"Greet one another with a holy kiss"- Romans 6:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:26
One of the first mentions of the word kiss in the bible is in Genesis 27:26. Isaac asked his son to come near and kiss him. In this context it is clear that that kiss is not one of a romantic gesture. It is an action of greeting between those who have deep regard for one another. In middle eastern culture even today, a kiss on the cheek between males and females alike is a cultural standard greeting between friends and loved ones. The Hebrew word for kiss above is nashaq. It literally means to put together, to fasten up. It is also translated as a gentle touch as in Ezekiel 3:13, or in some contexts, nashaq is translated as “to arm” or “ to equip with weapons” such as in 1 Chronicles 12:4 , 2 Chronicles 17:17, Psalm 78:9.
A concordance search of the word kiss denotes the kiss, in the majority of the mentions,as a form of a greeting--much like a hug among brothers and sisters, family and friends.
There is no question that a hug between friends and family is very different than a hug shared between a betrothed couple. Likewise the kiss.
In the concordance search there is mention of a kiss that is not between mere friends or family--platonic. It is the kiss of a romantic or sexual nature. This romantic kiss is mentioned clearly in Song of Solomon 1:2, where the kisses are contextually romantic. “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.” Also in Song of Solomon 8:1, the female speaker longs for an excuse to kiss her love without being reproached.
When the apostles encourages the brethren to greet one another in a holy kiss in the epistles, it is the word philema- denoting a fraternal kiss of brotherly love. Much like aforementioned in the middle eastern culture. It was not to encourage sexual or romantic philandering, rather bonding and mutual familial affection.
I think it is prudent that the older/experienced believers, encourage our young men and woman to guard their hearts. When one is engaged it is easy to believe it is OK to engage in romantic kissing. Each has their own convictions on the matter, which is why I wanted to go to the word to clarify what God expects for his children. One peck on the lips, can began a progression that is not easily retracted. One lingering touch between lips that last a second longer than intended, can heighten sexual passion in an instant. Literally. Do not be fooled. Even Paul declared the evil he does not want to do, he does, because, the good that he wants to do is opposed by the present evil. Don’t give room to the flesh my dear brothers and sister in Christ. We don’t want to be stumbling blocks to one another- especially the younger ones who look up to you as young adults.
Social media today makes it easier to share our lives; this should cause us to be even more careful that we are not stumbling blocks to others based on our own personal allowances.
In conclusion- the kiss shared between a betrothed couple should be reserved for marriage- for when the vows are said and done, the betrothed couple is sacredly joined before God and man.
The nashaq is “to join”. To do so before you have vowed yourself one to another, only to “divorce” (a complete separation between two things) before you have "tied the knot" is to bring unnecessary shame and heartbreak. Save your first romantic kiss for once your marriage vows have been spoken. A betrothed couple should be sure to make it clear between one another their boundaries on expressing their affection toward each other before marriage.
When it comes to social media, be sure you both always agree on what should or should not be posted. At the end of the day it is your decision. Sadly, we can all ( myself included) make the word say what we want it when we want it if we want to do something badly enough.
Let the fruit of the Spirit be manifest in all we do.
Peace and Blessings,