One of the main emotional requirements in life is affection. People need to be given affection simply because they are, children of God, made in His image. We are wired to receive affection and function so much better when our affection “piggy bank” is full.
If a child does not receive the affection she craves then she will try to attract attention in whatever way possible. An interesting question to ask when a child is really acting out is whether that child is simply asking for affection…
One day, a young mom put her child down for a nap as usual and also took the time for a quick shut-eye herself. She woke up to the sound of stomping feet. This had been the pattern for a few days now and the young mom was at her wit’s end because at the end of her nap her daughter would simply get up out of bed and walk around the house making as much noise as she could.
Today, this mom somehow had the insight that her daughter maybe wanted something that she was not able to ask for. She was trying the get the attention of her mom but why? All of a sudden the Sarah asked Rachel, “would you like some special mommy time, would you like a hug?” Rachel ran into her mummy’s arms and said, “yes, mommy that is what I need.” A new pattern was formed and a brief moment after nap time became mommy hug time. No more need for stomping!
Some thoughts on affection:
Where am I settling for attention, even as an adult? Maybe I am trying to make someone like me or appreciate me and my tactics are really self- seeking?
Who in my circle of friends, family or co-workers needs my affection? Maybe the person is difficult to love or even like but their deepest need is for some human affection.
Sometimes I have to allow my Savior to show affection to me, and He does. Life can be lonely at times, our need for affection cannot always be met by our friends or even our closest relatives. His peace and joy can be the affection I crave. Try being still and asking Him to fill you with His love and affection for you. This will also help you give affection to others.
As I reread the words of Jesus to His disciples in John: 14-16 and how Paul writes to the church in Philippians they demonstrate much love and affection in some pretty difficult circumstances.
Lord, teach us how to truly model this affection to others.