Are You Starving For Affection

By Charel

Recently a conversation stirred up surrounding the amount of affection that is shared within a family. I did not think it would be a huge heart tugging topic until the tears started rolling. I was trolled about the amount of affection that is shared between my son, husband and I. Then promptly told that no one should covey endearment publicly or otherwise. The deprivation of affection in their life spoke louder than any advice that was dished out during the conversation. Soon I started to question how many others in the world are struggling to speak out about their longing for affection? Are they on a journey to find where they can get it for themselves? Furthermore, where does this lack of affection come from?

First, let’s define the word affection. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, affection is a noun defined as a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something; tender attachment; FONDNESS. With today’s social climate, everything has been designed to be centered around “self”. If you were to live by the dictionary’s definition you probably would think that you could not have a deep longing for something you may have received already. Possibly from a parent, old friend or close love one and that’s it.  Your tank for affection has long been filled. And if you haven’t obtained affection for yourself by now, your mind may be telling you that you are alright. Yet you still have a feeling like you are missing something.

According to Oxford Research Encyclopedia, affection is more biological than we realize. It stated in an article published April 2016 with regards to the biology of affection that “ the communication of affection—which is among the most potent behaviors for the formation and maintenance of close relationships—has multiple genetic, neurological, hormonal, immune, and nervous system connections.” . In short, the way we give, receive and respond to our need for affection is passed down to us through ‘enculturation’, which plays a huge role in the way we express this longing for affection to others.  As well as being able to recognize that need for it in ourselves. Fondness and warmth cannot be given or reciprocated through the consumption of objects.

Since becoming a wife and a mother, I have been made more aware of the importance of giving affection in addition to accepting affection. Although the way I display it within my own home may not have been directly demonstrated to me during my upbringing, remarkably, my family and I have come to terms with the certainty that we will be sharing more times of sentiment between one another. With the amount of research that reveals how instrumental the simple exchange of affection can be, how can anyone think they can survive without it? That does not mean something is wrong with you if you cannot yet pinpoint the scarcity of affection in your life. But a reminder from the Bible that we are given everything we need for a godly life... “..and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”. 2 Peter 1:7

Oxford Research Encyclopedia research of affection