“Gross! Get a Room!”
“Ugh, I think I’m going to be sick!”
These are just a couple of phrases I’ve heard when I’ve kissed my husband in public (or on our Christmas invite that had one sweet kiss on it and the other two pictures had my pregnant belly and oldest daughter in them).
Many people watch movies that have make-out scenes (or even sex scenes) in them. Yet when married couples give a kiss in public, the same people speak negatively of it. Shouldn’t we (who are married) be showing the unity of our marriages in public? I’m not talking about having sex or having make-out sessions in front of people. I’m talking about sharing sweet kisses, like when you are so happy to see your spouse and spend time with him/her. There is tasteful kissing. If anything, marriage should be held in higher regard than dating. Boyfriends and girlfriends should not be engaging in the same privileges as those who are married. When you are married, you make a covenant before God and man that you will uphold your marriage vows for better or worse. When you aren’t married there is nothing holding you to that person. Yet, it’s when married (and committed) people kiss that many frown.
In marriage, you show unity. I pray that the “honeymoon phase” never leaves me. My husband and I have been married for 3.5 years now. And it has been the best 5 (counting the year we dated) years of my life. I want my children to grow up knowing that their daddy and mommy love each other very much, whether by listening to one another or a kiss here and there. I want it to be easy for them to realize that we have fought for our marriage and will continue to fight for it. I want them to know that, with Christ, they can have a better and more fulfilled marriage than the one that our culture offers.
Our marriage has not been all daisies and jasmines. We have had our roses. There are thorns that grow and hurt on those roses but at the end of them are beautiful large blossoms that, when unfolded, have glowed brightly in the color of the blood of Christ. The thorns hurt, but like Paul says:
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:5-10 ESV)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18 ESV)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you…Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:7-18 ESV)
My point is this: I want our lives to be open (and visible) so that God gets the glory for our marriage. I want others to see that Jesus can help keep marriages together and reconcile anyone. I want to show them the key for a lasting marriage. What is this key? Forgiveness. We are not too evil for God to forgive when we call out to Him, so who are we to not forgive others in return? Are we God that we get to choose who is forgiven and who is not?
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.(Luke 6:37-42 ESV)
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:21-24 ESV)
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Colossians 3:12-17 ESV)
Do you see the common thread? Forgiveness and love. We have no right to withhold forgiveness when we have been forgiven. If we want our marriages to work we must have both of these.
So, when I am out in public I want people to see the love I have for my husband. I will praise him in the quiet as well as publicly. I am so proud of him. I have been watching him grow as a husband and father. I can submit to him because I know he hears from God. I also know that when I hear from God and tell him, he listens. One day, when younger women (either single, engaged, or newly married) look at me, I want them to see that marriage can last on this earth “until death do us part”. I want to give them hope in a hopeless world. I can only do this in the hope of Christ. When scripture says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV), it means marriage as well. Therefore I am going to continue to kiss my husband proudly in public and take pictures and act like I did when we first dated. I pray, that with Christ’s help, I never lose that passion for him.