In the beginning of Paul’s letters, he often showed the readers his affection for them.
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Ephesians 1: 16)
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. (Philippians 1: 3-4)
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. (Colossians 1: 3)
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. (1 Thessalonians 1:2)
To Timothy my true son in the faith (1 Timothy 1: 2a)
To Timothy my dear son (2 Timothy 1: 2a)
To Titus, my true son in our common faith (Titus 1: 4a)
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker (Philemon 1:1b)
Affection matters! When somebody cares about us, cherishes us, and treats us with tenderness, it brightens our day and lightens our load.
Likewise, children/students cannot get too much affection. They need to hear and feel affection from us every day. Although older children/students may start to act as if they don’t need or want a lot of affection, they need affection as much as ever, if not even more so. Never believe for a minute they don’t want it. Showing affection to children/students is what gives them a sense of lovability, and feeling lovable gives them the confidence they need to establish healthy relationships with others.
I once heard that infants who are not hugged and kissed may actually die from lack of affection. Throughout the world, one of the first needs infants communicate is the desire to be cuddled, hugged, and stroked. Affection makes children happy, but even more importantly, affection meets a basic physical and psychological need that doesn’t really change as children/students grow older.
Be sure to give your children/students huge daily doses of affection. And it doesn’t really matter how old or what size they are. No one ever outgrows the need for affection.