Definition: A tender feeling toward another; fondness. To be affectionate: Having or showing warm regard or love, to be loving and tender.
1. As Christians, we should be known for our love and affection to one another.
Proverbs 18:24a A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Romans 12:10a Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.
Colossians 2:2a That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness.
Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
1 Peter 3:8b Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
2. Affectionate physical contact with others is one way of outwardly expressing our love.
Genesis 29:11-13 [Jacob, Rachel and her father, who were all relatives, exchange kisses, embraces and loving affection upon greeting one another]
Genesis 48:10b [Joseph’s father, Israel, shows warm affection to his grandchildren:] And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
1 Samuel 20:41b [David and his best friend, Jonathan, showed great affection one for another as they said good-bye:] David … fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another. …
Luke 7:44-46 And [Jesus] turned to the woman, and said unto Simon [the Pharisee], Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45 Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment.
John 13:23 [John’s affection for Jesus:] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
Acts 20:1b Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.
1 Peter 5:14a Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. [See also Romans 16:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:26]
3. God’s true unselfish love should motivate us to be affectionate.
2 Corinthians 5:14a For the love of Christ constraineth [compels] us.
Philippians 2:1b-3 If there be … any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned [unpretended, sincere] love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
4. We should make a special effort to show affection to those whom we would naturally not be inclined to.
Proverbs 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Matthew 25:40b [Jesus said:] Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.
Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them.
1 Corinthians 12:23a And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour.
James 2:2-4a For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves…?
1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? [See also Deuteronomy 15:7,8]
5. Lack of affection is not a good sign. It is also a sign of the Second Coming, characterizing attitudes during the Last Days.
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Romans 1:31 [The ungodly are:] without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.
2 Corinthians 6:11,12 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us [we are not withholding affection from you], but ye are straitened in your own bowels [withholding affection from us].
2 Timothy 3:1-3a This know also, that in the Last Days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves … 3a Without natural affection.
6. Loving affection should not be selfish gratification.
Ezekiel 33:31b For with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. [See also verse 12]
1 Corinthians 13:5a [Love] doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
1 Pet 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
7. Are there times when perhaps we should not express our affection outwardly?
Ecclesiastes 3:1,5b [Outward show of affection may not always be appropriate or expedient:] To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heaven. … 5b A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
2 Corinthians 6:3 [Not when it would be misinterpreted or misunderstood:] Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.
8. Some of the most touching passages in the Bible recount how special moments of forgiveness, reconciliation and friendship were sealed byActs of affection.
Genesis 33:1a,4 And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came.… 4 And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Genesis 45:14,15 [Upon seeing his brothers after many years, Joseph:] fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.
Ruth 1:14-17 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
1 Samuel 18:1,3,4 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. … 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
Mark 9:36,37 [Jesus’ affection for children:] And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when He had taken him in His arms, He said unto them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My Name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him [God] that sent Me.
Luke 15:20 [The Prodigal Son] arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
John 13:1-17 [Jesus’ humble and loving example of affection by washing His disciples’ feet:] Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
Acts 20:37,38a And [the disciples] all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, 38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.