PDA: Emphasis on the P

     It seems to me a strange concept that not everyone understands that PDA stands for Public Display of Affection.  Or at least it seems that way when you look at how young couples act nowadays, on subways, at restaurants, even in the church.  Frankly it's awkward and uncomfortable.  We've been in that position, the one of the outside viewer.  The one who says out loud or in their head "woah, settle down."  It comes in subtler forms too; the times your friends who are dating are acting friendlier than you are comfortable with, especially for a group hangout.  It's time it's recognized that PDA does not simply mean affection shared in a public place that is private, but is also publicly viewed!  Those private moments going on between the two in the couple are now public, why is it so hard to treat it as such?  

     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.  

     Too much PDA can also be disrespectful to the significant other.  For instance, if you were a guy and you were expressing your 'affection' towards your girlfriend by grabbing her rear end when with a group of friends or even just telling your friends too much about your private moments with her you are not only breaching her privacy if she has not already said she is okay with such behavior but you are opening a scary door.  A door for your friends to see your significant other sexually.  This goes both ways, for the men and women in the relationship.  Certain affections come from a good place, a heart to lift up the person you're dating, to glorify God with the relationship.  But others come from a different heart, a heart not focused on God.  One that is self-seeking.  It is so much more important than we realize to be mindful of where our actions are stemming from.  Intentionality is key. Why would someone want to cheapen the intimacy of their expressions of affection by turning it into a show for the people around them?     

     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)

~XO Juls


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