We come into contact with many things every day. We touch our toothbrushes in the morning, we bathe in water, we handle different fabrics when we dress and we all love to come into close contact with food. We lay hands on our work and we touch our light switches and our blankets as we fall asleep at night. We touch many things every day, but there is another kind of touch that affects our lives more dramatically.
That kind of touch is the touch of another person. In so many ways, human touch changes everything about our lives. Thankfully, God blessed us with this unique gift of human touch; our lives would not be the same without it! Yet the power of touch can be used for good or evil.
Let’s consider for a few moments how touch affects our lives and the lives of those with whom we come into contact.
The sensation of human touch stirs so many emotions inside us. We can easily feel passion, infatuation or feelings of sentiment when we touch another person. When we touch a small child with a tender kiss, we feel a simple sense of joy. When we touch someone who has been dangerously hurt or is ill, we want to help heal their pain by the gift our touch can bring to their hands and their hearts.
We certainly realize there are many joys to the sensation of touch. But there are negative aspects of touch we should also consider. Physical abuse is the kind of touch that results in emotional and physical trauma.
We also know that power of touch deeply impacts our relationships with others. Touch can be appropriate in the fullness of marriage or very harmful when outside the context of marriage. The sensation of touch itself is so amazing, yet we can easily see that touch can bring tremendous joy or long-lasting injury to the heart of anyone in our lives.
What does God say about touch?
Our God has designed this sensation of touch in us, so let’s consider some biblical advice about how touch can bring joy or anguish to others.
Let’s start with 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’” We have clear biblical advice to be aware of what we touch in order to have a relationship with God. In this section of 2 Corinthians, God wants us to be sure we seek and build strong Christ-like relationships; it does matter what we touch and when we touch things. Some things are best left untouched altogether and godly wisdom helps us understand those things.
For example, in 1 Corinthians 6:18 it says, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” We live in a time when many ignore our Father’s intention for us to live fruitful and happy lives bonded with one intimate mate for life. Immoral touch brings so much suffering to the heart and to so many families. Many struggle their whole lives to find a way to fill the void created when this kind of touch is not considered at the right time and with the right person God helps us choose.
The God-ordained touch of intimacy can only reach complete fulfillment inside the framework of the marriage covenant. God owns the copyright for marriage and created it to be the most satisfying and intimate relationship on earth. Immoral touch leads to emotional trauma and anguish which may last for years or even a lifetime.
Immoral touch often breaks up relationships
Many children now wander through their childhoods missing either mother or father to guide them. They will never feel the guiding touch of both their mother and father as they seek maturity. They will never experience that touch of loving discipline that would reassure them every day. That parental touch is designed by our Father to point the way towards manhood and womanhood so that children know who they are and how to live successful productive lives.
We can easily see that the trauma of single parenthood in a young girl or boy’s life can begin with just a touch. As a result, children can miss out on the touch of warm direction when it is most wanted and needed. Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that every child does not deeply long for a caring parental household to lead them by the loving touches that only a mother and father can supply.
God tells us more about touch in 1 John 5:18, “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” This is another kind of touch we do not want to be involved with. We do not want Satan or his demons to touch our lives or the lives of those we love. We need to be vigilant to remember that Satan will disguise evil to look like things we should touch. The consequences of doing so are what God wants us to consider as we make our choices in life.
Use touch for good
It is clear we can hurt with our touch; we can heal with our touch. We can show love and compassion and joy and empathy with our touch. We can also bring years of permanent hurt or distress in another’s life with just a lack of the right kind of loving touch. Consider the power of this incredible gift God has given to us. Plan now to use this gift in the way that God designed.
Hug your children and grandchildren. Hug those who are sick and be anxious to shake the hands of those who are lonely and need the touch of our hands as well as our eyes and our ears and our hearts. We have the God-given power to use the sensation of touch every day for good. There are so many wonderful ways we can touch someone and bring joy to their lives and to our lives. I do believe that touch changes everything.
To learn more about building a lasting foundation for all relationships, request our free study aid Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.