You're right, I'm guilty of over-exaggerating the circumstances. They aren't denied a romantic relationship because they don't kiss, but I still hold that it is stunted. Early on in their relationship up to their marriage, which should be a very advanced, mature time for them as a couple, they have learned to develop their relationship with very little physical affection. This has an affect how how they are as a couple, and it's going to be an added hurdle for them. It's going to take a little more effort. Just another thing to add to the list of things in your relationship to redefine and adjust to.
They aren't irreparably damaged, or they will be destined for divorce, it's just something I see no benefits, a stunted relationship, and it's not even biblical. So, the point? To play it safe, and for this, I have an additional problem.
Now, I don't have an issue with safety, it should be heeded, but often the church likes taking biblically irrelevant positions to "play it safe." In the same vein, many preach against dating only courting. People will correct you if you use the wrong word, because courting is only for marriage. So, the only difference is that teens have been courting several times over, and gone through a couple engagements, for what is only a more emotionally devastating break up. One of the worst decisions in my past was to put the weight of marriage on a girl I had a crush on, because "dating is for marriage," and anything else is sin/worthless. I never even asked her out, because I can only date if I'm sure I want to marry her."
I'd normally just say playing it safe screwed me over, but it's not that simple. If I was just making a risk/safety equation, I'd really just be at terms with whatever my decision was. But no, this brand of playing it safe comes with baggage of "the will of God" and "morality" with it. There's no thinking, oh hey, I think we should play it safe. It's a choice that gets branded with the "blessing of God." And here's the kicker.
The conservative christian believes the Bible is the Word of God, and that they should follow it as a guideline. But as I said before, it's not in there. People are preaching this concept as if it was a biblical teaching, but they well just came up with it themselves. I find that repulsive. You know I now argue against just taking the Bible as pure truth, but there's a level of understanding that the people sincerely believe it and try to understand it and come to terms with it. But when you just make stuff up and act like it's from it all along, it's a whole new level of dishonesty.
So, now we have a wedding, a christian couple doing what they believe God wants them to, have their first kiss on the altar and a pastor comments on beautiful it is that they waited for their first kiss, as if it was commanded by God himself. Does it not strike you as a bit presumptuous to speak for God so flippantly? It infuriated me when I was a Christian.
As a side note, I understand not everybody is like this, but there's a very strong undertone with the people who do push this view forward, and with is, some judgement for people who don't.