Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Don't Kiss the Girl: EXPLAINED

From an early age we're introduced to a concept of love and romance in a way that most of us won't understand until we get into are pre-teen years, and later on in life. While for most of us, this seems like just a normal everyday thing, for others its a concept that is introduced to us through means other than natural inclination. Most of us learn about love and relationships through television shows and stories, or we may learn about it from the people in our lives such as parents and other family members or even friends and Neighbors.

Love and romance are essential factors in everyday life, and the way that we are introduced to these Concepts will often dictate the way that we approach them in the future.  The way that we learn about it says a lot about how we will approach it in our future. That's why today I want to talk about my song "Don't Kiss the Girl".

By now, most of you of know that most of the songs on "Ascension: the Creative Power of the Imagination" are based on either Social/Cultural Concepts written from a Christian Perspective, or from Personal Experiences which helped me grow deeper in my faith. This song is a little bit of both.

The story takes place at the end of a marriage, transitioning into the beginning of a divorce. At the time I was separated from my wife and was living outside of our home. I was hoping that over time we could reconcile our marriage and continue on, but that's not the same thing that she had in mind. After she served me with divorce papers, I was living in solitude and loneliness. In the events leading up to our divorce, I was staying in a separate room and sleeping in a separate bed from my wife. So I think it's safe to say that I had already learned to live in solitude and loneliness for a few months already. This experience was merely solidifying some of the habits that I have formed over the last few months.

In the opening lyrics, I signify this with the first two lines
"Honesty, Chastity, virtues held on high
Purity, Reliability, are the places in which I strive" 
These lyrics speak on past mistakes as a person, and a desire to live in the reality of what I saw as mistakes in my own life, while at the same time acknowledging the reality of things that were beyond my control. Namely, I was now a divorced man who's sexual urges had not simply faded away, and needed to put that part of myself in check, lest I succumb to sexual immorality. I needed to be honest with myself about the fact that I was going to be struggling with sexual immorality and temptations in the near future, and possibly, for the rest of my life. To Simply deny these urges and pretend that they weren't there was only going to set me up for failure.

This is the need for Honesty and Chastity.

The lyrics purity and reliability speak to the fact that I was going to have to align my actions with (what I said were) my current convictions. I was going to have to become more pure in thought, as well as my actions. I was also going to have to become a more reliable person to myself, lest I renege on all of my personal convictions and let myself down, as well other people who looked up to me at the time.
"But the heart has a motive, it's beating from within
But the heart doesn't know it's unable to comprehend" 
In popular culture today, we are told that if we follow our hearts, it will lead us to happiness and well-being. This couldn't be further from the truth, and I can attest to that personally. The scriptures tell us in Jeremiah 17:9 that "the heart is deceitfully wicked Above All Things". We are also told in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our hearts above all things because everything that we do "flows from the heart". And in yet another Passage we are told that "hope deferred makes the heart weak" (Proverbs 13:12), which seems to indicate that our motivation and primary drive for life is fueled by the desires of our hearts.

Listen to an early demo version of Don't Kiss the Girl
So while it may seem true that our hearts will guide us to happiness, this is similar to giving a small child every desire that he demands. The child will either become a terrible brat, or will put himself and others in mortal danger, or both. In the same way, the heart has its own agenda, but does not understand logic, only emotions. The heart is unable to comprehend the consequences of moral and logical choices, which is why we must be led by wisdom, rather than our hearts.

Now that we have the stage set and the background is pretty much laid out for the rest of the song, I want to introduce the new factor in the driving force behind the rest of the song. This is going to be the concept of moving forward in a new relationship and trying all over again with love. The biggest obstacle in this scenario was the fact that I was somewhat dating recreationally, as a man on the rebound, rather than a man who was looking for a mate.

