Temperament Corner

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


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?


Your response 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?

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


  1. Be responders rather than initiators for two reasons:
    1. They have a high fear of rejection
    2. They feel that if their deep relationships initiate, their love will then be genuine.
  2. Feel worthless and unlovable at times. They see value in others but not themselves, so they are unable to understand who could love them; therefore, they will be constantly looking for reasons why their deep relationships should not love them.
  3. Be tenderhearted and emotional. They have a capacity of serving their deep relationships, but they need recognition for what they do; otherwise, they will feel used and become bitter and angry.
  4. Internalize their anger and mask it as “hurt” feelings. They prefer saying their “feelings are hurt” rather than saying “I am angry.” This is because they believe that their deep relationships should know that they “hurt their feelings.”
  5. Cry when they become emotional because they do not know how to deal with the rejection from their deep relationships.
  6. Require and will respond to a great deal of love and affection. They will respond with touching, hugging and kissing, as well as responding by serving and performing tasks for their deep relationships. They need intimacy as much as the actual act of sex because they need to be hugged and cuddled.
  7. Perceive rejection and become easily offended and insulted, especially when their deep relationships do not initiate love and affection.


  1. Learn that God created them and loves them so much. He wants them to open up their heart and let His love flow through them. When they do this, the love that flows through them will be God’s genuine, perfect loveand as we know, “perfect love casteth out all fear! See I John 4:18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
  2. Learn that their feelings of worthlessness and of being unlovable are just that, feelings. The fact is that God loves them so much that He sacrificed his own son on the cross to atone for their sins. See John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” See also II Thessalonians 2:16-17: “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.”
  3. Learn to look to God for recognition and approval, not to their deep relationships so that they do not feel used and become bitter and angry. See Ephesians 4:31: (NIV) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” See also Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” See also Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance….”
  4. Learn to admit that when they say their “feelings are hurt,” they are actually saying “I am angry.” Once they admit that are actually angry, they need to learn to deal with this anger by forgiving the person who angered them. See Ephesians 4:26: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” See also Colossians 3:12-13: “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
  5. Learn that it is okay to express their emotions by crying, just as Luke wrote in the book of Acts . See Acts 20:19a: “Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears….” Jesus wept when he was told Lazarus had died. See John 11:35-36: “Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!” See Psalm 56:8: Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
  6. Learn to initiate love and affection. The Holy Scriptures tell us to love God with all our heart, mind and soul, so that His perfect love can flow through us. See Matthew 22:37-38: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, And with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” See also I John 4:12b: “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.”
  7. Learn that when they perceive rejection from their deep relationships, and they become offended and insulted, they need to turn to God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible tells us that God is always with them and that His perfect love cast out all fears of rejection. See Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” See Ephesians 3:17-19: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

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

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