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--"Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another."--Rom.12:10.--By Maria
       Maria #195 DO 2857 3/93
(Please read this Letter before reading FSM #241.)

       1. ONE OF OUR LEADERS MENTIONED in a communication to us that he is concerned, as are we, about what has become a serious situation in many of our Homes: Very little warm, spontaneous show of affection between Family Members, totally unrelated to sex. He said that even while he was growing up in the System, his large family had displayed more affection amongst themselves than many Family Members in our Homes today. The affection was warm & spontaneous with lots of hugging & kissing & stroking that demonstrated their care for each other. As a result, he is still a very warm, affectionate person today.
       2. However, when you have people who are very affectionate just normally & naturally, like this person, who expresses it & shows it by naturally slipping his arm around our women's shoulders & giving them a hug, or slipping his arm around their waist as they stroll along, or stroking their hair as he passes by them at the table, or even linking arms with the men as they walk together.--Such things stand out almost as oddball actions, different from most others. No wonder some women get all excited & think he's in love with them! Because even though he's doing what should be the norm, because it isn't the norm & he's the only one doing it, it makes him look like he's just being romantic & sexy & putting an overemphasis on the flesh, or, at the least, they are very attracted to him because he gives them something that they need & wish they were getting from the other men (& women) also.
       3. What he's doing is what really should be just normal, what everyone in the Family should be doing. But if they're not doing it & you just have a few people doing it, then undue emphasis is placed on it. People interpret it wrongly, & the women make more out of the affection than they actually should, & interpret such actions as romantic intention. Even though what he's doing is normal & natural, if no one else is doing it, it gets blown out of proportion & people can't view it in the proper perspective.
       4. In many cultures, people grow up being naturally affectionate as part of their daily lives, completely apart from sex, without any phobias about their bodies or others' bodies, without being afraid of physical contact; in fact, actually making such contact a very important part of their interaction with others. Embracing, caressing, patting, stroking, squeezing, massaging, hand-holding, hugging, being naked in front of each other, all these things are very normal, & if absent, there is a sense of loss & abnormality. Countries where a culture is lacking in affection produce many more neurotic, sexually deviant, violent, problem people, as some scientific studies have proven. (See Christian Digest #10, "Affection," pg.5.)

       Affection Should be Prevalent in Our Homes
       5. In the area of affection, as in all other areas, Dad has set a good example for us by being a warm, loving person, openly demonstrating his love for us by lots of sweet affection. We are saddened at the lack of affection in our Homes, & we know that each of you will want to do all you can to remedy the situation. Affection in our Homes should be as common as our saying, "I love you" or, "Praise the Lord" or, "Thank You Jesus" or, "Let's pray."--Although "Let's pray" may not yet have made it into the most-common-phrases category. But we'd like to see sweet & loving affection become as commonplace in our Homes as our usage of the phrases which are just a normal part of our everyday lives & conversation.
       6. Of course, we realise that we have some big hurdles to overcome, & one of the biggest ones is people's jealousy. I think that one thing that will overcome that to some degree will be to put limits on the affection & set a certain standard for the affection we display, & put a certain interpretation on our affection--what it means & what it doesn't mean.
       7. For example, hearing their mate say, "I love you" to everybody in our Family Homes doesn't usually bother jealous people too much. Because, unlike its usage in the System where it is used primarily in only one way, in a romantic sense, in the Family it is used in a much broader way, much more than just in the romantic sense. It refers to the very sweet Godly love that we all have one toward the other. This is the sense in which we most often use this phrase in the Family. So our frequent daily use of this phrase with all our brothers & sisters, no matter who they may be, does not usually evoke strong feelings of jealousy, even in those who tend to be very jealous, since they understand the meaning with which the phrase "I love you" is being used. They know that it is for everyone, that it's across the board, & they do not interpret it as anything particularly connected with sex. They know that their mate's saying "I love you" is not going to automatically lead to them going off to bed with whoever they said it to.
       8. I think that normal sweet affection should be employed in the Family the same way as we use the phrase "I love you." It should just be normal, natural & across the board, & if it is, then it won't mean or be interpreted to mean anything more than that. We'll make it so it definitely doesn't mean that. Regardless of whether somebody wants it to mean that, we're going to say, "Look, nobody should take this kind of affection to mean anything more than it is: Just sweet affection, our loving each other as members of the same Family, just doing what is the natural thing for those who love one another to do.--So don't take it as anything else!"
