Scriptures

Practical Singleness Lesson 10

Introduction

Dating and Non-Sexual Flirting Among Christian Singles

OK, this is another area where it can be debatable, but Bible principles should help guard against wrong actions and words. Dating and flirting among Christian singles can be fun, but what does God say?

What place should flirting have in the interaction between single Christian men and women? Is it ‘ok’ with God if Christian singles flirt with each other either in a group setting or in a Christian dating relationship?

It depends on ‘Why?’ Christians are flirting, and ‘How?’ Christians are flirting. God says, ‘Do not deceive one another’, so if you are flirting just to play with someone’s emotions, you need to know that, that is wrong, that is sin.

If you are flirting because you have a genuine interest in honestly getting to know a person, maybe that is a good way to begin prior to a Christian dating relationship because let’s be honest everyone likes to have others show an interest in them.

Selfishness

How would you feel if you found out that someone you really liked was just playing with your emotions?

Hurt would be the understatement of the year. Believe it or there are people out there who do this kind of thing because they seem to get some kind of excitement from it. Well for those who practice this emotional form of abuse the Bible says, ‘Do for others just what you want them to do for you’. Luke 6:31

But ‘How?’ are Christians flirting?

There are two kinds of flirting, sexual and non-sexual flirting.

Sexual flirting should have no place in the interaction between Christian singles. Even if two Christian singles are engaged to be married, in the interest of purity before marriage, sexual flirting should be reserved for when they are actually married. Non-sexual flirting or teasing or saying funny or charming things can be ‘ok’ as long as it does not get ‘out of hand’.

For the more serious types, flirting could be limited to just showing a kind gesture like a woman pulling a piece of fluff off the lapel of a guy’s jacket during a normal conversation. A smile, eye contact, getting into a person’s personal space, usually talking face to face anywhere between eighteen and six inches away depending upon culture and the individual.

‘Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.’ Philippians 2:3-4

Non-sexual flirting should be for the other person’s benefit not just your own. It should fit the level of commitment in the relationship. Ok, ok, some people are just more, touchy, feely than others but I’m not talking about a pat on the hand, leaning one’s head in toward some other single Christian, looking into their eyes and smiling.

Sexual flirting or being a sexual tease is anything related to or meant to entice or arouse sexual interest or emotions. Non-sexual flirting can be as simple as teasing another single Christian just for the fun of it, as long as it is fun for the both of you, and you actually want to get to know them better.

Christian men and women should never toy with others to be mean or spiteful or overtly sexual. Women, watch how you dress and act, do not lead a brother in Christ into having impure thoughts. All sexual sins begin with thoughts. Men, do not be overly charming, flattering and touching.

‘Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.’ 1 Timothy 5:2

I have never met brothers and sisters in Christ who didn’t enjoy teasing and joking with one another but save the sexual flirting for when you are married, it can keep the relationship alive and interesting way into your old age.

Let me give you some good examples of non-sexual flirting between two Christian singles that fostered an honest friendship between them prior to their official Christian dating relationship and later engagement.

A woman in a singles group at a church, a very sweet, good-natured woman named Ruth, once told someone about one of the sweetest, funniest single Christian men she had ever met at church.

The first Sunday morning he came up to her after the singles Sunday school lesson and asked her, ‘Hi, I am Dave, what is your name again, I am sorry I forgot?’ ‘Ruth,’ she said returning his toothy smile with her equally toothy smile. ‘My name is Ruth. Nice to meet you, Dave.’

‘Same here,’ said Dave, looking around from side to side as if he had a great big secret to tell her, then he leaned his head in close to Ruth’s face. ‘Can I tell you something, Ruth?’ ‘I suppose so,’ said Ruth. ‘Well, Ruth, there’s a book in the Bible named Ruth, but it isn’t about you, is it?’ Ruth smiled and shrugged her shoulders. She was hooked. She was entertained. She wanted to get to know this Dave character a bit more. ‘I mean, I am sure that you are just as godly as the Ruth in the Bible, but she lived an awfully long time ago and you look so young and healthy and cheerful, and that book just couldn’t be written about you.’

The next Sunday there was a ‘singles social’ at the preacher’s house after the Sunday evening service. And yep, there was Dave, marching up to Ruth with a very, very serious look on his face. ‘Excuse me, Ruth, could I tell you something a little personal?’ said Dave, squinting at Ruth’s face. ‘Sure,’ said Ruth, ‘I guess so.’ ‘Well, Ruth, you see I don’t really know how to tell you this, but well… umm, you see, umm, you have something on your face.’

Ruth quickly rubbed her cheeks and chin, and looking at her hand and then at the tip of her pen she said, ‘Oh no. Is it ink?’ ‘No’ said Dave. ‘No, it is not ink.’ Ruth frowned. ‘What is it then?’ ‘Well, Ruth it is, no I better not tell you,’ Dave paused, turned to walk away, and then he faced Ruth again when he felt her gentle tug on his arm. ‘Well, you see Ruth, what you have on your face is not ink. What you have on your face is actually some of the most beautiful skin that God has ever created.’

