He Said-She Said: Showing Interest without Causing Lust
- Thursday, January 15, 2009
Before letting a guy know you are interested in him, I would suggest you ask yourself a few questions to determine what are your reasons for wanting to do so.
- Why am I interested in him? Is it just something (a) physical or (b) because he is a godly man?
- What impression do I want to give to him? I am a (a) flirt or (b) a godly woman?
- What am I seeking from the relationship? A (a) one night stand or a (b) serious relationship?
If you answer "a" to any of these questions, it might be best not to let the guy know you have thoughts about him. However, if you can honestly answer "b," there are many ways in which to let a guy know you find him intriguing.
You can show interest in him by asking what his dreams are, what he likes to do, what the Lord is calling him to do, and how God has used him in the past. Showing interest in who he is can be more flattering than showing your willingness to have an impersonal intimate encounter with him.
Share who you are and why you are a strong follower of God. Let him know your dreams and desires the Lord has placed on your heart rather than sharing your intimate being. If he is truly a man after God’s own heart, he will respect you, find you more attractive and be after your heart more so than if he spent the night with you.
An unmarried woman (or man) or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit (1 Cor. 7:34).
SHE SAID: This is a great question. I’m glad you are taking responsibility for your actions and your role in not causing a man to lust.
Yes, God did create us to be sexual beings. But to act inappropriately on our desires is to act in opposition to God’s plan. To delight in one another and to become one (sexually, and I think emotionally, too) is purposed only for marriage (Genesis 2:24).
Outside of marriage, we must exhibit self-control when it comes to sex and our desires. We can admire one another and want to get to know someone better and show interest. But we must stop short of crossing over into or inciting lust (Matthew 5:27-30).
So, practically speaking, what does that look like?
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Rom. 15.1-4).
Because you’ve acknowledged that you’ve struggled with sexual sin in the past, you can definitely understand (perhaps more than most) and can “bear” with what kind of struggle your brothers in Christ are going through in maintaining sexual purity. Also, regardless of where you are in your own recovery process, you are still susceptible to stumbling as well (so keep that in mind, no matter how “strong” you might feel).
You also indicate your understanding that a woman should not do anything that would cause a man to stumble. So, through your own missteps and subsequent spiritual growth, you, my friend, are light-years ahead of many of your peers in regards to your sensitivity toward this issue.
If you asked any number of men what causes them to lust, I’m sure you would get varied answers. But here are some examples to get you thinking:
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