Single Girl,  Uncategorized

Hey Chick, He’s Married

flirty-girlMark and I were sitting across the table from a young lady one day, all playing a board game when I noticed something. Not only was she frequently casting my husband a flirty little grin with a conspiratorial twinkle in her eye, but she was trying to engage him in a team effort to beat me.

I get that it was a game. There will be people that think it was innocent fun.

But I’m a woman.

And I know women.

Ask any wife. We are programmed to pick up on the finest details in a person’s behavior and interpret them with stunning accuracy.

I ascertained something at that little game night that troubled me deeply. A girl testing something.

Could she get him on her side?

Could she pit him against me in a harmless setting like this?

My husband and I were both uncomfortable enough that we quickly distanced ourselves from this person.  Right then and there, in the midst of some unimportant, silly game, my husband firmly established whose team he was on, I proudly owned him, and we subtly, but clearly sent a message. We are a team and you are not going to divide us.

The thing that bothered me the most?

It was a Christian girl.

I expect this kind of behavior out of non-Christian people, but it has not ceased to amaze me that she, along with several others, are playing around with this kind of thing.

You find it cloaked under all kinds of disguises like friendliness, counsel, teasing, and playfulness. Strip away the euphemisms however, and it’s there, and if girls paused for a moment and evaluated their actions, even they could see it.

Before I was married I was working with a group of girls that were chatting about this very thing. Some of the most shocking statements came from some of the most pristine individuals.

“It’s so much easier for me to confide in married men! It’s safer! Single guys would get the wrong idea!”

The logic here is just brilliant. You’re single, the guy is single, and he might think you are confiding in him out of interest. You certainly wouldn’t want a single guy to get the impression that by bending his ear you are flirting with him or being forward. He might think you are chasing him and run the other way, or he just might reciprocate the vibes you are sending. So… you avoid it by steering clear of that situation all together. You don’t confide in him, and all is well.A married man however, is fair game.

I mean, he has a wife. Therefore nothing you do can be interpreted as flirting because, well…. he has a wife.

But here’s the fatal error in that logic. Men are men. Even if they are staunchly devoted to their wives, you have to operate on the assumption that all the things that made talking to the single guy a “no-no”, should make talking to the married man a “no-no.” And there’s another factor in this equation that you are forgetting.

His wife.

Not only does she belong to him, but he belongs to her. Trying to cash in on her benefits is more than a tad awkward.

I’ll be very fair here though. I don’t think most of these girls have ever really had any kind of sleazy agenda. I’ve met some worldly girls that surely did, but not our Christian girls. For them, it’s a game for the moment. While the most basic seeds can have some tragic consequences, I don’t think most of them have thought that far ahead. It’s something akin to a girl that dresses immodestly to turn some heads. While she aimed for attention, she may have no concept that she invited every man (attractive and repulsive) that saw her to think very in depth, perverse imaginations about her. But, she has.

While the young lady tries to funnel a little attention and compassion out of a married man, she is in fact sending a loud message. Faithful men will reject it and report it to their wives. Weak men may slowly succumb. Whether the tragedy was intended or not, one must understand that the direction your feet are pointing is the direction you will walk.

And then…. there are those that we all know, know precisely what they are doing.

flirt run runOne girl’s faux plea “Would someone please tell me what constitutes flirting with people’s husbands? I have no idea I’m doing it!” testifies in and of itself that she knew precisely what she was doing.

They may not have any drastic plans to accomplish the immoral, but they are testing their power as a woman, over men.

Can I get this guy to flirt back?

Do I have that ability?

For some it may be for amusement or to boost their self-esteem and self-confidence. Maybe there is some insecurity there that drives them to want to know they could get a man’s attention if they wanted it. The problem is they are attempting to reap the benefits of a contract they were not included in; attention, security, and comfort they are not entitled to from this individual.

And I’m not really talking about flirty grins and batting eyes or obvious scandalous behavior.

Actually, for the most part, it boils down to girls crossing every day personal boundaries that were not designed for them to cross.

Things like:

Physical Contact

Call me old-fashioned, but things like reaching out to touch a man’s arm in a conversation, or hugging him, or giving him a playful smack; you’re crossing lines that aren’t yours to cross. To put things in perspective, I gained the privilege of all physical contact with my husband by marrying him. A lifetime contract. If you’ve made no such contract with the man then he’s not yours to touch. In my humble opinion, outside of a handshake, you should pretty much act like you’d get cooties from him.

Challenging Loyalty

Maybe you’re mad at his wife and you are griping to him about it. Maybe you didn’t agree with something she did and you are “reporting”. Maybe, like the girl I mentioned earlier, you thought it would be fun to try to team up with him against her in a game. These two people are a team, and a team that should never be divided. The deep friendship and a sacred vow between them is one that you should never challenge even in the smallest ways. Think of them as one unit, because that is what they are.

Playing the Concerned

Years ago I listened to an audio drama called “Rescued” where a Christian pastor was struggling with his Christian wife. They were disagreeing on some key issues, and one day they had an argument in a parking lot that was overheard by a young lady in his congregation. Without knowing the background details behind the wife’s emotional outburst, she immediately decided that this “good man should not be treated like that”. She then took it upon herself to reach out to the husband and “treat him like he should be treated.”

She inserted herself into their marriage and things slowly escalated into an affair.

I have personally witnessed the aftermath of girls with this mindset. I have watched dear women suffer because of this “sympathy ministry” and the number of girls that partake in it is staggering to me. I cannot tell you how many times I have met a girl that saw a presumably “downtrodden husband” and took it upon herself to ‘make it her business.’

Hit the brakes there Sally.

I’m not trying to excuse a disrespectful wife, but guess what… disrespectful or not, it’s none of your business.

Here’s the deal. Marriage is a lifetime. In a lifetime that couple will go through A LOT together. They will walk through fiery furnaces, withstand storms and go through dry spells. There will be times where the stress of life causes them to fight. Imagine that. But that is life and it is up to the couple to get through that and be made stronger by it. No where whatsoever in any way shape or form are you included in that. You didn’t take vows to him. He is not your responsibility. Leave it alone.

Circumventing the Wife

I’ve always found it a tad annoying when a girl insists on avoiding me, but persistently reaches out to my husband. I’m not talking about the random “hey, can you take a look at my computer” stuff. I’m talking about repeatedly seeking a married man out, avoiding his wife. What I do respect is when girls come to me when they need something from him. I love this because I am his helpmeet. When I married him I became his right hand lady, secretary, and fielder. I will happily deliver your message because it is my joy to assist him. By going through the wife, you are reinforcing that relationship instead of undermining it.

Forsaking “All-Business”

I understand that going through the wife is not always an option. She may not be available, or maybe you’re a woman with a male boss and you have to approach him frequently. I get this and I really don’t mind at all. What I do mind is when you use overly personal methods of communication. We live in a world filled with all kinds of ways to keep in touch, but keep it professional. If you send a text, don’t add cutesy emoticons. If a phone call doesn’t go through, leave a message on his voicemail. Stick with conventional methods of contact. Things like Voxer, or SnapChat are crossing the line.

Being Miss Needy

COUNSELEvery girl desires the attention of a man. It’s just programmed within us. But when there isn’t a specific male in the life of a young lady, that she has “rights” to, like her father, or a husband, some flock to the married men. They need “special counseling,” often times repeatedly, for various conjured up dilemmas.

I get that our ministering men are sometimes counseling men out of necessity, and there are real legitimate reasons for need of counsel. I am not downplaying that by any means. A huge red flag pops up however, when the young lady/woman rejects the counsel or assistance of the wife.

The hard truth is that someone else’s husband should not be your confidant. You should not be instilling in someone else’s husband the idea that you need them. For young women, the choice of counsel should be a trusted woman of God. There are very few reasons why a lady must require the counsel of a man, but its interesting to see just how many girls flee counsel when the man’s wife is introduced to the process. Suddenly it’s not appealing anymore… why is that?  If you truly need a male perspective, you should choose a godly couple that you would feel comfortable enough with both parties to keep his wife fully involved.

