Now, let's be real here. Certain ways of showing your affection publicly are completely respectable, like holding hands, an arm around the shoulder, or a small kiss. But some take things to a level that is not necessary (grabbing/spanking someone's butt, being attached at the hip almost literally, dancing provocatively together, making out, etc.). Not only does behavior like this make the people witnessing it uncomfortable it gives the wrong message. More often than not, people are going to think that more is going on behind the scenes than what is being displayed in front of them. Not only is it something that breaches simple etiquette but veils the relationship in question with a shadow of presumption. The presumption that boundaries are being stepped up to in a casual manner or even worse, crossed over. And it could be argued that while no one is going to know exactly what is in someone else's heart and for that matter should not jump to conclusions, we are called to not just abstain from unholy behaviors, but to "abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thess. 5:22 Just as we are to flee from sexual immorality, an active movement in the opposite direction, we are also called to ensure others don't have cause of thinking we are committing evil.
Not only is overly expressing affection in public uncomfortable for other people and something that could potentially give the wrong appearance, but it could be interpreted as immodest and disrespectful. Modesty doesn't just apply to wearing shirts that aren't too low cut, or shorts/dresses that aren't too short. It's more than the clothes. It's about the way we portray ourselves to other people. Following along with abstaining from the appearance of evil we want to be aware of what we are telling people about ourselves, specifically through actions as well as clothing choices.
I want to be clear though as I come to the end of this post, this is not a rant, or a letter to stick it to all of my friends in relationships. I love watching my friends glorify God through their relationships. I simply want to encourage. Accountability to one another should be a goal we all set for ourselves. Respectfully and lovingly reminding one another of God's word and walking hand-in-hand towards the same goal of showing God's love through our lives. "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." (Hebrews 10:24-25)