One of the topics of the seminars we share are the Four Core Needs we all have. Needs, which are given to us by God and in an ideal world met by Him through people around us and what He instills in us.
One of these needs is affection. When I, Sally, used to work alongside John and Sheryl Emra in the Inner City back in 1990, one of the things I saw was the need these gang children had for affection. We tried to show it even when they were clamoring for attention and needed boundaries, discipline and consistency (the three other Core Needs).
One of the rewards I did gain, was one day Sherry, a 14 year old kid who was always screaming for attention (sometimes literally) came up the center stairs and gave me a hug! She gave me affection. It was special. It was the first time any of us had seen her hug one of us! Sherry was learning, slowly, what affection is: it is something we give to another, not try to take (attention).
These children, and many of us as children, have not experienced true affection. It is a learning process and one that with the help of others, and God Himself, we can learn to give and receive in freedom.