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IBC Women’s Blog April 12, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog April 12, 2019

Cuddling By Jodie Montgomery

When I was in High School, I caught a part of a movie on TV that was a story about this Medieval star-crossed couple fleeing the invasion of their country. I remember them being very beautiful and polished when all the other actors seemed to be grungy. But what I remember most was that their only comfort was in one another. The comfort of appropriate touch, cuddling, in barns and abandoned buildings as they fled the enemy. Ultimately they died horrific deaths but the movie watcher realized in many ways they were greatly blessed due to their comfort in one another.

Cuddling should not be taken for granted. Whether it is cuddling with your favorite pet, sitting near a family member or friend, for many their love language is touch and cuddling is a crucial part of experiencing security. Even after almost forty years of marriage, Scott and I find comfort in sitting close for a movie or meal. We don’t sleep well apart from one another. I grieve with many of our widows who deeply miss the physical presence of their spouses. There is comfort in proximity.

WebMD lists many benefits of cuddling to include stress relief which enhances heart health, pain relief (apparently cuddling releases a hormone that has a pain blocker so a good foot rub does matter), strengthened immune system (so don’t necessarily isolate your spouse with the cold), deeper connections (yeah to bonding with babies), and better sleep. Volunteers to cuddle NICU babies are in high demand due to a scientifically proven need for loving touch by newborns. I think everyone could use a gentle touch on a daily basis. We need one another.

A kiss is another aspect of the cuddle.  A kiss is a cuddle of the cheek or lips. In many cultures, the kiss is still a common greeting. I have some Spanish friends that usually greet me with a kiss. This sometimes confuses me as I don’t know whether I am to kiss back. Their gesture honors me. We know from Scripture that the kiss was a greeting for Jesus and used in His betrayal.

It’s no wonder touch, whether a cuddle or a kiss, has been perverted. I feel awkward just bringing up touch. We need to know how to honor one another with the right touch and be serious about preserving dignity and grace through physical contact. You know when you do not want a certain individual to touch you. Sometimes this “right” should be retracted. Forgiveness is key to maintaining our bonds with family and friends. Joy is the outcome of appropriate touch and encouragement.

There are many references to touch in the New Testament Gospels as Christ  oftentimes touched those He healed. Those no one else wanted to be near. People pressed into touch Jesus believing this would be Life for them. There is a touch that restores people to their great design, valued by the Creator of the Universe and made in His image. His representatives have the responsibility to share His loving touch. May the next generation know us by our love for one another.

Luke 7:45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet.

Luke 15:20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

1 John 1:1-3 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.