Disaster With Flirting–November 8, 2011

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“I did not have sex with that woman.”

The now well-known words of former President Bill Clinton, describing his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Of course, as it turns out, he did have sex with her–even by his own standards. 

We are all nuts on the issue of human sexuality (and I do not mean that as a pun). It is the ultimate fig leaf from the Garden of Eden which we try to disguise by using antiseptic language to cover inevitable temptation, or even chicanery. Here’s what I know about myself: I am a sexual being; I like sex. It is pleasant. I pursue pleasant things because I like them and they make me feel good. Yet, like most of the things that God has placed into our universe that are pleasant, it is also loaded with innumerable consequences and pitfalls.

Everybody flirts. Even candidates for the Presidential position in our country have–and do–flirt.  It’s because we get around attractive people and we want to feel attractive. This is probably the greatest weakness in the human species. We feel that we create our greatest attractiveness by people being attracted to us. It makes us vulnerable to the weakness of desiring the pleasantness of sexual experience.

I am tired of grown men and women pretending that they have not participated in errant flirting, which can only be described in our society as sexual harassment. For instance, if you’re in a gymnasium and you throw a pass to someone with a ball and they’re not looking for it and it hits them in the head, they’re going to be angry at you. Likewise, if you misread the signals sent off by another human being and you begin to flirt with them and they are offended by your overtures, you will be accused of being forceful and harassing. That’s just the facts.

I remember back in 1998, when I heard President Clinton make the statement about his intern, Monica, I knew immediately that he was guilty. Why? No one refers to a twenty-one-year-old girl who works on your staff as “that woman.” The amount of distance he was trying to create was unnatural, and therefore, dishonest.

The church doesn’t help much here. We are so afraid to talk about sexuality that we begin to pretend that salvation has relieved us of the impulse. We even propose that our fifteen- and sixteen-year-old children, who have super-charged batteries located inside of them, are supposed to refrain from all contact with the opposite sex and remain celibate until they’re twenty-nine years of age and have started a good IRA.

We’re just nuts.  And because of this, politicians, preachers and even the poll-takers themselves feel the necessity to lie about their tendencies to flirt, thereby creating disasters.

I will tell you this straight up. I am not a very handsome man, so I have not had as many opportunities as someone who looks more attractive. But I have flirted, been out of line, crossed the barrier and probably even intimidated a female or two in my lifetime because I wanted to prove my prowess. I’ve also been flirted WITH by women who wanted to be attractive to someone they felt was talented and had ability. I did not welcome their advances and had they pushed it forward, it would have been harassment.

It doesn’t do any good to pretend that you are not part of the human race. Here’s what I think we need to come to in this society, or end up proficiently devastating one another through our lack of social and sexual candor:

1. We are all human and therefore sexual–no exceptions. Even Jesus and Gandhi.

2. Everyone has “one”–and that “one” gets excited very easily and must be dealt with instead of ignored.

3. Having “one” can quickly become “two,” which multiplies your problems. The minute flirting and sex begins, you are involving at least one other person, not to mention all of her girlfriends, family and even the potential of a pregnancy.

4. Affirming this, what we need to do is resist the need to be attractive–in other words, forcing a climate where we feel that EVERYONE is attracted to us. This has made all the difference in the world to me. I don’t have to be attractive to every woman I meet–I don’t have to believe she is secretly pining to climb into bed with me. I don’t have to assess my sexuality by whether everyone wants to have sex with me. Just relieving myself of the burden of needing to be attractive to everyone allows me to be attractive to whom I want to be attractive to and seals the faithfulness of that relationship.

Of course, you must realize, when you don’t want to be attractive to people this can be a very attractive thing. So the second thing I do is never put myself in the position of being alone with a woman in a room unless I plan to be alone with a woman in a room, if you know what I mean. And finally, I would never think about flirting with any woman that I would be unable to carry on a lengthy conversation with under normal conditions.  (Honestly, that eliminates almost everyone.)

Here’s what I know. Bill Clinton, Herman Cain, your local pastor, your mom and dad–all of them–are human and sometimes made weak by the need to be attractive. The smart ones learn to acknowledge the weakness instead of denying it and therefore eliminate the need to be confirmed through sexual prowess, but rather, allow their life and efforts to speak for them.

So do yourself a favor:

  • Stop being afraid of human sexuality.
  • Stop needing to be attractive to everyone.
  • And give your partner in life a great gift–the confidence that you are more interested in blessing the earth than having some temporary fling give you a fleeting blessing.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. HI Jonathon:

    Saw you perform at our church this summer. Really enjoyed your music and message. God bless you and Janet.

    Like


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