A Case for Sloppy, Wet Kisses

If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there are two kinds of Christians… Those on Team Sloppy Wet, and those on Team Unforeseen.

“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan is probably my favorite contemporary worship song. You’re probably familiar with David Crowder Band’s cover of it. In DCB’s version, there is a line that says, “Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.” John Mark McMillan’s original line, though, is, “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss.” For some reason, this line seems to cause controversy wherever it goes in the Christian world πŸ™‚

It seems like the argument I hear most often against “sloppy wet” is that it sounds creepy or too seductive or something for church. (My counterargument is that “unforeseen” is even creepier.) But I think the people who make that claim are missing the point personally… Here’s why I love “sloppy wet” so much.

In a behind-the-song videoΒ for “How He Loves”, John Mark McMillan explains, “The love I’m singing about in that song is […] not a pretty, clean… It’s not a Hollywood, hot-pink love. It’s […] the kind of love that’s willing to love things that are messy and willing to love even the difficult and sort of […] gross kind of things.” That’s why I love the song in and of itself so much, but it’s particularly why I love the original “sloppy wet” line.

When I think of “sloppy wet kiss” in the context of this song, my first thought is not making out, believe it or not. My first thought is of a toddler kissing his dad.

Toddlers are sticky. They are sloppy. They are messy. When they kiss their parents, they often leave behind crumbs and slobber. And they always seem to have some sort of red stain around their mouths, don’t they? (Is it popsicle? Lollipop?? Kool-Aid??? Who knows????)

But if that toddler runs up and kisses his dad, is the dad going to yell at him? Is he going to be mad about it? No way.

The dad is stoked on his kid. He loves him. He’s excited that they’re in each other’s lives. He’s not angry because he got a little sticky in the process of being adored by his child.

And you know what? I’m pretty sure that’s how God feels about us.

God’s plan for mankind’s redemption was not easy and clean. It was messy. It was unthinkably scandalous. It was passionate. God — the Creator of the universe! — became a man and allowed his creation to mock, disbelieve, and literally murder him.

Humans are sticky. We do and say things we shouldn’t. We aren’t perfect. We destroy more than we create. But if we run full-force at God to show him affection, will he yell at or reject us for that? No stinkin’ way.

God is stoked on us. He loves us. He’s excited that we’re in each other’s lives. He’s not angry because in order to redeem us, he had to descend into the stickiness.

He loves us passionately and relentlessly. He knows that we’re going to make messes that we can’t clean up. And he loves us anyway. He knows about the mysterious popsicle/lollipop/Kool-Aid stain on our faces. And he loves us anyway.

As sticky and gross as we are, God still loves and wants us. That, my friends, is amazing grace.

Anyway, that’s why I love that line so much. Which team do you belong to and why? Sloppy Wet or Unforeseen? Let me know in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “A Case for Sloppy, Wet Kisses

  1. Thanks for following my blog–and great post haha! I enjoy your explanation for preferring ‘sloppy wet’–very grace filled. I probably would sing either–whichever line a worship leader chooses or whichever version I’m listening too…kind of a cop out, right? If I had to choose here would be my thought process: when I think of the line in the song I imagine a parent kissing their child rather than the child kissing their parent. Not sure that makes ‘unforeseen’ a better word choice but it does make me less likely to use sloppy-wet…we are sloppy but God isn’t.

    Have you read this hilarious post about the same topic: http://stuffchristianslike.net/2011/12/27/5-in-2011-kissing-metaphors-in-worship-music/

    Anyway–I look forward to future posts–Happy New Year!

    • Of course! Thanks for following me, as well! I followed a few people from the 30 Days of Hustle group yesterday — were you one of them? I remember the actual act of following you, but I don’t remember how I found you in the first place haha.
      That metaphor makes a lot of sense, too, although I might argue that a parent kissing a child could still be sloppy and wet simply because of the child in question. Haha! I like your reasoning, though. Thank goodness God isn’t sloppy… I have WAY more than enough of that going on on my own!
      I guess I just love the rawness of “sloppy wet.” It’s not trying to be pretty or say what people want to hear, just like the type of love the song describes. It’s gritty love that’s willing to go beyond hearts and flowers and dig down into the things that aren’t so lovable and love them anyway. I might also be a bit biased because it’s the original line, and I’m big on that kind of stuff πŸ˜› Flyleaf covered it and said “passionate kiss,” which I also liked. Not as much as “sloppy wet,” but definitely more than “unforeseen.” So that might be acceptable middle ground?
      And oh, yes… SCL is one of my favorite things!!
      Happy new year to you, too!

      • Yes–the 30 days of hustle group must be how you found me. And I for sure appreciate the sentiment the song and line expresses: being fully known (sloppy, silly, sinful, etc) and still loved and accepted–which counters our greatest fear of being fully known and rejected.

  2. I’m an “unforeseen” girl myself.

    When I hear “sloppy wet,” I think of the St. Bernard in Beethoven and gag. πŸ™‚ I love “unforeseen” because I think of the gentleness of heaven meeting earth in a soft grazing touch. Kind of like when your sweetheart leans in unexpectedly for a sweet kiss.

    Love this post!!!!

    • Hi, Bethany! I’m not sure how I missed your comment until just now, but let me first of all say that it made me laugh out loud with the St. Bernard πŸ™‚ The way you put that is really beautiful, though. A soft, grazing touch is such a nice image, so tender and loving. Thanks for the comment!

  3. I am on team sloppy wet. My sister used to call my kids’ kisses big slobby kisses. Ewwww, gross! But yes, when we love each other we do big slobby kisses.

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