As I write this, Amy and I have been married for 12 years. For more than half of that time, she's been in school getting some degree or another. A few weeks ago, Amy received her educational specialist degree.
So, one Saturday morning we all drove over to the school from which she'd received her degree so she could take part in the graduation ceremony. We went inside and took our seats, eagerly awaiting the moment Amy's graduating class would enter the building. At long last, the procession began.
There were several people who spoke, then we reached the "main event:" the graduating classes were introduced. I waited patiently as each row of graduates rose from their chairs and approached the stage in order to receive their diplomas. After what seemed like forever, Amy's row got up and made their way into the aisle.
I got up out of my seat and walked down to the front of the seating area. There I kneeled, my camera ready. Amy would have to pass right in front of me, providing me with the opportunity to get a great picture of her in her cap and gown. She did, and I did.
Before returning to my seat I stepped into the aisle and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. I didn't think too much about it, but Chloe sure did. When I got back to my seat Chloe looked at me wide-eyed. She said in a whisper that dripped of scandal, "Daddy! You kissed Mommy! In front of everyone!"
How funny that she thought so much of an action to which I never gave a second thought. I told Chloe it was because I love Mommy. "And I don't care who knows it."
As I said those words, acknowledging the unabashed openness of my love for my wife, I wondered: are we as open and unashamed about our love for our heavenly father?
Jesus once said that if we deny him before men, he will deny us before his father (Matthew 10:33). Honestly though, why would a follower of Christ ever deny knowing him? He died for our sins. His death paid the price for our salvation. Because of him, we have eternal life! If he's done all of that for us, how in the world could we possibly be ashamed to acknowledge that we know him and love him?
Yet sometimes we are. It makes us uncomfortable - or even fearful - for others to find out about our relationship with Christ.
Jesus wasn't ashamed when he gave his life up for us. Neither should we be ashamed as we live our lives for him.
Parrish Myers is a local minister.
His column appears every other week in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com.