So, it sounds like we all agree that it is better not to hug our guy friends, but if we do, that we should be careful about it. I want to share an expierence with you all that has shaped my thinking on this subject.
I have grown up homeschooled, and in the last few years, have not had many relationships with guys my own age, and even if I had they have not been very close. Anyways, at my workplace, I worked with a guy whom I enjoyed joking around with. He is not a Christian. Anyway, I got closer to him than I had to any guy I had with before. I got excited. I finally knew a guy well, that I thought I could hang out with and really get to know. Of course, I would reason, we are 'just friends'. I started looking forward to seeing him. I started hugging him when I said hello and goodbye. I could not get him out of my thoughts. Then, another person I worked with made the comment that I was flirting with him, instead of just normal joking around. That shook me awake.
Was I really flirting? Surely not, we were 'just friends' after all, I said to myself as I hugged him again. I got home that night, and God broke through and opened my eyes. I realized how much I fantasized about him, how much I was leading him on. I fell on my face towards God. How could I have been so foolish? So stupid? How did I not see it? I had all these lofty ideas about dating and marriage, and then I had gone and given my heart away.
Thats when I started looking for answers. I went to my Nan and asked her what she thought about it, and my Nan told me that, honestly, she felt uncomfortable when she hugged other men.
Now, with other 'brother and sister' relationships, I have realized where I went wrong, and what not to do with the other relationships I have.
1) Do you think hugging is appropriate?
I do not think hugging is appropriate. There are some situations where it is natural in a brother-sister relationship, but that only happens once in a blue moon. Like Taleisha said, she was moving overseas, and when she said goodbye, her guy friends closest to her she hugged goodbye. But these situations are really quite rare, look at what your attitude is, what your thoughts are. Why are you doing it? Would it give the wrong impression to the guy? I liked what Moriah said, that if we think that that guy is someone elses husband, I think that would help a lot.
2) What is the difference between friends and romance?
Friends let each other know how their feeling. They carry each others burdens. They pray for each other. They are always there for each other. They are always guarding each others purity.
In romance, they cannot stop thinking about each other. They are always wondering what the other is doing. They play over in their mind the last time they saw that person. They hold hands. They open up to each other more than they need to.
3) What things do you not do in a brother relationship?
You dont flirt. You make sure you restrict all physical touch.
4) Should we worry about what other people think?
This one made me really think. I think Moriah is right. Whatever people think, we should hold it up and ask us if there is truth in it. And ask, is it just gossip, or is it the truth? Is the person saying it worthy to be listened to?
So, I have more questions for discussion.
What is the best bit of advice you have recieved for this?
How do you stop your thoughts from becoming obsessive?