In previous years, it was common for some women and men to flirt as a normal way of interacting with the opposite sex. Even though there are laws in place now to protect people from unwanted verbal or physical sexual advances, have these boundaries impacted flirting? Do we, as Christians, enjoy a little flirting, especially when we are bored or need validation that we are still attractive? Do we consider these actions a pleasant pastime and harmless?
Being flirtatious is an approach single people use to become acquainted, but our interactions should always be true to our Christian witness. A word of caution; when flirting becomes a way of passing time or we want a little excitement or attention, it can become a destructive habit, which may carry over into marriage.
I have spent many years working in various offices and have seen interoffice flirtations turn into disasters for married people. Divorces tore families apart so the co-workers could marry. It even caused me to doubt that Christian marriages could withstand the heartaches resulting from inappropriate interactions with others.
We no longer view flirting as a woman batting her eyelashes but rather a subtle message we send by verbal comment, body language, facial expression, or mode of dress. Women tend to be more inclined to flirt than men, and sometimes they may not realize they are giving the wrong message. Married women need to be cautious about giving the impression that attention from men, other than their husbands, is welcomed. Some suggestions are:
● It is best to dress conservatively -- some styles are inappropriate for any type of office or church attire.
1. Check the length of a dress or skirt – no mini skirts.
2. Check the neckline of a blouse or sweater -- avoid showing cleavage.
2. Wear jeans and slacks that are not too tight – no drop waists.
3. Be aware that many of the thin fabrics are very revealing in the sunlight – especially white. Wear a slip if your dress is sheer and a camisole with a sheer blouse.
● When interacting with men be friendly, direct and professional.
1. In an office setting, avoid private meetings behind closed doors.
2. Avoid personal conversations.
3. If you need marital or family advice, do not go to a man. It is best to keep personal problems out of the office. Seek advice from your pastor or a Christian woman counselor or friend.
● When you look at a man, be sure your gaze does not linger, which can send a message that you are interested.
● Be careful to sit so that you do not reveal more of your anatomy than is appropriate.
● When passing a man in the hall or office area, or standing in the elevator, avoid brushing against them. There are times when it is unavoidable to touch someone, but excuse yourself and move right along.
There are numerous ways we can keep from giving the wrong signals. If married people believe that flirting is harmless fun, they are playing with fire. It is an indication of a deeper insecurity indicating that the person needs to be reassured they are still attractive. Flirting hurts the spouses involved and weakens trust.
Are you a flirt? If so, take steps to modify your behavior to safeguard yourself, your marriage and your Christian witness.