What does the Bible say about “flirting”?

flirting This is the second sermon that I will be preaching at the youth camp. I appreciate the feedback from the last one. I always appreciate feedback because it helps me modify the message so that it will be better understood and easily applicable. This lesson will address the problem of flirting, a major problem among teens and even adults in our day and time. Many people have ruined their lives because of immorality and it all began with a simple flirt. God wants us to avoid immorality at all costs and that is why He warns of the dangers of flirting.

It is interesting that the Bible mostly addresses women in the area of flirting. There is a section for men, which is very important, but mostly men are warned to avoid the woman who is a flirt. I would like to address both aspects.

I. Flirting is bad for both men and women.

Solomon speaks a lot about the dangers of flirting as a woman as well as what kind of woman flirts. Let’s look at 3 passages. The first is from the Song of Solomon 8:4. Here is the warning.

I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not arouse or awaken my love Until she pleases.”

Flirting arouses love before it is time. Flirting is great when it is done between a husband and wife but when unmarried people flirt, they awaken love before its time because they start a fire that they cannot righteously “extinguish” through sexual intercourse because they are not married.

Moreover, the LORD said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, And go along with mincing steps And tinkle the bangles on their feet, Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, And the LORD will make their foreheads bare.” (Isaiah 3:16-17)

The key phrase in this passage is “seductive eyes” which is used to describe the process of flirting. From this passage, we see that flirting and pride go hand in hand. God opposes the proud which brings about negative consequences. There are 2 consequences in this passage that accompany flirting; scabs and bare foreheads (which is an idiom for exposed private parts). Flirting brings about pain, shame, and humiliation. Is this the kind of future that you want? Most young women desire a happy family with their husbands and children and that will not come about when you are a flirt. The final passage comes from Proverbs 7 where Solomon addresses the men on the importance of avoiding a flirtatious woman. She is called an adulteress. She flatters with her words. She is on the hunt. She is cunning. She is loud and rebellious. She takes the initiative in relationships instead of waiting on the man. A flirt is synonymous with an immoral person in the eyes of God. She seduces with her smells, with flattering words, and beautiful eyes. The man who falls for her flirtatious ways is naive. A flirt will lead you down the path to death and destruction. There will be no happiness in the end, neither for the woman nor the man. The naive man becomes a victim. Are you a flirtatious girl? As a male, do you fall for the seductive ways of a flirtatious woman?

Other than the advice on avoiding a flirtatious woman, there is only one passage that directly address men in the area of flirting. The passage is from Paul and he answers a question posed to him by one of the believers in the Corinthian church. Here is what he says.

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. (I Corinthians 7:1)

The word “touch” here literally means “to start a fire” in the original Greek. Flirting starts a fire and can be done in many forms. Women are usually the ones who flirt through looks and words while men usually flirt with touches (massages, play fighting, etc.). This starts a fire that cannot be put out while the participants are not married. It is to be avoided.

II. Flirting causes sexual passions to be lit leading to stumbling in sin.

God speaks of those who cause others to stumble and here is what He says.

“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks ! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come ; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes ! (Matthew 18:7)

Do you want to be the one who causes others to stumble? Maybe you say that you can control your passions but what about the other person? What about as a believer, do you want to discredit the ministry of the Lord on account of your childish flirting? Here is what God has to say.

giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited (II Corinthians 6:3)

Flirting is offensive to God and to the people who are being led on by this pagan practice.

III. God gives practical advice to us on how to avoid falling into the trap of flirting, which leads to sexual immorality and all of its negative consequences.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (I Peter 5:8)

Know that the enemy is on the prowl, just waiting for you to relax. That is why you must be sober at all times, ready and alert. Never put your guard down. Just one simple flirt is all that the enemy is waiting for.

do not give the devil an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27)

One flirt is all it takes to give the enemy an opportunity and a foothold. If you give him an inch then he will take a mile. Always remember that. Finally, James speaks of how to avoid the dangers of the enemy (flirting).

Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

Submit to the teachings of God in the area of flirting and the enemy will flee from you.

