Have you ever done the dance the tango? I have. The woman mirrors the man while he guides and leads with incredible strength and yet fluidity. It is a beautiful dance packed with power and passion. The woman, though following, must react, respond, and in many ways leads the dance. Without her response there would be no dance at all.
The saying is cliché but true: It takes two to tango.
JD Gunter recently challenged men to be intentional in pursuing a woman. Intentionality, he shared, is a way to serve sisters in Christ. He is right. Being intentional is not only a way to serve but a way to love sisters in Christ. And yet we know it takes two to tango. Not only does it take two, women we can do much to protect and serve our brothers in Christ as well.
“Just Talking” can be appealing
Girls desire companionship and friendship. There is something about feeling wanted and desired, even if only through “talking” that is appealing to us. So when a young man shows any interest at all it can be easy to let the need for direction and commitment fly under the radar. We get a small taste of that companionship that we long for and we settle for “just talking.” We don’t want to lose the relationship by cutting it off if it’s not going anywhere. We can delay the inevitable, even while our hearts are becoming more and more invested.
We may even use the excuse: “I don’t want to lead, so I’ll just go with it.” Ladies, if he is not your husband you do not need to submit to him. Don’t use that as an excuse to hold onto something that might not be going anywhere because you like how it feels. If he isn’t making his intentions clear or if he has declared that he simply enjoys your company but doesn’t seem to want to make a real commitment, then you can make a decision to flee.
Our lips can drip honey
Ladies, let’s be honest. This is going to be tough. We know what we are doing. Sure, there are times when we can be expressive or encouraging and it is completely misunderstood. I am incredibly expressive—probably to a fault. I share how I feel and what I think and have to be really aware that not everyone is like that or some may mistake my exuberance for something else. But I’m not talking about being an encourager. I’m talking about the desire to lure a man in. Remember, it takes two to tango. You can use your words to build up and point your brother to Christ or you can draw him to yourself in hopes that he will respond.
Proverbs warns of the woman who uses her lips to draw in a man. The writer warns his son about the adulterous woman. “For the lips of a forbidden woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood” (Proverbs 5:3). This, of course, is warning a married man against a forbidden woman, but we can do the same to our single brothers. Have you ever flattered in hopes of drawing attention to yourself or with a desire that he would know you are “into” him? Do you flirt—joke and play in hopes that he will take notice of you?
I’m not sharing this as one who hasn’t done this in my single years. I simply want us to be real about it. We have a responsibility to protect our brothers out of a love for them. We can, by the grace of God, exercise self-control with our tongue. We should ask God to give us wisdom as we speak with our brothers. We can ask God to help us be wonderful encouragers. Instead of dripping honey, we can put on Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Just before this text Paul explains that ultimately this is putting on love (14).
Going from here
You may be thinking to yourself, “so does this mean I can’t be friends with a guy?” As a single woman I had a dear male friend that I spoke with often. I never felt this pull that I do with my husband and it never crossed any threshold from friendship to romance (Courtney Reissig shares about the possibility of this). We weren’t “just talking” we were friends. There was no prelude to a kiss. But we also had what I think was a very intentional friendship. Perhaps this is rare. You have the freedom to be friends with your brothers; you are indeed brothers and sisters. Most family members speak with each other!
What I think Gunter is sharing and what I am stressing is intentionality and protection. Treat your brothers like brothers and don’t try to tempt them. Be honest with your girlfriends if this is a temptation for you. Assess your interactions with your brothers and see if there are times when you are attempting to be alluring. And then evaluate that relationship that is stuck in the “just talking” phase and see if it’s really going anywhere or if you are holding on because you like how it feels to have a companion even though your heart is growing more and more attached.
Ultimately we all must ask God for wisdom and grace as we walk out our faith together. We are learning how to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We will make blunders. We will make mistakes. God’s grace covers our errors. So we ask God for greater wisdom and the strength to protect our brothers.
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