Borderline Compliments

As a rule, I do not compliment any men besides my husband, Dad and brothers. Compliments are honestly a tricky business. Two women could make an almost identical compliment and I could care less about the one and want to claw the eyes out of the other. I think what it boils down to is subtleties that accompany the borderline compliments. Things like leaning in and sniffing his cologne and saying “Mmm. You smell good” are different than casually acknowledging something good by saying “What cologne is that? It smells good.” One focuses on him, the other on the object. Such as“That’s a cool shirt” instead of saying “That shirt looks so good on you.”

Playing Miss Helpful – Getting his coffee every morning, brushing lint off his jacket, tidying his office space, making him special treats, bringing him little gifts…whoa. I haven’t experienced this myself, but I’ve seen it 1000 times over and this stuff gets weird. Remember, he has a wife and she is his helpmeet. It’s not your job to pamper and cater to him.

In my lifetime, I have seen so many girls hungering for male attention seek out the heart of a married man to bury themselves in, to find security and comfort. Most have minimal consequences, but there are a few that have lead to utter tragedies. Good, honest men have fallen prey to these snares.

It’s because of that, that I refuse to take even the most innocent actions above lightly. Call me crazy, call me psychotic, but I love my husband so much that my radar is on alert to protect him from these wiles. When I see things that pop a red flag, I warn my husband. When someone behaves in a questionable manner, whether it is toward him or any other married man, we mark that person as a potential danger. We keep our distance, and we guard all of our interactions with them very carefully. Why?

Because our marriage is sacred. Our love and trust in one another is something that we cherish. Our devotion to one another is so strong that we entered into a lifelong contract of faithfulness and loyalty to each other. My husband is my heartbeat. I am his treasure. Our marriage is worth guarding and protecting with everything we have within us. It’s not a game for someone’s amusement or a challenge for the insecure to tamper with. It’s not an open invitation for everyone’s emotions.

It is a covenant between he and I.

He is my irrevocable teammate. My husband did not take a vow to be the refuge or advocate or hero or rescuer or listener or knight in shining armor of any other girl but me. He is my shoulder to cry on, his arms are my happy place, his hand is my jar-opener. He is my confidant and very best friend. It’s my job to flirt with him, send him winking emoticons, love him, spoil him and cherish him.

In short, that man is my husband.

Not yours.

signature-Rebecca-Pruett

 

46 Comments

  • gina

    “Good, honest men have fallen prey to these snares.” No. Weak men in weak marriages fall prey. Christian women do not need to be gossipy and shun each other. Though there are some this points in this article, the over-the-top sensational tone is not Christian. At all. A Christian couple should be bonded together to do God’s work not Satan’s. How about instead of shunning another we be honest and tell them of the boundaries we set in our marriages?

    • Mrs. Pruett

      I appreciate your feedback but I guess I am lost on where we “shun” people, “gossip” and perform “satan’s work”. What the article doesn’t say is that, in the background, I have had one on one discussions with young ladies that do these things. I have spoken to them in a kind loving manner and most have respectfully received what I have had to say. You ask why I don’t be honest and tell the boundaries we set in our marriages, when that is in fact what I have done with this article. This article has been shared over and over by others because it is truth and it resonates with people. Obviously the problem is more widespread than my one-on-one conversations can accomplish. I’m not sure what you consider over-the-top or sensational. Perhaps you could point specific things out to me. The truth is, this is real life. In response to only “weak men in weak marriages fall prey.” That assumption is naive and a mute point. Good, honest men can be eroded, even with healthy marriages and tremendous wives. I know a few wives that are incredible women of God and did everything they could for their marriage, and somehow it wasn’t enough. The fact is, that in real life people go through rough patches that make them vulnerable. Flirty women do not discriminate between weak men and strong men, weak marriages and strong marriages. Having a strong marriage doesn’t give a person the right to flirt with your husband. And even if the flirting will never lead to downfall, it still doesn’t mean it is OK to do it. Having a weak husband and a struggling marriage is not fair game for a flirt either. I hope I do not offend you by saying this, but I get the feeling that you took this article very personally. I’d love to talk with you further about it. If you don’t wish for it to be publicly displayed in comments, there is a “Questions for the Wife” button where conversations can be conducted privately.

