Pastoral counsel, for men only...

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Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.

-1Thess. 5:26 (also Romans 16:6; 1Cor. 16:20; 2Cor. 13:12)

(by Tim, only half in jest) Tender consciences and the preaching ministry of faithful shepherds is resulting, today, in many reformed men repenting of their hard-heartedness toward brothers in Christ evidenced most clearly by the chronic neglect of the biblical command, "Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss." We know we must repent and produce fruit in keeping with repentance, but how?

May I suggest, brothers, that we not try to bridge this gap all at once, but rather take a few baby steps to cover the distance between our current practice and biblical obedience. Starting with manly hugs seems a reasonable baby step, doesn't it?

Still, many of us find even manly hugs outside our knowledge base. Here, then, is a short video to get the thing jump-started. Watch it. Then try the technique out a couple of times in the foyer of your church tomorrow morning.

And if I may, don't just try it out with men well-matched to your own height and size. Challenge yourself by engaging in at least one manly hug with a fat man, a short man, or a man who towers over you. Conquering such intimidating body types will prepare you for the next step towards maturity in Christian intimacy--hugging men who wear Birkenstocks, have body odor, and don't know when to let go.

(Thanks, Bill.)