Mind me, I myself am not arguing that a gentle kiss on the lips is "wrong" outside of marriage or innately sexual. (We did it ourselves.) But I know some people who believe that any touch between a couple before marriage is wrong or at least highly dangerous. (Yes, I know some of these people personally, not that "I've heard about these people.") So for sure they'd say kissing was out of bounds. To me the line of passionate kissing after marriage makes sense because it's at least somewhat sexual and because you wouldn't want to do it with anyone other than your spouse. For me personally, a line that make sense is "Is this an act that would be morally acceptable between a brother and sister or two good friends?" If so, then it's OK to do it before marriage (even if you yourself might not do it to a friend, if you see it as morally acceptable, then you aren't seeing it as a marital act). If not, then you'd better use caution, because you aren't married to this person. I'm not saying it's wrong, just saying it's "iffy."
Thus, if in your family people think it's OK to kiss people on the lips rather casually, and you wouldn't be offended to see your wife kiss a good male friend from grade school (whom she'd never ever seen as more than a friend) on the lips, then there is no issue whatsoever. On the other hand, if you'd see it as morally wrong for her to do so, then what makes premarital kissing morally acceptable? If lip-kissing is ONLY a marital thing, then it's hard to justify it before marriage, just as it's hard (impossible) to justify oral sex before marriage. In my mind, lip kissing doesn't rise to that level. It's not wrong between two unmarried people (but I'd still be bothered if I saw my husband kiss a woman at church that way, partly because in his family, as far as I can see, parents and children don't kiss each other that way and so it's a marital thing. In our case, a marital and heading-toward-marriage thing). In my family, parents and children sometimes kiss each other that way, and sometimes somewhat more distant family does, so it isn't so clear a line.
I do think a lot of other acts that are often justified between unmarried couples are very definitely wrong, so I'm not using "situation ethics," just pointing out that kissing really does mean different things to different people. Touch might be more innately sexual to some people than others too, and maybe people who insist on abstaining from all touch simply can't handle it, and shouldn't be chided even for that, no matter how extreme it might seem to the rest of us, so long as they don't insist on that standard for other people too.
ETA: as I reread this after posting, I see I really didn't say much I haven't said already, so I'm probably maxed out on this topic. But I do think it's perfectly OK for someone to say, "This would be wrong for us" even if it's extreme, as long as they don't add, "and it's wrong for everybody else too," unless God said so.
Last edited by poetess
on Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!