What is the kiss of DEATH?
Do kisses have power?

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"Don't kiss the boys.  That's how you get babies."

This mother's advice to her daughters is not totally misguided. The power of a passionate kiss can lead the way to pregnancy, as many young people have sadly discovered.

There are all sorts of kisses. When Dad arrives home his kids may squeal with delight, and smother him with kisses. Mom may have to do with hubby's quick peck. And the family dog will likely give him sloppy, tail-wagging kisses.

Some nationalities kiss on both cheeks, and their men even kiss men this way. Then there's the thing in which two women touch their cheeks together and kiss the air, sometimes making a ridiculous "Mwah" sound.

Kisses can be enjoyable, but to the little boy who's told to kiss aunt Martha, a kiss is simply a "Yech." In childhood it's usually the little girl who kisses her favorite boy. "Yech," again.

When she gets a little older the little girl may send him a love note with S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss) on the envelope.

Kisses can raise memories, some happy, some sad, and some funny as my wife Betty and I discovered. Old Harry, who had a lifetime aversion to bath water, drove his rattletrap truck past our country home and threw Betty a big, toothless kiss. We've laughed about that often.

The apostle Paul adjures us to greet the brethren with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16; 1Corinthians 16:20; 2Corinthians 13:12; 1Thessalonians 5:26). There's been much speculation over the meaning of a holy kiss, or a kiss of charity as Peter called it (1Peter 5:14), but it certainly isn't a homosexual or lesbian-type kiss. God doesn't look kindly on that.

What SPECIAL relationship does God want with us? 
Is there really
What does the
Bible say about LOVE?
How can we build strong relationships?
Did Jesus ever
SAY he was God?

Kisses can say "Hello" or "Goodbye." And a gentle peck, when she least expects it, can leave the lady of the house with an inward glow. One marital counselor suggests kissing her – the wife, not the counselor – on the back of the neck three times a day. Imagine the effect that can have when the wife is feeling a bit blue, or is busy preparing supper, or is generally alone in her little world. Try it, husbands. It's dynamite!

Kisses can go the other way, however. A husband tells a sweet young thing his wife doesn't understand him. Little Missey kisses his cares away, and gives him the kind of understanding he desires. A wife crys to her paramour that her husband never shows her any appreciation. He gives her appreciation with kisses and more.

It's a rare married couple that has no problems, but problems are not solved by seeking solace in another person's kisses. The power of such kisses have resulted in half the American marriages ending in divorce.

Throughout the Bible we read of many kisses. The aging Isaac kissed his son Jacob, and blessed him (Genesis 27:24-27). Jacob kissed his cousin Rachel, and later married her (Genesis 29:11). Despite earlier chicanery, Esau greeted his brother with a kiss (Genesis 33:4). Joseph kissed his brothers (Genesis 45:14-15); Israel kissed his grandsons (Genesis 48:8-10); Joseph kissed his deceased father (Genesis 49:33-50:1); and Naomi kissed her daughters-in-law (Ruth 1:9).

The Kiss of Life and the Kiss of Death

The very FIRST recorded kiss in the Bible may have been when God (the Being who would be born as Jesus Christ) breathed life into Adam (the "kiss of life"):

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7)

The MOST FAMOUS Biblical kiss, however, is the one Judas gave to Jesus (the kiss of betrayal or kiss of death). This kiss of death was given in the Garden of Gethsemane, the place where Jesus and the disciples went to after they finished celebrating their last Passover together:

48 The traitor (Judas Iscariot) had given the crowd a signal: 'The man I kiss (Jesus Christ) is the one you want. Arrest him!' 49 Judas went straight to Jesus and said, 'Peace be with you, Teacher,' and kissed him. (Matthew 26)

Indeed, there is power in a kiss: the power to cheer; the power to hurt; the power to strengthen or destroy marriages; and the power to murder. There is the kiss of life and the kiss of death. But the best kiss is the one that says "Thank you," or "You're special," or "I love you."

Written by:  Les Turvey
Additional Study Materials
What SPECIAL relationship
does God want with us?
How can STRONG
Relationships be built?
What are the types of love
found in the New Testament?
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