KISSING IN A CHRISTIAN RELATIONSHIP
Christian dating culture seems to live in a constant gray territory. Since the Bible does not have explicit guidelines for dating, since dating did not exist in the Old or New Testament times, Christians now have to apply the principles of Scripture to the innovations of the time, dating included.
So when it comes to the concept of Christian kissing, that is, sharing more than a holy kiss in a greeting, should we save our first kiss till the wedding day no matter how long courtship takes? Should we kiss before we tie the knot?
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TELL US ABOUT PHYSICAL AFFECTION?
The Bible teaches us to treat one another with brotherly affection (Romans 12:10), but dating goes beyond brotherly love. In Greek, we’re talking about two different kinds of love.
PHILEO: Then said the Jews, “Behold how he loved him” (John 11:36). The Jews related to this kind of brotherly love for what Jesus had for his friend Lazarus. Even though Jesus had technically agape (unconditional) love, the Jews who believed him to be merely human attributed to him the highest human love possible: Phileo.
EROS: sex, lust, or desire (Song of Solomon 1:2-4). The Bible tells us that God only allows acts of Eros, sexual acts within the confines of marriage.
Yet even if we’re drawn to our significant other, does that mean that kissing comes under Eros? More than that, can we reserve a wedding kiss, and do we sin if we kiss before we tie the knot?
WHAT IS A KISS?
A kiss is the brushing or pressing of one’s lips against another person or object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary greatly. Depending on culture and meaning, a kiss may convey feelings of love, desire, romance, sexual attraction, sexual activity, sexual excitement, affection, gratitude, greeting, friendship, peace, and good luck, among many others.
The point that kisses are a form of greeting will quiet the religious uproar of protests that emerge in your head every time you hear the word “kiss.”
Interestingly, the word “kiss” is used 46 times in the Bible, in a positive way, so it cannot be a bad thing.
WE HAVE VARIOUS FORMS OF KISSES, AND THEY SERVE SEVERAL PURPOSES;
• Kisses can be used to show allegiance, for instance, when Samuel kissed Saul in 1 Sam 10:1.
I Samuel 10:1 “Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?”
• Kisses can be used to show love or friendship to the family, e.g., Esau’s kiss to Jacob in Gen 33:4.
Genesis 33:4 “And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.”
Please note that Jacob’s kiss to Rachel in Gen 29:1 was one of affection and love for the family, just as Rachel was his cousin.
• Finally, we have the amorous kiss (also known as the “French Kiss”) that we see in Solomon’s songs 1:2
Song of Solomon 1:2 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.”
This is the kiss that we’re talking about.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing affection and devotion by innocent kisses on your forehead or face, depending on your cultural context and personal relations with the Holy Spirit.
You have to know where to draw the line between the kiss of love and affection and the kiss of lust. A quick peck on the cheek while dating someone is unlikely to cause lust, it is like those typically exchanged between friends who greet each other in Latin American culture. On the other hand, a prolonged deep kiss (like when each person’s tongue is touching) is lustful.
There are several gradations in-between the two extremes described above, and, likely, what is sinful for one person would not be sinful for another, depending on their thinking processes.
Repeated kissing is considered foreplay as a rehearsal for sexual intercourse. It may be the first “stop” of the “train” that ends with penetration at the final destination, but it is still part of the same general process. It can easily be a sexually charged “warm-up” that prepares for consummation even if the couple ultimately avoids going that far. Often it’s not that easy to put this act in a watertight compartment that’s completely separated from sex.
THE AMOROUS OR FRENCH KISS
1 CORINTHIANS 6:18-20
“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body, but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
“Amorous” or “French kiss” is directly linked to sexual activity.
This requires passion and anticipation, which, more often than not, results in raging hormones that can inevitably lead to fornication if done outside of wedlock.
We must note that our God is one who checks our souls, not just our actions. The contents of our hearts mean more to God than what we do. So if you have mastered the level of discipline to ensure that your physical contact with your partner does not lead to sex while you do everything else (kissing, hugging, and even cuddling) with a lustful heart, you have already fornicated.
As simple as a hug might seem, it can be sinful
Unfortunately, many “virgins” in today’s world have fornicated many times without real physical penetration. This is one of the reasons I believe that World Sexual Purity Day held on every November 14th of the year is not about virgins, but about anyone who has chosen to remain sexually pure for God because, as soon as you decide to become sexually pure and honor God with your body, He cleans your past and you start on a new note.
