13 years ago today (6/20/99) I was standing at the front of a church waiting to see my beautiful bride walk down the aisle. We were surrounded by friends and family, but now looking back I wish that some of those friends would have sat us down and asked us some hard questions. Kate and I had been dating for more then 6 years, so we knew each other very well. We were both convinced that God had called us to be united. However, both of us entered marriage with completely unrealistic expectations of marriage and of each other.
Now 13 years later Kate and I are attending a great Marriage Ministry Training Conference at Watermark Church in Dallas TX. The church’s premarital pastor, Scott Kedersha (@skedersha) talked about helping couples make the second most important decision in their life. The decision of who you are going to marry is second only to the decision to follow Christ. Watermark doesn’t view their premarital programs as helping a couple get married right, they see all their premarital ministry as a way for a couple to discern IF they are ready to be married.
Are You A Flirt?
Catching someone’s eye, or having a fun conversation with someone can be invigorating. It gives a shot of vitality, energy, and a sense of “I’ve still got it”. These feelings can be addictive. It is also easy to brush off these minimal encounters as “just being friendly” or “innocent”. However, when you really look at what is the motivation behind the flirting the energy boost actually becomes a wedge in your one flesh marriage.
Flirting is Selfish
When you flirt with anyone other than your spouse you are seeking to boost your own self-image with outsiders information. Flirting is taking a page from snow white’s step mother’s book and asking the magic mirror on the wall “do I still have it?” It is only seeking to fill something that is lacking in ourselves.
Flirting is Passive Aggressive
When we flirt, or we accept the flirting advance from someone else we are passively telling our spouse, “someone will appreciate me if you don’t”. Even if your spouse never sees or knows about the exchange the seed is planted in your brain. That seed will grow and change your interactions with your spouse.
When you have been flirting outside of your marriage it is much easier to look only on your spouses faults and ignore your own. Flirting says, “I don’t need to change, someone likes me the way I am, you must be the problem”. That message is a dangerous enemy to any marriage!
Flirting is Temptation
Flirting can set off a relationship with the opposite sex that quickly slides into temptation. Innocent glances, turn to jokes, jokes to conversation, conversation to sharing, sharing to relationship.
If I was in a situation where I was meeting a person of the opposite sex I would naturally be talking about my wife very quickly as I got to know this person. However, if there was flirting in the start of the same situation all the sudden talking about your spouse is not what comes out of your mouth. Flirting starts relationships with the opposite sex off in the wrong direction.
I Would Never
Before you just write off this post saying “I would never flirt.” I challenge you to think through every relationship you have with a member of the opposite sex: neighbors, friends, colleagues, the stranger you see at the coffee shop in the morning. Are there any of them that you really enjoy getting them to smile, you look forward to talking to, or that you haven’t told your spouse about? If you answered yes, then figure out what you need to do to dramatically change or sever that relationship. If you answered no, think about what boundaries you need to put in place to keep it that way!