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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Should Kissing Wait Until the Altar?

Dear Bro Jo,

Hey, Bro. Jo!

So...I have another question. It's kind of unrelated to my previous one, so I'll keep it short.

I'm sort of in a Facebook argument with a guy right now who is insisting that kissing before marriage should be avoided at all costs.

According to him, it's too sacred an act to participate in before you're sealed to your spouse.

He argues that the savior wouldn't have done it, and that it's one of those "vain things of the world" that we're cautioned to avoid.

I timidly mentioned that I wanted to know whether a potential spouse and I have any physical chemistry.

He told me (as politely as possible) that I am letting "the natural man" cloud my vision of what marriage is all about.

According to him, the physical aspect of marriage isn't that important as long as you're willing to make sacrifices for your spouse and for God.

He said that marriage exists to help us feel true love more deeply and not as an excuse to satisfy our desires.

And of course, while I agree with him to some extent, I also think that physical attraction and compatibility are important part of successful marriage, and that downplaying that fact can lead to real problems later on.

And it's not like I'm an expert - I'm a 17-year old with no kissing experience whatsoever and little desire to get any for a long time, but I think I know enough to confidently say that saving ALL your kisses isn't a great idea.

Besides, kissing isn't even necessarily about physical chemistry - It's just a sign of affection, right?

And while I'm not saying that kisses aren't sacred and that you should go handing them out to every girl that comes your way, I don't think it's something that needs to be saved until after the sealing ceremony.

Is he right?

Am I being selfish and "a natural man" when I say I want to kiss a girl before I propose?

- Future Missionary

P.S. Obviously, as a pre-mission dude myself, this topic isn't of terrible important right now - But it's still an interesting discussion.

Dear FM,

I'm a guy in his mid-40s with TONS of kissing experience (of course, that means only Sister Jo for the last 25 or so ears, but I did date A LOT before she and I started dating) and I have to say, with all due respect . . . your friend is an idiot.

I mean, he's right about one thing (I'll get to that later) . . . sort of . . . but totally wrong about kissing (you're right) and his argument doesn't hold enough water for the Savior to walk on.

That whole "the Savior wouldn't have done it" line is total guess and fabrication.

We have no information about that aspect of Christ's life, but we do know that he was a Man.

He had to be baptized, right? Why? To set the example.

We have no information, but it's more-likely that Jesus was married than not married. (Without being married at age 30 in Jewish culture of the time it's unlikely that Christ would have been accepted as a teacher of religion among His people, but admittedly that's still just conjecture.)

Did he date?

Was kissing girls who weren't your spouse acceptable for Hebrew teens 2100 years ago?

I don't know. Probably not.  But that part ("we know Jesus didn't kiss") of his argument is total rubbish.

You two will probably have to agree to disagree on this one, each go his own way kind of thing, but I hope for his sake and the sake of his future spouse that she feels the same way he does about the lack of importance of physical attraction and desire within marriage.

I'm going to give him a "young and naive" pass - I'm sure he'll figure out that he's wrong when your friend gets a bit older.

I'd sure hate to be in a marriage like that, though.

I also think his "Natural Man" argument is a bit bogus.

As you say, not all kissing is passionate, it's a sign of affection, and kissing is not the same as giving into carnal desire. Kissing is not sex. 

If it were the evil he professes it to be, a lot of people would be trouble for kissing their family, friends and pets.

So the bottom line is, I'm with you. I've said it many times, to each his own, but my advice is that you should never agree to marry anyone you haven't kissed (and the both of you really enjoyed it) first.

The alternative is, IMHO, naive and ill advised.

- Bro Jo

PS:  Where your is correct is that marriage is neither about love nor sex (this, by the way, young readers, is why the "pro-gay-marriage" folks have it wrong) - it's about creating a family as designed by God.  And, as your friend suggests, to make marriage work the two most important elements are Trust and Sacrifice.


Davis said...

Laughed out loud at the title. I'll admit, I've sort-of been where the friend has been. I had to learn to discern between what is sinful and what is *healthy*, and learn to be open to that in a healthy relationship, rather than avoid it all together. Physical things like kissing and holding hands and just touching the other person (on the back, arm, hair/face) is a form of communication. The more open and stronger your communication is, the better the TRUST will be, and the easier it will be to SACRIFICE.

So no, it's not the most important. But it certainly is a stepping stone towards creating the whole foundation!

It is also important to understand for yourself what a kiss means. (If a kiss means sex to you.... read the last sentence of Bro Jo's first paragraph) My husband and I discussed this very subject on our second date and we NEVER had any miscommunication on what holding hands or kissing or anything else meant when we got to those points in the relationship.

Anonymous said...

I curiously read half the letter before I remembered that I had written it! Haha