Communicating Closeness Through Touch


Do you share physical affection with your spouse?

Greet one another with a holy kiss. Romans 16:16, NASB

Of the five senses, touch is the one we need most in our relationships. Studies have shown that lack of physical touch hinders development in newborns and that plenty of affection actually stabilizes the physical development of infants. Caring touch not only nurtures security in a child, it communicates worth and value to adults. Jesus often used physical touch as a way to demonstrate His care and concern for people. For example, He accompanied miraculous healing with physical touch. Christ could have just spoken a word, but He touched a blind man's eyes, a leper's skin, and a young girl's hand.

As I (Teresa) have learned to love David in the way that he longs to be loved, I have discovered that as I initiate affection, his fears decrease. Each time I reach over and hold his hand or rub his hair, he is reassured of my love for him. He doesn't have to wonder, "Does she still love me?" My initiative to give to David in these tender ways deepens his trust in our relationship.

One of the practical ways we've practiced the art of affection is through our good-byes and greetings. As we leave one another each morning, David and I make sure to start the day with a hug. We'll give one another a hug and usually include a group hug with the kids. Greeting one another with a kiss at the end of a long day has also paid big benefits. It has taken concerted effort to stop what I'm doing or shake off the kid clinging to my leg. But with each greeting, David and I reestablish our commitment to one another.

The message in these actions is clear: "Our relationship is important, and these simple gestures remind us to cherish one another."

At what times during the day could you begin making it a point to share physical affection with your spouse?

What would stop you from doing that?

Lord, help me to remember the importance of sharing warm and particularly tender greetings, with my spouse.

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