When I was a kid I used to think this meant that curiosity was a bad thing. I am a naturally curious person and so I was confused how wanting to know more and gain a better understanding of the world was a bad thing.
In high school I signed up for a chemistry course. I remember my teacher get exasperated with the number of times I would raise my hand.
One time, as she introduced a new concept my hand shot up and, as it did, she turned toward me and said "I prepared my lesson plan just for you. I knew you would ask 'why?' so I'm ready for you."
I don't remember the concept we discussed that day or her explanation of why but I'll never forget how she looked me in the eye ready to confront my curiosity head-on. It was awesome.
Today I strongly promote the character trait of curiosity in my sons. I want them to ask "why?" (despite how frustrating it can be, as any parent of a four year old knows!). I want them to learn and grow and understand the world around them.
But that wonderful curiosity also needs to be tempered by another saying "moderation in all things."
It is rampant, unchecked, and misdirected curiosity that will most certainly kill the cat.
Those that have overcome the addiction of pornography know that curiosity can destroy.
I once heard of a prominent religious leader that, many years ago, announced in a large gathering of people that he might be an alcoholic. The room went silent and all eyes were focused on this man. Those in the crowd couldn't believe their ears. He then said "but I'll never know, because I'll never touch a drop of alcohol."
I'll admit, I've never drank alcohol. I don't believe that alcohol was meant for man but I'll also admit that I'm perennially curious about what alcohol tastes like. I love cheese and I've heard that with wine it's even better. But I'll never know...because I might be an alcoholic too.
Now we should probably bring this topic back to marriage (since that is what this blog is about). Last week one of our young, single friends was talking about her relationship with her long time boyfriend. He's living in the western United States right now serving a church service mission and will be gone for another year.
During the conversation our friend mentioned that she was her boyfriend's first kiss and that when he completes his missionary service she would like him to date around a little bit and kiss some other girls.
A little surprised (she had just told us how much she loves him and was looking forward to marrying the boy) I inquired why. It was simple, she didn't want him to be curious five or ten years into their marriage about what kissing another girl was like.
My follow up: "Okay. So how many girls do you want him to have sex with before you get married?"The conversation quickly changed direction and I found that I was no longer a participant.
Appalled she replied: "NONE!"
Me: "Why not?"
Her: "Because sex is special and sacred. I don't want him to share himself with anyone else." (they are choosing to wait until after they are married)
Me: "Aren't you worried about him being curious about other women sometime into your marriage?"
Me: "So how many people does he need to kiss before he won't be curious? How many people does he need to have sex with? At point will he never be curious again?"
The point that I was trying to drive home is that while being curious perhaps can't be helped, indulging in curiosity is most certainly a choice. And, depending on the curiosity, choosing to indulge can be highly destructive.
Prior experience, or lack thereof, doesn't dictate the happiness or satisfaction you'll find in your marriage. Your self-control, commitment, and desire for a happy marriage make all the difference.
There are thousands of happily married couples, perhaps even tens of thousands, that never even kissed another person until their wedding ceremony. Tens of millions of people marry never having had sexual relations and they are wonderfully happy (my wife and I are two of them!).
Indulging in the wrong curiosities, such as pornography and adultery (both physical and emotional), will undermine the trust in your marriage. Curiosity does not justify infidelity of any kind. Satisfying destructive curiosities will not increase the happiness in your marriage or in your life.
I have never once indulged in the curiosity about what it would be like to kiss another woman, to hold hands with another woman, or to make love to another woman since the day I fell in love with and committed my heart, soul, and eternity to my wife. And I never will.
Curiosity didn't kill the cat. Indulging in curiosity killed the cat. Don't destroy your spouse's trust in you. Keep your curiosity in check; don't kill your marriage.