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To Kiss or Not to Kiss?

Paula Hendricks

I’ve started a new tradition when I speak—collecting girls’ deepest questions on index cards (that way no one knows who the questions belong to). This last time it seemed nearly every girl wanted to know about kissing.

  • “Is kissing guys prior to marriage okay?”
  • “Your opinions on kissing before marriage.”
  • “What is your viewpoint on kissing before your wedding day?”

Well, for the record, I’ve done it—kissed a guy before marriage. Three, actually. And we’re not talking just a peck on the cheek.

However, it’s been fifteen years since my last kiss. That’s right. I kissed for the last time on my sixteenth birthday.

Don’t cheer for me too soon, though. I stopped for all the wrong reasons.

I stopped kissing because in my mind, no kissing = “doing the God thing.” I thought I’d make His VIP list ’cause of my commitment. Since then, I’ve realized God didn’t love me any less when I kissed guys as a young teen, and God doesn’t love me any more since I’ve stopped kissing guys.

Well, if that’s true, does that mean I can just pucker up and kiss any ole’ guy I want to kiss?

Nope. Romans 2:4 tells me God’s grace is meant to lead me to repentance.

Today I have five very different reasons for not kissing:

  1. I want to “kiss the Son” (Ps. 2:12). I don’t literally and physically kiss God (God is Spirit, after all). But my desire is to pursue and exalt God as my greatest treasure—to “kiss” Him through the way I think about and draw near to and obey Him.
  2. I know myself. Kissing just leaves a girl wanting more (at least this one!). If I date in the future, I hope to stay as far away from kissing as possible this side of the altar. I don’t know that I’ll make it (sounds tougher than running a marathon!), but by God’s grace, I will choose to love and not lust after my boyfriend from the start.
  3. I’m not married yet. While I can’t go back and erase my past, I can start new! I’d love to save all my kisses from sweet sixteen on for my future husband as a gift. Once (or rather “if”) I marry, that’ll be the time to be extravagantly generous with my kisses.
  4. I’m brand new (2 Cor. 5:17). God has cleaned me up and declared me holy through Jesus’ righteous record. I choose to live in light of who I am. For me, this doesn’t begin with staying away from kissing—it happens long before, as I control my thoughts rather than letting them control me. I don’t struggle with not kissing in real life ’cause I’m not fantasizing about kissing in my thought life anymore.
  5. I have God’s Holy Spirit living in me, which means I finally have power for holy living (yippee!). I no longer have to be controlled by my desires; I get to control my desires by tapping into the Spirit’s self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). So thankful I have some help!

How about you? Why are you saving—or spending—your kisses this side of the altar? I’d love to hear your reason(s).

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