Mistakes (Part 2)

In my last post I talked about the sins of my past in regard to dating and I hope it was good to you. Now I want to share some things that I don’t think get enough stage time in the Christian community. Even though the Bible doesn’t comprehensively talk about dating, it still talks about it. Trust me, God didn’t leave it up to us to establish boundaries for ourselves.

  • Matthew 5 says you’re committing adultery if you lust after someone other than your spouse. He commands it because God wants your (potential) marriage to be beautifully pure- not stained with regret. Have you confessed secret sin or are you living in darkness? He’ll redeem (forgive) you- just ask Him then leave your life of sin (John 8:11)
  • Keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). Is your girlfriend/boyfriend an idol? Is your desire for him/her greater than your desire for God? If so, God calls that idolatry.
  • Young people: set an example for the believers in purity (1 Timothy 4:12). That part often gets skimmed over when the first part “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…” gets quoted. Paul was speaking to a young person and he said, “Set an example by staying pure!”
  • Physical beauty REALLY is fleeting. (Proverbs 31:30) It’s not a typo even if it makes you uncomfortable. Jesus’ words could translate into current lingo this way: Stop looking for the hottest or richest one and see what I see. Does she fear the Lord? Is he submitted to the Lord? Bingo.
  • The basic goal of dating is to become best friends. This friendship, prior to marriage, excludes kissing and other similar forms of physical satisfaction. If you’re a guy do you kiss all your best guy friends? Neither should you be kissing your girlfriend either. (I Thessalonians 4:3) Pursue sanctification
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10 thoughts on “Mistakes (Part 2)

  1. Hey thanks for the post. I’ve been following these.
    I’m wondering where you get the idea of no kissing before marriage. I don’t necessarily disagree, just never thought about that being the only correct way of doing things.

    Thanks!

    • Great question. Most Christians don’t even consider that no kissing is an option. Typically, they dive into a relationship and then look back and say, “How did we get here?” My hope is that people will consider it and approach it biblical, not secularly. Ashley and I didn’t kiss until we were married (by the grace of God) and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

      • Thanks for the reply!

        Where in the Bible did you get this idea from? I’m not trying to question your reasoning, just curious as to the motivations behind what is (to me) a new idea :)

        Thanks

  2. The Bible doesn’t say ‘do not kiss.’ But when I read the scripture about sex and marriage it appears to me that things like kissing (and we can use our imagination for the other stuff) are meant for marriage. Kissing can be an innocent way to show affection for someone. But it usually means something different. And I’m more concerned about those times. Specifically though, kissing is hard to do without lusting, and I mentioned Matthew 5’s stance on lust. Glad you’re curious; thanks for reading. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on kissing?

  3. Really appreciate your passion for purity; great posts. We are certainly weak as a culture and church- especially in this area; it is heartbreaking.

    While I would never ever discourage someone from making a personal decision to not kiss until the alter {and I would encourage and hold a friend accountable with support if they chose to do that}, I agree with the above comments that where Scripture is strong, we can be strong. Where it is not as specifically clear, we can’t be either.

    Sexual impurity and immorality is ALWAYS wrong. Always. For some people, that means not holding hands. For others, not kissing. It ALWAYS means treating our bodies and hearts with honour to the LORD– we are His temples.

    Yet, I would say that holding others to a personal standard of purity can be dangerous. Many have experienced self-righteous judgementalism {also a weakness of our church} if we do not uphold OTHERS “standards” of conduct. We must distinguish between SIN and personal choices.

    Are your methods of pursuing purity the only right way? Is your temptation exactly the same as every other guy and girl in a relationship? I would argue no. Now, we experience temptations that are common to man, YES. But the ways we are tempted, and our personal weaknesses are different.

    My personal take is that kissing CAN be done in a way that honours God, pursues purity, and loves a future spouse prior to marriage. {That does not mean it always DOES. But it CAN.}

    I am more than happy to agree to disagree. To support you and your wife in your decision to honour the LORD– to commend and applaud you in your pursuit of purity and self control as the LORD has lead the two of you in your relationship. And I would hope you could do the same for someone else who chose to honour the LORD in a relationship that contained kissing prior to marriage if it was done in thanksgiving to God.

    “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honour of the LORD. The one who eats, eats in honour of the LORD, since he gives thanks to God while the one who abstains, abstains in honour of the LORD and gives thanks to God.” Romans 14:5

    Thoughts/debate welcome :)

    • Janelle, thanks for your response!

