We Need to Bring Affection Back In the Church
When was the last time you experienced true affection at church? For many Christians a handshake as you’re leaving Sunday service has become the norm. We don’t expect anything more from each other because we’ve been taught that we shouldn’t express too much affection at church. All of this is an effort to remain virtuous. However, I think we’ve stepped over the line and used this as an excuse, or maybe even to justify our fear, and removed almost all affection in our church communities. This is a problem. In our good attempt to keep ourselves pure, we’ve actually relegated the church to an icebox that misses a big part of the heart of God. Jesus loved affection and it’s the heart of the father to smother us with His love. The point we’re missing? Not all affection is sexual. Paul says several times to greet one another with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 2 Corinthians 13:12) and Peter said to greet each other with a kiss of love (1 Peter 5:14). We all have a need for affection—it’s a community thing, not a sexual thing.
Is it possible that if we can get healthy affection in church then we wouldn’t go looking for it somewhere else? Check out today’s Flashback Friday video for a story about how I realized that affection is so important in the church:
In a nutshell:
• Several years ago I was walking through the sanctuary in the school of ministry. I walked by a group of girls and I was going to tell them they were beautiful. In an instant, I heard a thought that if I told them they were beautiful, someone would think that I was sexualizing them. Then I had a quick vision/memory come to mind about my own daughters…
• I have two daughters, and when they were in high school my daughter Shannon was asked out on dates but my other daughter, Jaime, never was. This was extremely painful for Jaime and there were many times that she would weep and ask me if she was ugly. Of course, she wasn’t ugly! She’s beautiful, and she needed to hear from me, her father, that she was beautiful.
• What would have happened to my daughter if she didn’t have a father in those years to tell her she was beautiful?
• Every girl and boy needs affection. In teen years, specifically, they need to hear that they are valuable, important and beautiful. It grieves me to think about the ones who don’t have a daddy—the ones who step over the line of virtue to get the need for affection met from someone else because healthy people aren’t showing up to cover them.
• Often times the ones who need affection the most are the ones the church is afraid of showing affection to. That day I decided that I am never going to let the world tell me how to treat people when my heart is pure. I will be militant in my commitment to tell people they’re beautiful.
WE ALL NEED AFFECTION
I hope you hear my heart in this. When we have pure hearts, our affection is pure. So today I want to encourage you to evaluate your church handshake habit if you have one (or really, think about if you’re using it as a wall instead of a way of connecting). What I’m saying is that we have the freedom to be affectionate, not only with each other but in our worship unto the Lord. God loves kisses! He loves affection! He’s the most emotional person in the Bible! So then, we have the freedom to be just like our Daddy.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
Today I release a breakthrough of healing over every heart that is reading this with pain. If your father, or mother, never told you that you’re beautiful I’m here to tell you that you are stunning. There’s no flaw in you. You are absolutely perfectly lovely, just the way you are today. You don’t have to do anything to become more beautiful in my eyes or in the Lord’s eyes. I pray for grace to cover your soul that you would know just how incredibly valuable you are.
I also want to exhort the Body of Christ today to step into the affection of heaven. Let’s put down religion so that we may have open arms to embrace one another. Is it easy for you to be affectionate? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Originally posted on krisvallotton.com.