I am of the conviction that people were never created to bounce around from relationship to relationship, but intended to find a mate, settle down, get married and start a family. When God created Adam he said that "it is not good for man to be alone", before he created Eve. Now a lot of people tend to sneer on this concept of starting a relationship and taking it as far as it's intended to go. It is considered unwise because we are so used to seeing relationships tragically fall apart in our culture today. Not only do people get bored with each other and break off relationships unnecessarily, they are also cheaters & liars, amongst other things. All you have to do is log on to Twitter or skim through the magazines in your local grocery store check out to get a general idea of how people feel about relationships. It isn't a pretty picture.

That's where these next set of lyrics come in.
"Integrity, fidelity, were recently cast aside
And my sanity and security we're the ones to be sacrificed"
These lines convey the idea of fully putting your trust into your partner/spouse in a relationship, only to have that trust broken by infidelity on their part. It basically shatters your perception of security, it leaves you with an uneasy vulnerable feeling in just about every situation. It's incredibly difficult for a person to develop a normal sense of trust after having their trust broken in this way.
"Now we're starting it over
The heart is still broken
I know that I need more time
To discover the things that I need to regain my life 
And nobody knows the truth"
The end of this verse touches on the beginning of a new relationship in spite of the fact that I had not completely healed from the last one. This is something that I did habitually in my youth, I guess you could say that I was just running back to my old ways. I was doing what I knew, even though I knew that it was no good for me. I was simply looking for a kind of relief...what we refer to as a rebound. The problem was, I was I no longer in my youth. I was an adult now. Granted, I was a young adult, but still an adult one who knew better none the less. And the fact that I had a fractured sense of security and trust led me to internalize my feelings and emotions rather than share them with someone, or just getting the counseling that I needed.

Hence the line, nobody knows the truth.
"If anybody knew what was really on my mind.
No one needs to know how I really feel inside" 
The Dragon, The Sun
Click to listen to a very different kind of love song.
So there I was, starting a new relationship, without giving myself time to heal from the last one. And I was actually embarrassed about the kinds of thoughts I was having at the time. Some of the things going through my mind were not only thoughts of a sexual desire and attraction to this new girl, but also thoughts of trying to adjust to the fact that I was no longer married, and that I still had a longing to be in a deep meaningful relationship, rather than a playful one. I especially knew that it wouldn't do me any good to share these thoughts with the girl that I was dating, because I'd probably either confuse her or scare her away.

I definitely didn't want to share these thoughts with any of my friends, because they were under the impression that I just needed to date and to get my mind off of my old crush, or whatever. I knew that for most of them, dating was more of a frivolous activity, than something to be taken seriously. Everybody in my circle was jumping from relationship to relationship (with the exception of the few couples who had been having kids together). So I didn't feel the need to discuss my thoughts with anyone. I thought it would be better if I just kept it to myself.
"I know that I'm broken, I'm trying to cope
But my emotions Never Lie"
I don't want anyone to confuse this with the idea of listening to my heart, or letting it guide me. What I  mean by "my emotions Never Lie" is this: I know how I feel, and I can only do my best to react accordingly. To pretend like I wasn't lonely or sad, would just be dishonest. To pretend that I wasn't confused when I really was, would be foolish. We should all have a working knowledge of our own emotions so that they can serve as a barometer for these kinds of decisions. While it may be completely irresponsible to let your emotions guide you, it would be even more irresponsible to pretend that they don't exist. Again, the best you can do when dealing with your emotions is to allow wisdom to guide you, even at the expense of going against your own emotions.
"Does anybody know if there's a way to do this right?
Don't kiss the girl" 
This represents the emotional conflict of having full knowledge of what you should do, but doing something else instead because it caters more to your emotions rather than to logic and wisdom. It's kind of like asking for directions in vain, when you know that you're not going to follow the map anyway. All the while, telling myself these truths about my emotions, I already had the answer in my head the entire time:
Don't kiss the girl! 
The second verse signifies the rest of the new relationship, after I've made the decision to go through with it, rather than to allow myself more time to heal.
"Oh, the truth.
It feels so good not to fight it.
And I'm telling you, there's no way I could ever deny it" 
I decided that I was going to be honest about my thoughts, and stop trying to pretend like I wasn't having them. In turn, I took the hedonistic route by completely indulging in the relationship for what it was; a fling. I was just going to let myself go for the ride and just try to deal with any emotions and consequences, rather than over-thinking the possibilities.
"But my heart isn't Frozen
I need you to know because I want you by my side"
Because I knew that this was just a frivolous relationship, I wouldn't let things get so deep. I wouldn't let myself fall into deep passion unnecessarily, which kind of robbed the relationship of its romance. I was allowing the girl to be my companion, without ever really giving myself to her.
"But I need to believe there's a way I can do this right
So now that you know the truth" 
Even though I was indulging in the relationship, I would only go so far, because I was still reluctant about its legitimacy and I still wanted to be sure that I could do the right thing. So, I went against my better judgment, and told her that I was having second thoughts about whether or not we should be in a relationship with each other. I told her that I liked her, and that I liked the company, but I wasn't sure if we were doing the right thing. Basically, I felt like I have been cheating on my wife even though we were already divorced.
"I can never be sure, and I've fallen so short.
I'm broken deep inside."
This last portion gives a deeper meaning to the kind of thoughts that I was having during that relationship, as it represents an internal struggle between a desire to have a legitimate meaningful relationship, and a desire to follow the culture, by coasting through an easy fling. All of my friends were hooking up, and it didn't seem to be bothering them very much. But when it came to me, and my love life, I was mortified by the idea, even though I still had the physical and psychological desires to be with a woman. Deep down, I knew that outside of marriage, what I was attempting would only bring disaster to my life, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually. I was destroying myself. I was torn.

