One great thing, among many, of working at Baptist Children’s Homes, is that we have jobs you can hug. When I’m feeling low, or overwhelmed, I can visit a cottage and be rejuvenated with a hug.
Remember the bumper stickers that said, “Have you hugged your kid today?” They’re nice reminders and I support their sentiment. Authentic, loving hugs are medicine for a weary heart, food for skin hunger, and glue for emotional bonding you can get virtually no other way.
We are not a very “touchy” society, despite seemingly being preoccupied with sensuality. Other societies are “close talkers” and hand holders and friends drape arms around friend’s shoulders when talking intensely.
Americans tend to equate some touching sexually, so we avoid all touching lest we be misinterpreted. We miss out on a lot.
Are you Hugging Enough?
Are you hugging enough as you struggle to raise loving children who know they are loved? Do you give your spouse a squeeze when you come home? Do you send your children to school with an inoculation of hugs and kisses that keep them from getting the insecurity germ?
Why Babies Cry Some pediatricians used to tell young parents not to pick up their infants at first cry, or hold them too much, lest they become spoiled. I appreciate doctors today who remind us we cannot spoil an infant. They aren’t manipulating us. They cry instinctively to be held, fed or changed.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. An average person’s skin weighs 10 pounds.
Humans are born with skin hunger, and we need the indefinable security of being held by a parent who loves us. We need to feel loving arms around us to feel the warm breath of a mother in our cheeks when we’re infants.
In their natural state, though unable to speak it, babies are saying, “Hold me! Love me! I need you!”
Infant massage is a fast-growing trend. The American Massage Therapists’ Association estimates that the blood’s oxygen, after massage, increases 10-15 percent.
Skin hunger doesn’t diminish. We long for the touch of another human.
When your children are in middle school, their discomfort and dismay with their own physical changes sometimes make it awkward to hug parents. Dads and moms, that’s when your son and daughter need your hugs the most.
Who better to hug and satisfy that need to be accepted unconditionally than an authentically loving parent? Your children have the need, just as you do. Would you rather pause in your morning routine to send them out the door with a hug, or have them find someone to hug them when they get to school?
He Touched Me
Jesus physically touched a lot of people during his earthly ministry. He washed feet. He reached out to little children, to lepers, to the sick and even to the dead. By touching “untouchables,” Jesus modeled love, tenderness and compassion.
People wanted to touch Jesus, too. Remember the woman who wanted to touch the hem of His garment?
Whether young or old, we’re usually comforted by another’s loving touch. It reassures, evokes pleasure, tells us we’re not alone. Touch is an unspoken language – a soothing hand to a fevered forehead, an arm around someone grieving.
Touch goes deeper than just the skin. It reaches into hearts, with the power to change someone forever. Never forget you are in God’s hands and that your children and the others you love are, likewise, in yours.