Monday, July 11, 2011

Affection Is Responsible For Nine-Tenths Of Whatever Solid And Durable Happiness There Is In Our Lives

"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives." C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Is there a difference between love and affection?  It is better to say that affection is a type of love.  Affection is the type of love that a parent has toward a child, or a child has toward a dog.  Little if anything is expected in return, yet it is a very real warm feeling toward someone (or something) whereby you want them to succeed and be happy.  Affection incorporates security, protection, comfort and approval.  When we express affection toward the person, it allows the person to blossom because they feel secure and appreciated.  Then, as C.S. Lewis points out, it creates a lasting, solid happiness.

We, as Christians, are to be purveyors of affection.  It is a missing ingredient in so many people's lives that when they encounter true affection it can be life-changing.

What prevents us from being affectionate?  I suppose, at its root, selfishness is what causes us to not be affectionate.  Being affectionate can be costly in the sense that affection generally does not expect anything in return.  Truly affectionate people are selfless and worthy of admiration and honor.  

The affects of affection are overwhelming and we, as Christians must be champions of affection. It does not have to be complicated or even require much thought. It can be as simple as a phone call to someone who is hurting, flowers to a spouse, or a hug.  As we are affectionate toward people, they will begin to blossom.

What can you do today to be more affectionate?


  1. Thanks Tim. A good reminder. ;)

  2. There's no doubt that affection requires time to slow down and give attention to the details of life. It's not about major feats of courage, nor is it about getting things done. We need to turn to one another to share in the small things. I like your use of "secure and appreciated". That's definitely what it's about.

  3. I was able to share affection with a friend and her little daughter last night. We had a fun dinner together and then walked to the park. Her daughter's laughter was so infectious, I laughed even harder in return. It was so easy to show affection to my friend and it should be easy for us to love people like Christ's loved us. I know that's easier said than done sometimes. Good thoughts to dwell on.

  4. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians have been taught that affection can be mistaken as being inappropriate physical contact- thus the cheesy side-hug. While this can happen in a few cases, the majority of the time giving affection is a good thing. One of the things I loved in high school was the fact that we were so affectionate with one another - it made all the difference when we were feeling homesick or alone.
    I still give big hugs.