Physical Touch


Today I want to continue my series of reflections on the application of what Gary Chapman described as the 5 Love Languages that apply in all relationships. Specifically here, looking at their application in our relationship with God. We have previously examined Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Giving & Receiving Giftsand Acts of Service.

Today, we look at Physical Touch.

For those of you who are aware of the 5 Love Languages, I can imagine your curiosity as to how I may explain the use of that "language" in our relationship with God. Fair question - guess why I have left it to last! Just kidding, but it does require some thought as to how God can express His love to us through Physical Touch, and we can do similarly to Him.

God is spirit, therefore is the question even valid? Actually, I think it is, although it may not be immediately obvious.

I believe such love is expressed by God and to God, vicariously. This is a word that may not be familiar to you.

The Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines 'vicarious' as 'Acting as a substitute, done or experienced by one person on behalf of another.'

God's great vicarious act of love was in the substitutionary death by Jesus for our sins.

So, what about Physical Touch?

I believe, when someone places an encouraging hand on our shoulder, gives us a hug when we are grieving or simply shakes our hand in friendship - all done in the name of Jesus - then that is God Himself doing so.

Similarly, when we extend our physical touch, appropriate to the occasion, to another in the name of Jesus, then that is our love for God being expressed.

I base this view on Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." You may have wondered why the Bible suggests when we pray for someone, to "lay hands on them". I believe this is an example of God expressing His love through Physical Touch.

So there you have it: God expressing His love to us and we expressing our love to Him, using the 5 Love Languages. I hope you have been blessed by this series.

God bless,


Tim Connelly

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