Letters To A Young Engaged Man: Should We Kiss?

Dear Young Engaged Man,

You have a completely legitimate question: “Should Christian couples kiss before marriage?”

All cards on the table: I believe kissing should be saved only for your spouse.  My philosophy on the subject might seem radical, but let that be attractive rather than repelling. After all, Jesus said the way to life is narrow and few would find it.

I suggest refraining from kissing until you say your vows.  Now if you find yourself agreeing with me, do not to make these things law. Instead, be convinced in your own mind and strive to display your pleasure in purity for the glory of Christ.  Let me try to convince you briefly.

  1. I’ve never met anyone who regretted this decision. However, I’ve met many couples who wished they had saved more for their marriage.
  2. Kissing shows commitment. A kiss is a special sign of deep friendship. Consider Psalm 2:12, “Kiss the Son lest he be angry with you.” Jesus wants you to kiss him before He comes. This passage communicates what everyone knows deep down- A kiss is not “just a kiss”.   Jesus wants exclusive devotion, submission and love. In my opinion, kissing communicates special covenantal language. This is what makes a “holy kiss” greeting holy, and what makes a Judas betrayal so wicked.
  3. Kissing is like jumping out of an airplane. It starts the thrill of skydiving.  You can pull a parachute, but you’ve started the descent and its very hard to turn back. To begin every time and then stop half way is going against the laws of gravity.
  4. I want to maximize my pleasure. I’m the guy who thinks it is exciting to save dessert for last. The same applies here.
  5. We want to do everything possible to “present our brides to ourselves in splendor without spot or wrinkle or blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27) Not one wrinkle should be found. Not even a single blemish on the garment of purity. Refrain from kissing will help accomplish this and lessen the pressure of temptation.
  6. There is something exciting about cheering when a groom kisses his long awaited bride.
  7. I will cheer for you regardless of what you decide but I think your heart will cheer louder if the kiss has been treasured by patience.

I lay these things before you for your consideration. Talk about these things and let me know what you decide.

And remember, it is never too late to redeem something.

Until then,
Sean

 

The content for this post has been updated and expanded in Letters to a Romantic: On Dating which will be released in 2017 by P&R Publishing. 

Letters To A Young Engaged Man: Be A Gentleman

Dear Young Engaged Man,

I was reading in Colossians 3 and verse 9, stuck out to me. Paul specifically warns us “not to be harsh with our wives.” This means that Paul noticed men have a tendency to be gruff.

What is the opposite of harshness? Gentleness

Do not fall into the self righteous pit of “Well, she is just so sensitive and anything I say will hurt her feelings.” I’ve found that when a guy says this, it is really because he doesn’t want to work at adjusting his tone or bridling his tongue. It’s easier to pass the blame than to pick up a bloody cross.  In fact, some guys justify their gruffness by thinking they are helping their wives not be as sensitive. The Bible does not permit this.

“The fruit of the Spirit is…. gentleness.” (Galatians 5:23)

“If anyone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1)

“Correct your opponents with a spirit of gentleness.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

If we are to correct our opponents with gentleness, certainly our wives should receive double grace!

Harshness closes the door of a woman’s heart. It can clog the channel of communication and that is a prime place for bitterness to fester.   When we are gentle, our wives will want to share their lives with us. Gentleness is winsome. Gentleness is supernatural. Gentleness is godly. Gentleness is a gift to your spouse.

How can we be gentle? It starts by going deep into the gospel. Jesus did not throw us roughly into the cage of salvation. Instead he pursued us with his loving kindness and like a shepherd lead us into freedom.

If we are prone to harshness then we want to catch this on the front end.   Let us be overwhelmed by the gentle grace of God.

Let us be gentlemen.

Until then,
Sean

Letters To A Young Engaged Man: Why Do You Quarrel?


Dear Young Engaged Man,

Thank you for telling me about your first quarrel as an engaged couple. Isn’t it ironic that it was over something so small? I know it did not seem small in the heat of the moment, but after things cool down you realize that it is often the smallest coals which can often burn the hottest and longest. Brother, I wish you were alone in this struggle.

A helpful question to ask is why did you quarrel?

The book of James says that we fight because our pleasures are at war inside of us (James 4:1-4). I believe this is attributed to trying to find our pleasure in ourselves rather than in God by serving each other. We have our “passions”, as the ESV translates it, and these passions are driven by the things we want but don’t have. We want so we fight to get it.

Now you might wonder how selfishness can be at the root of quarreling. But ask yourself this question, “If I was thinking about how I could serve her, would I have gotten so frustrated?”
When I am looking for an opportunity to be patient with my fiancée, it is hard to get frustrated. When I am looking for an opportunity to be gentle, I am slow to anger.

I must pray through Galatians 5:22-23. And when I do, I usually find that I am the cause for quarreling rather than her.

Try praying through the fruits of the Spirit this week and please keep me posted on your conversations. I will be praying for you.

Until then,
Sean

Letters To a Young Engaged Man: Pursue Him Before You Pursue Her

Dear Young Engaged Man,

Do not be tricked into thinking that your real spiritual life begins the day of your wedding. I know this may sound bizarre when I vocalize it, but the thought may have already sneaked into your subconscious.

You might unknowingly believe the lie that you will be super spiritual after you married. You may be deceived into thinking that your big sins now will simply become small sins later. You may be delusional and find yourself fantasizing about spiritual heights in your marriage simply because you are married. Marriage is not a magic wand for making sin disappear.   The reality is that spiritual maturity is hard work that begins now. Set spiritual goals for your marriage and desire to be the spiritual head of your family. But if you are not pursuing these goals now, do not expect the marriage vows to be a five hour spiritual energy drink.

Your spiritual maturity in marriage begins by pursuing Jesus now. Do not wait until she walks down the aisle. You should be on your knees at the alter seeking the face of the Lord long before that day. Pursue Him before you pursue her.
I am convicted as I write this to you. So let us run the race now. Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.

Until then,
Sean