I can always tell when I’m dealing with a difficult subject, because when I start writing about it, all of sudden I can come up with every excuse in the book to not write for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
It turns out kissing is just such a subject.
There are a lot of things about romantic relationships that I don’t get, and one of the big ones is kissing. I just don’t get kissing. I don’t understand it at all. It makes no sense to me. In fact, it grosses me out, especially the kind where someone sticks his tongue down your throat.
I know God thinks kissing is okay, because it’s mentioned a number of times in the Bible, in both Old and New Testaments:
O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! For your love is better than wine. ~ Song of Solomon 1:2, RSV.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. ~ Romans 16:16, ESV.
All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:20, KJV.
The Apostle Paul says the same thing in 2 Corinthians 13:12 and 1 Thessalonians 5:26, at the end of both books. One thing I’m trying to understand is, what’s the difference between an ordinary kiss and a holy kiss.
McT says there is a difference, along the lines of the difference between agape love, or God’s kind of love, and eros, or physical, sexual love. The exact Greek word, eros, doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the concept does, in both Old and New Testaments, and most specifically in The Song of Solomon.
I’ll be taking my Scripture references from Chapter 4 of The Song of Solomon, the New Living Translation. Chapter 4 was written after the two lovers had wed. He calls her his bride and treasure.
You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace. Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices. ~ Song of Solomon, 4:9-10, NLT.
Everything the two lovers say to each other are compliments concerning their physical appearance, how beautiful each of them is to the other, which, if I can get past the physicality of it, is actually quite enchanting.
Young Man: You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. Your eyes are like doves behind your veil. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead. ~ Song of Solomon 4:1, NLT.
That sounds like a strange analogy to me. I would have compared her hair falling in waves to, I don’t know, a waterfall cascading, but having never seen the slopes of Gilead, I really have no basis for comparison.
Silly me! I think I’ll keep my opinions to myself, aside from what I’ve said here. It’s the poetry in the verses that matters, and who am I to question what God motivated Solomon to write. I mean Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived except for Jesus.
I’m done with my little parenthetical aside, so back to what I’m supposed to be doing… Hehehe!!
The young man doesn’t miss a chance to woo his bride. He has something nice, even beautiful, to say about every attribute of her body. He doesn’t miss any part.
Would that every husband was as wonderful to his wife as Solomon was to her!
Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David, jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. Your breasts are like two fawns, twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies. ~ Song of Solomon 4:4-5, NLT.
Further along in the chapter Solomon gets even more graphic,
Your lips are as sweet as nectar, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. Your clothes are scented like the cedars of Lebanon … Your thighs shelter a paradise of pomegranates with rare spices ~ henna with nard. ~ Song of Solomon 4:11,13, NLT.
A paradise of pomegranates?? What does that mean?
Given where it’s located according to Solomon’s narrative, maybe I shouldn’t ask. I’ve never even tried a pomegranate. All those seeds, you know, and for all I know, it’s the seeds he’s talking about. Pomegranates do have a lot of them, and that is where the guy plants his seed to create new life in the woman.
Then, last but certainly not least, Solomon lays claim to his bride as his own, a bid for faithfulness from her that every spouse has the right to expect from their significant other:
You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain. ~ Song of Solomon 4:12, NLT.
God also expects and desires faithfulness in marriage, which He makes clear in Malachi, Chapter 2.
Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” ~ Malachi 2:15-16, NLT.
Obviously, there are times when it’s the wife who strays, so the verses could be altered to say, “So guard your heart; remain loyal to the husband of your youth…” and etc.
It seems to me that if the relationship between a husband and wife were as close and romantic as the one described between Solomon and his wife in Song of Solomon Chapter 4, then theoretically at least, faithfulness wouldn’t be a problem. Trust between the two spouses wouldn’t be a problem. However, I know that both spouses are humans, each with a mind, free will, and emotions of their own.
That’s all I can think of for now, and, given that I’ve used words and ideas that I usually can’t even think about, much less write down or talk about, I think I’ve made some progress.
Goodie for me!! Praise God!!