       9. We're going to have to set down some rules, some standards, even for our affection. Otherwise, left to happen on its own, it doesn't, because there's no defined standard, & too many misunderstandings, mainly jealousy. I'm sure there are other obstacles as well, but I would say the main one is jealousy. In addition, there are probably always a few loose people who some of the others are afraid will go overboard. Some people think that if someone reciprocates their affection, that's the signal that it's time to "get in the sack!" But with a real strict interpretation of what such affection means, then nobody should think like that any more. In some ways it is primarily a matter of re-educating people on the meaning of affection that is freely given between our Family Members in the open, in front of each other.
       10. Affection between our Family Members should be as natural as when you say "hello" to somebody when you see them & "goodbye" when you leave. And if you're going to give somebody a hug, it shouldn't be a hug like this, where the two people are standing five feet apart! (Fam: The A-frame hug!) It should be a nice normal & natural hug, with genuine love, not sex, as the main motivation. Most women can tell when a man is coming on to them in a real sexual way, & I think we've got to be careful about that. Of course, some women can't even distinguish between the two. They think every man who hugs them tightly wants them in bed.
       11. But there is a distinction, & I believe that most of our Family can handle affection properly & do it in a clean loving spirit, & not a lustful spirit. They're going to have to, as the Word says, "keep their bodies in subjection." If it's a hug for only a few seconds in the middle of the kitchen, the women certainly shouldn't be too worried about it.--Especially if they know that, "According to the affection rules, this does not mean anything serious."
       12. Some women are just too particular, & some men are just too lustful & sexy in a sort of carnal, fleshly spirit, so they'll all have to work on their shortcomings. And everybody's going to have to work on their jealousy & they're just going to have to start lovingly showing sweet, Godly natural affection to each other! Because I'm afraid that in many of our Homes, almost worldwide now, we've allowed people who have jealousy battles to keep us back from being the very openly loving & affectionate Family we should be, & I think that's very sad.
       13. Since we've cracked down with the DTR rules & other rules for the good of our Homes, people have found that if they don't want to comply with what we consider fair & just & loving rules that have to be enforced for the good of all, they can just leave. Everyone has an option. So if they can't take it--& we are an army, we are pretty rigid--if they can't live this way, if they can't stand to see everyone being normally affectionate with everyone, then that's the option for them, the alternative, they can leave.
       14. The more you're governed by the Lord's Spirit, then the more you will show the Lord's Spirit of Love, & not just your own spirit or a fleshly, carnal spirit.

       Affection Should Not Be
Reserved Only for the Bed!
       15. We not only need lots more public affection amongst our Home members throughout the day during their daily activities, but from what I've heard, many of our men need to show our women more affection behind closed doors as well. I'm not referring only to the affection which should be part of their sex & actual love-making, but also the loving affection which should be manifested before & after, which shows unselfish love & outgoing concern for the one they're with.
       16. Apparently, a problem that a lot of men seem to have is that they don't want to have a date or be with a woman unless they can fuck. But when a man conveys that kind of attitude or message to a woman, what kind of signal does that send to her? It's a very obvious signal: "I'm only with you for what I can get out of it." If that's his attitude, then it's pretty obvious to the woman that he only wants to be with her for sex & for his own selfish pleasure.
       17. I know there is quite a problem with this in the Family.--Even with some of our good people who in every other respect are pretty loving & yielded to the Lord & trying to do the Lord's Will. But when it comes to sex, it's a real selfish thing for them, & if they can't fuck, they don't want to be with the woman! For example, if the woman is on her period, they don't even want to be with her. And that really sends some pretty strong signals to the woman that, "I just don't want to be with you unless I can get what I want from you, a good fuck!" And whether or not the man realises it, it exposes his extreme selfishness.
       18. So I think we need to teach all our people that they need to be with each other sacrificially for what they can give each other, much more than what they can get out of it. That's so basic! It's like going back to teaching kindergarten or first grade! My goodness, Dad has been preaching this for how long? If you have any kind of love at all, it seems you would realise this & not even have to be told. But I've even heard of some of our upstanding men not wanting to be with women, not wanting to pay them any attention or be with them at all if they were on their period.--Or if for some other reason they couldn't fuck.
       19. It's quite a shame & it's hurt a lot of our poor women. Furthermore, it's really exposed the man's selfishness. Of course, women can be selfish too. Some women use their period as an excuse to cancel a date with a man if they don't really want to be with him. It works both ways. I think we definitely need to teach our teens (at least they're hopefully moldable & teachable enough) that when they're of age & they want to be with somebody, it should be out of love, & not just for what they can get out of it for themselves. If that's all they're in it for, it's certainly not a very good relationship!
