit beside you in study hall. See? I AM NOT SAYING THAT A MAN SHOULD NOT LEAD. I'M ALSO NOT SAYING THAT A GIRL SHOULD BE SEXUALLY PROVOCATIVE. I'm wondering where and when she should let him know she's interested!
So, here's my question: to what extent does a girl avail herself to the pursuant leadership of a guy?
I know that this messes with some of our canned, legalistic rules of modesty in relationships. Please understand: I am not saying that a guy shouldn’t lead. I’m just saying that there’s no Biblical pattern for a woman to be rigid, offering a guy no inkling of an idea that she’s interested. To be sure, the line is fine. But lets try to find it.
Recently a friend came to me why a relationship of 18 months didn't work out. After a good close look, it seemed as if the pursued never gave the poor guy an inkling of an idea that she was actually interested. (Conjures up memories of Sense and Sensibility in which Elinor almost loses Edward because she is so overly modest in her presentation to him.)
While I'm 100% sure we should not climb into a guy's bed like Ruth did. And I'm fairly certain it'd be better to let him do the asking for a kiss, I do find myself wondering if some circles of Christianity press a girl to far into a repressed form of modesty. In the end, a poor guy in pursuit never gets a break!
What do you think?
Do you have any real life stories (from your own life) that I can learn from?
Leave me a comment by Wednesday, March 28th and I'll randomly select five winners to get a free book!
[i] This is reflected in Song of Songs 2:8-3:5 which is a flashback to the earliest memory of their courtship. Those verses occur before what we read in today’s scripture reading.