The 5 Love Languages (Physical Touch)
“And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man:but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”
We see that Physical Touch is very powerful in the life of lovers but also in the lives of others. It often amazes me as to why Jesus touched some while he spoke to others to heal them. The only thing that I can come up with is that He is God and can do whatever He wants. However, what if Jesus knew that people desired His touch in order to feel complete, whole, loved and healed. There is something in a physical touch that often makes people feel whole. What type of interaction occurs at funerals and weddings? Hugs, handshakes and close platonic touching. At funerals we hug another to show that “I’m here to support you” and that embrace provides a momentary healing to others. In that brief moment the mourner can take respite in a friends loving touch to escape the cruelty and sadness of this world. Jesus desires to touch us with a spiritual embrace as well. Today we will see how the Physical Touch language applies to a spiritual touch of God.
The Physical Toucher or (PT) responds to touch more than any other person would. A touch on the arm or the shoulder or ultimately a hug can send this person into a land of comfort. Physical Touch people feel unloved, untrusted and even under appreciated when the physical touch isn’t present. This isn’t just inclusive to marriage and behind a couple’s closed doors but it can go into business and personal life as well. For instance, most people open and close business deals with a hand shake. This simple gesture will affirm to the PT that “I’m trusted” or that “The other person likes me”. PTs, since they love touch, can sense when its authentic to artificial. However, since PTs associate love with touch, PTs are more susceptible to physical abuse more than any other of the 5 Love Languages. These types of lovers, once abused, erect a massive wall to protect themselves. Most PTs do not come from a “touchy-feely” family or did not grow up that way but have adopted this type of love. Here’s a few ways that you can address a PT in their language.
- Body Language Is Important (..And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him…)
We see in this scriptural text that Jesus had compassion on the leper and reached out and touched him. I can almost image Jesus looking upon this man with a smile on His face and reaching with an outstretched hand purposely in his direction to heal him. What if Jesus had reached over to touch this man with a look of shame or a look of disgust? What if the bible said that Jesus reached over to this man with impatience or an attitude? What do you think that this man’s attitude would have been? With the PT, it’s not just the touching but it’s the willingness to want to touch. Have you ever hear heard someone say “I want you to want to….”? At first, I became confused at this statement but as I got older I realized it’s significance. Wanting someone to have the desire to do an action is very important. Jesus had the desire to come down and suffer and die for us 2,000 years ago. Here are a few helpful hints to address body language with PTs:
a. Think about your face – your face tells people more information about you than the words that come from it. If you are saying that you’re friendly but your face doesn’t show it, then people will read you as shy but PTs will see you as unfriendly.
b. Think about your arms & hands – crossing your arms in a conversation speaks volumes to PTs. This tells them to STAY AWAY. In like manner, arms to the side tells a PT that you aren’t ready to be touched nor do you currently have the desire to be at this time. PTs generally speak with their arms and hands so they look for people with outstretched arms and hands. This shows that you’re receptive.
c. Think about your mannerisms – the way that a person moves and reacts will be a huge indicator to the PT of you’re mood. If the PT perceives that you’re in a bad mood they will not approach. These mannerisms include but are not limited to: not making eye contact, withdrawing yourself, diverted attention (looking your phone or something else while being addressed).
2. First Contact Is Not Alien – most people think that PTs like to be initiators of touch and physical contact but PTs actually prefer the other person to initiate the contact. When one initiates first contact to a PT, the PT responds in kind outwardly but inwardly the PT is jumping for joy and throwing an emotional party. To often people indicate that they have a hard time initiating but this type of response will charge the batteries of a PT to the max with just one simple touch. Don’t be afraid to fire the first shot.
3. Physical Touch Doesn’t Have To Be Sexual – PTs do love intimacy but they love touch in general. One of the most special things to PTs are random displays of touch. For instance, holding hands in the car on a long drive or putting your head on their shoulder while at home or even a snuggle on the couch sends them into love heaven.
Here are a few things to avoid when it comes to a PT:
- Physical Neglect – this is just a flat out no to being touch. Basically saying “Don’t touch me” or “I don’t feel like…” or even displaying an attitude when physically engaged can shut the PT down like a condemned building. Statements like these could destroy the motivation for a PT to reach out you.
- Long Stints Without Intimacy – this can absolutely make the PT feels as if their needs aren’t important and could make them seek attention from other sources. The PTs quest for physical touch is just as strong as a hungry man seeking a meal. Physical Touch makes them feel connected and loved. If they don’t receive this type of love they feel diconnected and unloved.
- Giving Affection Coldly – this is the absolute worse thing that one can do in the eyes of a PT. For example: The PT requests love from their partner and their partner responds with a sigh and says “I really don’t have time for this” but offers the love or hug or whatever to the PT. Most PTs will feel really disrespected and mocked. This person has just unknowingly destroyed the PTs sense of connectivity with them.
PTs can overlook abuse overtime but for someone close to them giving them cold affection is unforgivable. The PT interprets this as “Your love isn’t good enough for me” or “you’re too needy and I don’t need this right now”. Even if you say I’m sorry, you can not take this back and can inadvertently open a door for them to look for attention else where. However, if you give the PT a small bit of physical touch regularly and with the desire to see them happy, you will open up a world where they thrive and fulfill you as well.
PTs can best be used in the house of God as greeters and ushers and even in nurseries. They like to hold children and are usually good at helping others. They excel as encouragers due to their desire to want to show love to those that are hurting. Next week we will speak about the remaining love languages and then wrap up with how Jesus showed love and what His love language was as well. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.