“There is nothing necessary about kissing your partner before marriage.”
Years ago I read a piece about a husband and wife who had not kissed until after their wedding vows and I remember thinking hard about how awkward that first kiss would have been. I also remember thinking there’s no way I could forfeit sex and also forfeit kissing. My qualms also ranged from if I don’t kiss him then we’d really be nothing but glorified friends so there would be nothing to differentiate him, to just why would I deprive myself? So I continued kissing, never entertaining the thought of abstaining from an activity I had come to love and perfect, until very recently. A few months ago I was once again presented with the idea of no kissing before marriage and this time I gave it far more thought.
Having long pledged allegiance to the yes-to-kissing-before-marriage- sorority, I was intrigued by the arguments from the “no kissing brigade” and how they used scripture to reinforce their ideology. This article is my attempt to piece together their perspective and produce something of substance for the undecided amongst us.
I’m writing from the angle that kissing is not a sin. I wanted to lead with that so as to avoid any confusion about my own stance but to reemphasise, kissing is not a sin.
The no-kissing-crew lead with the argument that kissing can lead to sin and so should be avoided. The entire Bible warns against sin and the implications of giving in to sexual desires. No kissing bandwagoners would most likely recite 2nd Timothy 2:22 or Romans 6 :11, the former explaining that we should “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” and the latter telling us to “consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”. When a verse like the Romans verse is juxtaposed with a verse like the Timothy verse, it’s easy to understand how they birthed their ideology and follow their rationale.
They ( by they I mean the-no-kissing-crew, although I need to find a cooler name for them) will likely expound on the fact that sin is committed in the heart first as reason to avoid it. Again, I wouldn’t discredit or even try to reduce the reality that sin is first conceived in the heart. Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:28, “but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This corroborates James 1:15, “then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” So again, I can appreciate their line of reasoning.
Staunch no kissing bandwagoners will stress their disdain for all types of pre-marital kissing, whilst the more liberal of the bunch have mapped out “safe zones”. Safe zones refer to the areas on the body whereby kissing your boyfriend or girlfriend are considered acceptable such as the forehead, the hand or the cheek. They’d also make a distinction between the type of kissing. A light kiss on the lips would be deemed permissible whereas French kissing, or any kissing whereby the tongue is wildly active would be deemed too much.
I’ll begin with the “kissing can lead to sin” line. I would never deny the truth in this statement. When lips touch, hands tend to dance around the body and hormones tend to rise. Especially where you have an insatiable attraction to the other person, hormones can reach an unprecedented level and cause you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise do. However, this isn’t true for everyone. I don’t believe it’s naïve to say that some of us can indulge in pre-marital kissing without wanting to caress each other’s bodies. I believe some of us can indulge in pre-marital kissing without the need to engage in coitus (do forgive me for my use of that word, I love it so much). I’m in no way advocating that we push things to the sin-less limit for pleasure sakes, I’m simply stating that all fingers are not the same.
When analysing sin, we have to be absolutely real with ourselves. However, being real with ourselves means accepting that some of the vanguards for the no-kissing-before-marriage-gang will still sin in their hearts even though they’re abstaining from doing the exact same thing they say leads to sin being conceived in the first place. Being realistic also means accepting that there will be instances where a sin in your heart hasn’t been conceived and purity is still upheld. For example, picture a boyfriend showing up to his girlfriend’s door holding her favourite item in his hands. She opens the door, sees the gift, beams with excitement and kisses him. Purity, I believe is upheld in this instance.
Likewise, I have to contend with the idea of safe zones by saying there’s nothing particular safe about these zones. If we judge by their reasoning, then it doesn’t matter where the kiss is planted, it would still equate to sin. Likewise, even these safe zones can arouse your insatiable desire for each other when one or both of you is in the mood. So how safe can they really be?
However, my greatest contention is that these believers have created a rule and if another believer does not suscribe to the ideology then they can’t be considered Christian. I resent that. There is no biblical “rule” on kissing but there is a very important message about holiness which isn’t refined to relationships alone (by the way). Given that holiness is the principle thing then the question should be framed in line with that. Will kissing this person lead me to sin? The question ought to be answered realistically as well and might need to be asked on a case by case basis. You will need to be transparent with each other about your urges as well. Yes, this might seem irksome but if holiness is what you desire you’ll find solace in it.
The agreement to not kiss each other before your wedding day should be mutual and not an imposition by one on to another. Even where you do kiss, boundaries should be set, remembering always to edify each other.
I simply believe that purity and the physical sharing of affection can co-exist as in my earlier example but never at the expense of your salvation.
What do you think?
Love Cris x
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