  • gina

    “My husband and I were both uncomfortable enough that we quickly distanced ourselves from this person…” How is that a Christian attitude? How is it not shunning her?

    • Mrs. Pruett

      I can see how you would conclude that. I do think there is a big difference between shunning an individual and distancing ourselves from a person. Shunning suggests fully cutting them off, refusing to speak with them, pretending they don’t exist to you. We have never done anything of that sort. By distancing ourselves, I simply mean, we’re not going to be “best buds” and hang out with that person all the time. They may very much still be a part of our lives. They may attend church with us and they may be included in a group activity where several people go out and fellowship together. If a girl did something questionable, I may go home and say, “Honey, be careful, she was trying to flirt with you.” From then on he knows to be extra cautious never to be alone with her, he knows he should conduct himself in a way that discourages further attempts she may make. He also knows that he needs to be cautious himself not to inadvertently encourage her. My husband does the same for me. We don’t cut them off or cast them away. We simply become more careful in our interactions with them.

      • Brentany Buggar

        I knew this was something you wrote 🙂 and it is really good and makes me stop and think about how I act around men in general. . So thank you 🙂
        Brentany Buggar a.k.a Booger

  • gina

    “Faithful men will reject it and report it to their wives. Weak men may slowly succumb.” That is ywhat you said. Then in your reply to me you say that isn’t what you are saying. And if you have spoken to other women whom are making you and your husband uncomfortable, you should stress that as how to deal with this situation. Not comics of “Run, men run ” I’m disappointed young women I know are reading your advice. It seem good to guard your marriage at all costs but it most definitely is not Biblical or Christian the way you describe it in your article. There is no need to write as if cut and run is the thing to do. I mean, unless you have tried to set boundaries to no avail. Otherwisey you are feeding Satan and his desire not only to destroy marriages but all Christian relations.

      • gina

        No. I’m not sure why you would ask that. Which scripture supports the harsh tone and reaction? My husband and I talked about this and agree. While there are good points (which I initially stated) the tone, which conveys the lack of a Godly marriage to build each other and those around us up, is not Christian. Maybe it is just poorly written with bad illustrations. Enticing jealousy is just going to encourage gossip and other bad behavior. Maybe take another stab at this article from a Biblical stand point only. Leave out the jumping to conclusions and add ways to talk with anyone whom you and your husband believe to be over-stepping boundaries. The Bible is clear that we are to be about God’s work. And IF we get married, we should do that as a team. Most of this article comes across as your team being about your team. Period.

        • Mrs. Pruett

          The reason I asked was you seemed to be taking the article very personally. There were thousands of readers, hundreds of shares, and no one had taken it the way you seemed to be taking it. I think you are reading a tone that is not there. The things you are referring to as mean are just adding humor to lighten the mood. You point out the comics, and I’ll give you that. The comics are over-the-top to make people laugh. They were not mean-spirited but I can see how someone would conclude that.

          As for building others up,I am all for that, but a harlot that is testing my husband is not to be toyed with. As for jumping to conclusions, I’m not sure what points you are talking about. Enticing jealousy is an interesting accusation. I’m a bit confused about that one. As for the article being about my team, you are correct. The article was on a specific topic, I am long-winded, and God’s Work as a team is another article for a completely separate audience on another day. This article was for an audience of young ladies to show them there are boundaries you should respect for the sake of the married couple. It was not a bash-you piece and single girls all over have agreed and even promoted the article. It broke it down on how and why things can be perceived a certain way, why they become dangerous, and how they can prevent it. Not one relationship here has suffered because of this article. If anything, it strengthened my relationship with many people.

          • gina

            I took it personally because I am a woman, married, Christian and young girls I know are reading this. Personally is the only way to take it. And your last statement is naive and immature. You cannot possibly know what impact these ‘words of advice’ have had on all the relationships it has touched. Did you read James 3? You responded very quickly. I do not think you are taking this seriously.

