When I was a very little girl, it seems I had an extremely close relationship with my father. He would snatch me up, tickle me with his mustache, and try to give me kisses. In response, I would giggle endlessly and scream out, “No kiss me, no kiss me!” Little did I know my father would walk out of my life when I was only four years old, never to kiss me again.
Through junior high and high school, I began to look for an outlet; a place where my desire for affection would be gratified. While I can say I remained pure during all of my schooling, that doesn’t mean I was completely innocent. I liked being around guys who were willing to pay attention to me. I looked for excuses to give hugs and be close to someone. I wanted to know I truly mattered to someone, that I was worthy of their time and effort.
Jump to now… I am still a very affectionate person (much to my husband’s delight). I love to be held and hugged. I have found a guy who loves to show me how much he cares and in turns loves for me to show him.
Now, how does this at all relate to my kids? Simply this… I have known a great deal of women (and men) who have lacked affection in their lives; either from their parents or their spouses. The interesting factor is that, generally, the lack of affection stems from one place; CHILDHOOD!
It caused my husband and I to think. Would our children go looking for affection, if our home was filled with it? Would they feel the need to date at such a young age, if they were constantly being hugged and kissed? Why is it we often forget teenagers need hugs too?Why do we allow them to pull away from us, instead of pursuing our children’s hearts?
I want to be purposeful about gaining the affection of my children. So, while they are young, I snatch them up and cuddle them. I find ways to tickle them, kiss them, rub their arms, pat their heads, gently tug their braids, sit cheek to cheek, and other lovely things of that nature.
Now that our children are older, there may be boundaries they decide to set in place (“No kissing me in front of my friends, mom!”), but that will not prevent me from purposefully seeking them out. Whether they deny it or not, I think they love being held and hugged. I think they enjoy being cuddled, tickled, and kissed.
I pray my children would not just know we love them, but feel our love. I pray my children would not feel the desire (as I did) for outside affection, but they would gain all they need from our home.
Yes, one day my children will desire a Godly husband or wife (and they should!), but prayerfully it will be because that is the direction the Lord is leading them. It won’t be for lack of love and affection. It won’t be because their lives were missing something. It won’t be the need for attention. It will be for all the right reasons.
Chime In!: Are you purposeful in your affections towards your children? How so?