My co-worker had a guest speaker come in and lead a workshop with the high school youth last weekend. The speaker was Laura Sessions Stepp author of “Unhooked”. Stepp brought up many great points in her workshop with the youth but one point inparticular hit home with some of the leaders.
Stepp asked the youth to raise their hands if they ever wanted to get married. A few of our youthful romantics threw their hands high with confidence. A few waffled and several didn't attempt to answer. Some made it clear that they aren't sure marriage is for them. Stepp’s next question was, “How many of your parents make marriage look fun?” A long pause. “How many of you think marriage is fun?” A longer pause.
For years, Joel and I have been openly displaying our affection for one another because we experience affection as an authentic gesture of love. We think it is important for youth, for our peers, for anyone to see a married couple who is in love with one another. When we hug and kiss one another to say hello or goodbye and a youth is present, I have a hard time with the argument that this is “an inappropriate gesture” seeing as youth experience much more than this just watching TV commercials.
I've been a believer that PDA among healthy couples is a really beneficial thing for our society of sexually taboo practices. It is especially good for kids and teens to see. What an amazing gift to see committed couples madly in love with one another especially when it seems all passionate attraction comes in the form of meaningless hook ups.
After hearing my co-worker relay her experience of their guest speaker last weekend, I am all the more convicted about the importance of PDA among married couples. Maybe your kids think it is really uncool or even gross if you kiss in front of them, but there is no question that the message you send them is “we love one another.” That gives a kid a lot of confidence and security whether they would admit it or not.
If we want kids to want to grow up and live into healthy marriage someday, we first have to give them examples of healthy marriages. And sometimes, guys, it’s ok to replace the world “healthy” with the word “FUN!” from time to time.
Can you remember why you married your spouse?
You love them! You love being with them. You did amazing things together. You traveled, went on romantic dates, you danced all night, you created things together, and you loved those long talks or just enjoyed the simple pleasures of life in each other's company. It is good to be with that person and you have fun doing it.
No matter how crazy your schedules are or how much your kids need right now, please remember that your marriage is a gift from God and in fact you and your spouse are bound together IN God. The best part is that God designed marriage to be awesome and to be the closest thing we can get to his physical love. Yall, this is great stuff, why don't we share it like we believe it?!
I hope this week you can experience the fun that made you enter into that covenant in the first place because remember...the kids are watching.