Earlier in the year we put on a medieval themed party. During the evening we had Ceilidh dancing. This is a Celtic style of dancing which is a lot of raucous fun. Think stomping, clapping and Celtic music.
Friends taught it to us a few years ago. At first I was sceptical. Dancing seems like a worldly mine field (and for the most part it probably is). However Ceilidh turned out to be good, clean, family fun. There’s nothing sensual about this dancing. The most intimate contact you get is holding hands.
But you do have partners. Usually a guy and a girl. So who will you dance with?
Once you go to words like couples and partners it sounds romantically charged. Even if only a little. We like to avoid any complications by sticking to partners within families (and then the leftovers can dance with other leftovers from the same gender).
Is this necessary? Is there a danger for singles to dance as a couple with someone outside your family?
We all have crushes. (Umm, don’t we?) Liking someone or being attracted is only normal. It’s what we do about it that makes all the difference.
As we approach relationships from a Biblical perspective we see there’s really only two states for how singles relate to the opposite sex. The first is brothers and sisters in the Lord, basically normal friendship. The second is a guy pursuing a girl for marriage. There isn’t a third area between those two.
We want to keep romantic relationships limited strictly to marriage and finding the person you will marry. I’ve written before about the top five reasons why I don’t have a girlfriend, and those reasons apply to this.
I realise I’m arguing for a high standard here. But sexual sin really is the big black hole for young people. Greats in the Bible, David, Solomon, Samson, all fell into this area of sin. Add to that how messed up marriage is in our culture, and you know we need to do something radically different than the world around us.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Guard your heart with all diligence. What your heart focuses on is the key issue. Getting entangled romantically and emotionally before the proper time and place is a terrible idea, fraught with danger.
I’m convinced flirting is a bad idea. If you’re a guy going to pursue a girl, don’t be a wimp, get on with it properly. If you’re not serious then don’t mess with her heart and emotions like a cad. If you’re a girl, I’m sorry, you don’t get to start things. Using flirting to send messages is not going to identify you with the virtuous woman.
Can’t flirting just be a good time? Yeah a good time like tossing burning coals around is a good time until someone gets burnt. I like to have fun and play around, teasing my friends and all of that, but crossing the line into flirting with one person is a really bad idea.
You’re the Prettiest
If you’re single you don’t get to go around telling the opposite sex what you think of their looks (apart from giving your sisters some encouragement).
But then of course, if you’re married you don’t get to go around doing that either, you save it all for one person. If a married guy was telling other women about how attractive they are, there would be serious problems (not the least being when his wife finds out and kills him).
Singles doing this are practicing what not to do, which is never a good idea. It doesn’t do anyone any good, either in the future or right now. We’re all far too obsessed with looks. Those girls you know don’t need more encouragement from you to focus on physical appearance.
We all need more encouragement to focus on the spiritual. So I think it’s okay to compliment individuals for character, godliness, and even skills. But for guys complimenting girls, we still need to be careful with this.
There is a problem with how some Christian young people comment on Facebook photos. Because it’s not to a person’s face, any sense of proprietary gets tossed out the window by some people. But praising the opposite sex’s appearance in a photo is really no different than in person. (Except maybe you don’t get the benefit of an awkward silence or blushing from someone who doesn’t want those attentions outside of the proper time.)
I want to call out one particular word here…
If you’re a Christian, then ‘hot’ is not a compliment, it’s an indictment. In this context the word is sexualised. It’s about attraction to someone’s body. Modesty is about making sure people don’t get on a sexual thought path when they look at you. Telling someone they’re hot is pointing out exactly the wrong thing.
This stuff is just buying into the culture that shuns purity and glorifies anything sexual. We’re different than they are. Our goals are basically the opposite.
If someone has a problem with how they’re presenting themselves, don’t write ‘looking hot’ under the profile picture. Instead address the person privately or ask someone more appropriate to deal with it.
Running With a Knife
Running with a knife sticking up may be okay most of the time, but the danger of what could happen is so severe, you just don’t do it.
It’s not really that telling a girl she’s cute or dancing with her is so terrible in itself. It’s that we’re so likely to stuff it up. And if we do stuff up it can lead to a meltdown sized disaster; immorality, messed up lives, divorce, destruction of families and more. And that results in God’s name being blasphemed, and a Christian testimony which is useless because it’s exactly the same as the worlds.
I can’t wait to have someone to shower in compliments. But I will wait. And when, Lord willing, I have a wife, my adoration of her will mean so much more than it does for the guys who went around telling any number of girls how pretty they are. Plus by God’s grace I hope to avoid the pitfalls of a relationship that ends in dishonour or the messing up of other girls along the way.
At our Bible study a friend was talking about the idea of dying well. We want to do that. We want to live lives that are focused on the end goal.
Being carefree, ‘living in the moment’ and an endless pursuit of short term pleasure are for the people who don’t have a splendid eternity to look forward to.
Yes, I do plan or hope to have a lot of fun and excitement romantically for me and one girl. But that is secondary to the grand plan of glorifying God and achieving His purposes.