I know that there have been a number of very popular books and movements in the Christian community in the past 2 decades about this topic. I have to show my age here. I just turned 41 last month and we are going to have our 20th wedding anniversary this May – and those ideas that Christians shouldn’t kiss before marriage came after we got married. So, they weren’t even something Greg or I had ever heard of much less considered in our relationship.
- I do agree that having healthy physical boundaries and agreed limits of physical contact is wise in a dating/courting relationship. Obviously, if you have no preparation or forethought about touching, it is very easy to just keep pushing the envelope and end up eventually having sex.
- God made our bodies to become aroused with certain kinds of touching and physical closeness and we are designed to want to finish the job. Once you get all worked up thinking about sex, it is very difficult to abruptly stop. And, obviously, God wants us to only have sex in marriage. So, there will have to be some healthy boundaries in place that are put there with great thought, careful prayer and a desire to pursue purity and holiness.
- Some people say that if they never kiss before marriage, it will help the couple to preserve their sexual purity. They also say that if a couple never kisses before marriage, there will be less damage emotionally if they end up not getting married.
- I know of a number of couples who have saved kissing for marriage. There is something very precious about a first kiss on the wedding day that appeals to me. It seems very romantic, right?
All I can do is talk about some of the wives I have met who did this and some of the results I have personally seen. I am not an expert on this issue. But – I have a few concerns…
- It is possible to become very legalistic about this idea. I think we have to watch our motives carefully no matter what we decide on this issue. Are we “more holy” because we are saving kissing for marriage? Nope. I don’t see where that would be the case. Are we going to be devastated if we do kiss before marriage? Kissing before marriage is not listed as a sin that I can see in the Bible. “Acting improperly” with the virgin a man is betrothed to is a problem, and God’s Word says they should go ahead and get married in that case. But I am concerned that we could label things as sin that are not necessarily sin and make things more difficult than necessary possibly.
- It is also possible to think that if we are “super pure” before marriage, then we are guaranteed to have extremely godly marriage with no problems. That is not the case at all. You can check out GraceAlone’s story to see that total sexual purity before marriage does not guarantee us “happily ever after.” There are no guarantees in marriage.
The only way we can find real, lasting contentment is when we submit fully to Christ as Lord.
- I have seen some couples wait to kiss until marriage and maintain total sexual purity before marriage, only to find out after marriage that the guy has no sex drive and that is why it was “easy” for him to agree to this. If you are courting or dating a man who says he doesn’t want to kiss until marriage – AND he talks about how easy it is not to have any affection with you or desire sex with you – that is a big red flag in my mind that there could be major sexual issues later in marriage. (My questions would be, was he abused sexually? Does he have low testosterone? Is he not attracted to her? What is the root of this?)
- I have also seen couples do this and have very different ideas of what affection will look like after marriage. I have seen men agree to not touch or kiss their girlfriend/fiancé before marriage, and then the woman is devastated to find out after marriage that he hates affection and doesn’t want to show ANY affection after marriage either.
- “Sex is the glue that holds marriage together” – Gary Thomas “Sacred Marriage.” If you are planning to marry a guy, you should both WANT to have sex with each other and it should be something you can hardly wait for. If either of you do not anticipate and greatly look forward to having sex together, that could spell large problems later in marriage.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:21-23
I think that it is tempting to want to come up with a bunch of rules about dating and courtship that will make things all work out just right. And I do think there are some guidelines and convictions that will be necessary. But living for Christ is not about a bunch of rules. It is about abiding in Him, seeking Him above all else, being sensitive to His Spirit and walking in His power.
Some boundaries I personally think could be wise to prayerfully consider that I plan to encourage my own children to prayerfully consider would be things like:
- avoid being alone in the car or an empty house
- stay in areas where other people will be
- avoid laying down on a bed or couch or the floor together
- avoid touching areas that clothing would generally cover
- don’t remove clothing
- avoid heavy petting
- avoid sexting
- avoid phone sex
- don’t send naked pictures
- PURSUE HOLINESS AND PURITY IN EVERYTHING YOU DO!
Having a plan is great. Having accountability partners would also be helpful, particularly godly parents! But ultimately, the only way for any of us to overcome any sin and live in victory is to stay close to Christ and seek Him FIRST with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength.
To Kiss or Not to Kiss by Justin Campbell