       20. We need to teach our people that one of the reasons the Lord allows them to have these relationships is so they can learn something about real sacrificial love.--And that the Lord does not approve of people being in relationships just out of selfish motives. Whatever we do, we're supposed to do all we do out of love for God & others, & love is the most important thing. But the amazing thing is, as Dad has brought out time after time, that when we do things unselfishly, the Lord blesses our giving & makes us much happier than we would have been if we had only been taking.
       21. One woman psychologist said, "The bottom line I tell couples who want to get married is, `Don't marry this person if you wouldn't want to live with them for the rest of your life--even if you couldn't have sexual intercourse with them!'" That may be a pretty hard saying, but that's what our attitude should be. If we have real love, we're going to love the person for that person, not just for what they can give us in a sexual way. After all, you can always do it yourself. It's not like you can't be relieved sexually unless you fuck somebody.
       22. Real love is much stronger than merely sex. Sex & sexual intercourse can be, & should be, if possible, a wonderful & important part of real love, but real love is much, much more than sex. It might surprise some of our dear teens to know that people can sometimes be so much in love that they can do without sexual intercourse forever if they have to. Some people have even married knowing they couldn't have sex, like getting mated to a person who is handicapped or paralysed. Even if they can't fuck, that doesn't stop them from loving a person & wanting to live with them. That's what real love is. It doesn't take into account whether someone is going to satisfy your sexual needs or not. Real love is much greater than that.
       23. Of course, with real love between a man & a woman, sex usually comes along with it.--Thank the Lord for the extra bonus. That certainly makes it a lot nicer & fulfilling, but sexual intercourse isn't an inherent part of real love. It's an added supplement or bonus that usually comes with it, & is very nice, & can be one important way of communicating & staying close together. But it's not an absolutely necessary part of real love.
       24. We need to teach our young adults that it's the height of selfishness to not want to be with a woman just because you can't fuck her. That's probably one reason why the Lord allowed women to have periods & babies & times like that when they can't make love, to test the men to see if they really love the woman, or if they're just with her because of the sex they can get out of her.--And to see how much they'll grumble & complain if they can't fuck.
       25. The other day I was listening to a report from one of our sweet women. She said, "I really miss it when I can't make love with my partner because I'm on my period or he's sick or has an outbreak or whatever. I really don't get any affection at all then. I suppose the reason I crave those times of having sex so much is because that's the only time I get any affection." Well, that's sort of sad. Actually, it's quite sad.
       26. But even sadder is the fact that quite a few people are like that.--The only time they're affectionate & loving, kiss & cuddle & put their arms around someone is when they are in bed having sex. "Brethren, this ought not so to be!"--Jam.3:10. We should be affectionate in season & out of season!
       27. We have to add, however, that when a woman is on her period or doesn't feel like fucking, she can't blame the man for not wanting to be with her if she doesn't make an effort to do other things to satisfy him sexually. There are other ways to make a man happy, & if she can't fuck him, she should still try to make him happy sexually. You can say, "Why shouldn't he try to abstain once in awhile to show the woman that he loves her even if he can't get any kind of sexual satisfaction." A man has certain needs, & when he cuddles up to a beautiful naked woman that he loves, or even if he is not in love with her, his sexual needs are pretty strong, & it's usually difficult for him if they can't be satisfied. But then the woman waits to see if he will still give her the affection that she needs & be loving & sweet & caressing & cuddling, even if she is unable to have actual intercourse, or does not need or want it.
       28. The affection that you show your mate while out of bed is important too. This kind of affection will be less sexual, but it means a lot, especially to a woman. That kind of non-sexual affection is a signal that shows your partner that you really love & care. So being affectionate when it's not connected with lovemaking is important, when you're showing others that you know that they're there & that they mean something to you. And that's what we want to promote amongst all of the Family, regardless of whether they love each other in a romantic way or not.

       Getting the Signals Straight!
(Interpreting Affection!)
       29. We've always said that you should be able to be affectionate in the privacy of your own Home. The emphasis we need to make now is that you should be able to be normally & moderately affectionate to all of your Home's members without it being interpreted as a prelude to sex. In other words, we should have a standard of affection that is permissible & approved, which is practised in our Homes, the kind of affection that is not meant to lead to sex. Such affection does not signal, "OK, meet me in the bedroom in 15 minutes!" Or, "OK, that means we're going to have sex later tonight." I'm talking about the kind of affection that doesn't make anybody feel, "This is a come-on, & this is meant to be the invitation to bed later on!" Nobody should get that in their mind from normal affection that is shown across the board to everyone in the Home.
