To Kiss, or Not to Kiss? And How?

And the leading man swept the leading lady off her feet and gave her a passionate kiss….So many people love movie kisses, which often look perfect and induce sighs amongst hopeless romantics. However, these kisses are usually French kisses. When it finally got to be time I would have the opportunity to start dating, I started to wonder if French kissing would be “right” or “wrong” (just cause everyone does it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right). I tried researching the topic. Some people seem to say it’s wrong while others say there’s nothing wrong with it….so is it a grey area? Reading in-between the lines, it seems like it’s better to wait for such kissing until marriage. I looked at what Protestants have to say about it. They bring up the idea of saving kisses until marriage, and the need to warn your boyfriend or girlfriend if that is your desire. One of the books I recommend for young women, Every Young Woman’s Battle, by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn, says that it is better to avoid French kissing because it is sexually arousing and passionate, to avoid prolonged kissing (more than 3 seconds), and warns that some sexually transmittable diseases, like herpes, can be transmitted through saliva. I found even more information on Chastity.com, a Catholic website, and found wonderful information under “Is French kissing bad? Everyone I talk to gives me a different answer.” It was stated:

“I used to take for granted that everyone knew that French kissing is sexually arousing, especially for a guy. But I have met women who act surprised when they find out that a man is sexually aroused by passionate kissing (or before then). French kissing is deeply unitive, since the penetration of one person into another is part of becoming one with him or her physically. This passionate kissing tells a man’s body that it should prepare for intercourse, and when a man is aroused, generally he is not satisfied until he is relieved.”

Before then, I knew that French kissing is arousing, but I had never thought of it like that — it’s becoming one with a person. French kissing is more than “just kissing.” It’s a passionate and unitive experience. The author continued:

“Therefore, French kissing teases the body with desires that cannot be morally satisfied outside of marriage. For the couple that is saving sex for marriage, French kissing is like a fifteen-year-old sitting in a car in his driveway, revving up the engine while keeping the car in park because he knows he does not have the license to drive.”

So even if a couple thinks they can exercise self-control in such a matter, it would be very difficult to avoid going further. Even in the movies, these kisses often go further–passionate kisses between the protagonists and then a steamy love scene. While it may look good or even seem desirable, French kissing is like the author’s analogy–teasing someone about driving but making them stay in park revving the engine. The author also mentioned that if a couple engages in French kissing but sets boundaries against anything past that, they will either eventually go further or become frustrated. Such ideology is even true in other aspects of life: once we get used to some new pleasure, we’ll eventually want to go further. Any type of kiss is special, if you really think about it, or at least it should be. Movies and pop culture teach all of us that it’s no big deal. But kissing should be special. As the author said:

“Nevertheless, some say that French kissing is really no big deal and does not mean anything. But isn’t there something in you that wants it to be a big deal? The more of ourselves we give away, the less we value the gift of our body and our entire self (and people will respond by treating us with less respect as well).”

We need to stop selling ourselves short and stop selling our kisses short–if you’re uncomfortable about kissing, don’t give in to the guys or girls you date. If they don’t honor your wishes when it comes to a small but important matter like kissing, how can you expect him or her to respect you when it comes to bigger issues? If someone really loves you, they will be patient and wait for you. Another important point:

“What happens to the unsuspecting teen is that the initial intimacy and excitement of a kiss is worn thin when he or she begins to give it away as if it’s a handshake. The profound meaning and depth of simple acts of affection are slowly lost. The world would like to tell us that we’re acquiring better dating skills, but we’re really just numbing ourselves.”

We shouldn’t just give away parts of ourselves–little or small–to just anyone. Little acts of affection–even just a kiss–can say a lot between two people that are truly in love and wish to show their love for each other. Wouldn’t a kiss be more special if you really love the other person–not if you’re just kissing the other person because you feel you’re expected to do so? So, although it will be an uphill battle, I’ve decided to do my best to wait for French kissing until marriage. It’s a sacrifice, but I hope God will lead me to someone who will appreciate that sacrifice and with whom I can share such kissing with for the rest of my life. It will be difficult, but it will be worth it. This would also be a wise idea for other people wishing to ensure a chaste and respectful relationship. On that note, I’d like to conclude with one more quote from the article:

“I encourage you to give it a shot. Give up French kissing until you are married. Keep the affection simple. If you have a difficult time accepting this, then have the honesty to ask yourself why. If you could not French kiss your boyfriend, would that hinder your ability to love him? Would not being able to French kiss your girlfriend hinder your ability to glorify God or to lead her to heaven? How much are our intentions directed toward our gratification, and how much to God’s glorification?”

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