Where do you stand on the topic of flirting? Do you indulge in this deadly practice? Are you enticed by a flirt? May the Lord help us obey Him.

35 comments on “What does the Bible say about “flirting”?

  1. Thank you for this article, I like very much it and I had oportunity to learned something very important and special for my future. All the best 🙂 .

  2. This was a great help i am struggling with this problem myself as a christian girl from my youth group who is a lot younger than me is flirting with my boyfriend in front of me and lets me know it by adding everyone from my youth but me. Even my youth leader has seen that she does it at other youth groups with other boys. What should i do ?

    • Katie I know I am a little late in replying and I am praying that your relationship has gotten better or God has provided someone great for you to be with. I just recently had my boyfriend break up with me for another girl and everything unfolded. (we are older) so I found out from others when they would all go out to the bar she would flirt with him and actually to a point where at a get together, everyone was told to leave because they didn’t like the way she was acting toward him. After I heard that this situation made more sense. She isn’t a believer in Christ where she has a choice it means in a sense we live by two separate guidelines, this can also be maybe your walk with the Lord is farther then the girl in your youth group and she doesn’t fully understand yet. It isn’t that he is doing something wrong however, he isn’t closing a door that she may try and kick open because she thinks there is no problem with what she is doing, if that makes sense. In not doing so he is leaving your relationship open to potential hazard (her). In my situation through about a week I prayed for not only him but also her, and God brought him back to me with a clear head and a clear sense of direction. As for her I am still praying because I want her to be saved and understand what she is doing is wrong. I have actually come to the conclusion that maybe I need to talk to her because maybe she is blind to what she is doing so much she can’t see the pain she is causing around herself.

  3. What really pisses me off HUGELY Is I see women smiling at my husband.. Then I look at him he’s making some freakin face. I have wanted to leave him because of this several times. A smile from the opposite sex is a reaction to some flirtatious jesture he’s doing. Now we are supposed to be married! There’s no other man that is looking at him smiling all the time….I WONDER why. He doesn’t act the same way with men only women. He says the smile doesn’t hurt anybody. Well this is total BULL CRAP! He says his ex girlfriend use do that to him. And it used to p*** him off. Nice …now he is doing the same crap with me.

    • You guys need some serious spiritual/marital counseling. If you know of a good Church that teaches the Bible as the perfect Word of God, then I would suggest that you go there and speak with the pastor about spiritual/marital counseling. There is an awesome resource that I use for all marital counseling sessions. It is called Marriage without Regrets by Kay Arthur (Precept Ministries International). There is a Bible study, Book, study guide, and video that accompany it. It is well worth your time and investment for peace in your marriage.

    • Danielle, this is something I never do, and at the risk of bringing down Erik’s wrath on my head, here goes 🙂

      I agree with some of what Erik says, but I’d go for a slightly different approach. Take responsibility for yourself, don’t expect someone else to take that responsibility for you, unless there’s no choice.

      Firstly, lose the anger. You won’t be able to discuss things with your husband if you’re about to blow up like old faithful. Some people say count to 10, some say take deep breaths. One way that helps me is blowing raspberries in my head. If you don’t know what blowing a raspberry is, then see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowing_a_raspberry. When you feel angry, blow a raspberry. But keep it inside – just in your head. I usually find it gets rid of much of the tension that leads to anger. There’s always time to blow a raspberry (internally) – before you blow up. Maybe then you can discuss things properly.

      Secondly, speak to your husband about it. You say “he’s making some freakin face”. I have no idea what that means. Is he happy about it? Embarrassed? Uncomfortable? Do you even know what it means to him? You say “A smile from the opposite sex is a reaction to some flirtatious jesture he’s doing.” Like what? What is he doing that leads to such a response? If he’s a good looking guy, it might just be that women find him attractive. Women often smile at attractive men. Do you? Men often smile at attractive women. Do they smile at you? If not, it may be because you’re letting the anger and bitterness (and the fear) show, which is detracting from your inner beauty. Would you be happier if men were smiling at your husband all the time? Would he be happy? (Trust me, if he’s straight, then probably not ;-)) Your husband might just be a nice guy – you could try being happy about that. And if you discuss things with him, and he realises how upset you’re getting, then he may change – or at the very least he may let you know that you’re still the one for him, so you shouldn’t worry. From your note, it doesn’t really look like you’re letting him know how much his (real or imagined) behaviour hurts you. It looks more like you’re just blowing up at him. That’s not how to discuss what’s bothering you.

