"Why don’t you kiss her instead of talking her to death?" — Nosy neighbor to George Bailey, It’s A Wonderful Life.
Recently, I was watching re-runs of the show 19 Kids and Counting which features the large Duggar family. What struck me the most were the episodes about their oldest son Joshua and his fiancée/then wife Anna. They tell their story and why they are saving their first kiss, but then they are allowed to hold hands.... Actually, I mean caress each other's hands. If anyone else saw this they know what I mean. When they were together, Josh and Anna's hands hardly ever parted-- they stroked each other's fingers and wrapped their hands around each other's hands. It was disgusting. It was like they were putting all of their sexual tension into their handholding. I just wanted to push their heads together and make them kiss just so they could stop their horrible caressing.
Several years ago, I was a member of "The Rebelution" forums (which I could devote several posts to in itself). I remember a thread titled "Virgin Lips," in which 200 + girls were all saving their first kiss for their wedding day. Talk about peer pressure! The girls were adamant that it was wrong to kiss before you were married (Hmm… I wonder who they heard that from? Maybe Josh Harris?) and they were all discussing how "romantic it is to save your first kiss" and "it is so pure." I think that many people (Vision Forum and Botkinites included) over-think the issue of kissing! In fact, at the most recent Botkin wedding, after the “conference” was over the bride and groom got to **gasp** share their first… EMBRACE! How horrible is that!?! They seem to assume that if one kisses than they will have more impure thoughts and feelings, and that you shouldn't have any feelings whatsoever until you are married-- and if then. I recently talked to a professional counselor who talks to couples and also single women before they marry and do you know what she said? She said that many Christian couples have issues with intimacy when they first get married, because they are scared or feel guilty about having sex. In fact, many don't really know what to do or what they should feel. For some, it takes many counseling sessions to get the couples to the point that they feel comfortable with intimacy. Hmm... I wonder why!? It seems that there is too much peer pressure on not kissing and so much of a focus on "staying pure" that some couples can't enjoy intimacy. On a different note: I often wonder why there are so many books published for Christians regarding intimacy? It seems kind of strange, like we need a how-to guide.... You sure don't see as many books in non-Christian circles for this subject! I just wish that Christians were not so legalistic about stuff that is not in the Bible... nowhere in the Bible is there any verse saying that you can't kiss before you are married. Not one. I'm tired of Christians making up rules for things that should just come naturally-- like kissing. If a couple really wants to wait for their wedding day to kiss, it should be their own decision, not made for them by family, friends, and books that bully and guilt them into waiting. It's almost like there is an unspoken rule: If you kiss before you are married, you have sinned and you are not really a virgin.
I am not saving my first kiss for my wedding day. I want my first kiss to be in private-- away from relatives and cameras. I do not need it recorded on film for future generations either. (Oh... and engagement should be private too! Not in front of the whole family.) And, for the record, just because a couple kisses does not mean they are going to go sleep together afterwards. As my sister Ingrid pointed out, "Having never been kissed, I cannot draw from personal experience but I can say that kissing seems to be highly over-rated. So over-rated that Christians are encouraging each other to wait until the wedding day to share their first kiss in front of 10-500 people. It must be wonderful if it requires such an audience!..." Oh, and for the record George Bailey kisses Mary before they get married!! :)