Breathe. It’s all good. I’m very selective in the men I kiss.
My dad’s family health history reflects the Middle Ages. Adults in his family routinely died in their 40s and 50s. In fact, when my dad died at the ripe old age of 74, he died long after the lifespans of his mother, father, his three older siblings, and one younger brother. None of them lived to 74. The gene pool needed some chlorine.
The last decade of my dad’s life was physically challenging. From cancer to MRSA, disease riddled his once strong body, but let’s talk about kissing men.
My dad expressed love with his words freely. Though soft spoken, my dad finished nearly every phone conversation with me the same way, “I love you.” It could be my memory is failing, but I don’t recall my dad expressing love physically. Don’t get me wrong. In no way am I complaining or casting aspiration on him. My dad loved me and told me so often, but he didn’t hug me or kiss me.
After we married, Brenda and I never lived closer than 300 miles or so from her parents or mine. Of course that meant our time together with family was limited. As my dad grew sicker, I concluded the day was coming when I would say goodbye for the last time until we met again in heaven.
I don’t recall making a conscious choice to start kissing my dad. It just happened. In later years when I said goodbye to him, I’d hug him and kiss his cheek. I remember driving away and saying to Brenda, “Well, that may be the last time.” Three years ago it was, and I kissed him before I left.
My sons are 27 and 19-years-old, and I kiss them. I started kissing them as babies, didn’t stop when they were in high school, and kiss them now though they are bigger than I am.
Michael and his wife live more than 500 miles away from us, and Jeffery goes to college in South Carolina, 1,100 miles away. When they walk through the front door of my house or before they pull out of our driveway, I kiss them – a strong hug and a kiss on the cheek from me to them.
I don’t know exactly what Paul meant when he wrote, “Greet one another with a holy kiss,” but he wrote it four times to three different churches! Peter wasn’t going to let it slip by either, so he wrote it too (1 Pet 5:14). There’s obviously something important to Paul and Peter about kissing, both for the giver and the receiver of the kiss.
To kiss my dad expressed
- my honor of him
- my respect for him
- my humility before him
- my appreciation for him
- my love him
To kiss my sons expresses
- my desire to maintain close relationships with them
- my hope they will find security in my affection for them
- my approval of their lifestyles and choices
- my unspoken communication that there is nothing currently between us
- my leadership that they will be free in their physical expressions to their family members as they continue to grow older.
Beyond the apostles' words, I cannot find any Bible commands to call us to obey as I think about kissing father and son. The Scriptures give some positive examples of physical affection in male to male relationships – Isaac and Jacob, Joseph with his brothers and father, Moses and his father-in-law, Samuel and Saul, and Jesus with his disciples. While not binding on us, the examples do seem sanctioned and appropriate.
As I think about it, I cannot think of one good reason for a son not to kiss his father or for a father not to kiss his son.
Maybe it would be weird if you all of sudden moved in toward your 14-year-old son with wet, puckered lips or to your 71-year-old pops, but don’t rule it out altogether. Give it some thought, and ask the Lord for the right opportunity. There’s plenty of good, correct, and beneficial reasons to express in the most intimate of ways your undying love to your dad or your son.
As always I welcome your feedback and any ideas you might have for an upcoming Lunchtime Musing.