      And if you really can’t work it out, then by all means go to counselling. I’d stay away from christian counsellors, because they usually come from the bible perspective that a woman should be subservient to her husband. That’s not a good start. Marriage is a team game. You have to play it together, as equals.

      Either way, good luck to you both.

      • @ Len
        Anger is uncontrollable without the Spirit of God in you. You may have a few victories here and there but you will eventually have a meltdown because there is a limit to your own strength. When you follow Jesus Christ then He give you the Holy Spirit that allows you to control your anger all of the time.

        And if you really can’t work it out, then by all means go to counselling. I’d stay away from christian counsellors, because they usually come from the bible perspective that a woman should be subservient to her husband. That’s not a good start. Marriage is a team game. You have to play it together, as equals.

        Oh but the Bible does teach that husbands and wives are equal in God’s eyes. You must have missed that important truth 40 years ago when you were “studying” the Bible 🙂

        The Bible actually teaches that marriage is a team game. I guess you missed that one too. Being submissive is not subservient. It does not mean being a doormat. Submission is power under control. If you are powerful but without control over that power then you are useless. Imagine a Porsche with the largest engine possible but without breaks. It is powerful but useless to the driver, even dangerous. BTW, both husbands and wives are to be submissive in marriage, not just the wife. I guess you missed that one too. I would recommend a good study for you so that you can understand the role of a wife and a husband in marriage. It is called Marriage without Regrets. You should take a look at it so that you can get a knowledgable understanding of the Bible and marriage before making your false accusations.

  4. Pingback: Love or Lust, does it really matter? | Erik and Elena Brewer's Weblog

  5. I’m quite curious. You claim god gave us free will yet now he tells us to act as he wants. That’s a (yet again) contradiction. The MSG there is ur free to do what u want as long as its what I want you to do. In other words no free will. Makes no sense what so ever.

    • Free will is the choice to do what you want which will destroy you or do what God teaches, which is for your own good. He knows you better than you know yourself and He desires your supreme good, unlike you.

  6. So again he gives u free will yet says do what I tell u to do. So a contradiction again. Man ur full of urself. But still u contradict everything. If free will will destroy us why did he give us it lol makes little sense Erik. And u believe this rubbish. Wow I am laughing so hard right now. U claim to be educated but do u realise how stupid u sound right now. Wow I really gotta show my friends ur replies. There be entertained by ur stupidness. Ur gullible nature is amusing to me. Ur life must be pretty boring. Have a good oh very mind having a good day would be against gods wishes. He wants u to be a mindless drone just like u are. Hahahaha

    • If God were to make us like robots without free will then you would complain that we do not have free will. Since He created us with free will, you still complain.

      I see how people have “good” times doing what they want, drinking their lives away, never really accomplishing anything of eternal value, living miserable lives, in constant conflict with others, feeling unsatisfied with all the “pleasures” of life, and then dying. Why would I want to follow that path?

      • That is where u wrong Erik, another example of not reading correctly. I am not complaining we have free will, I am stating if god wants us to act as he wants, why gives us free will when in fact he is saying dont use it. It makes no sense. Just another contradiction in the bible.
        If people want to drink there lives away then so be it, great thing about free will is we don’t have to listen to u or anyone else. We are free to make our own decisions and our own choices. For u to sit there and tell me u do not seek the pleasures of life is a blatant lie. You cannot deny ur true human nature. You will look at other women with lustful eyes. You cannot deny it ur male it is a fact of nature. U may not cheat on ur wife but ur still look at other females with lust.

