Keep Your Hands to Yourself

We don’t own others, and we sure don’t own the right to their sexuality and bodies. Show respect.

In my line of work, I sometimes think not much can shock me any more, and then I find out… oh, there is more out there! One such story I have permission from a client to share for teaching purposes.

So there was a woman from an Anabaptist church. Headcovering, ‘modest’ clothing–you get the idea. She wanted to go visit her son and family, and so she did. While there, her son had work he needed to accomplish, so Mom accompanied him. Great idea, right? Mom and son can talk, and son can still get his work done.

All went well as they visited until Son, focused on his project, didn’t answer Mom as fast as she thought he should. So she patiently waited till he could, right? No. You would be wrong. Well, then she playfully tapped him on his arm to get his attention, right? No, you would be wrong about that too, sadly.

What did Mom do? She reached out, and grabbed her son’s genitals. Yes, you read that right. When son recovered his wits enough to talk, he forbade her to ever do such a thing again. Mom blew it all off as a minor thing, of no consequence.

When the daughter-in-law later tried to speak to her mother-in-law about it, Mom’s retort was, “He was mine before he was ever yours!”

Whoa, whoa! Time for truth, folks!

Children’s bodies are NOT ours. Their sexuality is NOT ours. Of course when they are little, we need to kindly care for them, and this includes personal hygiene such as diaper changes and so on. But that care should always be provided with respect, and love, not for our own personal agenda of control, or for sexual gratification.

And certainly as soon as they are old enough to be properly caring for themselves, we need to back right out of there and leave them to it! And certainly this adult man’s mom had no business whatsoever touching him like that. Do you realize that was a reportable offense? He could have called law enforcement on the spot!

It was just as wrong and offensive as if a father would have grabbed his daughter’s breasts or groped her crotch. No parent has a right to their children’s bodies like that. None of us have a right to behave like this, to anyone.

And what does the Bible have to say on this matter? Well, there is an interesting passage in Deuteronomy 25:11-12. “If two men are fighting, and the wife of one steps in to rescue her husband from the one striking him, and she reaches out her hand and grabs his genitals, you are to cut off her hand. You must show her no pity.…” (Berean Study Bible).

If, even in defense of her husband’s body and life, a woman was not to grab another man by the genitals, then I think it’s safe to assume that God would take an extremely dim view of a woman grabbing another man–even her son–by the genitals to force him to pay attention to her, or for a joke.

We need to keep our hands to ourselves when it comes to other people’s personal areas of the body, unless there is a good, legitimate reason to be touching them, such as medical care, hygiene needs, or we are with our spouse in a consensual relationship for sexual touching.

We don’t own others, and we sure don’t own the right to their sexuality and bodies. Show respect. Keep your hands to yourself.

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