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Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

What limits should we set before marriage?
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DoveGrey
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by DoveGrey »

I agree. It goes with what I said in a previous thread about Victorian women needing to put the kibosh on any physical activity because they were the ones with the moral fortitude to do so. All that does is send the message that men have no self control capabilities. It's anti-Biblical. It teaches men to watch out for women because what if we don't stop you in time? Plus, it's so terrible to place blame where it shouldn't be.

This whole thread makes me think of my first date with my husband. It was to a college dance. I wore a modest semi formal dress, and he told me much later that he was so turned on that night. By the no hugging logic, I should have worn sweats so as not to tempt him, thereby covering up my body. Except he's told me that sometimes all it takes is just looking at me. So perhaps I should have just said no to what was a lovely evening.

I agree with Wireless that this easily becomes overly legalistic. My pastor and I have had the hugging discussion. We're Calvinist, but not with the intensity of the Neo-Calvinists. He told me he reads the room on the hugging thing. He's a hugger, but he knows some people either don't like it or will read something into it. He'll hug anyone, male or female. It's who he is. If I get turned on by it, then I'm the one who needs to get myself under control. . Not him. I would hate that he would stop offering that basic human contact that many people need because he thought someone would be aroused by it.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by EB »

@Wireless, @SeekingChange, @Dove...

Wow, can you guys see the danger of classifying your brothers and sisters who have convictions different (stricter) than yours as Legalistic and Phariseeical ?  Can you extend grace to those of us who believe in opposite-sex "side-hugging" only without condemning our convictions as ridiculous?  There is no Bible to condemn front-huggers but there is no Bible to condemn side-huggers either - can you guys see that?  (Though I doubt they hugged the opposite sex at all in the early church as the men and women did not even sit together, but that's beside the point).  Or is the standard of correctness the one you hold on to and those who fall on either side are either too liberal or too legalistic?
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by one_woman_man »

@SC, if I ever happen to meet you, I'll be sure to give you a warm and reassuring hug! :D
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by SeekingChange »

:D  The funny thing is, I'm not a natural hugger, I am not one who goes and seeks them out..... and that may be why certain hugs stick out in my mind.  They happened when they needed to happen.  Love prevailed. :)
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by newwifenewlife »

@SC - "Isn’t this overall message/topic (not speaking personally of EB or her situation), a subtle but very loud message that a woman’s body is shameful and something to avoid? And really, it’s not just her body, but her very being."

A few questions come to mind SC: how does someone's self-esteem and worth dependent on whether or not I give a hug to someone? Can my words and time impact them just as well?  I recognize the power of touch, it is my TOP love language and the way I was raised, we were a kissing family and I've even been a part of church groups/teams with families who are huggers and kissers as well (not even Italian or European)...on the cheeks AND lips...BUT they were safe people and it was done in front of my then-wife without issue as a tradition. Again, I'm more than willing to offer hugs or a touch on the shoulder or arm during prayer but my radar is always up as to how it will be perceived/received by the receiver.

Part of my sensitivity now is that after my divorce, I was like a sponge to anyone who'd give me kind words and even a hug; so when we're talking about dealing with emotionally needy or unhealthy people, I want to be very wise and careful about my interactions and in those situations, encourage safe, same sex friendships. I want to encourage personal healing and growth in others. At the same time, life, people and ministry are messy so I don't necessarily draw a line in the sand on some things, except guarding any my heart and any personal interactions with members of the opposite sex and clearly communicate anything and any time to my wife when I meet with someone of the opposite sex. It keeps me honest, reminds me of my relationship with my wife, and keeps everything out in the open, especially when the female is having marriage issues.

No, I don't believe that whether I hug someone or not is body shaming them or their very being because I believe I can have add just as much value through my words and looking directly into their eyes (vs other areas of their body, a clock, or the physical space we're in), offering a listening ear, compassion, help and time.  I believe that is more impactful. My now wife loved the fact that when we met and then dated, I kept my eyes focused on her eyes and face and did not "wander south" of her face or undress her with my eyes.

