Please note: This is a two part series...
Part Two of a Controversial Topic: Did you miss part 1? I suggest you read it now before continuing on to read part 2!
Someone on Twitter recently asked me the following question:
"What is your advice on kissing while dating? If a couple has already shared kisses should they discontinue until marriage?"
I decided to answer that question in a two-part blog series titled, "Should You Kiss Before Marriage?" This is part two. In part one
I make the case for why it is wise to wait to kiss until you are married. Today we tackle the reasons why you should
kiss before marriage. Let's begin.
Why You Should Kiss Before You Marry Someone
Things are about to get a little more controversial...
Intimacy is extremely important in a marriage relationship. There is no doubt about that. And intimacy takes many forms. I summarize these as emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, experiential intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy.
All the forms of intimacy are important for your marriage relationship to be healthy. For example, if you aren't able to be emotionally vulnerable and have an emotional intimacy with one another to a certain level and depth while dating, you better consider not getting married because you are not ready for the depth needed in marriage. In fact, an inability to be emotionally intimate should lead you to eventually break up if you are not able to overcome this problem.
All the forms of intimacy take work to cultivate in a close dating relationship...all but one. You guessed it, physical intimacy. You should not have to worry about cultivating that form of intimacy. That should come completely naturally. Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. You should have to struggle to keep your hands and lips inside the ride at all times. It may take work to develop your emotional, intellectual, experiential, and spiritual intimacy. But cultivating your physical intimacy shouldn't be much "work" at all.
"All the forms of intimacy take work to cultivate in a close dating relationship...all but one. You guessed it, physical intimacy. You should not have to worry about cultivating that form of intimacy."
But what happens when you aren't physically compatible with one another? What if you have all these feelings, emotions, and hormones rushing through your body and you finally kiss at the altar and think, "Meh. That was okay." How anticlimactic! If you are unable to fulfill one another at an emotional level and meet each other's needs in that area, I would highly suggest on waiting to marry until you can. And if you kiss someone and there is no "spark", you should seriously consider whether or not you are right for one another. I'm not saying that physical chemistry is the most important thing. I'm saying that it is highly important, however.
Back in my dating days, I was attracted to girl whose breath, even after brushing her teeth, was not so great. In fact, I had a hard time getting over that. How could I kiss her the rest of my life and not struggle with it? It wasn't going to happen. Shallow? No, I think it's realistic and honest.
Sexual intimacy is incredibly important to a marriage, and it is exponentially more important in the first year of marriage. Finding out that you are unfortunately incompatible (or going to struggle big time with physical intimacy) at the altar would be a very challenging thing to face, especially with the wedding night expectations of the sexually anxious husband.
One More Reason to Kiss Before Marriage...
Not the girl I dated...
This last reason might actually be just as important as the physical compatibility issue. For a woman who is getting married, especially if she has saved herself sexually for her husband, she will have definite fears, or at least concerns, about her wedding night. Physical touch, especially sexual touch, is a very intimate thing, especially for women. The importance and magnitude of the marriage bed is highly important to understand from her perspective. It is going to be a scary thing, and for a woman who just kissed her husband for the first time a few hours before, the fears will only be heightened.
As mentioned in part 1
of this blog series, each physical act you engage in with someone else leads very naturally to the next. If you hold hands, you're more likely to end up cuddling eventually. If you hug, you're more likely to eventually kiss. If you kiss, you're more likely continue finding other ways to show your affections. Eventually, those actions are meant to culminate in the marriage bed.
So what's a woman to do? If she just kissed her husband for the first time at the altar and is still trying to get used to that (especially if she has never dated anyone else), and now finds herself on the brink of the most physically vulnerable and intimate act of humanity, how is she supposed to handle that? She hasn't even gotten used to kissing him and feeling comfortable with his hands on her. And her husband has been holding back his manly desires for his wife for months or years, and he is ready to go.
So what is my conclusion? After considering the question of "Should You Kiss Before Marriage?", I am under the tentative impression that it is best for most people to kiss before marriage. While this will certainly mean having to put appropriate boundaries on your relationship and have good accountability, I think it is important to know that there is some sort of physical intimacy compatibility before marrying, and I think it is ultimately going to lend to a better experience on the wedding night for both than man and woman.
