When I was 16, our youth pastor was doing the sermon one Sunday and the ONLY thing I remember is him challenging the youth to not kiss until their wedding. Our church is conservative Southern Baptist, but it's not "Duggar Conservative" (LOVE their family, btw) so it wasn't an idea or guideline I had been raised with. I remember there were about ten of us who took the challenge. I know of 2 who made it all the way to their wedding.
I was in 10th grade and been “going out” with a guy in my class. When I told him I had made that decision, he said it was ok with him, but a few weeks later, he said it wasn't working so we broke up. I went to a tiny public school in a tiny country town, so eventually everyone knew why we broke up, and if being a Christian who didn't go to parties was reason enough to be judged, they were loving the new material. But, I had a great group of Christian friends who said a guy who respected me enough would come along. My commitment also caused my senior year relationship to end, as well, even though he knew about it before we started dating.
I didn't date anyone until I met Fletcher 3 1/2 years later. (This wasn't a "no -dating conviction" thing...I just didn't meet anyone I had any interest in dating). Before we started dating, we knew we both wanted to wait until marriage to live together and to consummate the relationship, but I didn't bring up the kissing thing. I liked him so much and I didn't want to lose another one.
On our first date, we had a boundaries discussion, and he said he was fine with holding hands and hugging, but he wanted to wait on kissing. He never said how long, and I didn't want to say the word "marriage" on the first date. :) I thought about not bringing it up with him...I was 16 when I made that decision, and I was 21 when we started dating. I told myself I was old enough to control myself.
I went home for church one Sunday and one of the younger high schoolers was asking about this boy I was constantly talking about. She asked, "Does he want to wait until his wedding to kiss, too?" I had totally forgotten that I told the younger youth girls about it. So, I decided that if he brought it up, I would talk to him about it.
2 days later, we were sitting on the couch, he kissed my cheek, and his goatee tickled me. He laughed and said, "What are you going to do when I really kiss you?" So...he brought it up. I told him about my decision, scared to death he was going to break up with me, but...he didn't. He said that while he had not made that decision as early as I had, it was something he had thought about and wanted to commit to it.
It wasn't easy. It was honestly more difficult than not sleeping together, because we were raised knowing that's for marriage. We don't believe that kissing before marriage is a sin...but for us, it was a very clear boundary so we didn't have to worry about "How far is too far?"