We’ve all seen it happen. Someone you know, or maybe it was you, fell too quick too fast and ended up with a broken heart.
“Maybe next time,” you think, “I should play hard to get.”
The declaration makes sense in light of experience. You get too invested, too quickly, lose the interest of the guy, and BAM end up dumped (or ghosted). Playing hard to get would seem to remedy the situation or at least keep the boy interested long enough for you to decide if you want to keep the relationship (or almost relationship) going. Am I right?
Playing hard to get requires all your girlish charms and cunning ploys in order to get what you want (or avoid what you don’t want! A broken heart!). And as a bonus wielding all that feminine charm can be straight up invigorating. But then again, most sin starts off fun.
Not Just Fun and Games
No if, ands, or buts about it, playing hard to get is a method of deception, and the Bible has some pretty harsh things to say about deception.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” Proverbs 11:3
“The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Proverbs 12:22
“Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” Psalm 52:2
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1
If you believe that in order to get what you want, you need to manipulate someone, you’ve taken a page from the Devil’s playbook. I don’t know about you, but that’s not something I aspire too.
“When Satan lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
But how is a girl supposed to keep a guy’s interest if she doesn’t play hard to get? Well, believe it or not the Bible actually has something to say about this! You see withholding yourself from someone in order to toy with and manipulate them is wrong, but withholding yourself in order to guard your heart is Biblically recommended.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life,” Proverbs 4:23
Do you see the difference of motivation there? The first method is saying, “I am going to control this situation in order to get what I want,” the second is saying, “I’m going to protect my heart because I recognize it’s value.” Playing hard to get is destructive for both parties. Guarding your heart esteems both parties. It’s amazing how by obeying God’s word you can honor yourself, others, and maintain feminine mystique without playing games.
Guarding Your Heart and His
But, how do you guard your heart? One practical way you can do this in romantic relationships is by watching over your tongue.
There is an appropriate and inappropriate time to share things in a relationship, especially when a relationship first starts.
- Getting It All Out There
Some people will make the mistake of over sharing, thinking it’s best to just get it all out there. But this isn’t guarding your heart or respecting the other. You should be taking the opportunity early on in a relationship to discuss things like personal interests, belief systems, likes and dislikes, pet peeves, etc., and building shared experiences together. Take time to get to know each other as individuals instead of obsessing over your shared future. Topics you should wait to talk about until your relationship progresses are things like marriage, how many kids you want to have, where you want to establish a home. These topics put a level of hope and expectation on a relationship that shouldn’t be there until you are close to engagement and there is a chance of those discussions becoming a reality. This guards your heart and helps guard the heart of the person you care about.
- Secret Sin Struggles
Other topics to avoid are sin struggles/secret sins, and it is definitely unwise to share something with a boyfriend that you’ve never told anyone else. Sharing something like this immediately creates a level of emotional intimacy that only well established, headed for marriage, most likely already engaged relationships are ready for.
There is a principle from Ecclesiastes 3 that applies well here, it’s the “There Is a Time for Everything” principle. All these are topics you should discuss but at the right time. Knowing the right time requires prayer and discernment. Although it might be difficult, you will not regret waiting for the proper time, but you will regret not waiting.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Getting what you want doesn’t have to be a manipulation game. You can honor God, keep your feminine mystique, and respect the guy you are interested in by guarding your heart through guarding your tongue.