"He who gives a right answer kisses the lips."---Proverbs 24:26(NKJV)
While doing some research, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) the word "kiss" and as someone who has not been kissed since my last boyfriend (whew!) and as a woman who *really likes to kiss*, for some reason, it caught my attention. Differently.
Now, I'll be the first to raise my hand in this class and say that I'm not really the "Joshua Harris" (you know, the guy who wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye) kind of gal although I totally get where he's coming from. Aside from the fact that kissing is very intimate, being that our mouths are basically the dirtiest parts of our bodies, we really should be more...I guess "aware" would be the proper word of who we exchange those kinds of bodily fluids with. So yes, I see why Joshua would think that it's best to not kiss while you're dating. Besides, he's married and so the formula obviously worked for him, right?
However, at 38 years of age (Joshua was 21 when he wrote that book), I'm a bit more of a realist (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message). I believe that it's challenging enough to refrain from sexual intercourse (Hebrews 13:4, I Corinthians 10:13, I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message) without putting a "no kissing ban" on the situation. BUT I must say that when I looked at the definition of "kiss", I did see something that should at least raise our standards in who we allow to touch us in such a special and (as you will see in just a moment) significant kind of way:
Kiss: to touch or press with the lips slightly pursed, and then often to part them and to emit a smacking sound, in an expression of affection, love, greeting, reverence, etc.
OK, the lip touching part, most of us are quite aware of. It was that last portion that caused me for pause. Have you ever thought about the statement that you're trying to make (and what is being relayed back to you) when you kiss someone? How many of us have even stopped to consider that it's not just a greeting (2 Corinthians 13:12) but an expression of affection AND love AND reverence. Right. A kiss is to also be an expression of true reverence:
Reverence: a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration
Venerate: to hold in deep respect; revere; to honor in recognition of qualities of holiness, excellence, wisdom, etc.
I know, right? So when someone kisses you and when you kiss someone, it is a way to express how much you respect them and they respect you. It's a way of honoring the qualities of (whew!) holiness, excellence and wisdom. Now think about the last guy you kissed? Was he someone you reverenced? Shoot, did you even know him long enough to recognize that he was wise or acted in excellence?
When I asked the Spirit (John 4:24) to lead (Luke 12:12) me to a biblical example of what this looked like, I smiled when I revisited the initial exchange between Jacob and his beloved Rachel:
"Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father...
Then Laban said to Jacob, 'Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?' Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance.
Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, 'I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.'
And Laban said, 'It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.' So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her."---Genesis 29:9-12&15-20(NKJV)
There are a few things that are really beautiful about this story. For one, I really adore that Jacob was so moved by Rachel that after he kissed her, he didn't try to get into her bra or panties. The man wept. He was so overcome by emotion that he literally cried. I also appreciate that he loved her so much that he was willing to *put in work* to have her and that kissing her was enough to hold him over for *seven years* (culture back then wouldn't have allowed him to have sex with her before marriage).
Yet, you know what got to me the most? This man kissed this woman with *intention*. When his uncle asked him what he wanted in exchange for his servitude, he didn't want money or land. He wanted Rachel. He kissed her and then made arrangements to marry her. Yeah, let's revisit that: HE KISSED HER AND THEN MADE PLANS TO MAKE HER HIS WIFE.
He didn't kiss her because he she was pretty.
He didn't kiss her because that's what people do at the end of dates.
He didn't kiss her as an "oral alternative" (eh hem).
He kissed her with intention.
And so, I'm going to end this message on that note:
God's daughters deserve to be kissed as an expression of affection AND love AND reverence.
God's daughters deserve to be kissed...with clear and true and lasting intention.
Definitely something to think about in time for Valentine's Day y'all. (just sayin')