By Ethel Chadwick
What I’m about to say applies to men and women alike. There’s a fine line between being friendly and flirting. Be very certain that you don’t unknowingly give the wrong impression when warmly welcoming a newcomer to your congregation.
I’m a hugger. I love people and love to make them feel welcomed. But as a married woman I am very much aware that my friendliness can easily be misinterpreted. I just want everyone to stop for a moment and think about how you approach someone of the opposite sex.
Unfortunately things have exploded lately --- everyone is accused of sexually harassing someone. Just be careful. It’s ok to hug someone – just don’t linger! Please continue to be friendly --- but at all times be aware that how you dress, how you lightly touch someone on the arm or back, how you spend a little too much time chatting with someone – these can all be misinterpreted, especially since so many people are lonely and desperate for attention.
I don’t want to end this on a negative note --- so by all means, continue to be friendly and encourage people in the Lord. Remember to honor the Lord at all times by what you say and do. He will direct your path!