It seems that there are a lot of young couples around me right now, and a lot of new relationships are forming quickly. Due to that, I thought this exhortation would be helpful, and sometimes necessary, for my brothers in Christ to hear.
I have given a list of reasons why you should not kiss until you are married. I hope this encourages and sanctifies you as you read and consider what I have written.
Kissing causes temptation.
You should not even put yourself in a situation where you may be enticed to sin. Christ equates lust with adultery. However normative lust seems in our culture—it is an abomination. I plead with you, brother, not to waver in your pursuit of all that is holy.
We are told to lay aside anything that keeps us from running quickly after Christ as well as the sin that ensnares us (Hebrews 12:1-2). “But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints,” (Ephesians 5:3, Emphasis Mine).
Consider whether you are deliberately getting as close to sin as you can, without actually touching it. This is not good. “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death,” (James 1:14-15, Emphasis Mine)
It is more passion than you might think.
“But, what if kissing doesn’t cause you to lust. There are many cultures that kiss merely as a greeting,” one may reason. There are a couple errors with this statement.
First, you are not in one of those cultures. You do not share their worldview. And, that is not what kissing means to you. I grant that it may not mean as much to the French. But, in our culture, kissing is progress in your relationship. It forms a bond of intimacy and affection that may be wise to save until marriage.
Second, kissing may not directly cause lust. This doesn’t mean that it cannot indirectly cause lust. When you begin to kiss in your relationship, you cross a boundary that allows much more passion to enter your relationship. The emotional connection becomes far greater than before. There may be some desire that finds its way into your hearts. Also, remember that your partner may be falling into temptation even if you are not. It should be in your best interest to keep each other pure and focused on the Lord.
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2:22
You must treat her as your sister.
This woman is not your wife. Before anything else, she is your sister. She will be your sister for all eternity, but even your marriage will come to an end (Matthew 22:30). Care for her and treat her as your sister in this way. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says “Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and with all propriety, the younger women as sisters.” Though Paul is speaking of rebuke, he encourages Timothy to treat the younger women as sisters.
More than that, he says to do it with all propriety. Treat her with the utmost respect. Treat her in an appropriate way. The Greek word used in this passage for “propriety” is hagneia, which is properly translated “purity” only one chapter earlier (1 Timothy 4:12). We should follow in the advice of Paul to Timothy to treat younger women as sisters with all purity and propriety.
Things may not end the way you think.
Girlfriend is not a life-long status. Christian men, the reason you are dating is so you can determine whether this is the woman who you will marry. Until you are wedded, there is no guarantee that you will be with her forever. I realize that it is not likely that your relationship will end for most of you, but it is still not worth taking the chance.
If this does end up happening, you have been very intimate with someone who will one day belong to another man.
If you have any doubt, don’t do it.
Don’t kiss if there is anything in you which says that you shouldn’t. You should do nothing out of doubt. Do not go against your conscience. By doing this, Paul says that some have made shipwreck of their faith (1 Timothy 1:19). Paul knows a thing or two about shipwrecks (picture proof below), so I would trust him on this.
Having a bad conscience is a good reason to not kiss, whether or not your logic can find fault (Romans 13:5). Scripture speaks numerous times on the importance of keeping a good conscience (Titus 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:5, 3:9, 1 Peter 3:16, and more). If there is anything in you or your significant other thinking that you should not kiss, don’t do it. Make sure that you ask your girlfriend if her conscience is clear about this as well.
Waiting is advised.
I have heard from many wise men and women about boundaries in a dating relationship. There is a pattern in their advice.
The married couples who did not kiss before they got married do not regret it. More than that, they would advise other couples to do the same. Doing this cultivated passion in their relationship later on, and it was totally worth it to them. The married couples who did kiss before they got married say that they would do that differently if they could.
Couples who don’t kiss can testify to you that they lack nothing. They are content and loving in their relationship, and they grow even stronger in the Lord through their fellowship. They advise not kissing until marriage.
I can think of 12 people who have urged me to abstain from kissing. I can think of only 1 who has said that I should. The advice of these godly men and women mean too much for me to ignore.
Do not cause your brother to stumble.
Because you know that abstaining from kissing until marriage is not a sin, you and your partner may decide to allow it. Though you know this, you should still not kiss in front of other believers.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God.
There are many brothers and sisters who are convinced that this is not wise, and you may not know when they are around you.
This is not legalism.
Accusations of legalism will probably meet my plea. It is not legalistic to pursue holiness and strive to be pleasing to God in every way possible. As R.C. Sproul pointed out, Jesus kept the law perfectly, and he wasn’t a legalist. It is a good thing to live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel. This is a topic for another day, but I encourage you to not reject what I have said because you believe it’s legalistic.
What would you say to these things? Feel free to lovingly keep this conversation going by giving your input in the comments. Blessings on you and your partner.