Ruth smiled, turning red. Dave leaned toward her and cocked his head to one side. ‘And now it is a gorgeous shade of red. And you know what?’ ‘What?’ asked Ruth, now laughing. Ruth was hooked. What was this guy going to say next to make her laugh?

‘I’ve heard your comments during Bible study, Ruth, and I can honestly say that I am certain that your beautiful skin is only a tiny reflection of the beautiful heart God gave you Ruth when you opened the door and let Jesus in. And I really mean it, too. It is so obvious that the Word of God is written on your heart!’

Let’s just say that after that light and funny exchange of non-sexual flirting, from that time on, whenever Dave asked Ruth if the seat next to her was taken, she quickly moved her purse and let Dave sit next to her.

And this all took place over two years before starting any kind of an official Christian dating relationship. You see, Dave was not in a hurry. Dave slowly and carefully won Ruth’s heart by being himself and making her feel relaxed enough to be herself.

So, what exactly is it about light-hearted, non-sexual flirting that seems to break the ice so nice?

From a woman’s point of view, it is non-threatening/non-serious. Yet women do enjoy the attention. They would much rather engage in a bit of flirty bantering and teasing with some Christian guy that they just met or didn’t know all that well than have him come up to them all serious and say, ‘we need to have a private talk.’

You know the ‘talk’ that is often way too soon in the relationship, the ‘talk’ where they tell you that they have loved you since the first moment they saw you at church, or wherever, that they just know that you are ‘the one’ that God has preordained to be their lifelong partner in Christian marriage and the one to bear all their children, etc.

C’mon Christian men, don’t let things get too serious too soon. Christian women tend to need more time. And light-hearted non-sexual flirting, in moderation, can make the getting acquainted process all that more fun and interesting as long as you keep it pure and do not overdo it. Keep in mind that God created each of us men and women as unique individuals.

A friend of mine is like a big sister in Christ to many singles at a church, she says that she often has dozens of Christian men, and a few Christian women, come up to her in the Christian singles group asking for advice. She says, over half the men start by asking, ‘do women like to do this or that?’ or ‘do women like men who do this or that?’

She tells them that they can trust her that she’s not a gossip and that she would never do or say anything to embarrass them. Then she asks them which woman they have in mind and she tells them that she is an individual. If you are interested in getting to know her better go, ask her what she likes.

Watch and listen to her as she interacts with you and others in the Christian singles group. And only if you are certain that she would like it, start joking or flirting with her in a non-sexual way. It is a great way to break the ice in a non-threatening way.

Face it, though some people just can’t take a joke or some light-hearted flirting. There are some Christian men and Christian women who are extremely serious about everything. And that’s ok. God makes all kinds of individuals.

Sometimes though, opposites do actually attract, and a funny, flirty, outgoing person can really brighten up the life of someone more serious or shy. And vice versa, a serious person can help to tone down a person who is sometimes overly funny, flirty and outgoing.

God judges the heart, so if you flirt before or during a Christian dating relationship, do it with pure motives, show a genuine interest in getting to know the person, and save the sexual flirting for marriage.

Your First Thoughts

Please write down your own thoughts on this part of the lesson whilst they are fresh in your mind.

Evaluation Questions

These questions are designed to help you think through the topic discussed so that you may have a true view of yourself.

1. What are YOUR thoughts concerning flirting amongst Christians?

2. What dangers can YOU see concerning flirting?

3. What are the good things YOU can see concerning flirting?

4. How can selfishness damage YOUR relationship with YOUR MATE and GOD?

Next Class

The Perfect Match

We will discuss: When you find the right person, you enter into a different ball game with new dangers and temptations, we will look at those dangers and provide practical ideas so that you can avoid situations which bring added temptation. We shall look at the importance of keeping Christ in the centre of your relationship and remind you that you may be more than friends, but you still need to be less than lovers.

I will provide practical ideas to help you stay less than lovers. We will ask the question; is it okay for Christians who are dating to kiss? Along with providing two arguments, one for those in favour and not in favour of kissing and if your still not sure then ask someone within your congregation for help and advice.

Next Class Preparation

Please read Genesis 2:22-24 / Song of Songs 8:4 / Mark 12:29-23 / 1 Corinthians 10:31 / Proverbs 31:10 / Genesis 45:15 / Acts 20:37 / Romans 16:16 / 1 Corinthians 16:20 / 2 Corinthians 13:12 / 1 Thessalonians 5:26 / 1 Peter 5:14 / Proverbs 6:25 / Ephesians 5:3 / Proverbs 15:22 / Proverbs 12:15 / 1 Peter 2:9 / Ephesians 2:19 / Ephesians 2:22 / Hebrews 10:24 / Jeremiah 17:9 / 1 John 1:8.

Go To Practical Singleness Lesson 11

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God."

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