— Posted by Kara (June 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm)
One of my biggest faults is obstinacy. Hence, I continued to research the issue of French kissing before marriage, even after my last post about kissing. I stubbornly believed that it must not always be wrong since it seems to be in almost every movie, including highly-acclaimed black-and-white films. Wrong!
My quest led me to one of the best online articles I’ve found about chastity and dating. Not only does it discuss kissing, but it also discusses topics like arousal and expressing affection in courtship. The article is “DATING AND CHASTITY, Preparation for A Warm, Loving Christian Marriage” by Rev. T. G. Morrow.
Reverend Morrow reiterated the Catechism’s teaching that seeking sexual pleasure outside of marriage is sinful, which of course, is something that French kissing is. He also addressed one of my other questions:
However, there has to be a bit more to it than that. After all, some may argue (and some do) they are not seeking sexual pleasure in their sexual encounters, but just to show affection. What, then would be another reasonable criterion to judge by? The nature of the activity. If an activity is by its nature highly stimulating, then it belongs only in marriage. This would include French kissing and touching sensitive areas of the body.
See just how we have been lied to and cheated for so many years? I received a strong Catholic education until I graduated from high school, yet I still have always questioned what should be such a simple issue. I can’t help but wonder if other young men and women have experienced such doubts as well and engaged in this type of kissing without realizing the gravity of the issue, thinking it must be okay since “everyone is doing it” on movies, TV, and in public.
We’ve been effectively brainwashed into believing that for there to be romance and passion there much be French kissing as well. This is far from the truth and we need to change this belief, first with ourselves and then with others.
There are other appropriate forms of affection, as Reverend Morrow highlights, such as holding hands, regular kisses, and hugging. Listen to the way he describes a form of showing affection:
In fact, one evening, a young man about 30 years old called me after one of our “Christian Dating in An Oversexed World” seminars, and asked, “Well, Father, what should I do to tell my sweetheart goodnight?” I told him, “Well, you might put your hand to her face and move forward ever-so-slowly, and gently kiss her once, twice. Then give her a big, slow hug, pressing your cheek against hers and feeling the warmth as a way of proclaiming your real warm feelings for her. Then, perhaps say something nice, such as, “You are so precious to me.” Then say goodnight and kiss her once more, slowly, tenderly, as if you fear she might break if you aren’t careful.” 
Isn’t that more special than French kissing or “making out”? Often, if we think about it, doesn’t French kissing often start to look like two people trying maul each other’s faces? Of course, a lot of guys don’t kiss like described above, which is why Reverend Morrow joked girls may need to give guys some training in this area.
Reverend Morrow also developed a “Mega-hugs Courtship” technique to help couples remain chaste:
I have asked them to try an experiment for a month: to hug for five or ten seconds at a time, and to step back, look at her, and then to hug her again, and then again. They should hug several times in succession as often as they like instead of French kissing, and should only kiss goodnight, tenderly, gently, standing up. In this way they can experience that “closeness” John Paul II spoke of without getting highly stimulated.
Father Morrow also brought up another very valid argument against French kissing:
The point is, French kissing is of a different genre than affectionate kissing. It’s very sensual. It could hardly be called affection. Can you picture the married saints tongue-kissing during their courtship? Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Sweden, or the Martins (parents of St. ThÃ©rÃ¨se)? We tend not to apply the norm of perfection to courtship, but Jesus insisted that perfection was for everyone: “…you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
I just highlighted some of the issues discussed in Reverend Morrow’s article, but I highly recommend reading the entire article. It showed me that I still have much to learn, and I must continue to reverse harmful thinking and strive to be pure not only in action and thought, but also in my heart as well as I try to lead a chaste and counter-cultural lifestyle. Sometimes our personal desires or misled beliefs don’t match up with what is best for us, which is why French kissing–although highly prevalent–is wrong until marriage.
“Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8