What’s the purpose of being in a Christian relationship and pledging to refrain from sex before marriage if you can have an “unholy kiss”? You have other kinds of excessive intimacy with your partner (other than sex), but in your mind, you think, “I know what I would have done to that sister/brother, if not that we’re abstaining from sex.”
Brethren, who are we deceiving? Know for sure that God cannot be mocked.
Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
No matter how connected and attached you are to your partner, God doesn’t see you as one if you’re not yet married.
Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Ephesians 5:31 says, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
Such scriptures clearly state that God only permits and respects the union of a man and a woman when they have become one in marriage.
Of course, there will certainly be times when our flesh is going to do what it does best, try to rule. Don’t feel bad about that, it’s natural.
Unfortunately, religion makes us feel unholy and filthy if we have sexual urges, but this is incorrect because our sexuality should be admired and not hated. God has created us that way, and it’s for a reason. There are many examples of couples who have been married and have had sexual problems because of the long-term mindset that sex is impure and unholy. They have gotten to the point where they can’t embrace sex as God’s creation, and that could make a marriage doom.
SHOULD WE KISS IN OUR CHRISTIAN RELATIONSHIP?
Our relationship with God by worship is synonymous with a kiss. We are the bride of Christ, so there isn’t any intimacy that is not permitted between God and us; this is because we are married to Him.
Having a deep kind of physical intimacy with someone you’re not married to is a sin, and the Bible advises us to flee.
A French kiss between two unmarried couples is very dangerous and completely needless. Why start something that you can’t finish?
If you are here with the question, “Is it a sin to kiss?” “Then you are searching for the wrong stuff.
1 Corinthians 6:12 says, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
Apostle Paul acknowledges that certain things might not be sins on their own, but they are unnecessary. It just reveals how much control it has over you.
The question is not whether it’s a sin; the problem is whether it’s profitable to walk with God.
Was that expedient? Are you being put under this subjection?
Imagine if things didn’t work out in that relationship and you married someone else, you’d have been kissing someone else’s husband or wife.
Given these, I urge Christians who have contemplations about kissing in their relationship to realize that it’s not so much about kissing as it is about your intentions and the content of your heart.
Without deceiving ourselves, we know when the lines are crossed and the initial innocent embrace, cuddling, holding hands, or kissing is no longer genuine and pure from the heart. You have to make sure that you don’t cross the line into lust.
HOW INTIMATE SHOULD A CHRISTIAN COUPLES BE BEFORE MARRIAGE?
So, what is the point of dating? What level of intimacy can Christians attain before they fall into sexual sin?
This varies from one dating relationship to another. Some Christians don’t hold hands until they get married, while others regularly kiss as friends or as lovers. The matter at hand is based again on the heart position of those concerned. Are these acts of affection done before God with a clear conscience?
Here, we need to decide the point of dating and how it varies from marriage.
In dating, we’re looking to learn more about a person that we can see as a marriage partner. We’re not introducing dating as a method to indulge in the bond of intimacy. This is meant for marriage alone.
But why is that? Why are we going to have to wait? Does God just want to see us sad before we put a ring on it?
No. We need to realize that when we get acquainted with them, we chemically bond with someone. The Bible has a word for it: to become one flesh (Mark 10:8). So when we break a relationship with someone we’ve been intimate with, it hurts. It breaks us apart on a chemical and physical basis.
God wants us to stop this bonding before marriage because he wants us to escape the immense pain and hurt that comes from a broken relationship. Intimacy is reserved for the protection of the marriage covenant, where both parties have sworn faithfulness and unconditional love to God.
What’s important to you? Do you love the Lord with all your heart? Jesus said in Matthew 22:37,
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” Matthew 22:37
How important is your obedience to the Lord? As Christ has commanded us to be faithful and to flee from sin (1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22), the question is: do you follow Christ and flee from youthful lusts and support your boyfriend or girlfriend to flee from sex until you are married or sexual activity is no longer sin? Do you want to be a godly man or a godly woman?
How are you supposed to behave if your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to kiss and doesn’t care about pleasing God? The response is to say that you’re holding yourself for the man or woman you’re going to marry, that you want to be a godly man or woman, or respond with one of the following (for suggestions):
1. This is not a good idea. It’s a sin to get sexually stimulated before we get married.
2. This is too much, too soon!
3. Slow down! Let’s take control of our emotions.