“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage…” Hebrews 13:4
For a while, this blog has been developing in my heart. I know that the potential of it can create a firestorm of responses of emotion and opinion. If you don’t know me well, my heart is always of compassion driven by the love of Christ. I do not blog out of a place of judgement. I write out of a position that strives to stay humble and teachable before God as I recognize my life AND my marriage are a continual mosaic being formed by the Holy Spirit.
My heart is for healthy marriages and to help encourage practices that help build marriages…
…AND to help identify those practices that are destructive to couples.
Flirting is a topic you don’t hear much about as something detrimental to a marriage. I think part of it is the glamorization of it in most entertainment. It’s just accepted as something men and women “just do.” The sensation of catching the eye of someone else, the flattering feeling of receiving attention from someone, and the thrill of being pursued by someone is what we see amplified. You’re living in a flirtationship; you’re more than just a friend but less than a full-blown relationship. What you think is innocent is really deteriorating the intimacy of your marriage. Flirting should only be reserved for your marriage.
Flirt verb \ˈflərt\ 1. to move erratically 2. a : to behave amorously without serious intent b : to show superficial or casual interest or liking
Notice the words, “to behave amorously.” It means with a sexual or intimate desire without serious intent. Over and over I’ve heard people say,
“It was harmless flirting.”
Now some would say that I may be blowing this out of proportion, but is not flirting generally the first step towards developing romance, as this is what singles usually do to signal interest in others? When I was single, flirting was about catching the eye of someone else. It was taking a chance to make a contact. The contact was intentionally laced with the potential of a next step (connection, date, relationship, someday marriage). I can’t say I was the best “flirt” as a single. I didn’t have the pickup lines or the smooth conversational styles. (Sometimes I wonder what Anne saw in that awkward 18-year-old.)
But can we just admit that we all know what flirting is and not cover it up with flashy words or excuses? I really don’t think we need to debate it. We could argue about whether it’s intentionally wanting sex or not, but that’s not the point. The point is that we know flirting is about creating intimate connections. And when we are creating intentional intimate connections with people outside of our marriage, we are flirting with marital disaster. It’s why Jesus warned us about our thought-life and they way we look at others that are NOT our spouse in Matthew 5:27-28…
“But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.”
Flirting with someone other than your spouse VIOLATES…
Honor: It removes the “worth” from your marriage. It takes the priceless attention and affection reserved for your spouse and directs them elsewhere. The sensuality of our hearts should always and completely be directed toward your husband/wife.
Trust: It develops a two-sided heart as you are splitting it between your spouse and whoever you are flirting with. And it is difficult to trust a spouse who has one eye on you and another eye on someone else. NOTE: Flirting also develops a lack of trust in yourself. The rush you can get from flirting is addictive. Thus this next point…
Desire: It confuses your senses. Why? Because flirting focuses on what is easy about the relationship (attraction) and not the hard work that makes it work. Desire is closely related to…
Vision: It seduces you to think you are missing something in your relationship and/or makes your marital struggles look larger than reality. It seeds a false sense of discontent. Instead of putting more effort into your marriage, it’s easier to focus energy into others who are outside of your relational strife.
Mind: Flirting with others invites them into your thoughts and fantasies. You begin to play “what if” and before you realize it, the passion begins to die down as you slowly disengage from your spouse without even realizing it.
Faithfulness…Why? Flirting doesn’t want to stay stationary. It wants to grow. Again, is flirting not what we did before marriage as to create an inroad into a potential relationships? Can flirting be done without action? Maybe for a season. But what is allowed to grow inward WILL manifest itself on the OUTWARD.
How does a marriage avoid “Flirtationships?” Try these 3 simple steps:
- Keep your spouse’s love tank filled. I’ll never give a free pass to anyone starting a “flirtationship.” But a great way to prevent one is to keep the “love take” of your spouse filled. Most “flirtationships” I’ve dealt with (most that ended in an affair) started with one person having a void in their heart. Their spouse didn’t fill it. Again, it’s not an excuse, but an explanation. Don’t give the Devil a place to tempt. Find out what their love language is and DAILY speak it. Think of it like a glass. If you keep it full, there’s no room for anyone else to add anything. Which leads to #2…
- Flirt with your spouse. What I love about the scriptures is when it is silent on a subject, it’s saying something. If it is NOT silent on something, it’s screaming something. When it comes to our intimacy and sexuality (which flirting is a part of), we have parameters of keeping all sexuality in our marriage. Within the marriage, the silence of scriptures give us creativity (thus the Song of Solomon). Do ANYTHING you feel you’d like to do to catch the eye of your spouse (as long as it’s safe, legal). Get creative BUT make sure you’re kids are guarded so they don’t get scarred from the “dirty” text you sent your husband. 🙂
- Be cautious of admonition. I believe that Christians should be the most encouraging people around. You can give compliment without sexual connotation. You can offer a nice sentiment without anything suggestive. BUT if it’s being received as anything BUT admiration, then back away, dismantle any mistaken expectations, and inform your spouse of the misunderstanding. It will build trust between you two. Of all of the temptations, anything that is of intimate in nature, scripture tells us to flee from them.
As Hebrews 13 says, “give honor” to your marriage. Hold it in high regards by keeping your attention and affection completely to your spouse. Be creative with it and re-find the joy in the pursuit of flirting with you spouse.
I believe in you. I’m praying for you.
Thanks for letting me ramble…