What is the one thing we can do for our children that will make them most likely to steer clear of unhealthy relationships and treat others with love, honor and respect? Open the Door of the Skin to loving, healing affection.
In an over-sexualized society, there seems to be a tendency to neglect shows of affection out of a fear that they’ll be misunderstood as inappropriate. Yes, we need to be responsible about how and why we touch, but in the meantime, people need love and affection to survive.
Maybe you’re aware of an event that took place where infants were deprived of touch and actually died. That story alone should make us more concerned about showing affection than being so careful that our families don’t get what they need.
I didn’t grow up in a family that hugged or regularly expressed love and affection openly. As we got older, touch waned and hunger for affection grew. That “skin hunger” drove me into indiscretions that arose simply from feeling empty. My “love tank” was dry, and I was willing to fill it up with most anything. It’s like shopping for food on an empty stomach.
Our families desperately need consistent doses of affection. If you grew up as I did, you may need to give and receive it like medicine, with a splash of humor to make it easier to swallow (don’t worry, it will come more naturally soon enough). Without it, we starve. We die emotionally. We disconnect. And we look for ways to medicate the pain, through relationships, drugs, alcohol, binge shopping, you name it.
People all around us are dying from a lack of love. Don’t let it happen to your family. Put your arms around them, tell them you love them, and show them daily. Your touch may accomplish more than words can ever say.
With the holidays coming up, challenge your family to accompany every gift given in person with a hug. When you open presents, encourage each person to hug the giver of each gift (if Santa isn’t present, Mom and Dad can take hugs for him). Let giving affection be a major part of your Christmas celebration.