Masculine Hands

The power of touch. These days, physical contact between people of the same gender or of different generations is suspect, sometimes for good reason. But not all cross-generational, same-sex touching is wrong. In fact, much of it is a right and needed way to express affection and communicate blessing. In Bangladesh, for example, young men who are buddies hold hands as they walk down the street. Whole families sleep under the same mosquito net. Even here in the male-affection-challenged U.S. of A., my father-in-law used to call my husband "honey" and kiss him goodbye, even when they were both adults.

Jesus knew about touch — take a spin through the gospels and consider all the times physical contact with Him is recorded. Children are still hungry for loving arms around them, the blessing of a fatherly touch — safe, pure, strong, and clean. That's one of the reasons boys love to wrestle with dads or uncles or grandfathers. It's also a barometer of intimacy — is your child pulling away when you try to tousle his hair or rub his back? Brothers in Christ, take stock of the physical contact you've had with teens and pre-teens in your family, both girls and boys. If they don't get the blessing of a man's godly affection, they might go elsewhere for the ungodly substitute. And that's possible fodder for yet another pop culture media frenzy. (Not to mention more pain and suffering.)

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