Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;”

Certain studies have proven the need for touch and affection in relationships. For instance, one study watched infants who were touched frequently, infrequently, or not at all. When there was constant affection, the baby’s health and social skills soared. When infants had little touch and love, they soon lagged behind in health, weight, social interaction, and learning capabilities. The study revealed that some babies even died from lack of touch. 

A common statement even among Christians is, “I may have to love ‘so-and-so’, but I don’t like them!” However, “kindly affectioned” in Romans 12:10 refers to fondness and cherishing. Fondness, of course, is more than love. Fondness means you genuinely “like” someone a lot. To cherish someone means to display fondness in word and action. So, affection is truly liking someone and showing that fondness in word and in deed (I John 3:18). It is true that the home must be filled with love. True love, though, requires fondness. This fondness should be visible in an outward cherishing of words and deeds. 

As a child and later as a young man, my mother would pass by me sometimes and lay her hand briefly on my head. This small touch of affection always lingered with me even when I did not reveal it openly. I remember those fond feelings to this day, and still practice such affection towards my wife and kids every day. We touch, pat, snuggle, wrestle, kiss, praise, smile, speak affectionately with “I love you” and “I like you”, and so on every day.  I personally try to do each of these to each of the people in our home at least once every day. 

When a marriage is filled with affection, it not only lasts; it lives! When kids and parents are shown such affection, they don’t flounder; they flourish! It is not enough, my friends, to simply “love” each other. It should be obvious to all people from your words and actions, that you also truly “like” each other. “Be kindly affectioned one to another!”