      • I did not say that you were not free to make your own decisions and choices. Your freedom does end where my rights begin though. For example, you do not have the right to take my life. You do not have the right to steal from me. You are not free to do anything that you please. You are not free to have sexual relations with minors.

        God allows you the choice to listen to Him or not. You do not choose the consequences. For example, if you jump up, you will return to the earth. You cannot choose not to fall back down. The same goes for moral choices. You can choose to be sexually immoral but there are consequences that go along with that choice. You can choose not to believe in God but there are consequences. You can choose to drink until you pass out, every night of the week, but there are consequences that go along with that choice.

        I used to look at women with lustful eyes but I do not do that anymore. I have been set free from the power of human nature when it comes to moral choices. Looking at other females and lusting after them is cheating on your wife. If you were to have closely read the Bible as you claim then you would know this 🙂

  7. Just empty words Erik, just empty words. U say u don’t look at other women with lustful eyes but that is a blatant lie no matter what u claim. No one can stop human nature, to stop human nature is to stop being human.

    • This is what you missed when you supposedly “read” the Bible. God teaches us that the flesh (human nature) can be overcome. When a person is born again He receives the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. This power gives a person the ability to say no to sin and temptation (which are a result of human nature).

      • And this is what disproves the bible, u cannot overcome human nature. To do so would mean ur not human. So u have power hey. Isn’t that a form of magic. I thought Christians didn’t believe in magic. Another contradiction. U keep falling in to the same trap over and over again.
        The fact is ur a liar and a cheat. U deceive people with ur lies. U harm people wit ur lies.
        Oh and I have decided ur a homosexual. It’s to obvious. U mention it to often in completely unrelated blogs. U are a closet case. U focus only on male homosexuality. It’s clear as day to anyone who reads ur rubbish. When I first read ur blog I never thought u were but as I have read more and more of all ur blogs. It’s clear. Ur obsessed with it. U try and be too str8 and its clear ur hiding the truth. Ur too god fearing to except the truth that ur a huge big homo.
        I thought I’d say this just so u can reply, see that’s what homosexuals say, I’m a closet case but I’m not I have a wife blah blah blah. I’ve had so much fun debating u. It’s been awesome and u’ve feel for everything. U have stumbled in to trap after trap. Enjoy, don’t destroy.

      • The power to say no to sin and temptation is much different than “magic”. Magic is clearly defined in the Bible that you have supposedly read and studied.
        Here is what the Bible says about magic.

        Homosexuals are like the kid from the sixth sense except, instead of seeing dead people, they see homosexuals everywhere 🙂 I am not a homosexual. I have no attraction to males. I am happily married to a woman and enjoy our satisfying relationship.

  8. Another thing I noticed. Everyone of ur blogs has the tag of gays triage and homosexuality. As I said. Ur obsessed. Just go out and get ur self a big fat co………….. Have a pleasant life. I’m outta here.

  9. I don’t see homosexuals everywhere. I accept that people are BORN heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual etc etc. you did not chose to be attracted to women correct? You just are. Why can u not accept that I did not chose to be attracted to men. I just am. I am not in anyway attracted to females. Just as u are not attracted to males. Forget the bible for 2 seconds, forget ur confirmation bias view. And think logically. And I’ll tell u something that u may find unbelievable but I don’t support gay rights. I support human rights. The right to be who u are with no judgement, the right to marry who u love not told u can’t cause u gotta love someone else. I don’t support the mainstream gay rights activists because if we want change we need to ask for full human rights because that in fact is what we are being denied. Once we seperate our selves from the rest of humanity, that is when we will get issues. My rights to marry a man would not affect ur rights. The only thin it would do is allow u to marry a man if u so wanted to, but as ur heterosexual, that would not apply so it in fact is not affecting u. As I have mentioned before I look at things from both sides, a non biased view. I don’t have a confirmation bias view. I see facts as they are. I understand ur find this hard to accept but u gotta realise we do not make a choice to be homosexual, it’s built in to our DNA. We have no control over it. People u claim to have stopped being homosexual are living a lie. They are still homosexual. They just hide it. What ur in fact doing is causing more harm then good. This is all I have to say. I am over jumping back and forth with u, ur clearly not listening and u won’t see reason so that is it. Ill go speak to people more open minded and truthful. Good bye and peace out.

