Have you ever wondered, “What about this bunch of dried up herbs inspires kissing??”
Parched mistletoe we find in the store is nothing like what was venerated by the Druids.
Fresh mistletoe is a glossy green freeloader in the treetop. It retains its color for quite awhile after being cut. It is a parasite, unlike Spanish Moss (an epiphyte) which resides on tree limbs and takes nourishment of its own accord. Mistletoe digs its tentacles into the bark of its host.
Mistletoe has white berries which lead to interesting symbolism (keep reading….).
Mistletoe is different from holly, although both have berries. Holly berries are red. Holly leaves are pointed and are murder on your forearms when trying to trim the bush’s branches. The Holly bush roots into the ground.What else is there to love about mistletoe?
It propagates through birds, literally. The word mistletoe derives from the 2nd century Anglo Saxon word “mistle-tan.” Mistle = dung & tan = twig.
The Druids of medieval Eastern Europe and Anglia (modern day England) held a spiritual attitude toward mistletoe. It was believed to ward off evil spirits and held symbolic fertility enhancement.
Stefan Allen, of the Mistletoe Foundation revealed, “Traditionally mistletoe was considered (by Druids) to be the semen of the gods and of the forest, because the berries contain a liquid that looks like and has the texture of semen. This is the real reason we kiss under it at Christmas, this and because mistletoe blooms in the dark womb of wintertime.”
This racy berry is also thought to have life-giving qualities. Druid’s reportedly believed the white liquid was the antidote to all poisons. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! All parts of the mistletoe plant can be poisonous. DO NOT INGEST.
The kissing tradition is also linked to Norse mythology. See Bill Petro’s History of Mistletoe. The tradition was romanticized during the Victorian era. It is this romanticized tradition that we cling to today.
If anything has a marital life-giving quality, it is the kiss itself.
Our lips are packed with sensitive nerve endings. The slightest brush can start a fire. Kissing inspires automatic responses in our body that are remarkably similar to orgasm. We get a rush of wonderful bonding and pleasure chemicals.
I recently read the secret of a husband who had been married for 75 years. He kissed his wife twice a day, every day.
Whether your home hosts mistletoe or not, the most important kiss in any marriage is the Kiss of Forgiveness.
This time of year, I especially need mercy. It’s full of events that embody humility and love regarding our precious gift of the savior. It’s full of magical outings to inspire wonderment in our little children. It’s full of fun social gatherings. But, put them all together in a short span of time and I have stress and frustration that sometimes spills over onto Mr. Muscle.
Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son….Luke 15:20 (NIV), “And he arose and came to his father. But, while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ”
Do I deserve such a merciful heavenly father that upon my return to his loving arms, he is more concerned with my arrival than my actions that caused the separation? May we embody this grace and mercy toward our all-too-human spouses.
Are apologies necessary for the Kiss of Forgiveness? No. But, a sweet kiss and gentle words can open up a dialogue where things can be addressed. Maybe an apology will ensue, but that shouldn’t be your goal.
My Prayer for You
“Dear Heavenly Father, may our marriages live in a sea of forgiveness. May we remember the good in our spouses when we are frustrated with them. May we continue to keep Christ as our example of humility and service. May we remember that as we seek to be more and more like you we are promoting grace and mercy within our home. Only then can true love flourish. I pray for the precious reader who may have unbelieving spouses. Grant that marriage an extra measure of the Holy Spirit so the believing spouse can gently mentor their mate into a relationship with you, Dear Lord. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.”
J @ www.hotholyandhumorous.com: A Little Instruction for the Kiss (this will lead you to the entire series of 3).
Linking up with Jolene @thealabasterjar: Marital Oneness Monday
Linking up with Sheila @tolovehonorandvacuum: Wifey Wednesday**************
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