          • Mrs. Pruett

            You’re right. I did not read James 3. I was on my way out the door, but I know well what the chapter talks about. It’s the tongue chapter. I went and read it again and the points I think you are trying to make with the chapter are evidence that you are still assuming things about my motives and still insisting that things that aren’t there, are. But, supporting the article Biblically, I think that’s a great idea. My husband has told me before to include scripture in my articles and you are right. I should add scripture. Maybe I will do a follow-up article. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Mrs. Pruett

    Faithful men will reject it, but faithful strong men can be eroded. I’ve seen incredible men of God slowly undertaken and become weak men. If faithful men could not be eroded there would be no reason to be careful and guard our marriage. “Run men run” does not depict any specific person I know. It is just depicting a type of person that yes, men need to FLEE at all costs. There are some of those. The Bible calls them harlots and there is nothing biblical about a man embracing a relationship with a harlot, even if they don a religious appearance. “Sorry honey- I’m going to work on my relationship with Miss Harlot over here while you sit on the back burner.” No ma’am. Your spouse comes before ANYONE besides God Himself. I know what you are saying about promoting healthy relationships within the church and being godly towards one another, but no relationship with any other woman comes before my marriage. Plain and simple. The Bible also gives us a command to “teach the younger woman” and “reprove, rebuke and exhort.” Not all of our conversations with our Christian brothers and sisters are going to be fluffy kittens and rainbow messages. There are times when a gentle, but firm rebuke is necessary. And sometimes, we throw in humorous comics to lighten the mood while we do it. 🙂

    • gina

      My husband used the term ‘overbearing’ which I think is more accurate than jealous. Although I can see how it comes across as jealous, the ugly kind. The kind that makes people behave towards others poorly. Another unfortunate theme that this article carries is boasting. Maybe pray on James 3 and rethink the tone. Keep the ‘guarding’ points and other’s you can support Biblically. But please, Please, PLEASE, lose those illustrations and the mean tone.

      • Mrs. Pruett

        Please elucidate on where I am boasting. And again, there is no mean tone in this article. I have read and re-read to find what was so mean and I am lost.

        • gina

          The article is boastful of your marriage andr he comments are boastful of your article. This is a great article for the world. A poor one for the Christian. Nothing is supported Biblically, even though some of it could be. Maybe try that. Rewrite it and support each point Biblically. That would probablydysplasia you understand your folly.

          • Mrs. Pruett

            “The article is boastful of your marriage”- this is hard for me to wrap my head around. Expressing my love and devotion to my husband and marriage is boastful? “comments are boastful of your article” – I think you are reading things in my heart, spirit and motive that are not there. We are discussing the article and I pointed out things about the article.

      • Mrs. Pruett

        I agree. While I have no reason to be jealous, because my husband is fantastic in these situations, jealousy is something even God feels toward us. When you love someone, when you’ve taken a vow to them, you do in fact have rights to them. Jealousy would be a natural response. However, calling a wife jealous is actually making it seem like she’s the “bad guy” in this situation, which is terribly, utterly false. It is actually very tragic that someone would justify any of the above actions based on something that has absolutely no bearing on their personal responsibility.

  • Joyce

    I agree 100% with everything you have written. Men DO need to FLEE from any female that flirts or gets a “little too close” to a married man. If he stays, then that is an “ok” in her book that he isn’t bothered by it and then she will try out her boundaries and see how far she can take it. It doesn’t matter if he is faithful, strong, weak or whatever, he is still human and a male and the devil will make sure that it affects him if precautions aren’t taken, not only that, but the fact that his integrity may be questioned or someone may see this “other” female being flirty and he may be very unaware that it is happening but because Satan wants to break down the sanctity of marriage he will MAKE sure someone sees that (and they won’t even know what’s actually happening) but they would see it and talk and the guy would lose his integrity over something he didn’t do. I very much agree with your whole article and thought you did a wonderful job of explaining everything and how you brought it out. Thank you for this!!!

    • gina

      Have a conversation. Don’t flee your fellow Christians as a first, knee jerk, response. That is not Biblical. That is Satan cashing in on our bad behavior.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      After God, my marriage is the most important thing to me. I have no problem admitting that. The husband and wife were the first establishment of society that God ever made so it’s a pretty important aspect of our lives. He also likens the marriage relationship to Christ and His bride, the church, so again, it’s a very important, very special relationship. After our marriage is the ministry. That includes other people. To say my marriage is my idol is again, making a drastic assumption.

