Q. My pastor almost insists on getting a hug from me every time I see him. It annoys me, and I don’t know why. He has never ever made any untoward advances toward me or anyone that I know of, but it just makes me uncomfortable. I haven’t noticed him hugging very many other women. I’ve told my husband, who is a deacon, that I don’t like it and asked if he would speak to the pastor, but he never has. I really don’t know how to handle it.
A. Romans 14:16 says we’re not to allow something we consider good to be spoken of as evil. That means even though our intentions are good, if the things we do can be perceived as being evil, we shouldn’t do them.
If your pastor made a point of hugging everyone, I could understand why your husband would be reluctant to speak with him. But if it’s only a you and a few other women in the congregation, then it appears that you and they are being singled out for a kind of special attention that is not appropriate.
Tell your husband that you still feel uncomfortable about this and ask him again to intercede for you. Keep after him until he does. Most likely the pastor will be embarrassed to learn that you’re uncomfortable and will stop hugging you.