    • I support human rights. The right to be who u are with no judgement,

      Would that include murderers who do not want to be judged for their lifestyle choices? What about pedophiles, NAMBLA anyone? More info about homosexuals and NAMBLA

      the right to marry who u love not told u can’t cause u gotta love someone else.

      So, if you want to marry a woman and her mother, that would be okay according to your logic, right? Are there limitations or not? If there are, where do you draw the line? Upon whose desires do you infringe? What if a man wants to marry his own daughter, and the family dog?

      Every person of legal age in America, has the legal right to marry. What or whom you marry is restricted. You have the right to marry just like I do.

      I see facts as they are.

      Except when it comes to the Bible, and God 🙂

      People u claim to have stopped being homosexual are living a lie. They are still homosexual. They just hide it.

      So now you know what is in people’s hearts, you can read their minds. That is funny because last I checked God is the only One who can do that. Maybe you see yourself as god.

      • Now ur twisting my words. I am talking about human rights, what every human deserves. Now if u hurt someone or take a life then that’s different. But comparing homosexuals with murders and pedos is stupid. It’s an empty comparison.

        I do see the facts as they are and the bible and god are false, period.

        And u know every well what I mean by marryin who u love. So don’t try and bring some stupid examples in to this. I am talking about to people who love each other, to unrelated people ( although by the bibles logic we all are related) so don’t pull that crap on me with ur stupid dumb comments.

        America is dumb. Full of double standard religious nuts. U may live in Moldova or where ever but ur a typical American, self centred and small minded. But my point is u say i can marry just like u, no I can’t. Not in USA and not in Australia, yet. I can’t marry the person I love, I can’t marry my boyfriend, why? Because a book says so. Edit this if u want but that’s bullshit. I am glad my country is not run by nuts like u. U need to get a reality check. Yeah u have made me mad, I’m fuming right now and ur lucky to be in another country, how dare u let me I can marry like u can, when U know for a fact I can’t.

        How do I know whas in someone’s mind because numb nuts, homosexuality is not a choice. U can say it is until ur purple in the face but the fact is I was born gay, all homosexuals were born gay. The evidence is there but u look at it through confirmation biased eyes. U are scared of the truth. You cannot live with the truth but one day ur have to because one day ur have no choice. Just like we have no choice in what we are. People like u need rounding up and castrated so u don’t breed. But for us it’s too late in ur case, u have kids and those poor kids will be taught and forced to believe in the bible. Told homosexuals are wrong etc etc. u are a bad bad parent. Shame on u. The reality of the situation is u have the problem not me. Ur the reason why there is hate in the world. I am just how I was ment to be. This is 100% my last post to u. I amnot wasting any more of my time with a loser like u. Ur a fool, a bigot, intolerant hater. It’s funny, I almost feel sorry for u……almost. 🙂 now go back to bashing ur bible and when u die ur fun out how wrong u were and ill be here laughing.

      • You still never say where do you draw the line. I am waiting to hear your thoughts yet you keep avoiding a response and jumping to other subjects or spinning.

        Do you deny the fact that you as a citizen of your country have the right to marry? I am not asking about whom you marry, I am asking about the right to marry. Please answer that question with a yes or no.

        Let me get this straight (no pun intended), you call me the bigoted hater yet you are the one who is threatening me. Who is showing hatred and who is showing patience?

  10. Thankyou so much for this article.Praise The Lord! I have a question though…. Would it just be better not to marry,or get involved with any guy?would it be better to stay single to serve the Lord with undivided attention? For years I have prayed for a husband…but now I am wondering

    • It is best to be content with your current situation. Paul mentions the secret to happiness in life (and it is not found in a spouse). The secret is, to learn to be content in every situation. The grass in never greener on the other side. When you get there, your own grass starts to look greener 🙂

      Marriage is a great thing, ordained by God but if you want to be content in your marriage, you must learn to be content in your relationship with God. When I decided to allow God either to keep me single or provide a wife, that is when I found peace and contentment in Him. A year and a half after that decision, I got married because He really did provide. He can do the same for you.

