The four writers of Unlocking Femininity were sprawled around the living room of the second-floor apartment. Diane had just come from her work out. Sarah was eating sushi – it smelled amazing! Katie was entertaining everyone by trying not to fall out of the squeaky rocking chair. And Gabrielle was working….as usual. Just a relaxed girls night, until the topic of flirting was mentioned. Is it wrong? Is there a place for it? What is the motivation behind it? What exactly is flirting? Does Scripture say anything about flirty behavior?
So for the end of our Love…..Actually Series, you get to listen in on our conversation about flirting!
Sarah: Well, when looking up verses on flirting, I wanted to see what not to do…what should we not be like. I immediately thought of the Proverbs 7 woman because she was…an adulteress. And, I mean, no one ever really says, “I want to be the Proverbs 7 woman.” Who would say that? No one wants to be the Proverbs 7 woman. (laughs) She….ha, she’s not good. (eyes widen) But if you look at her different actions that are in the verse…in this portion of Scripture, there are so many times when the actions that are described, especially the flirtatious ones, are things that we all do…now…I think, even as Christian girls there are times when we can cross the line and completely exemplify the Proverbs 7 woman. And THAT’S NOT GOOD…that needs to stop.
So, one of the first things that I noticed was right off the bat it talks about how the woman came out…to him. The guy is just walking down the road and SHE…comes out to him. Here we see the woman is the initiator.
Sarah: Aggressive…yeah…thats a good word for it.
Katie: She seeks HIM out…
Sarah: Yeah, she does! She definitely pursues him. And it is what we see in our world today. We see girls chasing the guys, being the pursuers in the relationship, asking for their phone numbers…and…
Gabrielle: Yeah, and it is even happening in little girls.
Gabrielle: One of the complaints of moms in churches today is that their sons of 8, 9, 10 years old are hounded by the little girls in their Sunday School classrooms, and at school it’s even worse.
Sarah: Yeah, not good….And so that was one thing that I initially saw that I thought, “oooo…this is something not to do which could be what we do…today!” Um, another thing I noticed was her dress. So often we think of flirting with what we say or how we act, but it also comes down to how we dress and we can dress in a flirtatious way. Because it says in Proverbs 7 that she dressed like a prostitute which you think immediately “Oooh” (pained expression) but at the same time have you gone shopping lately??
Gabrielle: Have you been to church lately?
Sarah: (chuckles) Right? I mean, some of the clothes that are out right now are just like a prostitute. It’s horrible. But I think the defining thing here is that she dresses this way for, what Scripture says, “crafty intent.” And this speaks to the motivation of her dress. Dressing in a flirtatious way is crafty and there’s this malicious aspect to it that says, “I want to get noticed. I am trying to draw the attention to me.”
Diane: It’s kind of interesting that….God…called…SATAN…. a crafty serpent.
Gabrielle: Hmmm….Ooooo. (Cringes at the thought of girls being compared to Satan)
Diane: Do we want to be in the same league as….SATAN!?!?
Gabrielle: (chuckles) That was so a ME-comment! (everyone laughs)
Diane: “BAM!” (Pounds her fists together to mimic a blow to the issue)
Sarah: (chuckles) Ok, so the third thing that I noticed was she is loud, defiant, and didn’t stay at home. And I thought, “Yep….that pretty much is what sums up a LOT of teenage girls today.” They’re loud. They don’t respect their parents. And they refuse to stay home, they don’t want anything to do with the home family unit, and they….they’re out prowling the streets. And granted they’re not prostituting themselves, necessarily, but at the same time they’re NOT being submissive to their home and their parents.
Then the last thing I saw was really…truly….textbook flirtation. It’s where it talks about where she uses persuasive words and that is…just….flirting 101. I mean this is how you learn to start flirting, by saying those things that you know that guy wants to hear, things like, “Oh, you’re so strong” (said in a wooing tone) or “You’re such a good basketball player.” I remember saying those kinds of things in high school, ya know? Just to build him UP and to make him feel, “Oh, Sarah is cool. She likes me.”
Diane: Did you really say, “Oh, you’re so strong.” (mocking Sarah’s wooing comment) “Look at your muscles.” (Smiles)
Gabrielle: (answering for Sarah) Maybe it was more like “WOW, you’re really strong!” (said with a girlie voice)
Sarah: Yeah (mocking)
Gabrielle: It was more of a touching the muscles as you’re saying….
