noun 1. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.
It is interesting to me the things that affect whether or not, or even how, humans demonstrate affection.
There are more definitions for love than could ever be written. God is love. He embodies all that love is. And He demonstrated that love by offering His only child as a proxy, the ultimate sacrifice, that would pay for my sins, and the sins of the whole world, whether we believe or don't, love or don't, accept the offer or don't. Just a completely selfless act, because of love. Unconditional love.
Love is so much more than a feeling, though there are many feelings that are evoked by love. But love, itself, makes us want to act.
How do we show love? I love my children. I would kill for them, and I would die for them. Beyond that, I'd do anything within my power to make sure they have not only what they need, but much of what they want. I want to always be the one to encourage them to follow their dreams, cheer for them when they succeed, help them regroup when things don't go as planned. Whether or not I agree with their choices, whether or not they are grateful for anything I've done or do, whether or not they even want a relationship with me. Because I love them. Unconditionally.
Physical affection was not something that I grew up with. It wasn't even something that I witnessed often, though Southerners are often more “touchy-feely” than other Americans. I've read about, and talked with some, in other countries, where it just isn't done. It isn't that they don't love. They just don't demonstrate it in the same way.
Not only do I love my children, I like them. I have affection for them, and enjoy physically expressing that. For me, from the moment my first child was born - actually before he was even born - I have felt that I cannot express my affection enough. Hugs, kisses, and most importantly, verbally expressing my love to them, has been a part of their lives, always. I do all that I can to demonstrate my love for them, in the hope that they will never question whether or not they are loved. Because how difficult would it be to believe that God loves us, if we never experienced love by someone that we can physically touch?
It's my hope that as my children become adults, and marry and have their own children, that physical touch, as well as verbal expressions of love, will be so natural to them, that their spouses, their friends, their children, will never even wonder if they are loved.
I do not question, nor am I judging, in any way, the love of those who don't physically express affection. It's just one of those ideas that has been rolling around in my brain, so it landed here.