(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Tim Keller entitled, Counterfeit Gods.
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
CoVid has been hard for people who have the love language of physical touch. “Stay six feet apart.” “Don’t gather close together.”
For some who hate hugs, CoVid has been a blessing! However, for those who both love to give and receive love through physical touch, it has been challenging.
People who love to hug and be hugged are probably people who have the love language of physical touch. There is something about the human connection that God has wired when a hand is held, a hug is given, or an arm is put around someone’s shoulder.
Obviously I am not talking about or condoning inappropriate touch or simply touching people for your own satisfaction – that is not loving.
But when we are in proximity to people and give them an embrace it communicates care, connection, and concern. Someone who is grieving a loss can remain silent but feel completely loved in the arms of a friend. A husband and wife enjoy the daily hug or the romantic moments.
You know too that when hugging and hand holding stop, something is wrong. Physical touch is withheld when the relationship is strained. It’s an indicator of closeness.
CoVid or not, we can love appropriately with physical touch. Consider some of the ways God designed and Jesus loved with physical touch.
- God designed a committed marriage relationship to enjoy the most intimate and connected form of physical touch.
Genesis 2:24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
- Jesus added to his healing the physical touch to add a communication of care and love…especially to one with leprosy!
Luke 8:2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.
- Jesus’ touch was calming of fears (Transfiguration)
Matthew 17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
- Touch was a way God conferred blessings and gifts to his people.
Mark 10:15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Acts 8:15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
As the Lord expresses his love with his presence and touch, enjoy expressing your love to others with physical touch appropriately and lovingly given!
Apply: Here’s some ideas to express love to those whose love language is physical touch: (https://www.ftd.com/blog/celebrate/love-language-ideas)
For Significant Other
- Give them a backscratch or a massage—before they ask for one
- Put your arm around them or hold their hand while you’re out in public
- Give them a hug or a kiss, just because
- Schedule cuddling or snuggling time as a date
- Take them out for a night of dancing
- Let them sit on your lap while you read to them
- Style their hair for them or help them get dressed
- Give them a surprise piggyback ride around the house
- Hold their hand while shopping together
- Cuddle them to help them fall asleep
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for reaching out in love to touch the untouchable and communicate your love and care by being in close proximity to us. AMEN.