August 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
On Monday, August 16, 2010 our class plunged into Lesson Three: Purity in the Obvious (Flirting, Flattery, and Foolishness.) I expected a bit of feedback on this one. To my surprise, I didn’t receive any.
We opened the class with “So, do you think flirting is a sexual sin?” One of our members offered a resounding “Yes!” and the class began. When the words ’emotional promiscuity‘ arose, we all discussed the idea that promiscuity is never good. The ‘come hither look’ given to any man (or woman for that matter) in no way points to God. It is a willful, selfish act that entices another to engage in something that cannot glorify God.
As we discussed these three topics, it was interesting to hear the various ways women flirt and flatter. We pondered the idea of how many people are dealing with sickness in their bodies because sexual sin.
As an example, we discussed Cervical Cancer. It is a disease that is caused by engaging in promiscuous sex starting a very young age. It can lay dormant for many years before a woman even knows she has it. Cervical Cancer is treatable. We discussed the new vaccine, Gardisil (preferably administered to girls ages 10-14), and whether it is wise to have our daughters vaccinated when there is a sure-fire way of not contracting this disease. The way is abstinence. For many parents this is a hard decision.
We talked of why women flirt and why it is difficult to find any teaching on the dangers of flirting, even within the Church. I mentioned my research of the vast amount websites and magazine articles that do not take a stand on the issue of flirting and how many even give advice and tips on how to successfully flirt. A very sad report on our culture. I challenged the class to take a day and notice each instance of flirting they encounter. It would be an astonishing number.
We moved on to the issue of flattery and we all took note of times where we flattered another. Like flirting, flattery is deceitful. It is manipulation. We discussed the difference between flattery and genuine appreciation. There is a vast difference. Flattery is an attempt to get something from another, a genuine compliment (as we are commanded to give to others in Proverbs 3:27) gives encouragement and honor to another.
In the section where the definition and antonyms were given, some found it particularly interesting what the synonyms for the word flattery are – pander to, brown nose, suck up, and sweet talk. These words differ from genuine care and concern.
We moved on to the study questions. It is interesting how God reacted to women and to men when emotions are concerned. In Malachi 2:13-14, we found that God hears the cry of the women who ‘fill up the altar with tears‘ from husbands who engage in treachery. And in Numbers 5, where God is establishing the ordinances to purify the people, we saw that God did not hold a husband guilty if he suspected his wife of unfaithfulness.
As a final note, I mentioned the Proverbs 31 woman. As women, we often compare ourselves to this woman and find our behavior lacking in so many ways. The number of things listed in Proverbs 31 is long. But, just as Jesus simplified the ten commandments into two (love God and love your neighbor as yourself), Proverbs 31: 11-12 simplifies the attributes of the virtuous woman. If our behavior promotes our husbands us to ‘safely trust us‘ and we ‘do him good all our days‘ regardless of whether it is deserved or not, then we become the virtuous woman.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
– Proverbs 31:11-12