Chapter 5: His Affection
1 Corinthians 7: 3 "Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her and likewise also the wife to her husband."
On Monday I had you all take a Love Language Test. According to Gary Chapman there are 5 basic love languages (Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service). Each of us has one or two maybe that we really "speak" the language of love through.
Today's topic, His Affection, goes along with Physical Touch. We all grew up in homes where either we were shown a lot of affection or very little, or somewhere in between. I believe that whether it was right or wrong, those experiences do shape our love language. I grew up in a home where physical touch was just not done. I'm sure as a baby it was different, but as a teen I can't remember my parents hugging me or kissing me, or touching me really. That definitely shaped my love language because I became a person that secretly craved physical touch but never openly talked about it. I wanted to say to my parents, "Why don't you hug me? Why don't you kiss me hello or rub my back or pat me on the head?" but never felt comfortable to verbalize that. It's definitely something I feel I missed out on and would have loved receiving from my parents, but they have never been touchy-feely type people. Do they love me? Of course! Did they show affection as a form of love? No...
So as an adult it was awkward for me at times to hug and kiss people I care about. It was almost uncomfortable, but slowly as I grew closer to the Lord, more mature, and secure in my faith and who I am as a woman of God, I realized that giving affection isn't wrong or uncomfortable. Now as a mommy, showing my children affection is extremely important! I show them affection when they are good, when they've misbehaved, when they fall, when we are laughing, my affection and love is unconditional.
I think it is very interesting that I fell in love with and married a man who was very affectionate (see tomorrow's post on Love Languages and Physical Touch). He definitely filled a hole that was missing in my life. I didn't know I needed affection, and at times I felt it weird to hold hands in public or drape an arm around his back or have him do the same. Somehow, affection felt wrong.
When we were married I realized how important it was for me to step out of my comfort zone and be more affectionate towards John. Because I learned that John's love language was physical touch I realized that just because I didn't necessarily need affection to feel loved, he did, and because I loved him and wanted to meet his needs, I made a choice to take the initiative to hold his hand, or cuddle more.
John is one of those people who grew up in a family (Italian) where physical touch is HUGE. As an outsider hugging and kissing family members from his side of the family was A LOT of work for me in the beginning. But now I've learned that is how I show them love. I'd much rather write a sweet card, or tell them I like how they look, or do something for them, but affection is key. It's not my preference but I love them so I do it. Love is a choice.
I can expect that at any given family function I will hug and kiss about 30-40 people. And when John comes home I'd love for him to take out the garbage or take out the dog, he'd love for me to sit down, relax, and greet him with a hug and kiss. It's not my nature. I like to do something to show I care. Making dinner, cleaning the house, folding his clothes, all those things are my way of saying, "See how much I love you!" But he doesn't care about a clean house or folded clothes, he wants my affection...and so, I am doing the best I can to make an effort to stop what I am doing and give him a hug and kiss! Actually, it's a lot more fun than doing dishes, anyway ;).
So, this week is all about AFFECTION! Whether you feel like it or not. Whether it's your love language or not. Since you love your husband, go out of your way to greet him in love, and in affectionate ways!
Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he is doing and if there is anything you could do for him.