Flirting means different things for different age groups. When I was in second grade, if I liked a girl, I would throw a rock at her. (Fortunately for women, I have made some progress in this area.)
When we matured to the fourth grade, things got more sophisticated: a girl would ask her friend to pass a note to a boy, inviting him to check the appropriate box if he was interested in her. By sixth grade the tactics were more refined, and a girl might have her friend “accidentally” shove her into a cute boy as they walked out of class. This is all amusing, but by junior high the girls leave the notes behind as they start to realize what interests guys. This is when flirting can become a problem.
The basic definition of flirt is to tease or toy with another; to pay romantic attention to someone without serious intentions. To the degree that one is being impure or dishonest, flirting is wrong. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with letting another person know you are attracted to him. The problem comes when you lead him on for the sake of amusement or to boost your self esteem, usually while causing him to have impure thoughts or desires.
If you are attracted to another, be pure and honest in your dealings with him, and the Lord will bless your friendship. There is nothing wrong with being playful with the person and going out of your way to meet him. Just make sure integrity motivates your tactics. If you are an affectionate girl, be careful about how you express this. A guy might perceive your affection as a hint that you want him to do more with you. This is because affection usually does not come naturally for guys. It is out of the ordinary, and so the guy may associate it with something sexual.
The best approach is to make your intentions for purity clear, and make sure that your words, your actions, and your outfits convey the same message. Also consider this: Lots of guys will date a flirt, but who wants to marry one? If a girl is flirty toward me, what reason do I have to think that she is not flirting with other guys? A girl is much more attractive if she does not flutter around trying to get attention.
One reason a girl may be a flirt is because she wants to be loved. The attention might soothe a wounded self-esteem, but in the end it is like trying to survive on a diet of cotton candy: it tastes sweet but leaves her malnourished. Before a woman can love a man fully, she must realize that only God can completely satisfy her deepest desires for love. Until then she’ll be looking to guys to fulfill her, instead of looking to God to help her to love them. When a young woman sits still long enough to hear God and when she sees with her heart how he looks at her with love, she recognizes the lewd comments and looks from various guys as nothing more than counterfeit love.
As Mother Teresa often said, “Stay close to Jesus. He loves you.” By the side of Christ a woman finds her independence. When she stands beside Christ, and he reveals her worth to her, she no longer depends on the approval of random guys to build her self-worth.