PDA – Public Displays of Affection

PDA Public display affection love and communication - Jerry King cartoon Aug9When you first fell in love, and before you married, was your love for each other evident? Did you speak and show love to each other through affectionate words and actions? We sure did. PDA was something we never hesitated to do.

As a matter of fact, it probably sickened some people around us to see all the mushy-gushy stuff that was going on between us. We thought nothing of it. It seemed like the “natural” thing to do.

PDA: Public Displays of Affection

Ask me if we still show our affection for each other, both in public and at home. Go ahead; ask me. I’m ready for that one (because it’s something that’s important to Steve and me).

To that question, my answer would still be, we sure do. And we love it! We truly believe that just because we’re married, it doesn’t mean that we need to stop showing our love for one another.

We believe that Christian married couples should have the best and freshest love life going on with each other. That doesn’t mean that we do things that are inappropriate with each other in public. It does mean, however, that demonstrating our love should never stop. After all, isn’t that what God did and does for us?

We’re told in the Bible, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) How much more public can you get in demonstrating His love, than for Jesus to die publicly on the cross for us?

Theological PDA

Yes, I know that I’m making this a bit theological. But when it comes to showing love to each other as husband and wife, that’s okay. We even have a license to display love. We obtained it when we both said, “I do” before God and many witnesses. As a matter of fact, the first “official action” we engage in as husband and wife is sealing our wedding vows with a kiss. Remember what the pastor said? He said, “by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.” And to the husband he said, “You may now kiss your bride.”

Does that mean that we’re to stop kissing each other because we kissed publicly “once and for all” on our wedding day? I’m not thinking so. I think it’s a crying shame when I see married couples —especially Christian ones, who stop showing each other love and affection. It can spark, or re-spark some great feelings when you flirt with each other. This is true even after some 45 (plus) years of marriage.

If you aren’t doing this, if you’re “out of practice” in flirting with your spouse, “demonstrating” your love to your spouse, then try it. You may just find that you like it… a WHOLE lot! I’m not talking about falling all over each other in public. That can get sickening for others to see. But simple flirting, holding hands, putting your arm around your sweetheart, and stealing a kiss here and there is great. Include in that, winking, blowing a kiss, squeezing a shoulder or a knee, finding each other’s foot under a table —trying not to let others see, and the list goes on.


Steve and I find that when we do this, our own feelings for each other soars. We’re married; we love God and each other, and we aren’t ashamed to let the world know it. God, whose very name means LOVE has taught us and continues to guide us into loving each other “in word and deed,” as we’re told to do in the Bible. Why should we keep it secret?

I remember our son David (who is now in his 40’s) used to come in sometimes when he was outside, or in the other room playing. He would see us hugging each other and kissing, and he would wrap his arms around the both of us and give us a group hug. I believe it was his way of saying, “I’m so glad you love each other. It makes me feel so blessed.” It sure made his world a lot more secure.

He told us this later in life as he realized how many of his friends parents were splitting up. He said that he never had to worry about his home going down that same road. And he didn’t. After we came to know Christ personally, we vowed to never let that happen.

It made us feel good when David told us that because we really worked hard at making our marriage a good one. Did we ever argue and NOT act loving sometimes? Yes, we did. We are human, after-all. But we worked at keeping our grievances short and at giving and showing each other love, just as Christ would have us.

Christian Marriages SHOULD Be Loving

Again, I’ll say it. I believe that Christian marriages should be the most loving ones on earth. We know God, we love God, and we follow His ways. And because God IS LOVE, it only makes sense that even though we clash sometimes, we should make the effort to especially love each other as Christ loves us. He loves, so we should love. He gave and gives, so we should give. That is our mission —to reveal and reflect the love of God to everyone, ESPECIALLY our marriage partner. Marital PDA is part of our evangelical mission.

So, go ahead and start flirting with your spouse. Include PDA (public and private displays of affection). They are great ways to spark your love for each other, just as it did for each of you before you married. Except now that you ARE married, you even have a license to do it. So, please do!

P.S. If you want a little “refresher course” please read, HOLDING HANDS AND KISSING.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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5 responses to “PDA – Public Displays of Affection

  1. My husband shows me… 0… zero p.d.a. I feel like people look at us like we’re roommates. But in the very beginning the tables were turned; it lasted about 4 years. Then when we finally married in 2008, I wanted pda so bad. Now it just hurts. He would rather pull out his phone than to pay any attention to me.

  2. The way people choose to express their affection for each other in public is fascinating to me. It’s completely different than physical affection in private, because with public display of affection you’re walking a fine line between social norms and personal intimacy.

  3. Candace Bure, the actress posted a picture of her husband cupping one of her breast and saw no issue with it. Where is the line drawn when sharing too much with the public? I think my grandmother would have been so upset seeing something like this. Where in the modesty and intimacy that’s just between the couple and the Lord?

    1. That’s a good point. There is a point where PDA can cross a line and be embarrassing to others who see it. No modesty in the bedroom is great, but out in public, we need to tone things down a bit. We’re all about PDA… but it should be rated “G” so the general audience isn’t offended. Thanks for sharing.