      This summer I led a camp where we studied the Names of God from the Bible. One of those names (character traits) is Jehovah-jireh. I have written on this Name and I think that it may be helpful. You can read the article here.

  11. I just came across this article now . I’d like to thank the one who posted this article and tell you that your teaching is sound and the verses are Gods word speaking and will equal any negative and offensive comments received . the word of God is not popular however it is truth and gives order for living in the right way. This article has so many true points from my own experience but what I feel or think doesn’t change the truth and that’s the best part about the word of God. Don’t ever stop preaching truth from the bible on important topics such as this one . The world is full of sexual sins and all kinds of family disasters. You said something about how “all it started with was one flirt” . That can sound so silly but it is so entirely true.
    Preach on !

  12. I am saved 33 years. Your accessment of flirting is the best I have seen. In my 33 years of study on relationships, I believe you said it perfectly in accordance with God’s Heart on the matter.

  13. Love it! Started talking to a girl, and I see this as a warning from God, time to stop stirring up the wrong fire.

  14. What do you do if there’s a single woman in your church that flirts with your husband and all the other men? This woman smiles at my husband with not only her smile itself but her eyes. Hope that makes sense. It’s her body language. I see it and a whole lot of others see it. She had left my husband alone for a while but a few weeks ago she caught him alone at a church dinner and started a conversation with him. She them went to him right before we left and leaned into him to talk into his ear and let a certain part of her body touch him on the arm. I walked up just as she was doing this and that’s the only reason I knew. He would have probably not told me about their conversation because he knows how I feel about her and what she’s doing. This has gone on for 2 years and it had cause a lot of problems in my marriage for the simple fact that my husband kept saying I was just jealous. Thank God some of the ladies in church that he respects told him they saw it too. Any way on the way home that night I told my husband that he just stated it up again with her. They had talked about her working with a friend of his. I told him that she would go to his friend and now discuss him so she’d have other things to talk about next time. The next time we went to church and she was there she grabbed him during the meet and greet pay off the service and tells him that she talked to his friend about him and that he said he was a great golfer. Thank God my husband FINALLY saw it for what it was. I haven’t said anything because I just knew I’d be called the jealous wife because she hasn’t really done anything physical yet. Now I find out she’s been asking people why I don’t like her and playing victim where I’m concerned so I’m the villain in a lot of our members eyes now. This was what I knew would happen. I didn’t go to church this past week and I don’t want to find another church. I love my church family and is the first time I’ve ever felt at home and loved. What do I do?

    • First of all, out of respect for the Lord, your husband should stay away from girls like the one you mentioned. She is described in detail in Proverbs 7 One of her characteristics is that she is very religious and looking for naive men who will allow her to work her seductive powers. Secondly, out of respect for you, he needs to stay away from women like this. Her path leads to misery and destruction. He needs a male mentor in his life to help him, to keep him from falling into these kinds of traps. Praise God for the godly women in the church who noticed this and intervened. As for the tongue wagging, that will always happen. Keep following the Lord. You marriage is more important than the petty gossip that is going on. The pastor, on the other hand, should teach on the dangers of gossip. Maybe this girl can be mentored by some of the older ladies in the church. If she is acting like this and others are noticing it, this will just give confidence to other attention seekers in the church to do the same. Pray that the Lord will put someone in this girl’s life to mentor her.

      • Thank you so much for responding. My husband does finally see her for what she is doing so he’s avoiding her at all costs and he’s backing me 100% FINALLY. This has been two years in the making. Thank you for your advice and for understanding. It’s comforting to know someone understands.

        On Jan 6, 2017 11:02 AM, “Erik and Elena Brewer’s Weblog” wrote:

        > Erik Brewer commented: “First of all, out of respect for the Lord, your > husband should stay away from girls like the one you mentioned. She is > described in detail in Proverbs 7 One of her characteristics is that she is > very religious and looking for naive men who will allow her ” >

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