“You May NOT Kiss The Bride!” – Public Display of Affection and The Church


"You May NOT Kiss The Bride!" – Public Display of Affection and The Church

By: Ronke Alao

It was the Sisters' Convention at my church and part of the programme planned for that Saturday evening was a Couples' dinner event to be attended by husbands and wives who are married. Do I sound redundant by using words like: couple, husbands and wives, and married? Well, I feel I had to make it very plain and you would know why by the time you are done reading this article. 

My husband was probably more excited about it than I was. All I thought was how much the event would cost and the other things I could do with that money, (I know, I know. I can be mighty cheap sometimes). Anyways, we got dressed and headed to the dinner. After we had our appetizers, the main speaker who was referred to as "Jerusalem Pastor" was invited to speak. He is definitely not from Jerusalem but he was nicknamed such (as I would soon find out) due to his ability to discuss "taboo" subjects like sex with such ease.  To keep his talks PG13, he would refer to having sex as going to "Jerusalem".  I believe you are getting the picture? Okay. 

"Jerusalem pastor" talked about how it was easy for men, especially pastors, to get so caught up in their work and with life in general that they don't give their wives the attention that is much needed. He spoke about how men needed to love and honour their wives, how they need to let her have an input in the running of the home and carry her along.

Other topics of discussion included sex and intimacy and how Pastors shouldn't refrain from sexual activities with their wife while using the work of the ministry as an excuse.  He said so much and while he talked, one thing that baffled me was the fact that when I looked around me, I saw mostly women taking notes. Isn't that interesting? I found it funny that when the pastor was addressing men on ways to make their wives happy and improve their marriage, they weren't taking notes, the women were. I guess married men typically don't care for such until they have problems they are aware of in their own marriage while a woman wants to keep improving on her marriage even if she thinks it's great.  


The pastor had things to say to women too and after the talk, he asked that how many of us had ever renewed our vows since we got married. No hands went up. So he announced that every couple present was going to have a wedding that night! I was beginning to have so much fun at this event. 


We were all asked to stand to our feet and the husbands went first. They repeated the wedding vows as the pastor read it out. These were special vows and by no means your mama's wedding vows. They had clauses like,  "I promise never to deny you sex", " I promise never to have sex with anyone else but you for as long as you live" ! After the exchange of vows, the pastor said,” Husbands, you may now kiss your bride". That was when I saw a strange thing happen:while a few people kissed their spouse, I saw husbands and wives hugging each other! No kiss whatsoever. Not even a light kiss on the cheek.  My first thought was, what is wrong with us church people?

Now, I do understand that some people are conservative and do not care for any public display of affection but for Heaven's sake, I don't think a light kiss (even if it's only on the cheek) could have been inappropriate at an event like that.  Judging by how many couples I saw who actually kissed, it was almost as if the pastor said, "You may NOT kiss the bride".  

Though I do not believe in extreme public display of affection – you know, like a couple French kissing in public and everyone wonders why they won't get a room – I do believe that a couple who is unable to show the slightest form of affection in public has a problem, whether they realise it or not. Please feel free to disagree with me but how can you explain a couple who never hold hands in public even if their life depended on it and always make sure they don't sit side by side at an event? Their children have never even caught them having skin to skin contact, except maybe in a fight. 

Opposites usually attract in marriage so when you have someone who doesn't really appreciate the value of human touch, chances are the person's spouse really appreciates it.  If you are the type that feels uncomfortable showing affection to your spouse in public, reach out of your comfort zone and start with little steps like hand-holding or a gentle and loving pat on the cheek before going for the bold moves like a kiss on the cheek. Your spouse might seem shocked at first because it would seem strange but with time, he or she would show you just how much your gesture is appreciated. 

Oh and by the way, I don't understand churches that prohibit couples from displaying any form of affection in public.  Who are we doing a favour? Why are we scared of young children seeing their parents kiss? They see people kiss on TV all the time, they see unmarried people kiss on TV so how else are we supposed to teach them that such should be done only between married people if they never see married people actually kiss? Children see and /or hear their parents argue or disagree in the home but those same parents can't hold hands or kiss in front of their kids. How are the children supposed to feel secure in their parents' love? While the world teaches our children that kissing is okay with anybody and everybody, we are teaching them that married people shouldn't be kissing. 

It's time to wake up. We need to realise that when our children see us parents showing affection for each other, it creates a sense of security and they grow up having a good opinion of marriage.  Kiss your husband in front of your children, laugh with your spouse, and use affectionate words when speaking with him. You are indirectly telling your children, "Don't worry, all will be well. Daddy and I love each other". 


What do you think? Should public display of affection between married people be encouraged or not? Leave us a comment ===> here

Ronke Alao is a writer who gives time-tested and simple principles to help women enjoy their relationships and marriages. Her methods teach women how to get past the confusion of dating and getting to the place where they really have fulfilling relationships and marriage.

She is known for her ‘up-close and personal’ style of getting her message across and drawing lessons from her personal experience. She is married to her best friend, Wale, who is her biggest cheerleader. Her online newsletter,EveryWoman’s Heart, is read in over 90 countries.   Download her free E-book– Embracing The Real You.



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