In this world of virtual relationships, conversations managed via electronic devices and fear of inappropriate touch, I wonder if we are losing our physical connections to each other. And yet God designed us to need touch. In fact, it is critical to our health — both emotional and physical. Babies need touch for their brains to develop and children need touch for their emotions to develop. Experts say appropriate touch has a profound effect on the brain's programming and re-programming. Perhaps it's time to become more intentional about offering loving and appropriate touch to others.
We all need it, but often find it awkward to accept and offer. My immediate family is very comfortable with touch, as my children have grown up with lots of physical affection. But I have to be intentional about reaching out to others in gentle and creative ways.
I have discovered reading the New Testament that the first believers were very affectionate with each other. In fact at the end of Acts 20, we read that all the believers embraced and kissed Paul as he was leaving for a journey. They were also encouraged to greet each other with a holy kiss.
While I realize not everyone is ready to be touched with such intimacy, I am challenged to bring healthy touch into my relationships in greater measure.
Whether it's a hug, pat on the head, stroke on the arm, or a holy kiss, touch is needed in our society. Maybe if we brought more healthy touch into our relationships, people wouldn't be driven to seek it in inappropriate ways. For whatever reason, God designed us to need the physical touch of others.
So the next time you need to hold someone's hand, I'm your gal. Dear Lord, I know You designed us to need the touch of other people. It's not always easy to admit we need someone to hold our hand, or give us a hug. Help me to be more aware of the needs of those around me, and to offer healthy and loving touch in natural ways.
In Jesus' Name, Amen. Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ, with Proverbs as a guide. Learn More. Give Now.
Copyright Proverbs 31 Ministries. All Rights Reserved. They add, "Interpersonal touch may blur the borders between self and other. Goldstein also adds that further studies are needed to understand the precise mechanisms that may explain exactly how hand holding can kill pain in the brain. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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