If you knew you could do something guaranteed to reduce your husband's stress load and increase satisfaction in your relationship, would you do it? What if it was as simple as spreading your hand and touching your man?
Last year the New York Times published a report by Benedict Carey about how touch, the first means of communication we learn, affects our relationships. Findings at the Touch Research Institute, "found that a massage from a loved one can not only ease pain but also soothe depression and strengthen a relationship."
A research team explored how physical touch in the National Basketball Association (Our men will listen to this sports tidbit, ladies ..) reflected how successful the teams are, and "with a few exceptions, good teams tended to be touchier than bad ones."
"Players who made contact with teammates most consistently and longest tended to rate highest on measures of performance, and the teams with those players seemed to get the most out of their talent." When the same test was applied to 69 couples, researchers found that couples who touched more were also more satisfied.
When we open our hands and take time to touch, we're more "successful" in our relationships and we encourage each other to be our best. We can actually impact our husband's stress level by touching consistently and often.
- When was the last time you held your husband's hand? Did you initiate?
- When was the last time you put your arms around your husband?
- How often do you touch your husband's face? (Wiping off food doesn't count ;) )
- Do you ever lay your open hand on your husband's leg?
- Have you put your hand on your husband's chest this week?
Ever since Genesis 3 men have been toiling in the world and experiencing stress; a wife's touch can be a wonderful cure. "A warm touch seems to set off the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust, and to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol." This is one way an excellent wife can help the heart of her husband to trust in her, so that "She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life," (Prov. 31:11-12). Touching reinforces mutual trust and helps lower stress levels.
What does your touch or your lack of touch say to your man? Does it speak trust, support, and confidence? Does it speak affection, desire, and encouragement? Or is it silent and cold? It's saying SOMETHING, but what? Sometimes I have a wake up moment and realize I've become distant or cold or just busy ... and I've stopped touching like I should. It doesn't always happen naturally. Like anything else, our touch can become distorted.What a powerful message we can send through reaching out to touch our man.
"In effect, the body interprets supportive touch as 'I'll share the load.'"
I want to challenge myself and you this week. Sometimes the caress of a fingertip is enough to speak volumes, but why not open your hand and lay it on your man and just let it rest for 5 seconds? It may not sound like a long time, but in our hurried pace of life, it often takes an intentional decision to stop what we're doing, (kids, work, computer, whatever...) reach out, spread our hand, and let it rest while we count to 5. I also have a feeling it may do beautiful things.
Go ahead. Take the 5 Second Touch Challenge, and see what God gives you to enjoy!
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