A Hug Is Just a Hug ... or Is It?
If a man allows himself to be hugged by his ex-girlfriend is he committing adultery?
Normally, I'd say no. However, if he finds himself still desiring her, then yes. Of course, the desire would probably be there before the hug. I think that most men and women probably hug at least one former boy- or girlfriend after they've started dating, become engaged to, or married someone else. The vast majority of these are, likely, completely innocent.
You should also ask yourself why you want the answer. If this is the man you’ve married or are otherwise committed to, has he ever given you occasion to doubt his sincerity and commitment to you? Or is this a bit of unfounded suspicion that could tear apart the relationship you now have?
Of course, there are times when even innocent-seeming actions are wrong. Jesus’ words are certainly true: “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)” The same goes for hugging and any displays of affection or flirtatiousness. For example read what I wrote in Flirting with Disaster.
Bottom line: Unless you have good reason to doubt him, try investing the same energy you’re spending in questioning him — and more — in showing your love for him.
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
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Walter Snyder is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author of the book What Do Lutherans Believe, and writer of numerous published devotions, prayers, and sermons.
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