My first responsibility is to God and my wife...and I want to guard that at all costs AND I want to protect others who are in a vulnerable place in their life. It is also on me per Scripture to try and live above reproach. I've seen good lives ruined because someone decided to lie about a person's character and treatment to get revenge on them for something. Maybe the person in question didn't have or put healthy boundaries in place and put themselves in a difficult situation, maybe the other person just straight up made a falsehood or misconstrued something in an emotionally fragile state or felt guilty for their feelings and then blamed the other person (like .Joseph & Potiphar's wife).

I am not responsible for anyone's self-image but I am responsible for caring for their personhood and adding value to it. I believe that how I do that speaks louder to their value and worth as a person than just being a "piece of meat" for others to use.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by Brynna »

'how does someone’s self-esteem and worth dependent on whether or not I give a hug to someone? Can my words and time impact them just as well? '

I am not SC, but since this thread started, I now understand why the very few men that give me a hug, kinda keep it an 'A' shape. I felt like they couldn't stand to touch me, but since they were relatives from afar, they had to give the hug, even if I hate those hugs. So, I felt like a lesser human being, because all they could do was throw an arm around my neck, while keeping their bodies far off from touching mine. Now, I understand, after reading some of this thread. In my case, I would much rather have a hearty, lengthy handshake, like hard enough to still feel it in my hand awhile later, then a dumb little obligation hug, where they can't stand to touch my body, or where they feel it might turn sexual. But, it maybe makes a difference on how the relationship is otherwise. The older couple we were close to, I never got a hug from him. But, he made feel special. Lots of hearty handshakes and he called me by name. He was like a dad to me. It's the attitude that makes me feel special. I'll get off my soapbox now.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by SeekingChange »

I think the bigger damage that is done around the image issues is by the messages that are preached.  There's a time a place for things.... there is a time for fleeing, but there's a time not to.  I just see too many proverbial backsides, more than what should be.  Jesus didn't flee from the woman at the well, or from the sexually immoral woman washing His feet, or the unclean woman who broke the rules to come near Him to touch Him.   He didn't cast Mary Magdalene, a woman with a reputation, far from Him.   Babes and children ought to grow up to be men. The broken and damaged ought to be finding healing and wholeness in Christ Jesus.  At some point, I would hope that you and your wife would be secure enough and healed enough, that to give a fatherly/motherly or brotherly/sisterly embrace to another won't threaten your marriage or trigger your insecurities.  We are in a culture where fathers lack, and spiritual men are the only ones who can step up and fill that gap.

You are convicted one way, and feel justified in that, we ought to act out of our convictions/faith, I'm not saying you shouldn't.... but we also ought to have a teachable heart just in case we are off just a little.  My husband long held similar beliefs, until recent years.  And because of the messages preached in the church culture, I just kind of swallowed it as "this is the way it should be" too.   What I see now, is the church-culture in general, has swung too far on the other side of the pendulum.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by LBD »

"My first responsibility is to God and my wife…and I want to guard that at all costs "  ME TOO! And the second we think we have that whooped, we are at our most vulnerable.

Pro 4:23-27  Keep (guard) your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.  (24)  Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.  (25)  Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.  (26)  Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.  (27)  Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

And lest we forget: 1Co 8:9  But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. - again, an over-riding principle, not just about food.
It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying a sense of moral superiority in their ignorance. -Thomas Sowell
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newwifenewlife
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by newwifenewlife »

@SC - We are healed (or healing as God brings new areas to mind) and we do hug others of the opposite sex. I am just very aware and careful about certain situations and the potential reads it could have with certain people & situations. There are also those couples whom we meet and greet like old family & friends with warm, big embraces. There are others that I would comfortably give a side hug to for encouragement. I am just very diligent first of protecting my marriage and honoring my wife and serving people and I listen to my wife's people and intuition radar. (Yes, women do have that extra sense of character or intent that guys can sometimes miss.
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Re: Men: Frontal Hugs With Females

Post by SeekingChange »

@Brynna, when talking to my husband, he pointed out that what he noticed was some women come in to hug and try to keep their body out (A-frame), which makes it really awkward for him because then he just has shoulders coming in and touching him. So, it's not just men who do this, and it's not just awkward for you as a female, but also for my husband.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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