       30. You men should be able to go up to our women & put your arms around them & kiss them sweetly on the cheek, & maybe put your arm around her waist, or put your head on her shoulder, or she puts her head on your shoulder without it being interpreted as a sexual come-on. This is something you should be able to do with all the members of your Home. It should just be our normal accepted standard of loving & open affection. And it doesn't lead to sex behind closed doors, it's not meant to! Nobody has to feel--or should feel--that because you're affectionate like that, it's going to lead to bed.
       31. Nobody has to feel that it's the signal for something more serious or that they're obligated to do anything more. The rule is, this affection stops here, & nobody should feel that it's linked with actual sex behind closed doors in the bedroom later on. Nobody has to feel uncomfortable about that.
       32. We need more affection in our Homes, but a lot of people shy away from it because of all of the misinterpretations of things, or worry about what he thinks that she thinks, or what she thinks that he thinks, etc. etc.! Everyone's getting the wrong signals from it. Some people are just naturally affectionate, they like to be affectionate, & they don't mean it to go any further. But when they are affectionate, then the recipient thinks that they mean something more than they actually do.
       33. Or sometimes there's somebody who really does want more & wants to give that signal, but the recipient doesn't want more, so they're afraid to be affectionate back to them because it's going to be mistakenly interpreted to mean that they want more too. So everybody's got something different in mind & they're afraid of each other because they don't want to be misinterpreted.
       34. So I think the solution is that we just have to set a certain standard & certain rules & say, "This is what this means, & it does not mean anything more!"--And it should not mean anything more. It's not supposed to mean anything more, so nobody should take it as meaning more.
       35. And I'm not talking about the kind of affection in our Homes that would cause visitors to come in & look at it as some kind of orgy. I'm talking about normal, natural, moderate affection.--Not standing there deep-kissing somebody for 10 minutes!--Ha!--Or any minutes for that matter! We're not talking about deep-kissing, you can leave that for your dates in your bedroom.
       36. We're just talking about sweet & loving natural affection.--Putting your arm around her waist or scratching her back, or even coming up from behind & giving her a nice hug.--But nothing that's meant to signal, "Let's hop into bed, Baby!" Or, "Meet me in the back room in 10 minutes" or something. I'm talking about just a sweet show of love & Godly affection to show others you love them & that we're close, that we're united in heart & body too. Sweet affection that isn't lustful.--Not deep-kissing or hunching or bumping or grinding or anything that should be better left for your private dates.

       Rules: Why We Need'm!
       37. So a lot of this will have to be worked out somehow. We may have to establish some general rules for some of the basics. We've had to lay down guidelines in many areas that we never had to have before. So maybe we're getting more regimented, but I'll tell you, many of our Homes have testified how thankful they are for our rules, which may have restricted them in some ways, but have helped them to be much happier, more challenged & fulfilled. People have said, "We'd been wanting to do & accomplish all the things that the new pubs had suggested, but we just couldn't do it before. We couldn't see how we could do it. But when these things became rules, & we had to do them, then we did'm! And it's been wonderful! And now we're very happy!"
       38. So in order to get people on the right track & to do some things they know they should do--or not do things they know they shouldn't--you almost have to lay down rules at first to get them into the habit of doing--or not doing--things. So just like we laid down a rule for mandatory adult Word time, & we're going to lay down a rule for mandatory vigil time, & we're going to lay down rules for Acts 2:44 & 45 common-potting, we're also going to have to lay down rules for affection too. Otherwise, there is uncertainty & it causes a double standard, & different people do different things.
       39. So we're going to have to have rules, as much as we don't like to impose them. We don't like to try to legislate righteousness & lay down strict rules for everything. But let's face it, most people operate better by rules! They're more secure, they know what they're supposed to do & then they do it. And the ones who don't want to do it, they just get out, & are free to leave to do as they please. We try to be fair in our rules & not make them too hard. But we're going to have to lay down rules for things that otherwise won't get accomplished. People often can't do some things until they're more or less forced to do'm, & then they do them, & are thankful, thank the Lord!
       40. And don't let the Devil or anyone else tell you that the Family is the only place that has a lot of rules. The System is so regimented & restricted & bound & tied up with rules that you can hardly turn around without breaking one! Just walking down the street you've got to be careful that you don't jaywalk & break the traffic rules, be careful that you don't loiter, that you don't walk on the grass, that you don't spit where you're not supposed to, etc.! And of course, if you're driving an automobile, you've got countless traffic rules to obey, or you'll be penalised & lose your driving privileges, or even have an accident.
