Friday, September 23, 2011

Week 6: Linger Looking

Scripture to reflect upon for Relationship Revival: 2 Samuel 11:2
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful…

I love Jared’s analogy of this scripture. Jared always says that David’s real sin was looking at Bathsheba. This is so true.

Jared works on a boat in Milwaukee and is surrounded by young guys in their 20’s. In the boating industry, there are usually a lot of single, attractive ladies that take boat rides. The company he works for also does “party cruises,” and some of these rides get a bit out of control, particularly when it comes to the young women and their aggressive flirtatious behavior.

Many of the other deckhands Jared works with will gawk and drool over these girls and try to bait Jared into looking too. Jared just says, “Why do I need to look at them when I have a beautiful wife at home?” And their response: “It doesn’t hurt to look!” Well, I beg to differ, and so should you.

If you are living by this secular viewpoint that it doesn’t hurt to look, you are only fooling yourself. Many people end up getting in a lot trouble when they look and think nothing is wrong with that, because next on the list is a little “harmless” flirting. And what’s the harm in that? PLENTY!

I knew a married woman who had befriended a very attractive man. She kept her friendship a secret from her spouse as to not upset him or make him jealous. She claimed they were just friends and that it was nice to have someone to confide in. Well, I don’t know about you folks, but that to me is adulterous behavior! The minute you begin to confide in someone else other than your partner, you are headed for a heartache. Those types of intimacies will eventually open a floodgate of temptation that you may or may not be able to resist. Eventually, her husband found out about this so-called friendship and it put a heavy strain on their marriage. Six months later they were filing for divorce. Shortly after the divorce was finalized, she was dating the friend.

See, you start with just a look. Then you move on to harmless flirting. Now you’re in territory that starts getting dangerous. Before you know it, you’re keeping secrets from your partner and sometimes even telling lies to cover your tracks. Is any real friendship worth all of that?

A look usually becomes an act. It stirs something up inside of you that makes you think of someone else in a manner that you should only be visualizing you and your partner doing. Those impulses, those urges, can ultimately lead to something physical, and then you are in way over your head. What started out as a glance, has now escalated into a full-fledged affair.

Now let’s flip the coin. Let’s say someone hit on you. What do you do? I recently had someone “harmlessly” flirt with me and it made me incredibly uncomfortable. Although it’s always flattering to have someone find you attractive, we have to be careful how we respond to that attention in return. I handled it with a polite, thank you, and changed the subject almost immediately. I also told Jared about it. I refuse to keep any secrets from him, even if it seems trivial. I didn’t like the idea of keeping something like that from him. I also told him how it made me feel; that it was nice, but it also made me uncomfortable. Jared was incredibly pleased that I loved him enough to tell him about it.

Some will argue that it’s hard not to look. I guess that could be true. But quite honestly when I see an attractive man from a distance I do not linger on it. I don’t go out of my way to get a better view. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure I don’t look at him at all! Jared does the same thing. So if Jared and I can do that, so can you and your partner.

ACTION PLAN: First of all, never think that anything is too trivial to tell your partner. If they think it’s silly, so be it. You need to always be honest and up front with your partner about incidents or situations that could possibly lead to something else. It’s better to say someone flirted with you or hit on you, rather than two months down the road you have to tell your partner that a friendship has gotten a bit out of hand because it wasn’t dealt with properly.

GO FURTHER: Don’t look! Seriously. Turn away. Do not linger on looking. I don’t care how good looking the other person is, look away. Do not let your thoughts take you somewhere that suddenly has you replacing your partner. Anytime you start to think, “Wow, that woman is so sexy,” your next thought will probably have you wondering what it would be like to kiss her. Trust me. That’s how the flesh works. So nip it in the bud before the thought takes root!!

FACT: There’s no such thing as harmless flirting, and it does hurt to look!

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