Why “Free Mom Hugs” is Problematic

Why “Free Mom Hugs” is Problematic June 15, 2024

Rainbow coming out of the clouds.
Should we give free hugs as Christians? Image by Kanenori from Pixabay

June is where many celebrate Pride, and you have seen the shirts, memes, and sentiment emblazoned everywhere “Free Mom Hugs” or “I’m Your Mom Now!” An outward expression from some well-meaning Christians showing support to those with parents who might not accept or “affirm” their child’s LGBTQ life. 

Christians, I have some questions. 

Is this gesture loving? Are we affirming or enabling here? This notion of replacing one’s parent… Is this our place?

My prayer is that we step back to reflect together and discern if this is actually a). Biblical and b). loving our neighbors well.  

We might realize that this notion could be the opposite of loving. By taking a closer look at God’s definition of love, we can have a better understanding on how to proceed to help others.

Note: I am writing specifically to those with a Christian worldview who are actively following Jesus and the Bible. What I write here might not be received well, especially by non-believers. My intention is for my heart, which is truly for all, to come through with much grace and compassion. I am a sinner saved by grace.

But more importantly than that, it is for anyone reading to know that God loves you more than even the most loving mom can. 

Your Heart Means Well

If you are reading this, chances are you want to show love to people who are hurting. Same here! What a beautiful, necessary thing! This and the hugs are absolutely biblical and encouraged (if the person does not actually mind being hugged). 

No one should deter those who have a heart for others. This is God’s heart. 

 “Beloved, let’s love one another; for love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8

And of course, Jesus commanded that we “love one another.” 

But… There Are Some Biblical Reasons Why This is Not Loving and Problematic…

  • It undermines God’s Calling
  • It is accepting of sin
  • Could be about appearances
  • Makes you their savior, not Jesus
  • It is missing a major component of real love

First an Important Disclaimer: 

Horrifically, abusive parents exist. Children should be protected and removed from these homes, and placed in a loving, safe environment. (More on this below). 

There are people who call themselves “Christians” and heckle funerals to protest homosexuality. Westboro Baptist Church is a prime example of hatred and evil. What they do is NOT loving. It is NOT what Jesus calls us to do. It is wrong and does not represent Christianity or anything close to it. This is beyond legalism. 

It Undermines God’s Call

The 139th Psalm talks about how God intricately “knits” us in our mother’s womb. Any handicraft attempt made shows intentionality. God does not do things willy-nilly. He gifts us our children on purpose. 

He decides who our parents will be. Biologically or through adoption. 

When we offer to replace those who God chose to fulfill the role of a parent, a decision made before He created time, we become a god of our own design. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”- NASB 1995, Ephesians 2:10

As Christian parents, we are called in Deuteronomy to teach our children God’s commandments.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deut. 6:4-7

With all the love in my heart for you, might I ask, who are you to offer yourself over God’s choice as a mother? Who are you to stop what a mother has been called by God to do?

Is Accepting of Sin

Have you considered that some parents can accept their child, while not be accepting of their sin and decisions? Every single parent has had a child who has strayed and made sinful decisions.

A Christian mother or father can show both grace and truth. Parents who do not accept their child’s LGBTQ lifestyle, should do so because they believe what God’s Word says on the matter. This should be done because they love God and their child. 

When you insert yourself as a parental replacement, how are you not like the serpent asking, “Did God really say…?” to Eve in the garden? 

We should support parents who are choosing to love their children with the truth. 

Believers, this is not a personhood issue. This is not a sexuality issue. This is not a marginalization issue.

This is a sin issue. 

What does God say about pursuing our lusts, sexual sin, and homosexuality? 

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:24-27

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” 1 Cor. 6:18

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [g]homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and [h]in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor. 6:9-11

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

Is This Ultimately About Appearances?

Or we can ask, is this virtue signaling? Are we telling the world we are supportive of what the world loves? 

Or are we, as believers, honoring God by loving others with the truth? 

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”- Gal. 1:10

I understand this is a hard statement, but I mean it with all the love I can: we are not supposed to be friends with the world. 

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”- James 4:4

Are you choosing to be seen as an “ally” over doing what the Lord says? 

You’re Not Their Savior, Jesus Is

Stepping into a situation can set a person up as a savior figure. The only one who saves is Jesus. Period. 

“We all stumble in many ways…” James 3:2

Being a mom is very important. Everyone needs one! 

But we must remember that we are all stumblers. We can’t save people, only Jesus can because He is God. We are not. 

It is missing a major component of real love

Christians, we all agree that we are called to “love one another.” 

However, loving the sin is not what Jesus meant. I have some good news for you! God has given us a definition of what love is! 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”- 1 Cor. 13: 4-7

Did you catch it? 

“(Love) rejoices with the truth.” 

While it is much, much easier in today’s world to don a shirt, to repost a graphic, and to stay quiet, my church family- we cannot do this because it is not loving. 

Give the hugs. Give the truth. Moms, we can do both!

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15

Want to Love a Child in Need? 

Have you been to an event that serves catered food to foster children? I have. I have seen children literally running to the food, pushing and shoving other children out of the way for fear  of not knowing when their next meal will be. 

There are children right now who are suffering and starving, not only for love, affection, and security, but for actual food and nourishment. They need you to be “their mom now.” 

The need to step in the gap and help children as a foster or adoptive parent is CRITICAL for Christians. Here is where you are can actually “care for the widows and the orphans.” Here is where you step in to replace a non-existent or possibly, abusive, parent. 


For further consideration, here are some versed (pun intended) people and or curriculum that can help you with your research! 

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Why “Free Mom Hugs” is Problematic

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