This is in response to the quote and comments of “The mark of a mature woman is where she chooses to display her flirtations.”
Note the word ‘where.’ It was a quote that was supposed to provoke thought. The quote can mean the same for a male. Both sexes flirt, even when they’re married. But that is exactly the point – when a couple is married they (should!) only display their true flirtatious (don’t get mixed up with their fun side) with their partner. As a side note – there’s a big problem now with virtual flirting. Married people start talking to an old flame via facebook and all these feelings come up. Not good.
It’s also nice to see a woman who is mature in how she handles herself – with dignity and honor… “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious (1 Pet. 3:4)” … and that same person still know how to have fun in purity.
I’ve just noticed how rampant of an issue this has been (no matter where I’ve been) as I’ve thought about it, because nothing really brought it up and the quote just came into my head.
It’s something that is important to always keep in mind when interacting with people of the opposite sex, especially when you’re single. One thing that’s been drilled into me (especially living in another culture) is being above reproach. In the culture I was in, this issue roared its head even when we (as Americans) would have thought nothing of it. The culture tends to assume that something is happening at the least that isn’t good (I’m being delicate). Though this is more on the negative side than Western culture, the same still happens – people assume things and make judgments about the people who are interacting. In a culture where these blunders can mean eternity for them, this became a very important issue to take seriously. While dealing with that, it became evident we have the same problems here.
The answer to both cultures (and all) is to be above reproach. In this context, especially where one chooses to flirt. Sometimes this means nowhere at all (even when husband or wife are the object) because of the context. It takes presence of mind and awareness of the surroundings. It is also out of respect of the other person and people around you. It’s no fun being around all that oozing mushiness! Aside from the marriage context if you’re single, it also keeps in mind the feelings and the preciousness of your brothers and sisters around you – not leading them astray into something that is ultimately false.
In the US, because of our culture we don’t have as many negative implications of what people think. They may think bad things of us, but this is usually separated from other aspects of life. In my culture there, this issue cannot be separated from what previous Westerners and Hollywood have done to the general impression of an American. Especially in an Islamic context. We’re already for the most part seen as actors are in Hollywood and movies – promiscuous. We have to especially be careful there, because people’s work for decades could be tarnished or destroyed because of a few bad decisions with the opposite sex that an American may not even notice. Though is may as much of an issue in the States, why not learn to be above reproach now? When you do go somewhere Cross-Culturally (even vacation) you’re not being an ‘Ugly American.’
Though, yes, I hate just as much as anyone that people make judgments based on what we do (Christian and non-Christian alike), the fact is that it happens. What can change? How true their judgments are.
This is a difficult issue, but at the least we can begin to be more aware of it and have it be another area of our lives where we’re above reproach.