Flirting. While Married?

(If there are serious problems in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help.)

Our culture thinks nothing of married people flirting with others, that it's no big deal, that it won't hurt anyone.

When you flirt with anyone other than your spouse you are seeking to boost your own self-image with others. Flirting is only seeking to fill something that is lacking in ourselves.

When we flirt, or we accept flirting from someone else we are passively telling our spouse, “someone will appreciate me if you don’t”. Even if your spouse never sees or knows about the exchange the seed is planted in your brain. That seed will grow and change your interactions with your spouse.

If I was in a situation where I was meeting a person of the opposite sex I would naturally be talking about my husband very quickly as I got to know this person. 

My personal convictions are to avoid:

private texting or Facebook chatting
building close work relationships with men
not eat out alone or travel alone with another man

I will speak lovingly of my husband
I will openly share my phone with my husband
I will share my Facebook passwords and email with my husband

Do you call people of the opposite sex the same endearments that you use toward your spouse?  Those no longer mean anything special. If I have a special name for my husband, it is reserved for him only. 

What about winking?  Are you a winker?  You might feel it is just being friendly, but how does your spouse feel about you winking at others?

I wouldn't sign off an email or text to someone of the opposite sex with any term of endearment.  For me that includes a 'winky face', a heart, the word 'Love', or even 'Hugs!'. 

When you have been flirting outside of your marriage it is much easier to look only on your spouses faults and ignore your own. Flirting says, “I don’t need to change, someone likes me the way I am, you must be the problem”. That message is a dangerous enemy to any marriage!

Flirting can set off a relationship with the opposite sex that quickly slides into temptation. Innocent glances, turn to jokes, jokes to conversation, conversation to sharing, sharing to relationship.

Very few people set out intending to have an affair. 

It almost always starts as a friendship or close work relationship then proceeds to slowly flirting and confiding emotional details and problems. 

It is a lot harder for an affair to happen, whether sexually or emotionally, when we purposefully stay away from comprising situations and provide no opportunity for your heart to get distracted.

I Would Never

Before you just say “I would never flirt.” I challenge you to think through every relationship you have with a member of the opposite sex: neighbors, friends, colleagues, the stranger you see at the coffee shop in the morning. Are there any of them that you really enjoy getting them to smile, you look forward to talking to, or that you haven’t told your spouse about? If you answered yes, then figure out what you need to do to dramatically change or sever that relationship. If you answered no, think about what boundaries you need to put in place to keep it that way!

Flirt with your SPOUSE! Redirect your attentions to the one you're married to.  Flirting is fun - just do it with your spouse.  Enjoy and have fun with it.

Make much of your marriage in public. There shouldn’t be any doubt in the minds of the people you’re serving that you’re happily married. 
Never discuss your marriage problems with anyone of the opposite sex. If you do, you’re asking for trouble. When your marriage is hurting, it’s too easy for you to see someone who is listening to you as the answer.

Would you be comfortable if your spouse were to read your private emails or texts?  Let's assume that they should never be private, then what would your messages look like?  Hopefully they would be the same as they are now.
Your marriage matters. It matters enough for you to protect it. The best way to protect your marriage is to keep working at it. Never stop growing closer to God and your spouse. The moment you’re not growing closer, you’re growing farther apart.

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