If we long to be women of sexual and emotional integrity, we must understand what a mighty weapon our words are. Words are what will lead us into an affair, or words will stop an affair before it ever begins.
I used to say, “I’m too weak to resist sexual temptation,” and guess what? I was. But when God began dealing with me and sanctifying my mouth, I changed my tune. I started out by asking God, “Is it possible that sexual temptation could have no hold on me?” He gave me a glimmer of hope. Then I began claiming the statement, “Sexual temptation has no hold on me.” After a while, I actually began believing it wholeheartedly. Now I can honestly declare with conviction, “Sexual temptation has no hold on me!”
If we tell ourselves that we can’t resist sexual or emotional temptation, we will likely fall into temptation. But if we tell ourselves that we will not give in to sexual and emotional temptation, then we will be far more likely to back up our words with corresponding actions. That is how you become a woman of integrity¾ a person whose lip lines up with her life and vice versa.
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good [woman] brings good things out of the good stored up in [her], and the evil [woman] brings evil things out of the evil stored up in [her]. But I tell you that [women] will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:34-37)
Webster’s dictionary defines the word flirt as “to behave amorously without serious intent.” Many women have asked me, “Is it okay to flirt if I’m single?” Usually the person asking this question doesn’t understand what flirting really means. While it may be okay to act amorously (as if desiring romance) toward someone you are interested in developing a mutually beneficial relationship with, flirting is a different matter. Flirting could also be called “teasing,” as the person doing the flirting has no serious intent. Regardless of her marital status, should a woman stir up a man (emotionally or physically) when she has no intention of pursuing a relationship with him? Is it loving to tease someone with your attentions and affections if you have no desire to fulfill any hopes you may arouse? In my opinion, showing a sincere love and respect for others allows no room for flirting or teasing.
Still others ask me, “Isn’t it okay for a married woman to flirt as long as she doesn’t follow through?” In my opinion, it is never appropriate for a married woman to behave amorously with anyone other than her husband. If we go back to one of our definitions of a woman of integrity, you’ll remember that she lives a life that lines up with her lip, and vice versa. If we are going to be loyal to our marriage partner, we must demonstrate our faithfulness not just in our actions, but also in our communication with other people. While the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words,” we can never discount the effect that words alone have on other people and on our own integrity.
While many women flirt with men intentionally, others don’t realize that their amorous comments are inappropriate. We hear this kind of language so often in the media that flirting can be a natural or automatic response. Some women are too naïve to recognize the impact that their words and mannerisms have on the opposite sex. Other women are well aware, but are so hungry for affirmation that they continue to jeopardize their integrity in order to fish for compliments anyway.
Here is a list of questions to help you discern whether the words that come out of your mouth and into his ears are in his personal best interest or in the best interest of your own ego.
~ What is my motive for making this comment? Is it godly?
~ What do I hope to gain by saying this? Will these words be detrimental to either of us or beneficial to both of us?
~ Is this man married? If so, would his wife get upset with me if she knew I was speaking to her husband in this way?
~ Am I using words to manipulate this person into a deeper relationship, into meeting my emotional needs, or into making me feel better?
~ If I actually said what I am thinking about saying, then turned around to find my husband (or friend, boss, pastor, or child) standing there, would I have some explaining to do?
~ If I sense a married man is flirting with me, am I making it more fun for him by responding in kind, or am I maintaining my own personal convictions about guarding my mouth?
While kind words and compliments can be appropriate, we must be honest about our motives and recognize when they border on becoming manipulative or flirtatious.