To bless another ... to encourage another ... well, these are some of the most important facets of life. Biblical examples abound. In the early church, Christians washed each other's feet, they laid hands tenderly on one another, and they practiced the "holy kiss." In Jesus' famous story about lost sons and a loving father, when the prodigal son returned home, his father ran to him, through his arms around him and hugged and kissed him!

You might say, "Well, I laid hands on my son, too! I gave him a spank on the backside." But just remember, for every one spank on the backside, give him five hugs on the front side. For every spank on the backside, hold his cheeks between your loving hands and give him five kisses on the forehead.

Five to one. That's what the researchers say. And I'll bet you that the hugs and kisses do more for him than the spanks.

So why not make the rest of the day a little better? Give your kid a hug — no, let's make that five hugs — today!

A voice from heaven said, "You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you." (Luke 3:22 CEV)