I would have never thought twice about kissing someone I was dating before I was a Christian.
But after God set me free from my sexual past, I wanted to approach Christian dating God’s way, including respecting God’s design for kissing.
But I had so many questions.
Is kissing a sin before marriage? What does the Bible say about premarital kissing? Is French kissing or is making out a sin?
If you are thinking these types of questions, you’re in the right place. We will discuss what the Bible says about kissing before marriage, including whether kissing before marriage or making out is a sin.
And if you have other questions about physical boundaries to set in a relationship, I got you covered.
I share more about my personal experience with setting boundaries, including the #1 boundary I recommend implementing if you are waiting until marriage to have sex.
To understand what the Bible says about premarital kissing, we have to first understand why God created kissing in the first place and when it’s appropriate.
We see in several places in the Bible that kissing was a ritual or practice shared among close family members or friends to share affection or greet each other.
In 1 Peter, we see that kissing was shared among other believers.
“Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.” – 1 Peter 5:14 ESV
We even see in 1 Samuel that David and Jonathan kissed each other as friends as they wept together.
“And as soon as the boy had gone, David rose from beside the stone heap and fell on his face to the ground and bowed three times. And they kissed one another and wept with one another, David weeping the most.” – 1 Samuel 20:41 ESV
And we also see kissing shared among family members in several places in the Bible, as a way to show love and affection.
“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.” – Ruth 1:14 ESV
“Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him.” – Genesis 27:26-27 ESV
“Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.” – Genesis 45:14-15
And we also see in Songs of Solomon that kissing was a way to show passion and love between a husband and wife in marriage.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;” – Song of Solomon 1:2 ESV
The Bible does not explicitly tell us a lot about kissing before marriage in a dating context, but I was actually surprised to find an example of where a couple shared a kiss before they were married. But the kiss was shared in the context of greeting a family member—they weren’t dating or considering marriage yet.
In Genesis 29, Jacob is traveling, on the quest to find his distant relatives. He finally comes to a well that is owned by his relatives that he is looking for, and in all his excitement, he kisses Rachel who had arrived by the well.
“Jacob was still talking with them when Rachel arrived with her father’s flock, for she was a shepherd. 10 And because Rachel was his cousin—the daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother—and because the sheep and goats belonged to his uncle Laban, Jacob went over to the well and moved the stone from its mouth and watered his uncle’s flock. Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and he wept aloud.” – Genesis 29:9-11 NLT
Jacob later ends up marrying Rachel, but in this context, he kissed her as a way of greeting a distant family member and to display his excitement. Rachel’s father, Laban, also comes out and kisses Jacob since he is so excited to greet him.
So, we see that kissing was custom or tradition in many types of relationships. But what about kissing in the context of dating or before marriage?
Since we don’t see explicit examples of kissing before marriage in the context of dating in the Bible, we have to consider the above examples where kissing is done in a way that glorifies God.
The Bible tells us that whatever we do should be for the glory of God. And this includes kissing.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
And understanding the intent or motive for kissing is the key to addressing whether kissing before marriage is a sin and is glorifying to God.
The Bible tells us a lot about lust and sexual immorality, and that we are to flee from sexual immorality and lustful desires.
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” – Colossians 3:5 ESV
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;” – 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 ESV
If kissing before marriage stimulates lust or leads to sexual immorality, it is a sin and should be avoided between couples that are not married.
Even if a couple starts thinking lustful thoughts toward each other, kissing should be avoided.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 NKJV
When dating someone, it is so important to guard your thoughts and not let your mind stray towards lustful thoughts.
Even if you are engaged and are planning on marrying the person, God still calls us to flee from sexual immorality and to think pure thoughts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 ESV
If kissing makes you start going places in your head that you know you shouldn’t be going, it’s best to stop.
Kissing should also be avoided if it causes the couple to stumble into sexual sin, or if it triggers other temptation.
“Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God.” – Romans 14:20-22 NLT
Especially if the couple or someone has stumbled with sexual sin in the past, it’s always wise to be more conservative to do anything that would cause them to sin.
The Bible also tells us that we should each follow our own personal convictions. If you are not kissing with a lustful intent, pray and ask God if kissing someone you are dating is wrong.
“You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” – Romans 14:22-23 NLT
If you don’t feel convicted, and you aren’t kissing your boyfriend in a way that causes you to be tempted, then kissing may be okay for you.
But if God does not convict you for kissing your boyfriend, but your boyfriend feels convicted or is more tempted, it’s best to respect his desires not to kiss.
When it comes to physical boundaries in dating, it’s always important to respect the other person’s boundaries, even if you are personally okay with doing something.
We talked about kissing, and how kissing someone you are dating may not be considered a sin if it’s done in the right context.
But what about making out? How far is too far when it comes to kissing?
Just so we are clear, when I am referring to making out or French kissing here, I am talking about open mouth kissing where there is tongue involved.
