In our family, as summer winds up and we move into back-to-school mode, we have…
Movies with superheroes almost always seem to be box office hits. We think that is because deep down, we all have a little desire to be a superhero or to be “epic” in our life. Relationships and how you handle them can be a great place to decide to be epic. But it might feel a bit radical, and it definitely will make you stand out from the crowd— but in a good way.
We (Pam and Bill) come from some pretty chaotic, crazy homes so we didn’t handle dating relationships very well as teens. I (Bill) was a football player at the beginning of high school so I was part of the popular crowd. Like most of my friends, I made accidental decisions and simply followed my impulses. I was fascinated with a couple of young ladies I dated, but I didn’t really know what to do with them. I just followed the girls’ lead—whatever that was. I (Pam) was a cheerleader and in stereotypical fashion, I was a flirt and a tease. Because of my dad’s drinking, I needed the attention of men way too much. I found that I would do almost anything to keep a boyfriend in my life. Neither Bill nor I had a clue what we were doing. After years of frustrating relationships, we decided to do things differently when we met.
Bill’s view: Pam was the first girlfriend in my life since I became a Christian. I had no idea how to have a “Christian relationship,” so I bought a notebook and started writing down any question I had about how to have a relationship with a girl. Before we could begin a date, I wanted us to talk through the questions I had written down.
Pam’s view: I thought the notebook things was, well, different, but Bill was such a great guy–handsome, godly, athletic, and had a great smile—I was willing to go along with the notebook thing because it seemed it was helping us make better choices.
Bill’s view: A few of those discussions involved how physical we would be with each other. The day came when it was time to ask if I could kiss Pam. No kidding, this was her response:
Bill, you are absolutely gorgeous and I would really like to say, “Yes,” but my mentor told me I should ask other couples who have great marriages what they did and they all waited until they were engaged to kiss. Besides, I haven’t done a great job of controlling my desires in the past, and because of that I pretty much wrecked every relationship I had in high school. You see, I read in Matthew 5:8 that the pure in heart will see God, and I want to have a pure heart, and I want you to have a pure heart. Believe me I looked in the Bible for “Thou shalt not kiss”—it isn’t there! I know it would be okay with God if I kissed you, but like I said, I am not great at controlling my desires and you are so gorgeous that I just don’t know if I could trust myself if I started kissing you. I might want more and then I might not be able to stop at a kiss. I don’t want us to mess up what God is doing in our lives. So, although I really want to say, “Yes,” I am going to say, “No.” Is that alright?
She was cute when she was saying it, but I was stunned. I wasn’t upset with her, I was just stunned. I drove her home in silence and told her at the door to her apartment, “I will pick you up for breakfast tomorrow.”
Pam’s view: Bill responded with complete silence. He drove me home—twenty minutes—in complete silence. I opened the door to my friend’s apartment and said, “I might have just lost the very best guy I’ve ever had in my life!” My friend’s replied, “What did he do?” I told them the whole story and they said, Pam, we have all the read the Bible and “Thou shalt not kiss,” it isn’t there, but for some weird reason, God asked you to do this, so there must be a reason because God loves you. Trust God.” Then they prayed for me. I stayed up all night praying—for a miracle!
Bill’s view: Over breakfast, we began the most significant discussion of our dating relationship. We decided that it would be best for us to not kiss as long as were just dating. People often ask if it was awkward deciding to get engaged before we had kissed each other. All I can say is, for us, it worked to wait. We have even written a book together called, Red Hot Monogamy—a book all about how to have passionate love and our love story has been told around the world in nearly twenty languages! We get to be on TV and radio and tell our love story. That’s pretty epic.
Brock and Hannah’s Story
So our own sons grew up hearing our love story, and our oldest, somewhere along the way decided he wanted to be a hero to the woman he would someday marry by saving himself for marriage. One day, I (Pam) was doing a book signing in Phoenix, and I told a story about Brock. The bookstore owner’s wife said, “Where did you say Brock got his college scholarship?”
“He’s the quarterback at Liberty University,” I replied.
“My Hannah is at Liberty!” Then we exchanged pictures and phone numbers of our kids. They dated for eighteen months before Brock asked her parents for their permission to marry Hannah. He had a ring designed and delivered to the football office. The day it arrived, the football secretary called and said, “The eagle has landed.” Hannah thought they were just going to fast food so she had on jeans and a t-shirt that read, “The QB is mine.”
Brock took her to the place they first met and handed Hannah a nail. He took her to the place on campus where they had their first deep conversation, and handed her another nail. Then he took her to the chapel where they had first prayed together and handed her a piece of a board. Then he took her off campus where she was sharing a home with friends and handed her another board. Then he made a cross out of the nails and the boards and hammered it into the ground. He got down on one knee, opened the ring box and said, “Hannah, I want our relationship to start at the foot of the cross. Hannah, I love you. Will you marry me? And Hannah, will you kiss me for the first time.” To which Hannah replied, “YES! YES!”
Their love story has now been repeated to millions of people all over the world. Once, Hannah got an email from a friend whose parents are missionaries in China. He was visiting them there and had just heard Brock and Hannah’s love story played on the radio in China—now that is EPIC!
You can decide to value your sexuality even after making some mistakes. You can decide now that your sexuality is valuable before you make mistakes. It is never too early or too late to value your sexuality. Your decisions might encourage others to guard their sexuality—and that’s epic.
Excerpt from Guys are Waffles, Girls are Spaghetti by:
Pam and Bill Farrel, relationship specialists and authors of over 30 books including best selling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti
And Chad Eastham speaker with Women of Faith’s Revolve Tour events for Teens