She’s the center of guys’ attention wherever you go—even without meaning to be. It seems like every guy friend in your circle has liked her at least once. And when you watch her in action, it’s no surprise! She’s funny, engaging and entertaining. Those same qualities make her your friend.
But now it’s driving you apart. What do you do?
There’s much misunderstanding about flirtation in Christian circles. This misunderstanding can lead to judgment and even broken friendships. If you suspect your friend is a flirt (and are struggling with hard feelings because of it), ask yourself the following four questions before addressing the situation with her.
1. Is she simply an outgoing person?
Some girls are outgoing, friendly and engaging with everyone. They don’t change themselves for guys, but because they are naturally easy to talk to, guys like them. This is not her fault. People of both genders and all ages are drawn to people who make conversation easy. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who didn’t give you anything to go on? It’s difficult and even uncomfortable. So a girl who is naturally outgoing will naturally draw more male attention, even without trying.
Flirtation is an intentional act for the purpose of exalting self, even when it hurts the other person. Before assuming your friend is doing this, give her the benefit of the doubt—particularly if she’s your sister in Christ.
2. Do you need to address insecurities in your own heart?
Connected to the above, are you judging your friend from a place of insecurity—or perhaps even jealousy? This is a hard question to ask! But we must address the motives of our OWN hearts before laying judgment on our sisters. The things that make your friend fun and easy to talk to in your relationship will do the same in her relationship with guys. Jealousy blinds us to this. If you are struggling with insecurity and jealousy, bring this to the Lord. Ask for His eyes to see your friend honestly.
3. Are guys actually being hurt by her?
Be careful: Don’t make assumptions about what’s going on in a guy’s heart. If he explicitly told you he felt led on by your friend’s actions, that’s one thing. But if you’re assuming this based on observation, it’s better to wait, pray and talk to your friend directly.
Remember, it’s not your job to defend the hearts of the guys around you. If they get attached to your friend, that’s between them and her. Release yourself from acting as judge and allow God to work out the situation.
4. How will you discuss this with her?
What if your friend really IS flirtatious? As her sister in Christ, you do need to address this. But you should do so when you can approach it objectively. Pray before you speak to her. Ask yourself the previous questions, especially regarding your heart motive. And when you speak to her, remember to frame this not as something she should change on behalf of men, but on behalf of Jesus, who calls us to genuine love. Attention-seeking in any form is not His will; we’re to glorify Him! Frame the conversation in love and kindness, but leave the results up to the Lord.