Temperament Corner

WHAT IS LOVE?—CHOLERIC IN AFFECTION

How many times have you, as a counselor, been asked?

“WHAT IS LOVE?”

Your first response would be to tell them GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:16) and direct them to read John 3:16: “For God so loved the world…” (See also I John 4:8-10.)

Your second response would probably be to direct them to I CORINTHIANS 13: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love.…”

How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?

“HOW CAN I LOVE MY HUSBAND, MY CHILDREN, AND MY FAMILY?

Your response could be to tell them that they need to love them with God’s love and direct them to read I John 4:12b: “…If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”

How many times, as a counselor, have you been asked?

“HOW CAN I LOVE MY DEEP RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD’S LOVE?”

Dr. Phyllis J. Arno
Dr. Phyllis J. Arno

Your responses could be to explain to them that after giving their heart to Jesus, His perfect love will flow through them. The only way they can truly love their deep relationships is by stepping aside and allowing Him to love their deep relationships through them.

Now it is no longer their imperfect love that is loving their deep relationships; it is His perfect love flowing through them.

Dr. Douglas A. Wheeler points out in his book Betrothed: “We need to learn to accept God’s love.” He wrote: “The love of God has nothing to do with you and all to do with Him. You cannot earn the love of God, because it was there for you from the foundation of the world.”

Your counselees need to learn to rest in God’s love and not strive to meet their own needs for love and affection because God will supply their needs. In so doing, they will be able to meet the needs of their deep relationships.

Nehemiah 8:10 tells us …for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Putting Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself = JOY!

Psalm 139:14 tells us that God is our Creator: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

As you know, we are triune beings made up of BODY, SOUL and SPIRIT.

Our BODY is our physical makeup.

Our SOUL encompasses our mind, will and emotions. In temperament we call these areas of the SOUL: Inclusion, Control and Affection.

Mary said in Luke 1:46-47: My SOUL doth magnify the Lord, and my SPIRIT hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Our SPIRIT is our only connecting link with God.

John 4:24 tells us: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Since our Spirit is our only connecting link with our Lord, how can we help our counselees make that connection?

We begin by teaching them that they need to have their Body, Soul and Spirit in balance.

Each area of the Soul (Inclusion, Control, Affection) is trying to meet its needs—either in godly or ungodly ways.

Once we help our counselees learn how to bring balance to their Soul area, then the Spirit can take its rightful place.

We are going to look at ways we can help our counselees line up their Affection area with the Word of God.

In review, Affection is the need to establish and maintain a satisfactory connection with deep relationships for love and affection.

The needs within the temperament range from expressing love and affection to all deep relationships to expressing love and affection to only a select few.

They also vary from wanting love and affection from all deep relationships to wanting love and affection from only a select few.

Affection is the need:

  1. To express and receive love and approval.
  2. For deep personal relationships.

Affection determines:

  1. How many of our emotions we share.
  2. How emotionally guarded or emotionally open we are.

Affection is unique because:

  1. The temperament needs of Affection cannot be genuinely met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.
  2. It determines how intimate we are with the extremely close people in our lives, and it also determines the depth of our feelings.

Each person tends to see the Lord from their temperament perspective. Their individual temperament affects their interaction with the Lord.

They will tend to express love and affection to the Lord in the same manner as they express love and affection to their deep relationships.

If they resist opening up and establishing deep, intimate relationships with others, they may also resist a deep, intimate relationship with the Lord.

Jesus Christ is the Living Word, and when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, He reveals the Written Word (The Holy Bible) to us.

All He wants in return is for us to ask Him into our heart and to love Him with all our heart.

In other words, the temperament need of Affection cannot be fully met without a deep, emotionally close relationship with our Lord.

In this issue we are going to look at some of the Choleric in Affection tendencies and what they need to do in order to line up their Affection area with the Word of God.

CHOLERICS IN AFFECTION TEND TO:

  1. Use affection as a means to motivate (control) deep relationships.
  2. Want to be in control of the relationship, and will place conditions on the love they express.
  3. Reject deep relationships if they do not provide love and affection according to their terms. This is because they feel that if their deep relationships really cared, they would provide the love and affection on their terms.
  4. Become angry when deep relationships leave them.
  5. Develop relationships with people who are weak-willed.
  6. Perceive tears and emotionalism as a sign of weakness.
  7. Be unforgiving and vindictive.
  8. Be perfectionistic and expect perfection from their deep relationships.

CHOLERICS IN AFFECTION NEED TO:

  1. Learn to genuinely love their deep relationships. See Romans 12:9-10 (NIV): “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
  2. Learn not to control their deep relationships but rather motivate them with love. See I Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
  3. Learn to accept love and affection from their deep relationships. See Romans 14:19 (KJV): “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
  4. Learn to let go of the anger and forgive the deep relationships that leave them. See Ephesians 4:31-32 (KJV): “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamourand evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
  5. Learn to love their deep relationships as Jesus loves them and not hold them in contempt because they are not as strong-willed as they are. See Colossians 3:12 (KJV): “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering….”
  6. Learn to allow their deep relationships to express love in the way God created them. Their deep relationships, like them, are fearfully and wonderfully made. See Psalm 139:14 (KJV);I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
  7. Learn to forgive their deep relationships. See I Peter 3:8-9 (NIV): “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
  8. Learn that only God is perfect and seek to love their deep relationships as God does with their imperfections. See Romans 5:5 (KJV): “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Choleric in Affection, you must take into consideration their walk with the Lord, learned behavior, personality and birth order.

In the next issue we will look at What is Love?—Melancholy in Affection.

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