The Difference between Love and Affection
Example with God Himself before we can compare it in the relationship between men.
- The Love of God: God loves every one
It is easy to believe that God loves everyone in the whole world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2; Romans 5:8). This love is not conditional—it is rooted in God’s character and based on the fact that He is a God of love (1 John 4:8, 16). God’s love for everyone could be thought of as His “merciful love,” since it results in the fact that God does not immediately punish people for their sins (Romans 3:23; 6:23). “Your Father in heaven . . . causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). This is another example of God’s love for everyone—His merciful love, His benevolence extended to everyone, not just to Christians.
God’s merciful love for the world is also manifested in that God gives people the opportunity to repent: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. . . . Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s unconditional love is related to His general call to salvation and what is often called His permissive or perfect will—that aspect of God’s will that reveals His attitude and defines what is pleasing to Him.
However, God’s love for everyone does not mean that everyone will be saved (see Matthew 25:46). God will not ignore sin, for He is a God of justice (2 Thessalonians 1:6). Sin cannot go unpunished forever (Romans 3:25–26). If God simply disregarded sin and allowed it to continue to wreak havoc in creation forever, then He would not be love. To ignore God’s merciful love, to reject Christ, or to deny the Savior who bought us (2 Peter 2:1) is to subject ourselves to God’s wrath for eternity (Romans 1:18), not His love.
The love of God that justifies sinners is not extended to everyone, only to those who have faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). The love of God that brings people into intimacy with Himself is not extended to everyone, only to those who love the Son of God (John 14:21). This love could be thought of as God’s “covenant love,” and it is conditional, given only to those who place their faith in Jesus for salvation (John 3:36). Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are loved unconditionally, securely, forever.
Does God love everyone? Yes, He shows mercy and kindness to all. Does God love Christians more than He loves non-Christians? No, not in regards to His merciful love. Does God love Christians in a different way than He loves non-Christians? Yes; because believers have exercised faith in God’s Son, they are saved. God has a unique relationship with Christians in that only Christians have forgiveness based on God’s eternal grace. The unconditional, merciful love God has for everyone should bring us to faith, receiving with gratefulness the conditional, covenant love He grants those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
Love is the basic / foundation of truthful relationship, a true Christian has love and the devil can’t take it away from him. Rom.8 Verses 38 to 39
God loves us, Love is the foundation of God’s presence in us
- The Affection of God toward His children
Let us analyze from these questions
Does God love everyone? Yes, He shows mercy and kindness to all.
Does God love Christians more than He loves non-Christians? No, not in regards to His merciful love.
Now this question: Does God love Christians in a different way than He loves non-Christians? Yes; because believers have exercised faith in God’s Son, they are saved. God has a unique relationship with Christians in that only Christians have forgiveness based on God’s eternal grace. The unconditional, merciful love God has for everyone should bring us to faith, receiving with gratefulness the conditional, covenant love He grants those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
>>Affection shows here, the way God exercises or expresses His Love
>>Affection shows here, the way God pleases us
We get affection of God in return by doing what pleases Him. Like David. David knew how to please God.
This is how I define affection
Affection is an expression of Love being conditionally or unconditionally, it is a natural attraction that comes for someone who has been submissive to another person’s desires.
Affection may be temporary but love is permanent, affection promotes love, advantages, favors, compassions, privileges
In the Scriptures, there is no king who was the apple of God’s eye like David. The heart of God had a special affection for the man who was later described by the Lord as, “a man after my heart, who will do all my will.” Acts 13:22
God loves all of us but he treats us differently, He relates with us differently.
Examine the relationship between:
>>>God and Moses: Exodus 33:23, Exodus 33: 10-12, Numbers 12: 1- 8 (…he said, “Listen to my words:
“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in my entire house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”)
>>>God and David VS Saul: 1 Samuel 13: 14
How to make God’s affection manifest for us?
The following words or reasons describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:(All verses New International Version)
Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9
Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3
Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9
Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1
Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7
Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1
Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34
Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11
David’s example is a great road map for how we should live our life with God and others.
How do you evaluate your personal love and affection with God and others?
By Brother Daniel Ouakakoutela