We hear all the time about people who need affirmation. If you live in an urban area, you may even be approached by people who describe a difficult home life where they did not receive affirmation. Where I live just outside of DC, these people often present themselves as transgender.
Too often these issues get siphoned off into the ethics of transgenderism. This explosive sexual issue sucks up all the oxygen of any conversation. However to me the critical point is not the sexuality. It is the lack of affirmation. It is a basic lack of care for someone based on their status as a human being. As a Christian, when someone speaks of affirmation, I am much more concerned about their having a basic sense of self-worth and lovability than I am about anything having to do with their sexuality.
As a mother, I see how one of our most fundamental human needs is affirmation from others who care and love us. My two year old has no embarrassment or shame in her need of my affirmation. As adults we sometimes like to hide these kinds of needs as if they are weaknesses. However adults need affirmation as much as toddlers.
The lack of affirmation that so many people complain about today sounds to me like lack of love, concern, and guidance. We are a society of people who ignore each other. Certainly some places are better than others. I live in DC now, and what I see is an epidemic of the neglect of each other.
In the name of respecting privacy and respecting freedom, we keep out of each other’s business. However it really is negligence. We withhold our own wisdom, knowledge, and love from others when we simply ignore them. Here in DC it would be easy for a teen to go all day without any adult paying any attention to them whatsoever. Where is his affirmation as a young adult in our society? It is easy for a woman to give birth and to have not a single person call her up or knock on her door. Where is her affirmation as a mother? Veterans, the elderly, the rich lonely person. From what I can tell, they all suffer from basic lack of attention.
The fact of the matter is that it is not at all easy to figure out how to live life without someone a bit wiser and older showing you how to do it and giving you some basic encouragement. From my vantage point as a military wife and homeschooling mother of four living right outside of DC, I just do not see this happening nearly enough.