      • gina

        I’m not assuming things I am stating the tone and manner this comes across.

        Your behavior, in the initial interaction starts my red flags flying. Wouldn’t a more Biblical, God honoring reaction have been to engage her as a couple? Ask her questions? Talk to her? Etc. If she is crying out for attention maybe you should use this bond God has blessed you with, as husband and wife, to give her the right type of attention.

        Physical contact… I can’t even imagine what my life would look like if I had to be concerned every time someone touched my husband. I, personally, do not like to be touched by almost anyone beside my husband. My husband, on the other hand, is a hugger. Now imagine that these single girls are in a world of people like him and along you 2 come and in the midsts of some ‘silly’ game you, ‘…quickly distance yourselves…’ What has she come away with? How did you honor and demonstrate God in your relationship?
        i.e. My mom is HUGE on personal contact. (maybe this is why I don’t like to be touched, I don’t know?) I have seen her talking with random people on the street, smell bad, look scary, etc. and she is always touching them. Holding their hands. Rubbing their shoulders. Touching their face. Things I’m sure come across as flirting to a great many people. It is really quite humbling to watch and has to be immensely heart touching for many people that are more than likely usually treated like you treated the girl in your opening. The fact is, you didn’t know her story any more than my mother knows these strangers. I cannot even fathom my father acting like he owns my mom to the point of your illustrations. I do not see how my dad expecting her to flee these encounters is going to demonstrate the love God asks us to give one another. Others may get the wrong idea. They may talk. And there might be conversations necessary. But that’s what should take place. We should talk to one another and THAT should be promoted by anyone that is trying to counsel others on how to conduct themselves in their encounters with others.

        Compliments & helpful… Again, if this is something your marriage needs a boundary drawn out then do that and convey it to those that over-step it for you 2. But to tell people what is acceptable in their relationships is over-stepping being helpful and skates into promoting distrust and gossip. i.e. We have many women in our circles that bake. They like, actually LOVE to bake. They do make treats for others and sometimes specifically for the man in the relationship. How tedious to declare with your pen that this (type of behavior) is suspect.

        As I said initially, there are good points and suggestions in this article but there isn’t really any Biblical stance for your illustrations of how you have handled what has come your way. Most of it is counterproductive.

  • Malin

    Wow. You alienate a lot of readers by saying things like you “expect” this of non-Christian women; are we unable to be decent people because we don’t call ourselves Christian or worship the same God? Are we automatically lascivious tramps that can only act on our basic urges? I thought this had a very judgemental tone, and when it is being shared as frequently as you say you should consider the impact of these sentiments. You could be (or you already are) pushing a large group of people away, and if we are being honest, I found that part insulting.

    I also firmly believe that if you have a solid marriage, and actual trust, you don’t need to be so vigilant and wary of other women. Trust your partner to do the right thing, thats it. Trust.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      Malin, you are correct. I failed to word that very well. I apologize for how that came across. I know that many non-Christians are not like this. What I intended to convey was that Christians should be held to a higher standard. For instance, if some girl at my husband’s job gives him a playful smack, it’s not a big deal to me because she likely has no concept that among Christians of our denomination, men and women that are not married or related do not touch each other. Basically, anyone is capable of this, but a Christian, (professing and touting morals) should surely not be doing it. Most readers of my blog are from a specific denomination of Christians so the article was geared to them. This is the first time anything I have written has really gone beyond that sphere, and it has enlightened me to things I need to work on. Thanks for your input.

