Temperament Corner


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


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?


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?


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 Melancholy in Affection tendencies and what they need to do in order to line up their Affection area with the Word of God.


  1. Be emotionally guarded. They have a fear of rejection and betrayal as they usually feel that they are not worthy of being loved.
  2. Have deep, tender feelings but are not comfortable expressing their feelings with words. They rarely say “I love you” as they tend to feel that words are cheap, and also, that expressing their feelings with words would make them more vulnerable.
  3. Feel more comfortable expressing their love as a task. They tend to feel that the act of having sex is more tangible (concrete or real) to them than using words, hugging and touching, etc.
  4. Be faithful, loyal and self-sacrificing for their deep relationships. They would even die for them; however, their deep relationships will seldom, if ever, know.
  5. Not want their deep relationships to hug and touch them all the time. Some comments from Melancholies in Affection include: “I feel they are pawing all over me,” “They make my skin crawl,” and “My space is being invaded.”
  6. Become angry and vindictive if a deep relationship betrays them. They tend to spend their time trying to think of ways to get even. By doing this, they end up putting themselves in a prison of unforgiveness. (Usually, they do not realize that they are the only ones holding the keys to unforgiveness.)
  7. Be lonely after the loss of a deep relationship. They will tell you that they are lonelyhowever, what they are not telling you is that they are lonely for their deep relationship that is gone, and they believe that no one else can ever fill that void.
  8. Feel uncomfortable when their deep relationships want to have a romantic evening with dinner, etc. They may respond with: “I paid the electric bill; I don’t need to eat by candlelight,” or “I want to see what I am eating.”


  1. Learn to become secure in God’s love. God created them, loves them with His perfect love, and will never leave or forsake them. See Psalm 139:14-18. (Also Psalm 89:33 and Isaiah 54:10)
  2. Learn to come out of their comfort zone and express to their loved ones the words they need to hear them say, such as: “I love you,” “You are the best thing that ever happened to me,” or “ I don’t know what I would do without you,” etc. See I John 4:9-11.
  3. Learn that it is okay to share with their deep relationships that they are expressing love when they do tasks for them. See Romans 12:9-10.
  4. Learn to be secure enough with their deep relationships to tell them that they love them so much that they would die for them. See John 15:12-13.
  5. Learn to accept love and affection from their deep relationships in the manner that they express love and affection. For example, if their deep relationship is relationship-oriented and loves a back rub, they can rub their back as a task, and it will meet their relationshiporiented need for touching. See Philippians 2:3-5.
  6. Learn to forgive and bless those that have betrayed them rather than waste time trying to think of ways to get even with them. They do not realize that they are making themselves prisoners of their own anger and unforgiveness. See Matthew 6:14-15 and Ephesians 4:31-32.
  7. Learn that God’s love will fill their void. Scripture tells us that we are to love God first and that we are to love Him with all our heart. See Psalm 91:1-2 and Isaiah 43:1-3(Also Mathew 22:37-38.)
  8. Learn to come out of their comfort zone and meet the needs of their deep relationshipsWhen they do so, their deep relationships will, in turn, want to meet the Melancholy’s needs. See John 13:34.

PLEASE NOTE: These are temperament tendencies, and, as always, while you are counseling the Melancholy 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?—Phlegmatic in Affection.

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2 thoughts on “Temperament Corner”

  1. I so appreciate reading the Temperament Corner and for Dr. Phyllis’s service to this ministry. I cannot tell you all how very much the knowledge and understanding of Temperaments has allowed God to effect change in my life. I am so blessed to be able to administer the APS and offer the “Created in God’s Image” course to others. By the grace and hand of the Lord, I will be offering the CIGI course for a group of men in a live-in recovery program in the next few weeks and also offering a seminar on how Temperaments play a huge role in addiction and recovery for our recovery community. Thank you all so much for your obedience and service.

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