Three Kinds of Touch

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A balanced relationship includes each of these three kinds of touch: spiritual touching, soul touching, and sexual touching.

You have made my heart beat faster with a single glance of your eyes. Song of Solomon 4:9, NASB

Sarah and Andy sat with Teresa and me expressing a common struggle. Sexual intimacy had become a huge battleground for them. Andy portrayed Sarah as being frigid, and Sarah accused Andy of being a sexual maniac. What had started out as one of the best parts of their marriage had deteriorated to nightly conflict.

We first spent a great deal of time healing the hurts from the past. Each started by confessing their sins to God and then to one another. Then Sarah made an insightful observation when she said, "It seems like the only time Andy touches me is when he wants sex!" We could now address this common issue by expanding their understanding of affectionate touch.

A balanced relationship includes each of these three kinds of touch:

Spiritual touching: Holding hands to pray communicates spiritual agreement. Touch in church, embrace each other at times of great joy, and hold hands as a family at the dinner prayer.

Soul touching: Embrace each other as you depart for the day. Kiss one another as you reunite. Hold hands while you walk through the mall, walk arm in arm as you stroll through your neighborhood, give one another a back rub, and hug one another—even in public.

Sexual touching: Soft touching is usually preferred over grabbing and mauling. Kiss tenderly as well as passionately.

Before Andy and Sarah concluded their counseling time, we talked more about what sex was and was not. We pointed out to them that sex is not something you manage or bargain with and not merely another activity that you count. Sex is something you share. It is the freedom to share all of yourself—spirit, soul, and body—with your spouse.

What can you do today to increase the amount of touching within your marriage?

Lord, give me extra sensitivity to the sexual needs and desires of my spouse.

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