The Value of a Good Hug

hugs2“And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.”  –Matthew 10:13-16

I admit it, I’m a hugger.  Maybe it’s because I’m Italian or because I came from a family of huggers, or perhaps it’s because hugging just make you feel good.

I am an equal opportunity hugger.  I hug old people and kids, women and men, dogs and cats, family, friends and even my enemies.  I always have and probably always will.

And, there is a lot of scientific evidence that hugging has many therapeutic values.  Hugging boosts oxytocin levels, helping relieve loneliness and isolation.  It increases happiness by increasing serotonin levels, and strengthens the immune system.

Hugs make us feel important, wanted, and loved. Who can resist the hugs of a child or grandchild, burying themselves in your arms?

There are many references in the bible about greeting others with a holy kiss or hug. And, Jesus was a hugger too, especially with children as in Matthew’s gospel.

A hug is more powerful than a thousand words!  This is especially true when words are hard to come by, like when a loved one receives bad health news or in consoling a friend at a funeral.

Did you ever have the feeling that God was hugging you?  It happens in a fleeting moment, when our thoughts turn to him and we realize that God is with us to comfort us, to bring joy to our lives and to give us His assurance that things will be alright. “God Hugs” are what some folks call them.

A rainbow on your wedding day, a certain song that comes on the radio at a special moment, something we hear, see or read, provide little hugs from God.  It can be a phone call from a friend that we haven’t seen in years or a note, card or letter from someone letting you know they care.

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” –Virginia Satir

It’s time to get busy.  Let’s not let another day go by without getting our daily hugs.  If you grew up in a family that didn’t hug, it might be difficult at first.  But you’ll get better with practice!

People tell me all the time that I’m a good hugger.  I should be, I’ve had a lifetime of practice!

Have you got your hugs today?  You know, there’s value in a good hug.

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