Three years ago, I agreed to go on a date with this cute guy who loved Jesus. So we got coffee and hung out casually even though I knew that I wasn’t committed for the long haul. The flirting was fun, the attention was nice, and it was just harmless fun… right? Weeks went by until one day I make up a “spiritual” reason for breaking things off — using Jesus as a scapegoat for my manipulation to just get attention for a little while. (There are times when we may really feel God leading us away from a relationship, but in this case, I wasn’t seeking God for any of it and I was controlling things the way I wanted to) “I need to focus on my relationship with Jesus, and you really deserve better,” I told him. Then, I ghosted - called his hurt and confusion “exaggerated” and told everybody I didn’t get why he “made it such a big deal.” And on and on the cycle continued.
Manipulative attention-seeking. Subsequent abandonment. Apathetically casting guys aside. And ignoring the destruction that I was leaving in my wake. And lemme tell you, friends - Satan would love nothing more than for us to be totally ignorant of our sin because he knows that you can’t repent for sins you refuse to acknowledge or that you’re completely unaware of.
I was having a conversation with the Lord this summer about His plans for me getting married some day until I was interrupted by His kind, stern Fatherly voice…
“If you don’t learn how to honor and love the guys in your life as your brothers in Christ now, you’ll never know how to honor and love a husband. Let’s start there.”
That’ll wake you up quicker than a PSL with an extra shot.
After feeling this heavy conviction, I made a continual decision to seek after Jesus. He began to open my eyes up to the years that this sin had been harbored in my heart. God showed me that I used guys to get attention, give me validation, and help subside my loneliness. After they served the purpose I needed them to and after I felt less insecure about whatever I was struggling with, I would bail and pull the Jesus card I thought nobody would question me for…
Until God did.
As He always does, God exposed my sin and led me to a better way. To His way…“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble, it would be better for them to hang a millstone around their neck and be drowned in the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” Matthew 18:6-7. Jesus aint messing with us, y’all! Being a stumbling block to another believer is not something Jesus takes lightly — He loves us too fiercely not to. Isn’t it hard enough for us to pursue Jesus in a broken world with temptations all around us? They’re everywhere and they’re inevitable. Why would we add to that difficulty? And I know you might think “that would never be me” — I thought the same thing. But can we be honest with ourselves? Don’t we sometimes wear certain things in the hope of getting attention? Don’t we let our hands linger after a hug…just long enough so he notices? Don’t we come up with every excuse just to text him to rationalize and justify doing it? It’s all “innocent fun”… Right?
In 2016, a study showed that approximately 79% of men between the ages of 18 and 30 view pornography monthly. In this same age group, 3 out of every 10 men access pornography daily. And we’d be ignorant to think that Christ-followers are exempt from this. That’s one statistic of many that are evidence of the especially bloody battle raging on for the purity of the hearts of Christ-followers. Don’t you want to go to war against the forces of evil rather than perpetuate them? Don’t you want to be an ally for those in this fight of faith with you — rather being a stumbling block for them?
We can’t fight for their purity as their sisters in Christ if we’re too busy fighting for their attention.
I don’t share this so that you feel shame or condemnation but rather to help you start to see a reality that many of us are so ignorant to. I’m not saying to never flirt with a guy unless God tells you in a burning bush that he’s your husband. What I am saying is just what Scripture says: we are not our own. We belong to Christ and what matters to Him has to matter to us. “Innocent flirting” is not okay because every one of those guys were bought at the price of Jesus’ life — their hearts included. We cannot turn a blind eye to our sin or choose our selfishness over our brothers in Christ anymore. Every guy you speak to or walk by is an image-bearer of God and we all need to start treating them as such. Myself, included.
My prayer is that this Scripture would be written on all of our hearts: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8. A pure heart. One sanctified by His Word. One consistently chiseled so that we may be enabled to live and love like Him each day. If we want to see Him and His Kingdom come, then we have to believe that our pursuit after a pure heart — ones accompanied by our ever-present, loving God — are a sure way to get us there. And learning how to really love our brothers in Christ is a good place to start.
I played soccer and softball at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then at Belhaven University where I studied biology. and biblical studies. my whole life i had pursued a career in the medical field but God changed my plans following graduation and ultimately called me into ministry and specifically to go on staff with the organization that impacted me greatly as a college athlete — FCA. now i do high school ministry with FCA in the Jackson-metro area in Mississippi!