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baby hand

Photo by Niecey on

I have a very touchy family, and I mean that in a good way. I touch my kids every time they are within arm’s reach whether it’s a touch on the shoulder, a pat on the back, or poke in the ribs. My husband and I are the same way. And I love it.

I wasn’t raised in a touchy family, and for awhile it was kinda weird to have my husband, who I was dating at the time, hold my hand. The first time his dad tried to hug me, I was downright floored. But it didn’t take long for me to come to appreciate, and even crave, my husband’s physical touch. While I’m fine when he is traveling, when he is home, a lack of touch is a good gauge that something isn’t quite right. It doesn’t take much. A neck rub, a pop on the backside, or an arm around my shoulders all translate to “I love you.”

I’ve noticed that my kids now crave physical touch too. It’s not uncommon for my son to grab my hand in the middle of a movie, I get random hugs when they walk past me in the kitchen, and all three of my babies still like being tucked in bed.

This morning I thanked God for my affectionate family, and a verse popped in my head. The story about people bringing children to be touched by Christ is referenced in several gospels. Although I’ve read the verses 1,000 times, this morning it really stood out to me.

Christ is fully capable of performing miracles with no physical contact at all. Perhaps the reason these children wanted to touch him is the same reason so many adults tried to keep the kids away… there is a level of intimacy to physical contact. Adults didn’t think Jesus should waste his time with kids, but Christ said to let them come. He took time out of his day to physically connect with the children because, in his eyes, they were as important as any adult there.

I wish I could be as open about sharing my physical touch as Christ is. Realistically, hugging any adults other than my husband still makes me feel vulnerable. I’ll hug kids all day because I know that so many never feel love like that, but I still have those walls of intimacy up between my heart and the rest of the adult world. Christ wasn’t like that. He was chillin’ with the lepers one minute, a prostitute the next, and then moving on to the the priests.

Despite that personal limitation on my part, I am incredibly thankful for my family’s physical closeness. I hope my kids never outgrow their desire to feel my touch, but if they do, I’m fully willing to tickle even my 40-year-old adult son into submission.

That’s just the kind of touchy-feely mom I am.

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