Is "no kissing before marriage" a good rule?

Full Question

I am considering a relationship with a girl. We both believe in chastity and in saving ourselves sexually for marriage but she has a "no kissing before marriage" rule. To me, that sounds a bit extreme even for the demands of chastity. Is this "no kissing" rule a good idea?

Answer

Some chastity educators think so. From what I've read, some advise waiting for marriage; others are slightly more "liberal" and advise waiting for engagement. But I think that making an ironclad rule against any and all kissing until engagement or marriage is unnecessary. Rather, I prefer that the couple use common sense. Unfortunately, as G. K. Chesterton liked to say, common sense is all too uncommon these days, so here is an explanation of what I think constitutes common sense on the matter.

If a couple are teenagers, it is likely that marriage is years into the future for them and so parents should not be allowing "steady relationships" (which are supposed to be discernment periods for marriage) while the teens are still minors. If there is no "steady relationship" that indicates a commitment, then I agree that there is no reason the couple should be kissing. Other forms of affection, such as a brief hug, handholding, or maybe a hand kiss, are more appropriate.

"Steady relationships" are more appropriate for adults who are actively discerning marriage and looking for a marriage partner. In this case, all of the above forms of affection, plus forehead or cheek kissing, would be appropriate.

Finally there is the engaged couple, who have committed to and are preparing for marriage to each other. They have the highest level of commitment between a couple short of marriage itself, and all of the temptation to give in to unchaste behavior because "we're getting married anyway!" While all of the above forms of physical affection are still appropriate, plus perhaps closed lips kissing, I would also caution an engaged couple to be on guard against too much "alone time." This holds true for all unmarried couples, but especially for engaged couples.

Let's leave the realm of the hypothetical now and look at your relationship. You do not say how old you and your "girl" are, so you'll have to determine for yourself where on the spectrum of age-appropriate commitment you and she fall. But if she has said that she wants to save kissing and all other romantic physical affection for marriage, then you should respect her wishes and not pressure her into activities she believes are inappropriate.