I should quickly mention that I am not encouraging massive make-out sessions. The topic is on kissing in general, not overall purity and "how far is too far", although that seems like a good blog post for the future.
For a select few, depending on your history of relationships and mistakes you or your significant other has made, you may be wiser to choose to wait until marriage to kiss. I understand that. I have even suggested that to people in the past. Please know yourself well and know your limits. If you are not able to restrain yourself once you kiss someone, you should not flirt with disaster. Keep your purity and the purity of your significant other as an utmost priority.
Honor God in all you say and do...even in your physical actions of love.
QUESTION: Do you agree with my conclusions? Disagree? Leave a comment and let's start talking about it. I love to hear feedback!
More Stuff About Relationships! Why Stop Reading Now?
Please note: This is a two-part series...
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Someone On Twitter Recently Asked Me...
"What is your advice on kissing while dating?
If a couple has already shared kisses should they discontinue until marriage? "
That is a great question, and I am positive many of you have asked (or have been asked) that question in the past. Rather than trying to answer that question for only one person while being limited to 140 characters on Twitter, I thought I would spend a little time fleshing out my opinion here on the blog for many other people who may appreciate it.
**Note: Please know that these are personal convictions on an issue that is given little attention in the Bible, and thus my opinions should be understood in light of that.
"To Kiss Or Not To Kiss...That Is the Question."
That really is an important question to wrestle with, no matter where you are in life. If you are not married, it is important to know where you stand so that if/when you date and get engaged you have your convictions figured out in advance. If you are married, you will probably have kids (or maybe you already do) and will need to tell them your opinions on that question as well. If you are an older adult and your kids are already grown, you'll have grandchildren to talk with, too. This question lives on as probably a very controversial questions in the subject of relationships. So let's talk...
2 Different Situations
I truly think that this is a grey area that must be thoroughly investigated and discussed. Because this is a blog and not a book, I won't go into immense detail, though the book I'm working on right now will certainly include greater depth. But let me give you a brief run-down of where I stand on this issue.
- You are not dating but only going on "dates" with someone.
I do make a distinction here between hanging out one-on-one with someone of the opposite sex on an occasional basis ("going on dates") and actually "dating" someone." If you are simply hanging out, even repeatedly, with no actual commitment, I would highly recommend not kissing at all.
- You are dating someone at a committed, exclusive level.
In this scenario, you are "dating" someone. You are mutually committed to exclusivity with each other and probably call each other "boyfriend" and "girlfriend", not to mention a bunch of other little pet names. So let's dig into the possibilities here. You have a choice to make. Let's look today at why you shouldn't kiss before marriage. But don't forget to check back tomorrow to find out the counter-argument, "Why you should kiss."
Why You Shouldn't Kiss...
I have had a couple friends of mine wait until marriage to kiss, and the benefits to that were numerous. They kept themselves pure all the way through their dating and engagement relationships, and could with entire confidence claim that they were able to enter the marriage bed with no regrets. That is really beautiful to me.
Every sexual act in a relationship opens the door to whatever could be next. For example, if you hold hands, you are more likely to end up cuddling soon. If you give someone a kiss on the cheek, you're probably going to end up kissing on the lips very shortly. If let yourself recline with kissing, you may easily find yourself laying down while kissing in the near future.
You get the point.
"Every sexual act in a relationship opens the door to whatever could be next."
So rather than opening the door to all the possibilities and potential pit-falls of falling into sexual temptation, deciding not to kiss until standing at the altar seems pretty safe, and for some, that decision has been a wonderful asset to their marriages. Although it takes a lot of work, the payoff can be incredible. The challenges faced by people who have given in to sexual temptation prior to marriage can be unbelievably difficult. Simply choosing to not kiss at all in your dating relationship might be the ticket to saving yourself and someone else a lot of heartache and frustration. Please keep that in mind.
Conclusion of Part 1
Today we've discussed why you shouldn't kiss before marriage. But this isn't the whole answer. Come back tomorrow and find out why you should
kiss before marriage. Remember, this is only part one. Don't miss part two.
QUESTION: Have you known anyone who has waited until marriage to kiss? How did it turn out? What were the pros and cons? Leave a comment! Don't miss tomorrow's follow-up blog, Part Two of "Should You Kiss Before Marriage?" Subscribe now and get that blog and future blog posts in your email inbox every time I post a new one! Thanks!
- Joel Onyshuk
Trust Me, I've Been There...
Something that frustrates me to no end is when Christians are not transparent about their problems. Now, I do say that somewhat hypocritically, since that's a continual struggle of my own as well. Perhaps that's why it's so frustrating. I know that there are plenty of people who aren't being honest with others, and even worse, they aren't being honest with themselves about the severity of the problems they face. I know because I've been there. I know, because I am there, all too often.
The first year of marriage was very challenging for me and Carica (my wife) in many ways. We suffered through a lot of growth time and a lot of heartache. Many times those two things were inseparably connected. It was rough at times. We are certainly better now, and I am very glad to have gone through a lot of our struggles. But don't get me wrong: I wouldn't want to go through them again.
In many respects I was not prepared to be a man in a marriage. I'm still learning a lot now, and I still have a long ways to go to be who God wants me to be. But year one of marriage...wasn't good. I dropped the ball, big time. So, I share these with you in humility, laying out my faults before you. I hope that rather than thinking to yourself, "Wow, he really was an awful husband", you'll spend time considering your own marriage, or future marriage, in light of these mistakes. Are you guilty of these mistakes? Are you a wife who is suffering from these mistakes? How will you avoid these mistakes? Use this list as a conversation starter. I hope they help, because learning the hard way is really painful.
Husbands: 10 Signs Your Marriage Needs Work
- You come from work and you go right for the TV, newspaper, computer, or video games, rather than spending time talking to your wife about her day and sharing about your own.
- You go and "hang out with the guys" at the drop of the hat, neglecting your own wife and without asking her whether she was truly okay with it.
- You get mad at your wife when she brings up concerns about your marriage, rather than partnering with her in the moment to take your relationship to the next level.
- You yell at your wife in anger, raising your voice in a power move to demonstrate your "authority" and strength. Ironically, such a move only demonstrates your lack of leadership and weakness.
- You sit idly in the living room, playing with your phone, while your wife cleans the house or makes dinner.
- You think that asking if your wife needs help is the same thing as actually offering to help. You don't understand the difference between the two following sentences:
a. "Honey? Do you need any help in there?"
b. "Honey, I'd love to help right now. What can I do?" (hint hint...this is the right one)
- Your wife feels like your friends are more important than her.
- You feel like since you've been at work all day that you are entitled to do nothing at all once you return home.
- You expect sex without putting any effort into fulfilling her love languages throughout the day/evening.
- You defend yourself more than you listen to her.
The only reason that I can give as to why we are still married now is this: God's grace. His grace kept our marriage alive. His grace continues to keep us alive. Any positive growth is attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying both of us.
My friend and mentor, Pastor Allen, who gave us pre-marital counseling, told us both that there would come a time in our marriage that we would hate each other and question why we ever married. He was right. He also said that marriage is the fast-track to sanctification. He was right about that, too.
"Marriage is the fast-track to sanctification."
"We cannot slip into apathy because of a false sense of security...That's when you take your eyes off the cross and focus on yourself. "
By the grace of God we went to counseling, we struggled through life together, we sought the Lord together, and we are better than ever! I don't think I've ever had more fun, laughed more, or felt more secure in my relationship with my wife than I do right now. I think she'd agree. Right honey?
But we cannot let our guards down. We still have a lot of work to do. We cannot slip into apathy because of a false sense of security. That's when sin rears its ugly head. That's when the Devil takes the rug out from under you. That's when you take your eyes off the cross and focus on yourself.
Men: What are some things you continue to struggle with in marriage?Women: How can you support and encourage your husband in his weaknesses?I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment!
Share this with others and help someone else's marriage, too.
They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love...
The unbelieving world around us seems to have a growing hatred of Christianity or Christians in general. Some call this a "sign of the times" and consider this to be inevitable and (perhaps subconsciously) throw their hands in the air and do not take action to change this perception. Yet the reality is that many people, "in the name of Jesus", have said and done some very unloving things.
