Infatuation:  Kissing and Caressing? - Devotion 5

Genesis 34: 1-4, 13-17, 25

Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife." When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home. ... Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, "Get me this girl as my wife." When Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been defiled, his sons were in the fields with his livestock; so he kept quiet about it until they came home. ... Three days later, while all of them were still in pain, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male.

When it comes to kissing and caressing, I remember as a teenager that many of my teachers would send couples to the detention for public displays of affection. I'll admit some would go pretty far even in my day. Hand on butt, tongue lodged in back of throat, tonsil to tonsil, etc. etc. Or people would do what was called "petting" where the other would rub the other persons private parts as a sign of their love.

God designed us to feel strongly about a person of the opposite sex and there is a natural drive in us to express this to someone. The question is; should we control these desires or should we let our feelings fully hang out?

If asked, "Why do you do it?" Many will say, "We are in love!" But my question is: "Are you really in love or are you just infatuated with each other?" Infatuation is really just the tingling feeling that comes when the other person is around. You feel on cloud nine. Your heart beats faster, you are aroused, little touches just make you feel all the closer to the other person. Infatuation, like a drug requires higher doses day by day. The simple little kiss on the cheek needs to become a two minute kiss, and so on.

Be careful of the drug of infatuation, it is not necessarily true love. True love is deeper. Consider being married to this person except after a tragic car accident she/he lost both arms and both legs. Her/His face marred up, her/his appearance like meat loaf. Would you continue being with her/him night and day, because she/he could no longer fulfill the infatuation? True love is deep. It does not require affection at every moment. Although as we will see within marriage love making is far better than any sexual contact outside marriage.

To get back to the question, what about kissing, caressing, putting an arm over the shoulder? A good way to answer this question is with another question: "Am I glorifying God by this _________?" If the answer is yes, then go ahead. If the answer is no then stop. For example after a year of dating a couple might kiss as an expression of trust. Likewise holding hands could be very good as they continue to grow their friendship. Whereas a kiss done purely out of infatuation may not be glorifying God or the other person.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know I am called to be infatuated with you and your love. Yet, teach me the difference between infatuation and true love especially between man and a woman. Lord, provide me wisdom in dating that would reserve infatuation for marriage of a believing spouse. Amen