      I agree with your views about self-righteousness and personal convictions. The only reason I mentioned my decision to abstain from kissing in my earlier comment is to prove it’s possible! Most people don’t think it is…

      I hesitate to agree with your application of Romans 14:5 to this case because it’s not a conviction issue; it’s a Bible issue. The Bible also says to flee from temptation; kissing isn’t fleeing. Holding hands isn’t the same as kissing. One leads to sex; the other leads to giggles. Usually, a couple shows affection by kissing because their relationship lacks affection.

      I agree that kissing can be pure; but it rarely is. Let’s focus on the majority. The folks who usually give me resistance on this are the ones who aren’t willing to give it up; which means they’re selfish (like I was) and physical pleasure is their idol (like mine was); which is idolatry. My intention is not to heap rules on couples who are dating well. My goal is to help those who aren’t to turn to Jesus and be redeemed.

      Again, we agree that kissing isn’t the problem; the reason behind it is. But I hope people will take a step back and use their desire for kissing to reveal what their heart really wants. If it’s anything other than Jesus; it’s a sin.

  4. Certainly is possible! I came from a church in FL where the “culture” was to wait a looonnng time– holding hands often took place at engagement, and kissing at the altar. THAT was the “norm.”

    I’m not sure you can claim “its not a conviction issue, its a Bible issue” when you agree that Scripture doesn’t clearly state kissing is a sin and that it CAN be pure. We need to be very careful that we don’t do what the Pharisees did– set up boundaries that “keep” us from sin and call “crossing those boundaries” sin itself. Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t have boundaries! Certainly not. Fleeing temptation looks different for everyone…because we share different specific temptations. We each need the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us; we need wisdom as to how to best flee our own specific temptations. Cue personal boundaries. :)

    If kissing for YOU leads to sex…by all means: abstain until marriage.

    But it is not fair to claim that kissing leads to sexual immorality for every human who’s ever existed in any culture in the history of the world. The Bible doesn’t make that claim, so we can’t either.

    We can’t say that holding hands DOESN’T lead to sex. Sadly, much damage can be done while still abiding by the “abstain from kissing” rule.

    I know many couples who have “made rules” only to follow the letter of them physically; not the heart. Jesus is after our hearts. Lust is an issue of the heart- it is sin. But extra-biblical rules are not the way to sexual purity. A changed heart that loves God more than it loves ourselves or another is the way to sexual purity.

    We simply can’t make blanket statements that “kissing isn’t fleeing” and “holding hands is always fine/leads to giggles.” I know of cases where a kiss was genuinely exercising fear of God and rejecting the temptation to fear man/live for the approval of others. And I know an example of when holding hands was sinful and manipulative. Again, it is about our hearts.

    Actions in and of themselves can be sin. Like, sexual immorality. Always sin.

    But where the action itself isn’t sin…we can’t call it sin. I am arguing that kissing… the action in and of itself is not a sin.

    Can kissing be sin? DEFINITELY. Giving financially can be sin. Serving can be sin. If done with a heart that is sinning.

    It is important that our “counsel” to both the “dating poorly” and “dating well” is consistent: Pursue Jesus with all your heart. Seek His kingdom first. Lest the former adopt a set of rules to look like the latter, with a heart unchanged. That would be equally as grievous.

    “Usually, a couple shows affection by kissing because their relationship lacks affection.”

    I won’t argue that the above can often be true. But. Doesn’t mean it’s always true. Or that kissing always reveals a lack of affection in a relationship. In response to your last paragraph…I don’t think kissing in and of itself reveals anything! It is certainly something to dialogue about, discuss, and ask questions. And anyone genuinely seeking to honour the LORD would be happy to engage. But it seems you are communicating, “Kissing for me was sinful, therefore, kissing reveals sin.”

    Can kissing be an expression of worship prior to marriage? An expression of thanksgiving to God? While valuing and treasuring self control?

    It’s not the “HOW” we do “pursuing sexual purity.” It’s the “WHY.” Why leads to how. But “hows” have room to look different.

  5. We’re on the same side. I’m not adding to the law. My intent is to help people question their stance on physical boundaries so they don’t fall into a trap so many of us fall. Lastly, specifically about kissing. I believe if you take away physical stuff from someone it will reveal their heart. Either they’ll be fine or they will be mad. I hope people ‘take it away from themselves’ to evaluate how they woud feel. If they still feel ok, then it’s probably not a sin. Just don’t want to be deceived- I Cor. 4:4.

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