Our wedding kiss was … ahem … awkward. It was a shy, quick peck that even our photographer couldn’t capture it. It was so unimpressive that some of our guests probably secretly held back some boos. I wouldn’t blame them if they did.

I do take responsibility for that forgetful smooch. I was so conscious and nervous about all these people looking at us that I kept telling my fiancé weeks before the big day to give me a quick kiss. Not that we would have a full-on make-out session, but I just didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable when we locked lips. I guess it was really me that felt uncomfortable.

Thankfully I’ve outgrown my aversion to public displays of affection, and kissing my husband feels as natural as breathing, especially in front of our children. Though people have varying degrees of comfortability with outward affection, I think it’s healthy for children to see appropriate physical affection between Mom and Dad.

And here are our reasons why.

To Be an Example of Love

Love defined can result in an endless list of answers, much of which probably don’t really accurate explain love. Children see things so much more simply. And before they get clouded with the confusion of what love is, we want to be their example of it.

To Make Them Feel Safe

My parents have a strong marriage, but even the most devoted suffer through some fights and arguments. I remember, as a young girl, the feelings of anxiety and insecurity whenever I would hear my parents fight. And though our kids may have been witnesses to the mounting tension when my husband and I have had a disagreement, I hope that the physical affection we display provides them with an assurance that outweighs the worry that may have entered their minds.

To Show Them Our Commitment

Though our kiss at the altar was a bit lackluster, our vows clearly stated our resolve to remain committed to one another no matter what. Fast forward 12 years, when we kiss in front of our kids, we also want them to see those promises we made are being lived out before them.

To Point Them to the One Who Keeps Us Together

Our outward affection points to an inward resolve to be devoted to one another as long as we live. But we want our children to understand even deeper than this, peeling the layers off that they would see this lifelong commitment between Mommy and Daddy is really held together by God. When my husband and I got married, we held on to the verse, “We love because He first loved us”. We only know how to love one another because we have received it from the very One who is called Love.

So the kisses that the kids love to giggle about, playfully saying, “Ewww, they’re kissing again!” … well, that’s just one small manifestation of that amazing love.