Ultimately, this song is a coming-of-age story about a young man who learns to trust his convictions rather than his emotions. It speaks to the internal conflict between fleshly desire and morality, combined with the decisions that we must make on the day-to-day, concerning the two. While some people would like to believe that sexual immorality has no real consequence, most of us tend to disagree. This is not only represented in the initial feelings of guilt, reluctance, and overall confusion that comes along with frivolous and casual sexual relationships, but it is also represented in the deeper fractured psychological responses to our decisions, shown in today's culture.


For instance, there was a study done, in 2003, by the Center for Data Analysis, that suggests teenagers who are sexually active at a young age tend to suffer more from depression, than those who remain abstinent throughout their teenage years. Another study, done last year by a website called peerchallenge.com, gives a list of reasons why teenagers become sexually active. Surprisingly, attraction was only number 3 on the list, with other factors, such as social pressure, media, boredom, drugs and alcohol, and an overall desire to be loved. Of course, if anyone were to ask me personally, my defense for abstinence would be, "because God said so".

When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, in the Old Testament, he lamented that he had sinned against God. Even though many lives were ruined in his decisions, he still considers the greatest of his sins to be the fact that he transgressed against the Living God. This is the kind of mindset that we need to have if we want to live a supernatural life. The Holy Spirit not only lives inside of every Christian, but also gives us the wisdom and grace to make those hard decisions, if only we would inquire and listen to him.

The rest of the song is wrapped up by admitting that I was not able to maintain the integrity that I desired, but lacked:
"Yes, I'm trying to wait to avoid this mistake
 But still, I have you here tonight" 
This represents the sheer weakness and utter depravity of the flesh. The Bible tells us when the enemy comes in like a flood, that we should submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from us. In contrast, we are also, commanded to "Flee from sexual immorality". We are actually recommended to stand our ground against the Enemy of the Saints, but told to flee from sexual immorality. It is THAT POWERFUL.

My decisions come with the guilt that can't be undone, but still can be learned from. So please, take my advice:
"Don't kiss the girl".

Did you enjoy this presentation of the deeper meaning of this song? 
Did you learn anything? 
Do you agree or disagree with my final thoughts? 
Leave me a comment and give me your thoughts as well, and I'll see you next time.

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