28 April 2020

Beyond Awkward Side Hugs | Book Review + Giveaway


It Doesn’t Have to Be This Weird.

When it comes to relationships between men and women, we have more questions than answers:

-How do we keep relationships with the opposite sex healthy—and still hug each other after small group?
-Is it possible for married men and women to be friends with people of the opposite sex?
-What does it mean to be a woman if you’re not a wife, or a man if you’re not a husband?

Jesus’ pattern for church living was one of family—of brothers and sisters living in intimate, life-giving community with each other. With story, sensitivity, and hope, Beyond Awkward Side Hugs invites us to leave behind eroticized, fear-based patterns and move toward gendered, generous relationships between men and women of character as we love one another as Jesus did.

Beyond Awkward Side Hugs is a deep well of biblical wisdom, and Lea has written with nuance and clarity, humor and grace.” –Jen Pollock Michel, author of Surprised by Paradox and Keeping Place

“The church desperately needs a bigger vision for how men and women can flourish together in ministry and friendship, and Bronwyn Lea paints a vivid picture for how we’ll get there.” –Steve Wiens, author of Shining Like the Sun, Beginnings, and Whole

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: April 7, 2020


Bronwyn Lea’s Beyond Awkward Side Hugs is a much-needed and supremely helpful exploration of male-female relationships. The overarching idea is that based on the Bible, Christians have reason to approach such relationships not from a fear-based standpoint (thanks to an overly sexualized culture), but a family-based one—and throughout the book, the author supports this idea with solid theological points, in addition to personal stories, insights, and humor.

Beyond Awkward Side Hugs is an easy, but impactful read, perfect for anyone, really. I recommend picking it up.


I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Bronwyn Lea is a writer, bible teacher, lawyer and ice-cream addict with twenty years of pastoral ministry experience. She heads up Propel Sophia, the Christian living wisdom resource for Propel Women, and is on the pastoral staff of her local church. Bronwyn is mom to three school-aged kids, who keep her somewhere between hilarious laughter and desperate prayer on any given day. She and her fellow South African husband live in Northern California, where they count the men and women in their church as not just friends, but family.




  1. I'd be really interested in this one! I've had some conversations with friends and I didn't really understand their argument when it came to relationships but I don't really identify as anything but they are strict Christians so I always feel like I'm not understanding their language so much. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Sounds like a very interesting book I would love to read.

  3. Finding true friendships get harder the older you get. Sounds good.