  • Malin

    Thanks for your response, I appreciate you taking it seriously. I’d have to push back a little on your assumption that Christian women know not to touch; but perhaps this is a difference in denominations? I was raised Methodist, my mom was a youth minister so I literally grew up in a church, and touch was never frowned upon or preached against. Can I ask what denomination? There are a lot of studies about the importance of non-sexual touch, and this idea of “not touching” is very American; other countries have a lot more physical contact between all individuals, but their marriages remain intact. People need to touch each other in a non-sexual way, it is important for us on an emotional and mental level.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      You’re welcome. I am a trinitarian Pentecostal. We are actually quite a bit more conservative than the rest of the church world. My convictions on touching stem from two Biblical principles- one is from I Corinthians 7:1 “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” Touch is a powerful thing, like you indicated, and we should be careful with it. This warning is here because the Lord knows our nature. The other principle is from I Thessalonians 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” Is a hug evil? Most of the time, probably not, but we live in a world where right and left people are cheating on their spouses, performing immoral acts, etc. Even when it isn’t happening, it would be easy for someone to look on at something and start a rumor. “Psst, I saw so and so hugging lady such and such…” Part of guarding your marriage is simply guarding your integrity by not being in positions where people could misconstrue what they see. I think we’ve all been hugged or touched by a well-meaning person that didn’t know any better, and it gets brushed off. I think people may also fail to realize that things affect males differently than they do females. I actually read something the other day by a guy that admitted the very reason he hated “side hugs” was because he didn’t get to feel the woman’s breasts smash up against him. For me, that makes a clear case why we should only be hugging our husbands. The girl may not even be thinking about that- she’s just soaking in the wonderful secure feeling of being wrapped in strong arms. I agree with you that touch is incredibly important. I believe though, that it should be reserved for certain people. For me, I think it would indicate a serious problem if I had to look outside the marriage relationship for the fulfillment of touch.

  • Renee

    Wow…great article! As a wife for 34 years and a Christian for 40, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. While engaged to my future (and current and only) husband, a girl in the church who had previously had no interest in him, suddenly began to flirt big time with him. I knew what she was doing….it was a game to her…see if she could get him away from me, then she’d drop him. She only wanted the conquest, the challenge. I just watched to see how he would react…figured better to find out now if his heart was true before the wedding. Needless to say, she lost! But since then there has been several times my “red flags” have went up and I have told him to watch certain women….or I knew to watch certain men as this works both ways. Thankfully, he’s pretty good at reading people and most of those instances he had already picked up on, too. We didn’t shun, but we also watched ourselves and made sure he was never alone with them. The Bible says to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” –1 Thessalonians 5:22

    Likewise the same pertains to me and other males. We are also Trinitarian Pentecostal Holiness and have made it a point over the years that any counseling with females, I was included, any counseling with males was him one-on-one unless there was a need for female input…such as marriage issues where the wife’s perspective was needed.

    On a lighter note, after our wedding we attended my husband’s home church for 4 years before feeling the Lord moving us back to my church. After 4 years there were new folks in attendance. My dad had continued to go to my home church after we had left. After service I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and I saw the horror on one woman’s face. Quickly realizing she didn’t know we were father/daughter I said loudly enough that she could hear, “Hi dad, how you feeling this morning.” I saw the puzzled look, then the look of “oh…dad…”. Figured I better squelch those rumors before they got started!!

  • Renee

    Sorry, but just thought of this and it deserves saying. This is something my husband and I have also discussed and agreed upon.

    If the situation arises and a woman does flirt and he doesn’t respond in kind, feeling rejected she could say he tried something or made a pass and could easily ruin his testimony and reputation. Who would people readily believe, a woman who is upset, perhaps crying and saying she was molested or the man, who in this case is a minister, who says it didn’t happen. That’s why the Lord told his disciples, and ultimately us as well, to be harmless as doves but wise as serpents.

  • Gina Mitchell

    Mrs. Pruett,
    This “Gina” is in perfect harmony with your article! I know your heart behind the blog. I have seen you & your husband work & play together, rejoice & grieve together, be denied, then receive a miracle together. The other “Gina” cannot know you and project such insolent accusations at you! Me thinks…The lady doth protest too much!!!
    Btw…awesome blog!!!

  • Donna

    I had a so-called christian friend who I ended up cutting off for accusing me of the same thing. She did it in a very underhanded way. I also think the true intention of her accusation had nothing to do with flirting and everything to do with needing to have control and to push her agenda. To make matters worse we share a property with her and her husband and she belongs to a cult (christian assemblies international).

    One day I simply showed her some clothes with the presence of her husband in the room. I tried to only engage her and she brushed me off and acted disinterested. So I left. As I was leaving her husband made a joke that I kind of cringed at but I made no pass, no overt or covert gestures. Nothing.

