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Families
Tim and Tasha Levert

Tim and Tasha have been in youth ministry since 1992, though they look much younger. They both earned PhDs - Tim in adolescent spiritual formation and Tasha in marriage and family counseling. Tim is currently the Student Pastor at the Vineyard Church of New Orleans. Tasha is a writer, speaker, worship leader, and counselor. They have three beautiful daughters and a dog named Gumbo.

It’s a given that youth leaders need to manage the PDA (public displays of affection) in their youth groups. It never occurred to us that we needed to monitor our volunteers as well. True story: Skip and Denise were young adults who had just begun dating, and we literally had to say to Skip, “Dude, making out in front of the students . . . NOT COOL.” (By the way, these are their real names, and I’m finally getting payback.)

In most youth groups it’s easy to tell who’s dating, because when the couple sits down, they look like Siamese twins. But something seems to happen to married couples, and physical touch gets interrupted by children, fatigue, and chores. Not to mention Summer Camps, DiscipleNows, and Chubby Bunny Marathons. Here are a few PDA-boosting tips we’ve learned along the way:

1. Just say no to recliners. Dating couples rarely sit in recliners—or any other chair made for one person—because they want to sit really close to their sweetie. And if they do sit in chairs made for one, they’re sitting in it together. As married couples, we need to follow their example.
2. Don’t forget to hold hands. Do you remember the first time you held your spouse’s hand? It took courage to reach out or receive it, and it was electric. And it still is, but we have to take the risk to reach out again.
3. Sneak away for a kiss. Every kiss doesn’t need to be in private, because every kiss doesn’t need to last a long time or lead to something else. Sometimes, we need to duck around a corner, delay our entrance into a room, or surprise our spouse with a little “moment.” Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss.

If you’re racing through life, you may not have time take these tips. But if you’re willing to slow down a step or two and learn to stroll, you might rediscover how much fun it is to snuggle close, hold hands, and steal kisses –even if students are around.

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