#318: Why Are We Afraid to Touch?

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Let’s face it: As Christians, we’re kind of afraid to touch. Touch feels unsafe and sexual—even worldly—and we can be led to believe that the more boundaries we put in place, the "better off" we'll all be. Except, well … Jesus touched. And he allowed others to touch him: A prostitute washed his feet and dried it with her hair. He used his hands to rub mud on blind eyes. He invited Thomas to place his fingers in the nail holes in his palms. Is it time to re-think the way we view touch?

Guest: Lore Ferguson Wilbert

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  • Kerri-Jo Fehr

    Kerri-Jo Fehr

    Thanks so much for addressing this. This clarifies some of the thinking that was happening in my mind in regards to working with children. Due to past abuses, touch when working with children has been brought to an all-time low. Yet, we know that abusers keep abusing in the dark rooms, whether at home, school, or yes, even church. Does not this prohibition on touch tell our children that any touch is sexual/bad/rebellious/something to hide? The reason these questions are in my head is that I worked with some kids with a past more traumatic than most can imagine. They had moved from a sexually abusive place to another. I wasn't allowed to hug these kids and I knew they were being inappropriately touched all of the time. The thing is, they needed a hug from someone who wanted to validate them, not someone who wanted to use them. If we prohibit positive touch, we promote abusive touch, hidden touch, intrusive touch. These kids are now seeking that hug from a mothers arms that they never got. They don't know they're looking for it but they are. It's just they are looking in the wrong places. They are looking at the strip club, on the porn site, with their own victims. Any thoughts on this? I totally agree that there should be boundaries in the school system with kids not being alone in a room with an adult and such, but no physical touch whatsoever, I cannot agree but do comply because I know how it is interpreted.