Afraid of Affection
Perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18, NASB
This may sound strange, but there was a time when I (Teresa) actually feared times of affection with David. I have since realized that one source of that fear was my own upbringing. I have always known that my mom and dad loved me, and they demonstrated that love the best way they knew how. Mom cooked our meals and Dad went to work. I had all my physical needs met, but I missed receiving physical affection and hearing the words "I love you."
Because of this, it was very difficult for me to receive affection from David and even more difficult to give it. He came home wanting a hug, but I wanted to show my love by cooking him a roast or a pie, much the way my mom had done for me.
A second source of my fear was the unhealed hurts that occurred when David and I were first married. To become affectionate with David meant that I would have to become tender and vulnerable, and that meant there was a great risk of being hurt again, a risk I was reluctant to take.
God started to heal my hurts from childhood. I was able to admit that while my parents did the best they could in raising me, it still hurt deeply to have missed the physical and verbal expressions of love.
At the same time, David and I also began to heal the hurts between us. Ever so slowly, my fear of affection has melted away. And it has been God's love demonstrated through David that has cast out my fears.
Affection seemed unnatural to me at first, but now I not only enjoy it but actually need it. God has changed me in ways that have profoundly deepened my relationship with David.
Do you truly enjoy physical affection with your spouse?
Why or why not?
God, help me find and deal with any hidden hindrances to enjoying affection with my spouse.