Flirting: Innocent or Not?

dating1A recent Ask A Guy article briefly discussed the topic of flirting. Since this is a struggle many young women have, I thought it’d be appropriate to talk about flirting in more detail. Many of us do things completely unaware of how we make other people feel, but we need to choose to be aware and to consider the thoughts and feelings of others before we act.

After researching by asking some of the guys I know, I’ll share with you the things guys specifically view as flirting and temptation, and I’ll give you some suggestions for alternative, pure ways to act.

Physical touch

Guys are tempted by touching. For example, if you give one of your guy friends a back massage, he could be thinking about other ways he’d like to be touched, even if your intentions are innocent, and even if he doesn’t admit it. Instead, give him a high five or a friendly pat on the upper back. Sitting in his lap is also a turn-on, so sit in the chair next to him, or, if there isn’t an available seat, sit on the floor or remain standing (hopefully he is gentlemanly enough to offer his seat!). Full frontal hugs are also tempting to guys. You may simply be hugging a friend, but he definitely notices every inch of your body that’s touching his. If you want to hug him, give him a quick, one-armed side hug.

1 Corinthians 7:1 says that “…it is good for a man not to touch a woman.” It’s important to keep our bodies completely pure for marriage, even when it means going against a desire to touch guys.

Visual Senses

A girl can easily put off a flirtatious air just by what she’s wearing. Guys are very visual and are often tempted when they see a girl dressed in clothes that don’t cover a lot of skin, so respect them, and obey God, by following I Corinthians 10:32: “Do not cause anyone to stumble…” This includes the clothes you wear each day. See our other articles on modesty for some specifics about acceptable and unacceptable clothing.

Speech matters

dating2Sometimes girls aren’t touchy with guys, and they dress modestly, but they lead guys on by the things they say. Basically, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it (and, sometimes, if you do mean it, still don’t say it)! Even if you think you’re just friends with a guy, he may have more feelings for you, and saying flirtatious things could be leading him on. Girls often think this is innocent fun, when really, it can severely bruise a guy’s feelings, and once he realizes you have no intentions of a relationship with him, it could also harm your friendship.

Proverbs 9:13 tells us that “The woman of folly is boisterous, She is naive and knows nothing.” Folly means unrestrained or uncontrolled, boisterous means loud, and naive means lacking experience or judgment, so you could look at it like this: “The uncontrolled woman is loud; she lacks judgment and knows nothing.” You may not mean to come across as uncontrolled or lacking good judgment, but that’s often the way the spontaneous act of flirting is perceived, either by the person you’re flirting with or by other people who are watching your behavior.

Instead, think before you speak, and follow the advice given in I Corinthians 4:6: “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” That verse describes how to be seen in a much more positive light than the woman in Proverbs 9:13, and good guys will respect you more because of it.

God first

Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.” If you’re seen flirting with and teasing the guys around you, other people are going to have a negative impression of you. We need to make sure that we’re always striving to portray godliness and to be an example to others, so choose to act in ways that are pleasing to God, instead of teasing to men.

By Davonne Parks

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