Sarah: …. “wow, you must work out!” (Everyone laughs)
Sarah: Anyways, that’s basically what I found in Proverbs 7.
Diane: Well, that’s similar to what I found in Proverbs 5. Actually it goes along with the words that she says. Proverbs 5:3 says, “The lips of an immoral woman drip honey and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end, she is bitter than wormwood, sharper than a two-edged sword.” Her words sound good to the man, they build up his ego. I remember when I was in high school, I never would get dates like the other girls because I wouldn’t build up a guy’s ego and make him feel like a man or make him feel all good about himself. I thought, “I’m not going to lie to him.”
Diane: If it wasn’t true, I’m not going to do that. If he was going to like me, he was going to like me for me not because of what I said. And, I mean, this is what the bad boys do. They tell you what you want to hear. It sounds good to you. It makes you feel good and pretty like you’re the only woman for him. Ya know? He’s smooth. He’s a smooth-talker. And this woman is exactly like that. Her words are as smooth as oil. But in the end, it just hurts you. It’s a two-edged sword. It is double the pain.
Gabrielle: Yeah. (Agreeing)
Diane: And in Proverbs 6:25, it says, “Do not lust after her beauty in your heart. Do let her allure you with her eyelids.” I mean…this woman is not just looking around at you…
Gabrielle: Eyelids….. (bats her eyes)
Diane: ….like everybody else, but she is making her eyes do things that only woman can make their eyes do.
Sarah: She’s smizing! (Strikes an America’s Next Top Model pose)
Diane: Yeah, go Tyra!
Diane: She’s giving you …I mean, it could be …I don’t know if girls wink anymore, but it could be something with her eyes….where she looks across to the guy at the other side of the room and is like, “Hey.”
Gabrielle: A girl can make a boy feel that he’s the only person in the world….
Sarah: …hmmm (agreeing)…with just her eyes.
Diane: Men don’t do this with their eyes. We start from little girls giving our daddy’s puppy-dog eyes to get what we want and as we learn more about our womanhood and our sensuality, we learn how to do different things with our eyes to get what we want from men. And that’s flirting, and that’s not the kind of flirting we want to do outside a committed relationship with a godly man.
Gabrielle: And it’s amazing that Proverbs is so right on when it describes flirting and a woman who is, in a sense, prostituting…you know…herself before men because she is willing to do whatever she has to in order to get the results she wants…to get their attention.
Sarah: How is that different than a lot of the woman out there today that you see on TV, that you read about in the magazines, that you know in your church? Willing to do whatever it takes to get the guy.
Katie: And that’s the thing. When you look at the heart of getting the guy, is it a pride thing? Is it an insecurity thing, needing that kind of attention?
Diane: Is it a competition….
Katie: There’s competition…yea, there you go.
Diane: Eliminate the competition by giving him the better eyes than that girl over there did, and then you win. HA HA! (Mock laughing)
Sarah: Yeah, but for you, D, everything is a competition. (Smiles)
Diane: True. (Everyone laughs)
Gabrielle: Some girls also think ‘this guy would be a great accessory to my life’…kind of thing or a “complete-me” thing. Or he’s completing her ideal. You’re not even concerned with him as a person. You just want him as a stereotype.
Sarah: As an accessory.
Gabrielle: As an accessory…to match your shoes and your purse and…..
Diane: And your new bag…..
Gabrielle: ….. Your everything else.
Diane: He’s your new baggage. (Everyone laughs)
Katie: That was good!
Gabrielle: Yeah, but I think a lot of it too is that the girl has not accepted who Christ wants her to be, or she has not found her worth in the Lord. It’s not so much a Christ-thing, as it is a desperate-thing and a need to have a guy in their life to be like the world. The “You complete me” thing? There’s a reason why that’s caught on with all of America. There are so many girls out there who are not complete without this man in their life and they can’t be single…they can’t be…
Sarah: And how completely opposite is that from what Scripture says…you are complete in CHRIST.
Katie: And when you think about what it says what love is, whether it’s in a dating relationship or if it’s just Christian-brother in Christ, it’s self-giving, not self-taking. I think that’s the basic concept too that flirting does…you’re taking something from them to supply something for you, and that’s not something that is in a godly relationship. If it’s just for attention…then…(shrugs)
Gabrielle: Well, I think this has been a great description of what flirting is or what it looks like, but Scripture also has a lot to say on why not to do it and why it is wrong…..
Because we are women, and women love to talk, the conversation is a two-parter. Come back tomorrow for Part 2!