He Said-She Said: Showing Interest without Causing Lust
- Thursday, January 15, 2009
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Cor. 10:13).
Also, as you show interest, keep these verses in mind:
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing (1 Thess. 5:11).
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24).
In your interactions with a man of interest, are you first and foremost trying to “encourage”, “build up” and “spur on”? Here are some ideas that can foster that kind of focus:
- Have you inquired about your man of interest? Word travels fast (if you haven’t already figured that out yet). Asking a trusted, mutual friend about your interest can be an indirect way to show that you are interested. Also, this is a great opportunity to “build up” a man in public to someone else. Verbalize why you think he is great and how he has captured your attention in the first place! You are adding to this man’s reputation and acknowledging his good character in front of others.
- Are you friendly and do you engage in conversation? Sometimes a man is more scared of you than you are of him. Find areas of commonality or inquire about his career or hobbies and ask lots of questions. Men love sharing about what they enjoy and know something about. So get them talking, sit back and observe. In your feedback, encourage them in their endeavors and agree to pray with them about any obstacles or challenges they may share with you.
- Find a way to spend time together within a group setting. Perhaps you are part of the same small group Bible study. Or maybe you volunteer or work together. A group setting can help to buffer or slow down the sexual temptation process and allow you to grow the friendship first, before romantic feelings even enter the picture. Plus, you will be doing something productive and spurring one another on toward love and what is good—and won't be focused solely on each other.
Bottom line, as sisters in Christ to fellow brothers or as witnesses to nonbelievers, it is our responsibility to point others to Christ (Matt. 5:16). And we must also be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit who will reveal what is really going on in our hearts and minds: Is my flirting really just manipulation? Am I leading on someone who I’m not really interested in? Am I just trying to get a man’s attention so that I will feel better about myself? Do I have this man’s best interests at heart? Am I hindering or helping him in maintaining purity?
By consistently staying in the Word, having a healthy prayer life and inviting accountability from trusted friends and family members, a woman’s heart will be softened and sensitive to God’s leading in any situation with a man of interest. And hopefully she will desire the very best for her brothers in Christ and—through her words, conduct and presentation—will want to encourage them on in their purity.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com’s Senior Entertainment Editor. She loves God, her family and and her friends. Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who’s counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We’re just average folk who understand what it’s like to live the solo life in the 21st century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s where we’ll go for guidance when responding to your questions.
GOT A QUESTION? If you’ve got a question about anything related to living the single life, PLEASE SUBMIT HERE (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that He Said-She Said will be an encouragement to you.
**This column first published on January 15, 2009.
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