Written by guest blogger and Pastor of Life Transitions, Paul Gauche
It’s the middle of summer. I’ve done four weddings so far and have two more before September! So, of course, “kiss” is on my mind. No, not the band, but the actual act of a kiss.
I recently heard a story about a bride and groom, a Japanese couple who were married in a church in Seattle shortly after they moved to the United States. In spite of their somewhat limited familiarity with Western traditions and customs, everything went well in their American-style wedding. That was, of course, until the pastor invited the couple to kiss as he introduced them to the gathering of family and friends. Nothing happened. The pastor, somewhat taken off guard and not knowing if the couple had heard him, looked at the bride and simply said, “How about a little kiss?” Not wanting to offend the pastor, the young bride bashfully leaned forward and kissed the pastor!
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, co-directors of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University remind us that she is not the first bride to be confused by kissing. A kiss can mean different things at different times. A kiss can mean good morning, see you later, I’ve missed you, I’m sorry, I love you, I’m in the mood—all of that and more. But, they add, “…perhaps the sweetest of all kisses is the good night kiss that says I’m going to be missing you even while I sleep!” Remember when you were dating and how difficult it was to say good night after a date? You’d say goodnight countless times with just as many kisses.
Gotta love that!
Musicians, poets, philosophers, writers, lovers, bloggers have all done their best to embrace the mystery, the majesty, even the magic of a kiss. And that’s just fine. But maybe the thought that comes from Proverbs 24:26 sums it up best: “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”
King Solomon, in all his remarkable wisdom, compares a kiss on the lips to an honest answer.
So let’s just think of it this way: when you are kissing your significant other on the lips, especially as a way to say good night, you are communicating some very deep and honest feelings. A kiss goodnight is a kind of lover’s short hand to the deeper questions we rarely articulate but deeply feel:
- Do you still love me, in spite of all the mistakes I make?
- Do you still want to be with me when I burn the toast, leave my clothes on the floor, and all the rest?
A kiss on the lips is a way of saying “Yes!” to all of these unspoken questions.
So go ahead and kiss—kiss like you really mean it! And think about what you’re doing and enjoy the deeper connection of a couple whose love is as honest as their hearts.
Paul Gauche serves as Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN