Yesterday’s HOT Topic was on the importance of speaking to others in their love languages, and the importance of loving people in a voice they can understand. This week, I thought that it would be equally as important to spend the next five days sharing with you excerpts from Dr. Chapman’s book looking deeper into each love language. Today we will cover Physical Touch.
Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine. Song of Songs 1:2
Perhaps the most provocative book in the entire Bible is the Song of Songs. A book written between lovers, Songs goes into great detail describing a relationship between a man and a woman from courtship to consummation. This is an encouraging book of the Bible, because it shows us that God has left nothing out of the human experience, even physical love. Before going into sharing with you about physical touch, and its importance, I would like to make sure and illuminate to you that physical touch is not “every man’s love language”. Contrary to belief, putting hormonal and society pressures aside, physical touch is expressed in ways other than the bedroom. Holding hands in public, high fives, hugging or kissing when greeting others show us a person who is a “physical toucher”. These outward displays of affection apart from the bedroom, are indicative of a person with physical touch as their primary love language, more than “just sex”.
The Five Love Languages: How to express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Gary Chapman pgs. 104-106
“Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to ones spouse. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse.
The old-timers used to say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Many a man has been “fattened for the kill” by women who have believed in this philosophy. The old-timers, of course, were not thinking of the physical heart but of man’s romantic center. It would be more accurate to say, “The way to some men’s hearts is through their stomachs.” I remember the husband who said, “Dr. Chapman, my wife is a gourmet cook. She spends hours in the kitchen. She makes these elaborate meals. Me? I’m a meat and potatoes man. I tell her she is wasting her time. I like simple food. She gets hurt and says I don’t appreciate her. I just wish that she would make it easy on herself and not spend so much time with elaborate meals. Then we would have more time together, and she would have the energy to so some other things.” Obviously, “other things” were closer to his heart than fancy food.
That man’s wife is a frustrated lover. In the family in which she grew up, her mother was an excellent cook and her father appreciated her efforts. She remembers hearing her father say to her mother, “When I sit down to meals like this, it’s so easy for me to love you.” Her father was a wellspring of positive comments to her mother about her cooking. In private and in public, he praised her culinary skills. That daughter learned well from her mothers model. The problem is that she is not married to her father. Her husband has a different love language.
In my conversation with this husband, it didn’t take long to discover that “other things” to him meant sex. When his wife was sexually responsive, he felt secure in her love. But when, for whatever reason, she withdrew from him sexually, all of her culinary skills could not convince him that she really loved him. He did not object to fancy meals, but in his heart they could never substitute for what he considered to be “love”.
Sexual intercourse, however, is only one dialect in the love language of physical touch….
Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. To the person whose primary love language is physical touch, the message will be far louder than the words “I hate you” or “I love you.” A slap in the face is detrimental to any child, but it is devastating to a child whose primary love language is physical touch. The same is true of adults.”
PHYSICAL TOUCH IN SOCIETY
Of course, there are appropriate places, ways and times to touch others. There is also the reality that even our children have their own set of love languages. Some even have the physical touch make-up. Dr. Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages of Children, goes into much better detail on how to express love correctly to your physical touch child in a positive way. As babies we hold, kiss, and coddle our infants, but then comes a precarious time when they begin to transition into childhood and young adulthood, and for some reason we stop touching, hugging, and physically loving our children in anyway whatsoever. This to a child with physical touch can be particularly harmful and can cause them to go out and seek physical love from other sources. Keep in mind please, that a child with physical touch as their love language responds just as well to a pat on the back, a tussle of the hair, a high five, a hug, a kiss on the head. True “physical touchers” express love physically beyond sexual intercourse, and so we can be confident in loving our children the way that they need.
My Prayer Today,
Thank you Lord for showing us discernment in reading our friends, family, and loved ones love languages appropriately. Please continue to create within us the desire to speak to others in a way that they can understand, and Lord forgive us if we have been in failed relationships in the past in which we may have not spoken someone’s love language and it drove them away. Be with our children that we may have lost along the way, having not known this type of information. GIVE THEM A BIG HUG FROM US. Show us how to love our children in the way that they would feel love appropriately and the best way for them, from this day forward. Father God, if we need to call others and apologize, please give us the strength to do so. “Can you forgive me,” can be the most important four words ever uttered in the spoken vocabulary, and I would pray also Father that they would be receptive to our humble act of asking for forgiveness. Your Word says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” We take comfort in this Word and know that You are in control. Show us how we can start loving our spouses today, and open out hearts to give and receive love in the best way possible. In Your Son Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.”
May all my friends who need a hug, feel a great big HUG from God today!
As a community we welcome your comments and replies!