A fundamental Baptist Bible college student was a real legalist who demanded a scriptural basis for everything that he did. So whenever he was asked to do something, he would reply – “chapter and verse, chapter and verse”. Well, all was going fine until he fell in love with a beautiful girl. He really wanted to kiss her, but could find no biblical permission for it. So after each date, he’d walk her to the dorm, shake her hand and say a goodnight. Finally, after studying every verse in the Bible about kissing, he believed he had found a command to do so. It was II Cor. 13:12, Greet one another with a holy kiss. However, when he checked with the college dean, he was told that this passage was about the church, not about a couple. And so after another date, he walked the girl back to the dorm, preparing to shake her hand and say a goodnight. But at the door, she all of sudden grabbed him and planted a big kiss on his lips. He pulled back from her and said – “chapter and verse, chapter and verse”. To which she replied, “Matthew 7:12, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Yesterday, our granddaughter Molly (and Daniel) married. And when the minister said, “You may now kiss the bride”, it was the very first time, after two plus years of dating, that the couple ever kissed each other. Which raises the question – Is this a biblical teaching on dating that should apply in every courtship? The truth is, there is no specific biblical teaching on dating. The Bible mentions only two kinds of love: phileo (friendly relationship between people) and eros (intimate relationship between spouses). The in between or dating stage, going from being friends to being married did not exist in biblical times. Instead, a couple who knew each other as friends agreed to be betrothed and then were not alone with each other until marriage. To put it another way, during the time that Joseph and Mary were engaged, he never showed up at her house to take her out for dinner, a movie and then a drive up to lover’s lane. (Rather, he mostly spent his time building her a house and she mostly spent her time getting things together to make a home for him.) So why then do some couples make the decision to not kiss until their wedding day? Two reasons why: One is protection. The safest way to guard against going all the way is to not even start down that path (and with fornication, kissing is usually the first step). Now couples will tell you that not kissing is hard at first, but eventually you do get accustomed to it. Two is perception. Passion is very powerful, able to take over a couple and blind them to other areas of the relationship. But keeping passion in check, allows for lots of time to talk, getting to know each other socially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. So what do these couples do for romance? They write notes, send gifts, compose poems, take walks, do ministry, etc. Just like in the old days.

The bottom line? What about Gary and Barb? Well, I’m not one to kiss-and-tell, but I can say this – I never kissed my wife until we were married! (Think about it.)

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