Note: For a full discussion on the issue of kissing see
our article A Kiss Is Just A Kiss?
Our comments are based on two assumptions:
1. That you are asking for a Christian response, and
2. That you have read the two articles on our web site – Premarital Kissing and Premarital Ethics, at www.fortifyingthefamily.com.
If you are not interested in a response according to a Christian worldview, then you need go no further. If you haven’t read the above articles, I encourage you to do so.
Our position is not one of an abolitionist against all forms of kissing, even before marriage. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of kissing (even passionately kissing i.e., Gen 45:15 and Acts 20:37) people other than their own spouse. Additionally, the Bible commands Christians to “Greet each other with a [holy] kiss [of love].” (Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20; 2 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14).
But it is exactly at the biblical exhortation that we begin drawing a line between what is proper kissing and improper kissing. Even the way you phrased your question betrays a distinction for you did not ask, “Can you please explain to me why kissing and especially passionately kissing another person before marriage is not in our best interest?” but your question was, “Can you please explain to me why kissing and especially passionately kissing with another person before marriage is not in our best interest?” The “with” brings forth many underlying connotations and presuppositions (recreational, for example).
That the Bible exhorts Christians to greet one another with a holy kiss and a kiss of love begins to establish certain parameters. First, we are to greet one another, not accost or wrestle with or tongue strangle or any of the other activities that go on when one becomes emotionally and physically aroused by the sensual nature of intimate kissing. Second, the kind of kissing Christians are to engage in is “holy kissing.” Holy means separate, distinct, and set apart. Christians are not to engage in the kind of every day intimate petting and fornication that non-Christians engage in. We are called to be a holy people, a holy nation, and, therefore, the way we kiss (as well as everything we do in life) should be holy too. Third, the Christian kiss is to be one of love i.e., an outward expression of the love and care one has for the person being kissed.
But before one quits reading thinking the argument is over, we’re not talking about any ‘ol kinda love (that is, some naturalistic definition of what love might be) but rather the Biblical definition of love that is found, say, at 1 Cor 13 for example. It is love that seeks the best for and in the interest of the other person rather for one’s own self. Unfortunately, much of what is pre-marital kissing (it certainly happens a lot post-marital too) is nothing more than selfish and self-seeking lust especially on the part of the male partner.
Thus, if one is biblically loving the person they are with the question is not, “Can you please explain to me why kissing and especially passionately kissing with another person before marriage is not in our best interest?” But rather, “Can you please explain to me why kissing and especially passionately kissing with another person before marriage is not in their best interest?” Biblical love shows more (not equal) concern for others than for self.
But before I comment on why unbiblical kissing is not in one’s best interest, I would like to spend just a little more time on what I believe God says about the subject through the Scriptures.
Unfortunately, the scriptures don’t distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate ways or means of kissing. But the scriptures have a lot to say about the overall behavior and conduct of God’s people both corporately and individually of which, one would seem to have to agree, kissing would be a part of the overall guidance. Thus Christians affirm a certain and distinct system of ethics (right behavior vs wrong behavior) from that system of ethics that non-Christians hold to.
For the Christian ethics to maintain some difference from the rest of the world, there are some assumptions that the Christian is expected to know, understand, and work from first:
Finally, you ask, “Can you please explain to me why kissing and especially passionately kissing with another person before marriage is not in our best interest?” The Bible teaches us that God is a God of justice. He rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. He has established a covenant with His people based on blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. For example:
Deuteronomy 11:13 And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deuteronomy 11:26 - 28 - Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.
Deuteronomy 12:28 Observe and obey all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you and your children after you forever, when you do [what is] good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
Deuteronomy 15:5 only if you carefully obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe with care all these commandments which I command you today.
Creation is orderly in its very nature. The Bible teaches us that this created order exists everywhere: in the physical composition of matter, in the business affairs of men, in the construction of the family unit, in societal construction and government, and in our personal relationships with each other.
To violate that created order is to invite negative consequences. When a man jumps off a building it matters not how good his intentions were or his sincerely held belief that all men are destined to fly. When he hits the bottom he reaps the consequences of disobeying God’s created order.
The opposite is equally true and important in understanding the non-Christians function in the world. For when another man walks to the edge of the building and, applying the Christian worldview, walks away, God blesses him with life for his obedience. It matters not whether the man consciously attributes the life giving knowledge he just exercised to God or not. The fact that he has learned of the orderly nature of creation and obeys the rules of the order is a blessing to him. But this is a whole different subject.
The same principle applies in our relationships with other people. There are blessings for obeying the laws of creation and curses for disobeying. If we lie, steal, cheat, murder, covet, and lust there will be negative consequences. God’s covenant guarantees it:
Deut 7:9 - Therefore know that the LORD your God, He [is] God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.
Deut 5:9 - For I, the LORD your God, [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth [generations] of those who hate Me, 10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
People demonstrate their love of God through obedience to His commands and their hatred of God through their rebellious disregard for His commandments and the created order of our world.
Thus, I would conclude that it is in the best interest of you and your friends to know the word of God with regards to your relationships and to obey His word. I must conclude that the activity of sensual intimate kissing, as an activity designed as a prelude to sexual intercourse, is reserved for married couples and that for unmarried persons to engage in the activity is to invite the punishments of disobedience to God and play Russian Roulette with one’s future.
Andre, this may be a bit more than what you bargained for, but as I said, I wanted to take the time and try to give you a thoughtful reply.
I hope I have accomplished that and been able to communicate those thoughts to you. I hope you will write back.