“When people are dating, is making out a sin and why?”
“Making out” is not mentioned in the Bible. The Scriptures also don’t specifically say that kissing is a sin, yet there are principles we need to learn from. The Bible does say sex outside of marriage is a sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). Sex between a husband and his wife is the only form of sexual relations of which God approves (Hebrews 13:4).
Types of kisses
The few times the Bible does mention kissing it speaks of it as a way of sharing intimacy in different types of situations (Song. 1:2, Song. 8:1, Rom 16:16 ). There are different types of kisses. In the Greek culture of the first century and prior it was common for brothers and good friends to greet each other with a platonic kiss (this was very short and quick) There are also kisses that are familial as with a mother who kisses a child goodnight; others are emotional (but without any sexuality)as with a husband who kisses his wife on the cheek, and still others are romantic/erotic and done in the context of a very intimate and sexual relationship that is only permitted in marriage. This last types of kissing, or “making out” is foreplay for sex.
Your motive matters
“Making out” is obviously much more romantic/erotic in nature, it is done to ignite intimacy between a man and a woman. Clearly this is healthy and good in the context of marriage, and the confusion lies in making out between a boyfriend and girlfriend, or simply two people who are attracted to each other. There is little in the Bible that specifically talks about this, but there is a very clear example (Prov. 7:13). In this verse we hear a warning to flee from an adulteress who is trying to kiss a man with the intent of committing adultery. There is a whole list of behavior she does including perfuming her bed. Most of these things are not sinful in and of themselves, yet when she does them with sinful intent, to lead to adultery, they become sinful actions. So we can see that any and all kissing, physical touching, or etc, which is done to seduce someone into sexual sin (sex with anyone other than your spouse) is already sin because of its intent.
The real danger of “making out.”
Plainly put making out isn’t a standalone thing, its foreplay for something else, sex. There are many strong emotions, biological urges, and hormones that are stimulated during close touching and kissing. All of this clouds your judgement, rational thinking, and ignites a magnetic force that pulls you toward sex. Making out exists for that purpose, to pull people into sex (which is a good thing for married couples, or they might never know how to start).
Making out is like a freeway on ramp, while you are there, you aren’t “technically” on the highway but it serves only one function, to get you enough speed for the highway. And just as it’s hard to avoid the highway once you’re on the ramp, so it’s hard to avoid sex if you’re making out.
Let’s imagine a slippery waterslide that leads to a deep pool. Now imagine that you cannot swim, so it is dangerous for you to fall into the pool, and you are forbidden to go into it. But sliding down a slide doesn’t really count as being in the pool, right? Technically yes, sliding is not being in the pool. But lets be honest here, is it smart to start sliding down and think you wont go in the pool? You will “catch on and stop yourself” or something like that. In the end you’re playing with a slide that has the only purpose, to take you where you cant go. That’s what making out looks like.
Serious engaged couples?
What about in the case of a couple that is engaged and committed to staying chaste before marriage? Many good Christian men, pastors, and teachers have slightly different ideas on this. The bottom line is this, some (ie Focus on the Family) do think its ok for a couple to exchange a kiss that is emotional/familial, but not laced with sexuality and eroticism. Yet the ultimate conclusion by all is that “making out” is a beautiful thing for married couples, yet a dangerous thing for those who are not there yet.
How can you avoid temptation?
So how do you navigate these dangerous waters and remain faithful to Jesus? Gentlemen, if you are not willing to put a ring on the girls finger, then you shouldn’t start trying to seduce her. Realize that’s what making out is, the first stage of seduction for sex. They used to call them bases when I was a kid. The very clear point was, there is a home run, you don’t start running bases when the home run is not a goal, do you?
Apostle Paul writes Timothy and gives him a general rule, he tells him to treat younger women like sisters, in all purity (1 Tim 5:2). “All in purity” is a good rule to live by. Realize that this girl/young woman is not yours, she is your sister. Treat her like you do your sister. This includes being a gentleman, opening doors, buying her coffee or ice cream. You can even hug her to make her feel loved, but nothing that is sexual. While you may give your sister an un-sexual brotherly kiss, you would never make out with your sister, would you? (Rednecks don’t answer this one)