    In response she bad mouthed me to several people on the issue and bashed on a minor physical disability I have. Nice.

    She never had the decency to just confront me or my partner personally. She tried to accuse me as if I was already guilty in the eyes of her church group.

    She may have called herself a christian but I saw nothing decent or christian about her behavior.

  • Triss

    I so appreciate your humour, your practical advice and your support — I came looking for an article that has clear boundaries like this– and yes, I am married.
    I wouldn’t change a thing about your article! I sent it to my husband and am looking forward to his reply.
    Thanks again! 😀

  • Sue

    This is an ongoing situation with my fiancé. He a physician in a busy trauma hospital and works with hundreds of good looking and smart women everyday. Many times when we run into women they demand that he hug them, full frontal bear hug. I just cringe. I told him instead of giving in to these women that he should put his arm around me and introduce me as his fiancé. That would stop these girls dead in their tracts. He fights me on this, says that this is just his personality. Um. No. He needs to set clear boundaries. I am not a prude, but I am not at all comfortable with his availability to other women. And the fact that women would love to snag a doctor, trust me it is not at all what you think.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      Such a hard situation, Sue! My husband has a lot of subordinate female employees that look up to him because he has a glowing personality and invests in people to bring out the best in them. A lot of them will try to snag a hug, just because it’s one of the few ways they know how to express their gratitude, but he just outright says “Sorry! I only hug my wife!” and then, offers them a high five. As crazy as it sounds, I think that they have a higher respect for me because he holds that standard. I hope your fiance will come around and see that your boundaries are good for him as well!

  • Ann

    This is an interesting, useful, and well-thought-out article. Thank you. I googled it because I have a problem with a widowed woman in the synagogue my husband and I attend. She definitely has crossed the line. I wonder if that’s in part because hugging between people men is accepted and even encouraged. As the synagogue is “egalitarian,” that includes hugging between men and women. Of course, most women (like me) do “half-hugs,” sideways without frontal contact, and then only with men where there’s no chemistry on either side (for example, when someone is terminally ill and much older). However, the problem with this is that it invites inappropriate hugging, though I’m concluding all hugging between non-married men and women is inappropriate in that, even if harmless, it invites the harmful kind. The widowed woman in question has given me a quick hug only to give my husband a full-frontal, complete with resting her cheek against her heart! An image I don’t wish imprinted on the retinas of any married woman. She’s also blown at least one kiss, and arm-stroking is a given. But it’s really the spirit of the contact, the little looks and the tone of voice…the dilated pupils and the flushed cheeks. My husband is on my team but doesn’t want to shun this woman. It’s a difficult situation. Maybe part of the problem is that, while this woman is Jewish by birth, she doesn’t know much at all about the Hebrew Bible and hasn’t led a God-centred life. Anyway, as far as I go, I’m now motivated to set more boundaries with my own behaviour, even though there’s no intention to flirt and I haven’t made any woman uncomfortable.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      Thank you for your comment Ann! You are absolutely right in feeling this woman you refer to has crossed the line. From your description it does not sound like innocent contact at all, but very deliberate! There are definitely things you can do without shunning her. My husband remains polite to women who have crossed the line, but he’s careful to also show disinterest. And he’ll often pull me in closer, or if I’m not there, he finds a way to bring me up in conversation, careful to use the word “wife” and give a subtle but clear message. Our demeanor and countenance can communicate a lot and a man can shut something down pretty effectively with a few subtle hints in demeanor. I’ll keep this situation in prayer!

      • Ann

        Thanks for the prayers.Actually, my husband already has down what you suggested…and even by his face he’s given absolutely no encouragement. I agree with your sense that this woman is doing it deliberately. Oh well, here’s where praying for and loving one’s enemies comes in.

  • Dorise Fisher

    I cannot begin to tell you how this ministered to my heart ❤️You were so on point with everything you wrote! One thing I have realized, there are many wolves in sheeps clothing sitting right next to us in church.
    Just Because they say they are Christians we need to be careful & discern.
    Thank You for your anointed words ! God Bless You!

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