Written by Grace Gouletas
Many have heard the stories and statistics of how infants who are not given enough human touch grow up to have social, emotional, and behavioral problems when they grow up. We know that children need to feel loved; we know that we need to feel loved.
People have a way of being encouraging without even knowing it. The stranger who holds the door for you, the server who wishes you a blessed day, the man who lets you pet his dog, the old lady who smiles at you as she crosses the street… These people remind us that life is more than ourselves and they help us feel noticed, loved, and appreciated.
If we as established adults recognize our need for human interaction, how much more do our children feel this need? Imagine the significance of when your child’s friend gives him a hug, when he sees his teachers eagerly waiting at the classroom door, or when she is singing By Faith with her peers.
We can all agree that this level of human interaction cannot be transferred using technology. Touch is physical, never virtual. Learning, expressing, and arguing can be understood virtually, but shaking hands and hugging can not. So when is it acceptable to deprive ourselves and our children of this basic need? There is certainly a case to be made for having caution in a dangerous situation. However, when that situation is long-lasting and possibly permanent there comes a time when we have to make a decision: continue operating at a minimal level out of fear of sickness and death or live our lives with wisdom while trusting in the sovereignty of God. These are our choices.
In the midst of all of this, we should remember that even if we are not getting as much human interaction as we would like, we are still loved. If we know that everyone in the world hates us, we know that we are loved by the One who will never leave us nor forsake us. Christ loves us perfectly. We can feel His love because the Holy Spirit is inside of us. He is always near and He is always listening. He loves us with an everlasting love, and that is better than anything humans have to offer.