Are kisses allowed during the engagement period?


Some pastors teach that those who are engaged are not allowed to kiss and fondle each other. Is this true? What does the Bible say about how engaged young people should behave until the wedding? Some young people say that “Song of Solomon” encourages kisses and caresses before marriage. Is it so?

It is not true that the book “Song of Solomon” encourages kisses and caresses before the wedding. If we read this book carefully, we will see that the bride (Shulamith) wants the kisses and caresses of her bridegroom because they took the liberty of too much intimacy, going into the bridegroom’s chambers:

May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine. Your oils have a pleasing fragrance,
Your name is like purified oil; therefore the maidens love you. Draw me after you and let us run together!
Theking has brought me into his chambers. We will rejoice in you and be glad; we willextol yourlove more than wine. Rightly do they love you. (Song of Solomon 1:2-4)(NASB)

These words are just an expression of her emotions, which she hides with a lot of shame and propriety from her fiance. And we understand this reading the words of the groom:

Omy dove,in the clefts of therock, in the secret place of the steeppathway, let me see yourform, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and yourform islovely. (2:14)

Being in an intimate circumstance, love aroused in the heart of the girl and Solomon realizes that he has stirred  up his fiancée’s love before he proper time (wedding) and he warns all girls:

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, that you do not arouse or awaken my love untilshe pleases. (2:7)

Verses 8-13 of chapter 2 belong to the bride. We understand that she is aware of the groom’s sexual desires and this provokes her, too:

Listen! My beloved! Behold, he is coming, climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, he is looking through the windows, he is peering through the lattice. My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. The fig tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!’

However, this does not mean that Solomon and Shulamith have manifested all these emotions and feelings.

In verse 2:15 we find a warning to engaged young people:

Catch the foxes for us, thelittle foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while ourvineyards are in blossom.

Young people were only engaged. Their love was in bloom and it had to bear fruit on their wedding night! Touches, hugs and kisses (i.e. little foxes) could have shaken the flowers of love and then they would not have enjoyed the fruit of love on their wedding night! My advice to engaged young people is to be wise and avoid intimacy, fondling and kisses before the wedding, because these will steal the full joy of their intimate relationship in marriage.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru