Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flirtation

I was going to call the title "A Touchy Subject" but then I thought, well, maybe it isn't...and for once, used a plain title instead of trying to think up one.

Oookay. I have four things I want to blog about. And not very cadet-y, most of them! In marching order, I wish to address the topics of:

1 – Flirting
2 – Redress the singleness issue I mentioned in my last post
3 – Update on my brother, since the people who follow me know all about him
4 – Last but not least, update completely on the Squadron


Topic Number One. Okay, weird subject, weird starter with probably a general why-in-the-world-do-you-want-to-address-this spinning around in everyone’s heads. Lads – of which there is only one following me – you’re going to have to excuse me. This is directed at fellow girlies. :)

So. Ahem. *clears throat* This is kind of hard to talk about. Because I’m afraid I’m going to sound like an idiot. :D To answer why I want to address this...because I believe it is a major problem for us. And it’s something I do. Regularly and frequently.

Is it a sin? I don’t believe so. Is it wrong? I don’t know. I’m going to leave you to argue that for yourselves. All I want to do is to face us with what we do and why we do it.

What exactly is flirting? Defined, it’s a way a girl tries to get a guy’s attention. (Or vice versa.) But the little steps we use to gain the end can be so mild or small that we don’t even recognise them until afterwards. I know I don’t. For example (and this is going to be EXTREMELY humiliating), my family can be driving slowly along the road or stopped at some traffic lights. A guy (older, younger, good-looking or plain, preferences don’t usually count) can be strolling along the pavement or waiting to cross the road. (And here I’m going to admit something my friends have been trying to get me to admit for years. Okay, don’t cheer too loud, guys.) I am pretty. (On occasion. Okay?) I glance out the car window, and more often as not, gazes lock for a few moments before we drive away. Oh, that’s so small, so tiny! It doesn’t mean anything. Doesn’t it? Maybe not to you. I’m insecure – don’t accept myself as I am, and if I don’t manage to catch the eye of the guy I want to catch, or at least one of the guys in a group, I feel cheated and small. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not proud of this. Actually, I’ve never sat and analysed what I do before, and I’m writhing inside as I write. But it’s true. Walking along in town, confident and poised, I glance around and see a guy watching me. I don’t instantly turn away; I catch his eye and half smile before looking away. What is that within us that feels fulfilled and – yes, proud, afterwards? Do I know what I’m doing, when I do that? Kind of. I don’t know exactly what is going through that guy’s head, but most of the time when I catch someone watching me, I usually am aware that I don’t want to know – depending on how they’re looking at me. (Now PLEASE don’t get the idea that I’m so vain I think every guy has to watch me the minute I walk past. No way. I’m just studying my own reactions. And the way I react to guys around me. And the way I feel when they do or don’t look at me.)

Am I striking any nerves here? Any of you do the same? Think back to those conversations with guys when you deliberately tried to be more sparkling and witty...not just because guys happen to be more interesting than girls. (I’m a man’s woman myself – most girls just care for clothes, makeup, jewellery, money, the rest. Boys, you can actually have an interesting intellectual conversation with them on virtually any subject.) Those looks you furtively cast in the guys’ direction. The deliberate ignoring to try and provoke a reaction. The accidental bumping into each other – which isn’t. Paying more attention to what a certain guy’s saying. (Yeah, I’m talking more personal than casual flirting here.) Laughing a certain way at their jokes. Trying to make them laugh. Smile. Make them happy. Make them think you’re essential to their happiness. Yeah...? Then if you get a response, you step very easily and almost unconsciously from that flirting to the beginning of heart involvement...fluttering heartbeats, catching your breath, blushing...okay, it’s not deep heart involvement. It’s emotional. But it’s a lot deeper than we should be getting. Why? Cause it’s very, very easy to get hurt. And scarred. Believe me. I know.

And where are the boundaries between these things? Between flirtation and emotional attachment? Between emotional attachment and everything that might – repeat, MIGHT – follow? Oh yes, they are there. But they’re very, very fine lines, and most girls, including me, find it almost impossible to see them, and step very easily from the boundary of one to the other. Because women particularly are mainly (note, Lyds, mainly! Not all!) emotionally based people. I wrote a poem when I first started questioning the beliefs I had blindly accepted about relationships before marriage. Attachments. The rest. Please, please, whatever else you do, if you read a book about Christian viewpoints on relationships before marriage, please DO NOT simply think it’s a good idea and make a set list of your own and read the book often enough to parrot off your viewpoint to everyone else. Because without your heart being involved, when the testing point comes, you will crack. How to get your heart involved...I don’t know. I learned my lesson like many others the hard way, and I’m still learning it now. I’m not going to advise you to give your heart to Jesus. I did that. And however sincere you may be when you do it, it fails. No, it’s not in giving your heart away. It’s mostly in guarding it. A bit like marriage. You don’t give yourself to the guy and expect him to keep your heart engaged and yourself in love with him (although yeah, he should be working at it too. I’m not driving that point here). You have to do that yourself – apply yourself all the time to falling in love with your husband – daily. Like building a relationship with Jesus – daily. And I guess that that, too, is part of the deal in giving your heart to Jesus – applying yourself to falling in love with Him – daily. I wish someone had made that clearer to me. Not the falling in love with Jesus daily so much as the desperate necessity for guarding every minute. (Not that it would’ve done much good at that point. I was too tired of fighting.) So getting your heart involved with your new-found principles – get your armour on, girlies. You’re gonna have to fight for it. Fighting for the right to give our hearts to Jesus. There is some truth to the old adage, “God helps those who help themselves”, because if we don’t take time to refresh our armour and sharpen our swords each morning, “the devil finds work for idle hands.” And hearts. And minds. And – eyes.

All right, maybe some of you are thinking, we’re tired of fighting. We don’t want to fight, just to rest. Resting is dangerous in a battle. You’ve got eternity for that. And somewhere along the line, God does take over the fight to give us a little rest, but when we’re walking with Him, I find there tends to be an awareness of the calm before the storm. Don’t sit down under the weight. He’s fighting alongside you. For His glory, don’t give up.

Ha. Preaching to myself here. I need to sit and read this again instead of just sitting here thinking aloud (of sorts). Where was I...oh yes. The poem I wrote...one line read, “Searching for answers; where lies the truth? In the Scriptures I search, to discover no proof.” I was quite right. And also at the time, I got the impression that all these rules layered around relationships were no better than the Pharisees wrapping law around law. The law of God, the Ten Commandments, was, until Jesus came, the only hope people had of Heaven, so law was wrapped over law over law to keep the people safe, and their lives ending up being one huge strain of trying to follow all laws to achieve the biggest law, and they ended up missing the point. I haven’t completely got rid of that mindset yet, so I’m going to have to be careful. I’m going to be perfectly honest and perfectly annoying. As far as I’m concerned, there IS far too much emphasis on keeping emotionally pure in some of the books I’ve read. When I did fall and fell in love with (of all people) a non-Christian, not only was (and am) I completely convinced that I was sinning, but also that there was no way back. That because I’d broken that law I was lost from the company of the good Christians, and thoroughly on my way to the bad. Instead of the recognition that it was a protection law I’d stepped beyond, it was like I was beyond the pale of hope with a ticket to hell. There is a kind of desperate life-and-death gripping fight about emotional purity. I know because I fought that battle almost daily at times for two years. And while I still see those laws as like the laws of the Pharisees, I also see them as almost completely necessary. Because it’s going to be a lot harder to fight that battle without Pharisaical rule-upon-rule-upon-rule. While I reluctantly admire those who fight and win the battle without all the rules to keep them straight, I know I can’t do it.

Sudden note I’ve just thought of. It makes me sneer at and have low respect for/despise most guys who think they’re so smart when they come out with catch phrases and comments in a low way about me, even though I play the game back. Do you feel the same? What do you think a guy thinks of us when we do play back? I dunno. Just interesting. Even though I’ve heard it said before.

I was thinking about something a friend of mine, Jay Lauser, aka Sir Emeth Mimetes, (http://siremethmimetes.wordpress.com/) said a while back. About insecurity being a kind of pride. I still don’t quite understand that, but talking to my mother this morning about this subject, she said that flirtation is based in pride. Pride of appearance. (Making it a sin...?) As far as I’ve thought, flirtation is based out of two things – sheer (the only word I can use is) wantonness, or basic insecurity. I haven’t thought it out completely, but somewhere in there is the link to understanding Jay’s “pride of insecurity”.

Some guys and girls have to put themselves almost completely in the company of others of their own gender to prevent distraction and temptation to “break the rules”. Before I go any further, I just want to pay tribute and say thanks to three wonderful guys in my life. Four, actually. No, five. Let me tell you a little about them.

Brian (more commonly known as the Boss) is my old commanding officer in his early forties. (Old meaning ex. Not a reference to his age! :P) Yes, he’s not a Christian (or if he is, as he says he was, he’s very backslidden). Don’t let that shock you – I don’t go to him over spiritual problems. He relates in a different way to me. We’ve managed to reach each other over the Christian barrier. He’s a wonderful, friendly, sensitive, intelligent guy who is always on the end of the phone or email whenever we need him as a family. And it’s him I turn to second when I have a problem I need emotional support for straightaway. All right, maybe he doesn’t know he’s giving it. But that one little text, “You ok, Siân? What’s up? x” gives me an instant feeling that it’s all right, someone knows and someone cares. I’ve had precious few guys I can look up to in my life, and Brian is like a father figure to me.

Alex is an Australian guy a couple of years older than me. We met over a writing forum (which is one of the best things my parents have ever done for me and that I’ve ever done). Our first meetings were not of the nicest kind. Our religious differences are very huge and very impassable. Weird, ja? He is a headstrong Lutheran with Catholic leanings, very –unorthodox in his political views, very gentlemanly, and quite quiet unless you push on one of the subjects he feels passionately about. Me, I’m a firm evangelical (of the good kind! ;) I don’t usually label myself but I have to, here) with strong Protestant beliefs, very unorthodox in my political views on the opposite end of his spectrum, very tomboyish and quite talkative. However, by the end of three months he was opening to me with his problems – even though he didn’t like me (then; he does now! :) ), he said, he respected me enough to trust me. Since then, we’ve become very, very close. Right now, it’s Al I’ll turn to third after the Boss (only due to the fact of his online irregularity), and I’d probably trust him more as he can’t really – and wouldn’t if he knew he could – hurt me. I’d trust Al with literally anything. Our friendship as brother and sister is remarkable. And I’m so very, very grateful at the amazing openness of our friendship. Stuff I could talk about with no one else. It’s an openness I need, and I am so thankful to God for it.

Kyle is an American lad a couple of years younger than me. We too met on the same writing forum. We’ve been friends for over two years at a distance, but the closeness only developed after my falling for the non-Christian lad. Ky, too, is a wonderful person – sensitive, thoughtful, understanding, quiet and a good listener (which can be frustrating when he won’t say what he’s thinking! ;) ) Ky is the one I turn to second after the Boss, and mostly because the Boss is nearer and easier to get hold of. What is really wonderful about Kyle is his maturity, which is something I have never – repeat, never – come across in a lad of his years. I look up to and respect him as I don’t look up to some guys twice or three times his age. Again, our brother-sister relationship is remarkable in that I can go to him about almost anything. He is there when I need him and he gives me the emotional support that my insecurity needs.

Mike – or Mikey – is one of my fellow cadets at the Squadron. He suffers a lot from insecurity and depression, and believes that he is worthless and better off dead. But I only wish he could see what everyone else sees in him. He’s open, honest, sensitive, there for his friends, and cheerful to uplift them. He has more than once given me a hug and let me literally cry on his shoulder until I’ve got enough strength to face the world on my own again. Again, with Mikey I am more open and close than with any other lad – or probably now, even girl – on the Squadron. But once again, there’s the amazing fact that there’s no risk of emotional attachment. I am constantly amazed and grateful that I am not putting them at risk by “using” them to lean on, and that they aren’t becoming attached to me (in a bad way) by supporting me. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not just leaning on one guy but on several.

Jacob – or Jakey – is a friend I’ve recently come to know better. Again, he’s from my writing forum and four years younger than me. We’ve known of each other for a long while, speaking occasionally, but when I got Skype we really began to talk. Jakey is very shy, quiet and sensitive, and has serious problems with depression and lack of self-worth, but when you get to know him underneath, he’s truly a special person – who cannot see it in himself. He is as true as steel when his friends need him, and for all his younger years, again, he is someone there who I can lean on. Difference with this friendship being, I am also trying to reach out to help him, which is developing a richer friendship. Because although I am privileged to enjoy (with trembling lest I lose it) the honour of being able to lean on and being given support from these wonderful people, I actually like being able to reach and help and support people myself. (Don’t laugh too hard. One of the greatest things that actually helps people is the feeling of being needed.) Friendship is mutual sharing and support, and this Jakey allows. Which is really nice.

And do you know what the nicest thing about all of these guys is? Every single one of them would either laugh it off embarrassed or deny it point-blank, but none of them would actually believe what I see in them. And what’s really selfish on my part is that I’ve pointed out the various ways they are wonderful to me – but none of them, apart from Jakey, ever let me reach out and try to help them.

Tribute being paid, I want to say thanks to those guys for being there for me without any emotional attachment involved. Because in a way, emotional attachment and emotional dependence can be different things. I realise this isn’t the way it can be for most people, but that it is for me and that God in a unique way has blessed my life with bringing these different and wonderful people in to provide a support structure for me. Now I’m not advising anyone to go and loop some guys into your life with a hope of getting rid of all your needs that way. Because it’s not gonna work. First place you ought to go IS your dad, to rely on. Even if it is petrifying. And now I’m completely out of my hat and area, so I’m going to shut up. :) And secondly, emotional dependence on a bunch of different guys can be a tightrope to walk in the extreme. It throws you from one to the other without a stable background, like your dad and brothers COULD provide. And at times when none of the guys are there (and I can’t go to the Boss nonstop because a, it’s gonna use all my texts! ;) and b, it could look extremely bad – both to his wife and to others) you do end up feeling extremely unstable and alone. Again, which you don’t get with a family background. But I have given my reasons for feeling extremely blessed with this kind of support – I’m just sayin’, don’t go out there looking for that. Try to build that home relationship first, and second, get on your knees and pray for God to bring some good (and preferably Godly) father/brother type guys who can willingly, with no problem to themselves or to you, provide that kind of emotional support. And thirdly, in your need of earthly emotional dependence – never forget your Heavenly Father Who’s always there and always gives spiritual solidarity and support.

Now how did this get from a rant on flirtation to a talk on emotional dependence? Maybe because the two are in a sense connected. Flirtation can come not only from a wanton spirit, but from a needy one. Be careful how you judge, before you judge. Before you see a girl flirting and look down on her for behaving like an idiot and think how much better you are – think again. Try and see past the makeup, the giggling, the brazenness, see yourself and then try to reach beyond to what lies beneath. And it will take a lot of trying. Insecure people more often than not don’t readily trust.

So, to wind up. Is flirting a sin? Maybe, maybe not. Is what it can lead to, sinful? Most probably, yes. Flirtation is definitely unwise. How to prevent yourself doing it? I don’t know. I’m probably going to walk out on the street tomorrow and go through the same procedure...and be ashamed of myself afterwards. The only help i can suggest is a prayerful watch on our actions. If we’re aware of what we’re doing at time, turning our eyes away and praying consciously. For far from the world’s motto of, “If it feels good, do it,” the Christian’s should be, “If it feels good, DON’T do it!” Putting the flesh consciously daily to death and laying ourselves as a living sacrifice isn’t exactly conducive to feeling good as the world knows it.


2 Timothy 4:2-8 - ...preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.


Don’t we all want to say those words at the end of our race? Quick note – Paul does not say he fought a good fight – that would’ve been giving the credit to himself. He fought THE good fight. The fight is good – for it is Christ’s and the victory and right of it is His. If we live our lives to give ourselves pleasure, then we cannot be fighting the battle for the Lord. Whoever said that death was pleasant to our flesh! But...there is a “strange” inner joy – which is based in peace – when we are following Christ with our eyes set on Him. No, it’s not easy. But He is with us. Even when we don’t feel like it.


2 Timothy 2:11-15 - It is a trustworthy statement:
For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him;
If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we deny Him, He also will deny us;
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


Luke 9:23 - And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.


This was supposed to be a four-point post, but I think I shall have to give “Flirtation” a post to itself! Please post what you think about it. I’m still open on the subject, and would be very interested to hear your views. :)

God bless,
Jane