There is a label I find so offensive that I never want it attached to my name. This label carries such force and is weighed down with so much baggage that I cannot think of a more offensive name. Yet, I find myself having to face the facts. I could easily fall into this category of anathema (http://biblesuite.com/greek/331.htm or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anathema). Because I find this label so offensive, take some time to prepare yourself.
Cover your children’s eyes.
Have a vomit bucket nearby.
The category is…
I can’t do it… I can’t say it.
Ok, here we go.
I know. I feel like I have to wash my mouth out with soap.
Ok, I have to confess. I am a flirt.
Before you start deleting me on Facebook, or warning all the females in a 100 mile radius of you, or calling the Deans at Cornerstone and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, I want you to hear me out. I am not Bill Clinton or Wilt Chamberlain. I often have issues with looking for affirmation in the wrong manner and the wrong place.
Where is that place of affirmation that I often go? Let’s just say the chromosomal map does not go XY.
As a verbose male, I enjoy being heard. I enjoy having people listen and affirm that I have noteworthy information coming from my flapping jaws. I love receiving looks of understanding, conviction, or delight when I am in the action of verbal dispensation.
But what makes it even better is if a female listens to me. There is just something about knowing that a female finds me interesting and wants to interact with my concepts and convictions. And when a pretty girl takes note of what I say, or cracks a smile when I address her.
In a male’s world there is arguably no one more important in the room than a gorgeous gal. And to have her attention means that you are worthy of the attention of the most important person in the room. That feels good.
What’s wrong with this? A little flirting never hurt anyone, right?
Plus, I am not quite as bad as most guys. I don’t say crude or lewd things to girls. I generally just try to be affirming, encouraging, and fun.
Okay, and occasionally charming.
But what is wrong with looking for a smile or attention from a pretty face? What is wrong with wanting the most important person in the room to give me a few seconds of fame? Isn’t it just a basic human fact that guys will seek out a woman’s affirmative look or word?
Well, there is nothing wrong with being a gentleman or a good friend. In fact, I think that is a proper way of saying what it means to be a Christian brother. Treating women with respect and encouragement is also a good application of 1 Tim. 5:2. There is nothing wrong with being sincere and engaging.
What crosses the line is when I look for an affirmation of my worth from that smile, that glance, that laugh, or that conversation which happens because of what I say. It is just plain foolishness to be looking for value from the female species.
It is foolishness because it can never give me the worth God says is mine.
As a Christ follower I am declared a child of God (1 John 3:1). As a child of God I know that all my worth comes from Christ, the one who was declared God’s child “In whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:17). And as a co-heir with Christ (Rom. 8: 16-17), I know that I am an object of God’s affection.
Now, that might just be a brief excursus of positional truth, but even those verses make any sort of affirmation from flirting look like a hot wheels next to an actual ’98 Dodge Viper. It pales in comparison.
Yet I still find myself crossing the line between gregarious and flirtatious.
Few people can actually tell when I cross this line. I do genuinely enjoy getting to know others. I also do genuinely enjoy conversation with any and every person. Few events are above a good conversation in my book. Normally I do not cross the line with the “plastics” or the alpha girls. If a girl doesn’t want to talk with me I generally can move on. Plus, it is unattractive when a girl thinks she is the most attractive.
I find myself crossing the line when I lose sight of God’s goodness. This normally happens near the end of a work day, or at the end of a long day of homework and activities. My mind gets distracted or tired, and then it looks for affirmation in the wrong places. I look for affirmation in a conversation with a girl rather than a conversation with God.
This is not to say that conversations are not a noble or worthy pursuit. In fact, I believe that if I do not walk the tension in my life asking “are you a flirt” I typically am just avoiding conversations and inversely degrading women.
Just know that a search for affirmation from a human will never match the affirmation of the Loving Creator God for his child.