Posted by: Mike Willoughby | September 23, 2011

How do you say Love (Part 7)

Have you ever had one of those days when you could really use a good hug?  Perhaps you were struggling with a certain challenge and someone you respected placed a hand on your shoulder, looked you in the eyes and gave you a message of encouragement.  Which provided more comfort – the message or the gentle affirming touch?  If the hand on the shoulder sent a message straight to your heart, you probably speak the love language of physical touch.

Dr. Chapman points out in his book, The Five Love Languages that our bodies seem designed to respond to physical touch.  The millions of nerve endings throughout our bodies are attuned to receive complex messages as a result of the touch of a fellow human being.  Most of us speak this love language at least as a second or third language but for those in your life who speak “physical touch” as a primary love language your hug is an irreplaceable statement of love.

We shouldn’t be surprised this love language is so common.  It’s the first love language we learn to speak as infants.  Anyone who has snuggled a baby and felt them melt into your snuggle knows how naturally babies speak “physical touch.”  There’s nothing like holding a baby to bring this love language back to the top of the list for you.

We should also remember how often Jesus Christ demonstrated this love language in His ministry.  Read the following passage from Matthew 8:2-3 and consider the impact of Jesus’ physical touch on this suffering human being.

And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

You need to first understand that no healthy person was permitted to touch a person infected with leprosy.  To do so certainly endangered the healthy individual and it also rendered the healthy person “unclean” according to Jewish Law.  Jesus defied expectation and convention as He reached out to physically touch the sick man.  Jesus didn’t have to touch the leper.  As evidenced by many other accounts of His healing power, He could have healed the man through spoken words alone.  I think it is very possible this sick man was a “physical touch” speaker which would have made his leprosy-induced isolation even more difficult to bear.  If so, the Master’s act of touching him would have communicated the intense love Jesus felt for him in an extra special way.

We may not have the power to heal someone physically with our touch like Jesus did, but we shouldn’t underestimate the emotional healing that is possible with the help of simple touch.  Sometimes being the hands and feet of Jesus requires us to take that responsibility literally and reach out and touch someone.

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!

Copyright © 2011 Michael Willoughby. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to author and/or owner with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Great topic today thanks I really enjoyed it very much.

    Please Recommend and Share – The Leaves are Changing

  2. Mike, it was short and simple this week and you were “right on the money” as they say.

    I also think you interpreted the touching by Jesus correctly.

  3. Well done!

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