This topic surfaced after B was at a baseball game one night this week and noted how sweet the husband was being to the wife. Sweet words of encouragement, pat on the knee, arms around her back, all in the midst of other people around them... It was refreshing for B to see this and he was encouraged that this friend of his was treating his wife so well, especially in mixed company.
This reminded me of a time where we were at church and one of the couples (in their 40s) told me how they looked forward to Sundays at church because they got to sit by each other and put their arms around each other. This time in the week was something they looked forward to since they were in the midst of raising five kids who all still lived at home -- so finding a time to be side by side in an uninterrupted manner (like at church) was a rare occurrence. Speaking of the church thing, one of my good friends this week made a point to mention how encouraging it was to her (she's not married yet) to sit with us at church the other week and see B put his arm around me. It gave her encouragement that this was the way it was supposed to be -- not the inappropriate kind of over the top touching that some people get carried away with in public (!!) but something as simple as an arm around the other. That's always something I, too, love when B does! It just reminds me of his love for me - no matter where we may be or what the occasion is.
Closing statement from the man of the house: "This is a topic I am very passionate about as you will be able to see with my pretty lengthy statement...so bear with me! When I think of public display of affection, I can't think of any better way to communicate the gospel through marriage - where the man represents Christ and the wife represents the church - than to be loving towards one another. If you're not in marriage because of that reason, you're missing the picture of what God intended it to be. The way we act towards one another speaks SO loudly to those who are watching - as it did to me in the particular instance mentioned above earlier this week. You never know who is watching. Our prayer for this blog is that there will be a true paradigm shift in the way society views marriage. For instance, that people will view marriage as a fine wine that gets better with time - not something where you just get older and learn to tolerate the other person somehow.
As you probably saw through the lengthy list in the first paragraph, PDA also involves what we say AND how we say it to our partner. Keep this in mind...other people are listening and hear what you say to each other. One thing I want to draw attention to - and something that we battle is - being POSITIVE, not negative. Speak LIFE, not death. Be GENUINE, not sarcastic. Build each other UP in front of others, don't put the other down. Be consciously aware of what you're saying about your partner in front of other people and see to it that you are uplifting, encouraging, and drawing attention to the best attributes of your partner. The simple theme of PDA that we're highlighting in this post is the gospel. We are calling you to live out the gospel IN your relationships - that is what this marriage moment is about. And for any of you who aren't married yet, if you're dating someone who is not willing to pursue this kind of love and affection towards you - then you are settling. Marriage to the person God has called you to team up with and live life together for HIS purposes is such a blessing -- don't settle."