Are you a hugger? Know a child or adult who loves to snuggle or cuddle? Do you regularly touch someone’s arm as a way to connect with them during a conversation? Then your main Love Language may be Touch.
We all give and receive love in different ways. Gary Chapman identified the 5 main love languages most people have in his book 5 Love Languages. I’m taking a deeper dive into each language and exploring ways you can fill yourself up with love (with God) that are meaningful and fulfilling to you. It will also help you strengthen your relationship with God as well as with others as you learn to speak their language. This article focuses on Touch.
I shared that one of my grandsons’ main Love Language is Quality Time. My other grandson’s (who’s about a year and a half old) main Love Language is Touch. He loves to snuggle. I just love it when I stretch out my arms to him & he eagerly jumps right in, wraps his legs around my waist, his arms around my neck and lays his head down on my shoulder.
But with anyone but his Mom & sometimes Dad, you have to stand when you hold him. Once you sit down, he’s off to play. But that’s OK, Grandma will gladly stay standing & hold him if he’s going to snuggle in.
A few months ago, he let my sister-in-law, his great aunt, hold him. They were the only two in the room at the time & they stayed there in that loving embrace, gently swaying, for several minutes. We all commented on it later & my sister-in-law was filled with love, awe & wonder over the experience. The simple, child-like kind of love, awe & wonder Christ calls us to embody as we seek the Kingdom of God.
Physical Touch & Health
Yes, we all need physical touch. Especially when we’re young. Through my own experiences, I’ve come to people of any age get grumpy just because they need to be held, soothed, loved. Studies have shown babies growing up in orphanages are physically and developmentally delayed or even stunted if they’re not held & cuddled enough. (Power of Touch)
The elderly, sheltered and infirmed are also populations that are starved for touch. I remember how much a hug or just squeezing someone’s hand brightened someone’s day when I worked in the nursing home. On several occasions that simple act caused eyes to tear up in both the resident and me. A sure sign God was present and love was exchanged.
The last two years of social/physical distancing has been especially hard on those who’s main Love Language is Touch. While technology has been amazing at helping us stay connected, it’s still not a hug, a handshake or a touch on the arm during a conversation.
Jesus Uses Touch to Show Love
In the Bible, Jesus touched people to physically heal them. The blind, the deaf, the lame, lepers, the woman who bled for years not to mention Lazarus, who he raised from the dead and countless others. Jesus also used physical touch, a warm embrace to comfort and to bless, especially the children and others who were marginalized.
“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.Mark 10:14-16 (NASB)
Jesus also allowed others to show him love through touch, like the woman who had committed many sins. To show Jesus how sorry she was, how much she truly loved him, she washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, kissing them, drying them with her hair & anointing them with oil. Or when Mary Magdalen clung to Jesus when she first spotted him after the resurrection.
Showing Yourself Love through Touch
If your main Love Language is Touch, here are some ways you can love yourself through touch.
- Give yourself a hug
- Massage your hands, feet or other parts you can reach, sending them love
- Get a massage
- Trace your fingers around your ear, like you’re tucking your hair behind your ear (Fun Fact: This follows the Triple Warmer Meridian in Traditional Oriental Medicine and will help calm your Fight/Flight/Freeze response if you’re feeling stressed about something.)
- Place your hand on your heart and/or tummy as you pray or lie down at night to tune into your body to thank it for all it does
- Hold a warm mug of hot coffee, tea, water or other beverage – especially good when it’s cold out
- Hold a cool glass of water, tea or other beverage – especially good when it’s hot out
- Place your hands on a part of your body that needs healing and send Jesus’ healing love to it
- Snuggle up with your favorite blanket or wrap
- Put some pinto beans or rice in a long, thick sock & microwave it until warm. I do this with 2 rice-filled socks before I go to bed. Helps keep my feet warm & relax any tense muscles I’ve developed over the day.
- Get a smoothish rock or smoothed wooden cross to hold & rub your worries away
- Give yourself a pat on the back for encouragement, support or to celebrate a success
As a person who’s second Love Language is Touch, I could come up with a longer list, but I’d love to hear from YOU! What are your favorite ways to show yourself love through touch? Share in the comments below. Your idea may be exactly what someone else is looking for and help us all enjoy the journey!
Lent 2022 is here!
Are you looking for a meaningful way to strengthen your connection with God this Lent that only takes 15 minutes a day? Something that will allow you to walk with Jesus, experience his healing touch, renew & cultivate fertile ground in the garden of your heart for new life in Christ? Check out my Free Lenten Journey with Jesus. It’s set up with weekly themes, daily journaling prompts and limited availability to different scripture-based guided meditations to guide you throughout this season of renewal.
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