I was at a spiritual camp where I had to work with a team, and I remember one of the team members talked about how he found hugging people strange, at a point in his life.
He had to leave for another church, where the believers saw nothing wrong with hugging – it was a culture shock for him.
This might not be your narrative and the reason why you are wondering, “Is hugging a sin?” Whatever your narrative is, I am pretty sure this will help.
Is Hugging a Sin?
I know this question prompts me to give a “yes” or “no” answer, but I do not want to give a definite answer to it. The Bible does not have narrowed down rules on whether to hug or not.
But in my personal opinion, I think hugging in itself is not a sin
This question, “is hugging a sin?” is not the right question that you should ask.
Just to chip in, being a believer is not all about having God give you a list of dos and don’ts for you to follow.
The better question to ask is “Should I hug?” So, let us get right into that.
Should I Hug as a Christian?
I have met people who do not hug people of the opposite s*x, and it is their stance, and for reasons best known to them. That they do that does not make it a rule or a standard for everybody.
As much as I have met people who don’t like to hug people of the opposite s*x, I have also met people who hug freely without ulterior motives.
To the question, should I hug as a Christian? Yes and No.
I know that those are two contradicting answers. Hugging in itself is not a sin, but to determine if it’s what you can do, you have to check with yourself.
Some people feel hugs are way too much touch with the opposite s*x, which is perfectly fine.
And there are other people, who think hugs are just casual, as it is a form of greeting. That is perfectly fine, too.
So, there are a lot of things that you might need to consider to know if it is okay if you should hug someone of the opposite s*x.
The next thing I will do is give you questions to help you know if it is okay for you to hug or not.
So, the answer to this question is all in your court. I am just going to help you ask yourself the right questions.
Questions to Ask Yourself to Know if You Should Hug or Not?
As much as hugging might not be sinful, we have to consider individual inclusions. I said earlier, that hugging is big deal for some people, while it is just casual for others. These questions will let you know if it is okay to hug
1. What does your culture say about hugging?
As much as our faith is not defined by culture, our culture still matters. I think I should give a practical example.
Some cultures peck as a form of greeting, but if I try that where I live, I may end up being slapped. (laughs)
Cultures vary, and I believe you should stick to the culture, as long as you still live there and the culture does not negate God’s words.
If people of the opposite sex don’t just hug in your culture, or it is reserved only for married people, it won’t do any harm if you also just keep away from hugging people of the opposite s*x.
Am I saying that culture should determine or have a prior say in our Christian life? Definitely no!
I am saying that in a case where the culture does not negate the Christian culture or the word of God, it is okay if you just stick to the culture of your environment.
2. Is hugging a trigger for you?
Some kind of hugging for some people can be too much contact and can trigger them, or spur some thoughts. And this many times is the reason why many people personally refrain from hugging people of the opposite s*x.
If you think you are not comfortable with the opposite s*x hugging you and that it sort of affects you to an extent, it is okay if you decide to restrain from hugging too much.
3. What are the intentions or the motive for hugging?
The intention of hugging also matters. Is it hugging as a form of greeting? Or is there any fowl intention in your heart? Or you are trying to show affection to the other person?
4. What kind of hug is it?
Now, as much as hugging can be simple and casual, some hugs can be inappropriate. I’m sure you know the kind of hugging I am talking about.
If you are going to, hug people of the opposite s*x honorably.
Hugging People Won’t Make God Love You the Less
Now, I must say this.
You should not stop hugging people because of a legalistic point of view or because you are afraid that God would be angry if you do so. If you are stopping, make sure it’s for good reasons.
I am here saying God is not one waiting for you to falter, and then make you pay dearly for it. He loves you so much that He desires a personal relationship with you – a loving relationship that will make you become more like Him in your ways.
And that was obvious; because He sent Jesus just to get you connected to Him. He wants a relationship with you. He wants intimacy with you.
No, God is not about keeping some set of rules, in a bid to get in His good books. Even on contrary, He is doing everything, to get us to Himself. And I can tell that, because He sent His only begotten son to die for our sins, and reconcile us back to Himself.
Do you want a genuine and intimate relationship with God? Tell Him wholeheartedly how you want to be intimate with Him.
Continue fellowshipping with Yahweh through His words (the Bible), prayers, and with others in a community of believers known as the church.
And see how God will reveal and show Himself to you, as you journey with Him. Don’t worry, He will be the anchor of that journey.
God wants you! God needs you! He sent His son to have a relationship – an intimate one, with you. He is waiting.
I hope this answers your questions and blesses you. God loves you so dearly.
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