PRINCIPLE: “Hugs are not just for kids.”
The first church I was privileged to serve was in Sioux Center, Iowa. We lived one long block, downhill from the church. At the time we had one son, who was 3 years old. Often, weather permitting, I would walk to and from church. I have such fond memories of walking home! Our son, if he knew I was on the way, stood at the front door until I got close, then would run outside, arms outstretched, to greet me. Then it was one big hug. I’m sure you know the feeling. There’s nothing warmer, more exciting, more loving than that.
And why did my son do that? He was glad to see me; he loved me; he wanted to be with me. And he knew he’d get a big hug in return. And we both felt good! Maybe that’s why I still like to hug my bos (and grandkids – but that’s another story for another time!)
I thought of that scene the other day as I was thinking about my relationship with Jesus. Do I approach Him the way my so approached me? Am I that glad to meet with Him?  Do I love Him that much? Do I want to be with Him that badly? Then it hit me – if a hug between me and my son meant so much to both of us, wouldn’t it be the same hugging Jesus? That’s when it hit me – “Hugs are not just for kids.” It’s okay to hug adults, to hug anyone we love. It’s okay, then, to hug Jesus. “Hugs are not just for kids.”
So why am I so formal when I approach Jesus? I sit down in a comfortable place, make sure I have my Bible, my devotional, a pen or pencil, and some prayer notes. Then I begin. But am I really glad to be meeting with Him? Am I excited about the opportunity? Shouldn’t I bounce out of bed each morning ready to run out and hug Jesus? Shouldn’t I go to bed each night only after hugging Jesus? Could there be anything warmer, more exciting, more loving than that? Wouldn’t it make us both feel good? “Hugs are not just for kids.”
I admit I’m not sure what ‘running out and hugging Jesus’ looks like. But I’m doing an attitude check as I try to figure it out. I encourage you to do the same. “Hugs are not just for kids.” Why not give your kids an extra hug today (or when you see them next) – and experience the exhilaration it brings. Then hug Jesus  – whatever it looks like for you.

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