And to answer this question, it’s important to understand what happens to the brain and body when people kiss.
According to Healthline, kissing causes a chemical reaction in your brain, including a burst of the hormone oxytocin. It’s often referred to as the “love hormone,” because it stirs up feelings of affection and attachment.
Dopamine is released when you do something that feels good, like kissing and spending time with someone you’re attracted to.
This and other “happy hormones” make you feel giddy and euphoric. The more you get of these hormones, the more your body wants them.
Healthline also reports that romantic kissing leads to sexual arousal and is often the driving force behind a woman’s decision to have sex with someone. Saliva also contains testosterone — a sex hormone that plays a role in sexual arousal. The longer and more passionately you kiss, the more testosterone gets released.
We just talked about a lot of chemical reactions and hormones, so let’s break it down in plain English and in the context of what the Bible says about kissing and sex.
God created sex to bond or attach a husband and wife together in marriage, but we see that our bodies also bond to the other person through other forms of physical affection, including kissing.
Dopamine and oxytocin that is released during sex is also released during kissing, and testosterone is released through saliva when making out that increases sexual arousal.
Since these bonds or soul ties can be formed through other physical activity, but God’s intent was to bond a husband and wife together in marriage, those that are not married need to be careful to avoid these soul ties from forming outside of marriage.
And since romantic kissing or making out leads to sexual arousal, it’s best to avoid French kissing or making out before marriage.
Even if your intent is not to have sex, since your body was designed to bond and crave sex from kissing, it’s best not to make out with someone that you aren’t married to.
So to answer the question, ‘is making out a sin?’, since our bodies become aroused when we make out with someone, and since we are to avoid lust or sexual immorality, I can see how making out with someone before marriage would not be glorifying God, and how making out could be considered a sin.
Hold on a second. Are you really telling me that making out is a sin and that I should wait until marriage to make out? This is crazy.
If you are thinking this, I don’t blame you. I thought it was crazy too when I first prayed and studied God’s Word about this.
I used to think making out was no big deal and I know lots of Christian couples that have made out while they were dating, but after learning about how soul ties are formed through kissing and after experiencing how making out leads to sex in the past, I realized that making out is actually a big deal.
And after understanding how making out causes sexual arousal, I think it’s important for a couple to avoid doing anything intentionally before they are married that causes them to get turned on.
Just like we discussed above with kissing, the intent for making out is important. And it’s hard to make out with someone without a lustful or sexual intent.
And since we are called to do everything for the glory of God, it's hard to argue that making out can be done in a way that glorifies God since our bodies become sexually aroused.
If you don't feel convicted to stop making out, I want you to be honest with yourself. How hard is it to make out with someone and not be tempted to do more physically? How many times has making out led to other physical activity in the past?
I know how easy making out can lead to other physical activity, which is why not making out at all is easier than trying to make out while preventing your mind and body from wanting more.
To illustrate an example, I want you to imagine that kissing someone is like eating a bag of chips. I love chips, and I know how easy it is to eat half the bag (or even the whole bag) when I open a new bag of chips.
But if I don’t open the bag of chips at all, I won’t be as tempted to eat the whole bag.
With making out, I know how hard it is to stop making out before things go any further. Our bodies become more turned on when we make out, and we start to crave more. And once you start making out, it’s easy to be tempted to want to go all the way and have sex with someone.
If you know you are tempted to have sex with someone, avoiding making out is the best way to avoid having sex altogether.
If you are dating someone or in a relationship, and you want to honor God by waiting until marriage to have sex, making the decision to not make out until marriage is the #1 physical boundary I recommend you to implement.
My husband and I both had a sexual past before we gave our lives to Christ, so we knew how easy it was to stumble into sexual sin. And we knew how important it was to set physical boundaries in our relationship.
And since we wanted to wait until marriage to have sex, my husband suggested that we set a boundary to avoid making out until our wedding night.
And after 9.5 months of dating and being engaged, we were able to wait until our wedding night to have sex together for the first time. And deciding not to make out was the best boundary and decision we made to help us honor God in this area.
If you are waiting on God to write your own love story, learn how God wrote my love story and answered my prayers for a godly husband.
Ultimately, deciding to kiss before marriage is a personal decision between you, God, and the person you are dating.
If there are any doubts, convictions, or temptation to do more, it’s best to follow where God is guiding you and wait to kiss until you are married.
And if you’ve decided to wait until marriage to kiss someone, I applaud you. Don’t worry about being judged by others that don’t understand your decision.
You’ll get to kiss your future husband for the rest of your lives. It’s worth waiting to honor God and to prevent yourself from doing something you’ll regret later.
If don’t feel convicted and are able to kiss each other without a lustful intent, kissing before marriage can be done in a way that honors God.
But I recommend avoiding making out until your wedding night to honor God and your future husband.
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