Sunday, February 8, 2015

Public displays of affection

Love is in the air this time of year. It's not quite time to be twitterpated, but Cupid's arrows will fly again this February on Valentine's Day, the one day of the year most dedicated to love—if you consider a commercially manufactured over-materialistic guilt-you-into-expressing-your-love-for-your-wife-day a day dedicated to love.

Whether you fully endorse or merely tolerate the commercial aspect of Valentine's Day, it's undeniably a day you will see all sorts of public displays of affection (a.k.a. PDA). From hand holding, to sweet pecks on the cheek, to get-a-room-style making out, to flower deliveries, to proposals over romantic dinners—we'll likely see it all on February 14.

I fully endorse public displays of affection, within limits, of course. Prudence is a virtue that is sometimes lost when it comes to PDA. I'm especially a pro-PDA advocate around the house in front of the kids. Why? Well, there's the obvious expression of attraction to my wife: her long hair, her beautiful eyes, her soft... ahem, where was I?

There's also the perk of getting an emphatic "Ewww!" from the kids as they attempt to avert their eyes from the horror of seeing their parents kiss, which becomes somewhat of a game.

Most of all, I promote PDAs around the house because I want our home to be one in which physical expressions of love in proper context—like the covenant of marriage—are seen as both normal and important.

I think Jesus would agree. The mystery of the incarnation—God becoming man—demonstrates that our physical nature is important and worth redeeming. Jesus gave us sacraments—physical signs and experiences of his love and grace. Marriage is a sacrament and requires an appropriate physical expression of love between husband and wife. And I think it's important my children learn that it's normal and healthy for their parents to physically express the love they have for each other, which naturally spills-over to the children.

Of course, the physical expression is an outward sign of something deeper, a reflection of Christ and his bride, the Church. Maybe that's another post for another time.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to gross-out my kids.

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