       41. Then once you're at work, at your System job, you've got another huge pile of rules to obey.--Telling you when to arrive & leave work, when you can take your coffee-break & for how long, all kinds of rules monitoring your dress & appearance, as well as your behaviour in the office, controlling your relationship with other employees etc.--Not to mention all of the unwritten & unspoken rules that everyone is expected to obey, like how to speak to the boss, how to "get ahead" in the company, how to avoid charges of "sexual harassment" from employees of the opposite sex, etc.!
       42. If you want to buy a car, rent a house, open a bank account, make modifications on your property, join a club, go to school, join the armed forces, become a member of a church, operate a computer, dispose of your trash, go shopping, buy a drink, pay your bills, go out on a date, go to the doctor, play a game, have a baby, go out to eat, walk your dog, make a phone call, travel abroad, keep your relatives happy, stay out of jail etc., you will find that there are rules upon rules upon rules that you must be aware of & obey!--Otherwise, you'll never be able to function in today's society.
       43. It just seems that human beings simply need rules as guidelines to help them do a good job & work in unity with each other & accomplish what they need to do. Even if you are extremely loving & full of love for the Lord & others, you still may not always have the wisdom needed to know how to put that love into action, therefore there's a need for rules & restrictions to help you to function most effectively.
       44. So we may have to lay down rules for affection in our Homes.--That you have to have affection.--But you have one kind of affection openly amongst all your members--anytime, anywhere--& another kind you reserve for lovemaking with your partner behind closed doors. Your everyday standard of natural, loving affection amongst your Home members during your normal daily interaction with each other is not supposed to signal or lead to sex, which is what you have in your bedroom on your dates behind closed doors.
       45. I can see so clearly the value of rules now, especially since we've had these mandatory rules for the DTR. Rules are usually hard to take at first. People don't usually like to be regimented, & it's bothersome at first. It goes against their grain, their independent grain, & they don't usually want to comply at first. But once they start doing it, in most cases, people have found that rules keep them organised, scheduled, & more secure, & able to accomplish things more efficiently & effectively.
       46. So most of these rules we've put in place have been well-accepted & people have learned to appreciate them & see the value of them. So praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus! Our enemies, of course, will complain & scream, "With all of these terrible rules you're `controlling' your poor members! You're taking away their independence & robbing them of their freedom & making them mindless servants of the cult!" Such accusations are as hypocritical as can be, because our accusers are absolute slaves to their System, slaves to their fears, slaves to their habits, slaves to their rules, slaves to opinion, so terribly enslaved, but they don't even know it! "While they promise liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage!"--2Pet.2:19.
       47. But "whom the Son hath made free is free indeed, & ye shall know the Truth & the Truth shall make you free!"--Jn.8:36,32. When you voluntarily accept rules & restrictions that you know are for your good & will help you be happier & do a better job for Jesus, it isn't enslaving, but liberating! Of course I realise that our people can get wrapped up in a lot of local Family rules that hardly even make sense, that aren't helpful & that even make it harder for them, & I believe that those kinds of rules should be done away with. But the Lord's rules are loving & liberating & helpful, making those that observe them happy. Like Jesus said, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."--Jn.13:17. God's promise to Joshua of blessing for obedience also illustrates this principle: "This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."--Josh.1:8. Praise the Lord!

       Affection Works Wonders!
       48. After the Summit '93 Meeting, some of our leadership visited some Homes in which they suggested that people start being more affectionate. Upon following this suggestion, there was a whole change of spirit in the Homes, with the members feeling more liberated, more happy, more able to communicate with each other, more tolerant of each other's faults & peculiarities, happier in their work & a whole host of other advantages that resulted from just a little more display of open affection between the Home members.
       49. This is not surprising, because affection is a sign of your love, it's a physical manifestation of love that others can see & feel. It helps them to know you care about them, that they're important to you. It shows them that you know they're there & they count. Affection has proven to be an amazing help in overcoming heartaches & serious emotional & even physical difficulties. Science has demonstrated that an affectionate touch causes the brain to manufacture & release certain neurochemicals that can dispel a "bad mood" & make the recipient of the touch feel much better. For more on the amazing powers & qualities of affectionate touching, see Christian Digest #10, "Affection."
       50. God bless & help us all to be more affectionate! "Love never fails!"--So you can't go wrong by being more loving, amen? GBY! ILY! Affectionately yours, Mama.
       (Terrific! I really agree!--D.)

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