Certainly some or even many of these people may not even be true Christians, but just like I cannot possibly know the true spiritual state of their hearts, neither can the unbelieving world. Thus, their actions speak on behalf of true, God-fearing believers and tarnish our name and make it difficult for us to overcome the perception of Christians all being hateful, hypocritical bigots who are close-minded and uneducated.
Scripture is full of wisdom regarding how the people of God are to live in order to demonstrate the love of God, both to other Christians and the unbelievers around them. If we are faithful in doing what Scripture commands regarding love, others will still consider us unloving at times, but we can be confident that we are truly experiencing the blindness of unbelief in them rather than evidence of our own personal deficits in these areas. In the space below I have outlined the 3 ways we are meant to love as God commanded. They may seem basic, but they are laden with importance and application for each of us. We can never outgrow being reminded of these core foundation stones of the Christian life. The unbelieving world will know we are Christians by our love in these 3 essential ways...
- Christians are to love God. One of the greatest evidences of being a true believer is our love for God. The "shema", the great Old Testament passage that is the greatest commandment, we see what God commands and expects of us. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." This love is meant to be evident to others around us. It is a transformational love that cannot stay hidden.
- Christians are meant to love other Christians. John 13:34-35 says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Our active, intentional sacrifice and service to other Christians should cause unbelievers to realize something is different in us and open up opportunities to explain how the body of believers can be so close and unified.
- Christians are meant to love unbelievers. Matthew 22:39b says, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." These neighbors are all people, believers or unbelievers. When we demonstrate the selfless, sacrificial, longsuffering love of God for unbelievers, we show them a glimpse of who God is. We may never know how many of us have been used by God to demonstrate his love in a tangible way to cause others to see our good works and ultimately glorify Him (Matt. 5:16). When unbelievers see the love we have for them and the hope we have within us, doors may open to share the Gospel in word in addition to our deed.
Keep in mind, merely showing what looks like love
because you know you should
isn't really love at all. True, lasting and meaningful demonstrations of love are the outflow of our love for God. If we are in love with God, our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as our love for the unbelieving world will naturally be the result.Use the buttons below to pass this on to others who might enjoy it.
"First and foremost, I married for love", Kim Kardashian posted on her blog recently. I am not about to bash the legitimacy and sincerity behind this comment. Many have already done this, rudely and mercilessly. That is not what I wish to do.
What I would rather do is point out a common misconception among the majority of people today regarding love. I don't doubt at all that Kim married what's-his-name because she thought she loved him. I just doubt that she truly knows what love is.
You see, love is not self-centered. In fact, at its core, love is self-giving and wants what is best for the "other". When two people give 100% to each other, forgetting their own desires and focusing on meeting the other's, love is evident. I don't know if Kim would say that was her priority. But then again, it's been a while since she and I have talked.
Let me quickly remind us all of what love is supposed to look like. Perhaps you are in a relationship now. This may be helpful.
If you or someone else is exhibiting love, you should see the following in that relationship (according to 1 Corinthians 13):
1) Is patient and kind
2) Does not envy or boast
3) Is not arrogant or rude
4) Doesn't insist on its own way
5. Is not irritable or resentful
6) Does not rejoice in wrongdoing
7) Rejoices in the truth
Here are the heavy hitters, the ones that make me fairly certain that Kim Kardashian, and, unfortunately, so many people today, do not understand what love truly is.
8) Bears all things
9) Believes all things
10) Hopes all things
11) Endures all things
Kim and what's-his-face and so many of us have succumbed to the temptation to live for ourselves. This is a struggle we all face. So many of the fights my wife and I have are about this. We are selfish people. But ultimately we must choose to live for the other person. When things get rough we must endure. Going back to 8-11 of that former list, if we say that we love someone we must bear whatever comes our way, believe that we can persevere with the help of God, hope for the future and when things will heal and be easier, and endure to the end. Without those things we cannot say that we love others.
Sadly, our culture puts a premium on love being a feeling, a strong sexual connection or attraction, and something that can fade with time and must be easy. That's not the way it is. It just isn't. Love is a daily choice. It is a gift that God's mercies are new every morning, because we need it. We need his mercy. We need it to love. Wake up tomorrow and decide to love others, giving up yourself with all abandon and serve them with all your heart and encourage them to do the same. What would this world be like if we all did this?
Question: How can we continue to love when the "feeling" dies?