Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Flirting Heart

Flirting. It's easy to do. You see someone you are interested in so you catch their eye intentionally, you give them more attention than others, you touch them more when you greet them, or your treat them like a treasure even though to you they are merely precious for the moment. It could be that you are interested in something more. Or it could be that you are not interested in anything more but it builds your ego to know that they would be interested if you were. It's is an easy trap for singles in ministry to fall into.

We work in a field that requires us to give love, patience, compassion, listening ears and an open heart. That's our job, but it also happens to be the way that intimacy is built. Then add the fact that a person is single. It is a perfect storm waiting to happen. The trap is set and if the minister is not careful he gets drawn into an ill-advised conversation, encounter, or even relationship. The opposite is just as dangerous. The trap could also be set for anyone of the opposite gender who encounters the minister or missionary who is desperately in need of some companionship, intimacy, or value. You've seen the type of minister. He is too touchy with the females and is seen talking with them a lot more than he does the men. You can call it counseling or empathy, but if the pattern persists there is a good chance that flirting is actually what is taking place. It is likely that the minister or missionary's loyalty has turned away from God and His people and is now following self.

It is a legitimate danger and area of vulnerability. That is one reason scripture advises that the older women counsel the younger women and the older men counsel the younger men. It's just safer that way. It also guards our hearts, our minds, and our hormones.

Desires for love, intimacy, value, and companionship are beautiful blessings, but horrible idols. Search your heart. If Christ sits on the throne of your heart your desires for and relations with the opposite gender will begin to move in a more God-centered direction. Others will no longer be a means to an end. Christ will begin to meet your deepest longings so that you can give serve others and not need anything from them. You will begin to see them as Christian brothers and sisters who belong to our heavenly Father.

If flirting is an issue for you ask God to remove any selfish agenda. Draw close to Him so that His light can remove your dark places. Ask close friends to critique how you relate with the opposite gender. Repent for any desires that have become more important than Christ. Right any wrongs. Set new parameters. Break old patterns. Experience the joy of being bless-able once again.

Check yourself. Examine your heart. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling. May the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be pleasing in His sight.

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