<<love, care, fondness>>

We are commanded to love. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (Jn 13:34,35, 15:12; 1 Thes 2:7-12; 1 Pet 4:8). Love can be expressed in many practical ways, not just physical touch or spoken words.

The Bible says to be kindly affectionate to others, having tender feelings of warm regard or love toward them (Rom 12:10). The Bible states, "Whoever loves God must also love his brother" (1 Jn 4:21). With any relationships both within the family of God and among those outside the Kingdom, this

Affection should be genuine and shown but within God honouring boundaries

needs to be done with complete integrity, especially towards the opposite gender and always in the company of others (1 Tim 5:1,2).

Inappropriate touching or petting can quickly get out of control so affection expressed before marriage should have clearly defined limits.

Tenderness and the overall desire of goodwill are characteristics of affection. David and Jonathan had a close bond of friendship, they were kindred spirits yet lived with complete uprightness (1 Sam 18:2,3; 2 Sam 1:26).

The Bible's message is "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col 3:2). The preceding verses lay a logical foundation, "Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of the world, why, as though you still belong to it, do you submit to it's rules?...Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts [affections] on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God" (Col 2:20, 3:1).  

"These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" were the condemning words spoken of the OT Israelites (Isa 29:13). There was an outward superficial show to impress onlookers but this was just a

Are my affections always honourable?

sham as inwardly their hearts were not in it, this was false or deceptive affection. The NT speaks of sinful people exchanging wholesome and God-approved affections for vile degrading passions (Rom 1:26). The Bible is clear, "Put to death any thing that belongs to your earthly nature..." (Col 3:5). 'Soul ties’ is a wrong form of affection, where there is an element of sexual and emotional bonding involving ungodly thoughts and desires.

See also: boundaries, emotions, integrity, love, motive/motivation, petting, romance, soul ties.