As we've seen, there are lots of ways to water our marital garden. These actions are key to keeping our marriage fresh and healthy. This last post discusses affection. Some people are more naturally drawn to affection. Gary Chapman discusses physical touch as one of the five love languages. For some people, touch is essential to their very well-being. For others, not so much. These people appreciate touch but in its right time and place. They don't go around touching everyone near them. I tend to fall somewhere in between. Some days I want to hug everyone I see and other days I’m sure I’m wearing a “don’t touch me” sign around my neck.
So whatever “toucher” you are, it’s important to know that touch is important to our marriages.
Kissing, in particular, bonds us to our spouse. Kristina Dzara conducted some research on kissing and found that in general kissing can be a sign of marital connection. Marriages that are considered “happy” tend to kiss more, and likewise, couples who kiss more tend to report being happier. We all know that marital kissing can also be tied to other forms of marital intimacy, but that’s a whole different post.
Think about the last time you kissed your spouse. I hope it was earlier today! But if not, has it been a while? And I’m not talking about the peck on the cheek that you’d give Aunt Margaret, either. I mean a real marital kiss. A kiss that requires you to stop what you’re doing and engage in the moment.
In Kiss Me Like You Mean It, Dr. David Clarke finds that passionate kissing fades in 100% of marriages. That makes me sad, but I also understand it. Familiarity, money, kids, work, stress - they all conspire to make us less likely to linger for a sweet kiss while the world passes us by.
But what’s in it for us? Is there a good reason to take that time and reclaim the passionate kisses of our early years?
Communication professor Kory Floyd did some research and found that couples who intentionally increased the duration and frequency of their kisses over six weeks of the study reported both lower levels of stress and higher levels of relationship satisfaction. Just as importantly, their cholesterol also decreased.
So as I close out this series on “Watering Your Marital Garden” I encourage you to kiss your spouse more frequently and for longer! King Solomon discusses kissing in the Bible book Song of Solomon and we knew that Jacob kissed Rachel (Genesis 29:11). That’s just two references to marital kissing - there are lots of non-marital references to kissing in the Bible.
Not sure how to reclaim those kisses of years gone by? Grab some lip softener and read on... Focus on the Family has some great tips. Among them - greet your spouse with a 20-second kiss when he gets home from work. It may not seem like a long time but compared to the usual peck, this one packs a wallop! They also suggest kissing just to kiss, putting our whole body into it, and talking about kissing in your marriage. Finally, when all else fails, follow Nike’s advice and “just do it” - you’ll be glad you did.