February 19, 2014 | Vol.54 N.8

OUT TO PASTOR | What comes after that kiss?

Quite a few, if not most put a whole lot of credence into a kiss. Much can be argued in favor of this philosophy, but not from me.

I grew up in a generation that never kissed on the first date. Sad to say, that idea went out with Noah and his ark and you can kiss that idea goodbye.

Nothing wrong with a kiss, if it is with the right person. It seems we are living in a culture where all anybody thinks about is kiss, kiss, kiss. So much so, that the average kiss is just that, average. Whatever happened to the romance factor behind the kiss?

I am one that is not given to hugging people let alone kissing them. I have friends in a certain church that believes in what they call, “A Holy Kiss.” They take it from the Bible where it says that we are to greet one another with a holy kiss. As soon as I find out and understand what a holy kiss is, I might start doing it. But not until then and don’t count on it.

I am one of those people that likes a warm friendly handshake. Such a handshake conveys all I really want to say at the moment. It is not that I am unfriendly and it is not that I do not have warm feelings about people. I just like to preserve “my space.”

A kiss could mean a lot of things to different people. I see an advertisement on television all the time that says, “Every kiss begins with Kay.” What does that really mean? Does everybody have to go to the Kay’s jewelry store in order to kiss someone? Is that where kissing really begins? If so, please count me out.

A kiss should be something special and not thrown around like some dirty old rag. It should mean something to the people involved.

Some believe romance begins with a kiss. If that is so, I am out of the game.

So many people “kiss and tell” that I think there should be some kind of law enacted to prohibit this sort of activity. A kiss should be a private activity not to be shared with the whole world. When sharing such an activity with the whole world, it ceases to be romance and enters into the area of performance. And boy do I hate performance. Not just because I am a bad actor... Well, maybe it is just because I’m a bad actor.

Today kissing is so cavalier that it hardly means anything to anybody.

I still remember my first kiss.

I was in Bible school studying for the ministry where I met this girl. We had been dating two months before I realized we were dating. On many things, especially in the romantic arena, I am rather slow. At the end of our first “date,” she surprised me by hugging me. I had never been hugged before. I did not know what to do with my arms. I did not know if I should stand there or if I should say something. At the time nothing really came to mind so I just stood there saying nothing.

The frightening thing about this first hug was I could not sleep all night long. I had no idea what it meant and I did not know what I was supposed to do. What would I say to this young lady when I met her the next day? How could I look her in the eyes?

I am not sure if I have ever gotten over that first hug after all these years. The thing I did not realize at the time was, every kiss begins with a hug. Forget Kay, whoever she is.

Then, the inevitable happened.

We had concluded our “date,” and I took her over to the doorway of the dormitory where she lived. All of a sudden, at least from my perspective, she rose up on her tippy toes and kissed me right on the lips. Then she turned around and went away into the dorm, leaving me standing on the porch not knowing what happened or what to do next.

It was February and just a week away from Valentine’s Day. I had my Valentine’s Day present and my dilemma was, what do I now give her in return? What in the world could ever top a kiss?

Being a naïve young gentleman, I did not possess the resources to process this sort of problem. I had never bought anybody a Valentine’s Day present in my life. What did they really look like?

After some soul-searching and wallet rumbling, I bought her a heart-shaped box of candy. When I presented it to her, she was thrilled and kissed me again. What do I have to do now? Do I buy her another box of candy?

The next few hours were rather foggy to me and even the next couple of days. By the end of Valentine’s Day, I discovered I was engaged to be married and it all started with a hug.

The apostle Paul put it best when he wrote, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

A kiss is an expression of love. It is not so much the kiss as what comes after that kiss; a relationship that gets better and better every year.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.

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