Red Flags: Don’t ignore them.
Red Flags pop up in our lives all the time and send us a clear warning that something is wrong. In relationships, especially when searching for a marriage partner it’s important to never ignore these signs. When your gut, or heart or God, is telling you that something is wrong, pay attention. Don’t try to justify staying when you know that you should go. Too often I see women who are stuck in terrible relationships and they won’t go because they truly believe that God wants them to be there. It’s not true. God wants you to be safe, healthy and protected within your marriage. He would never expect you to submit to abuse. Our Heavenly Father, wants His daughters to be treated with respect, love, kindness, and honor. I pray that you will not accept anything less.
If you’re dating, and you see these red flags in your relationship, guard your heart. Don’t act like your married and that this person needs you. What they need is to deal with their issues so that they can be in a healthy relationship.
If you’re married, you need to get help. These signs should never be ignored and they will not go away on their own. You are not obligated to put yourself or your children in danger in order to honor your marriage vows. New boundaries will need to be put in place and you will have some important decisions to make. These red flags don’t mean that your marriage can’t be saved, but ONLY if you’re both really honest and open about the situation. You can’t make someone change if they don’t want to.
The 10 Red Flags
1. He uses porn
If you ask and his answer is, Yes, maybe, or only sometimes than this is a RED FLAG. Do Not fall for the line that all men use porn or that it is okay. It’s not and it will cause you a lot of heartache down the road. Pornography is toxic to marriage and to your soul. While you shouldn’t be snooping through his phone, he shouldn’t be uncomfortable with you handling it for fear of something inappropriate popping up. Pay attention to the kinds of conversations he has with his male friends to get a feel for his attitude towards women’s sexuality. Don’t ignore crude or vulgar jokes that demean women.
2. He won’t pray with you
If he claims to love God but is reluctant to say a prayer in public when you’re eating out, take note. If you ask him to pray and he says he will do it later, thank him, but see if he will pray with you. Assuming it’s an appropriate time and place, a man who loves God and has a relationship with Jesus will not balk when asked to pray. If he tries to avoid it, gets uncomfortable or confrontational about it that’s a Red Flag.
3. He won’t talk about his money
When you get married, his problems become your problems, so if there is debt or bankruptcy you need to know about it. Obviously, this is personal information that should only be shared after you’ve truly established a high level of trust. However, this information should be revealed well before a proposal is made. You can also learn a lot about his financial situation by the way he spends his money and his work life. Is he working? Is every purchase being made on a credit card? Of course, it’s best to ask him directly, but in the early days of getting to know one another and dating, try to get an idea of how much he makes, how he spends his money, if he saves, what kinds of debt he has. You should at least know his attitude towards finances; saving, spending, tithing, etc. If he won’t talk about it that’s a RED FLAG.
4. He doesn’t serve
The life of a Christian is about more than just attending church on Sunday. You also need to be involved in ministry on some level. Whether that is directly with or through the church or by volunteering in some other aspect. Christians must give (Which means you should also be serving). If he isn’t already serving, is he at least open to exploring the options and committed to finding an opportunity? No? that’s a RED FLAG. If he says he is too busy, or that’s not his thing, proceed with caution. We must all be committed to doing the work of the Kingdom and you don’t want to find yourself unequally yoked, passionately trying to serve while your husband watches from the sidelines.
5. He won’t talk about his family
You’re not just marrying him. He comes with parents, siblings, and family drama. Statistics say that 75% of families are dysfunctional in some way, so don’t judge him based on who he is related to. However, there should be some honest and open conversations about what each of your family situations is like. It may not be healthy for you to meet each family member as some relationships are extremely toxic, but you should be able to at least talk about those issues. If he doesn’t want to discuss it – RED FLAG
6. He is mean to his mom
If you do meet his family and discover that he is mean, rude or disrespectful To his mother – RED FLAG. A man should treat his mother with respect and kindness, even if she hasn’t always been the perfect mother. Even if the relationship is toxic and she is a raging alcoholic, one can still act in a way that is respectful. If he treats his mother poorly, this is a huge red flag. Do Not try to be the hero in this situation and pretend his behavior is okay because he is still hurting or something and defend him. This behavior is unacceptable and at some point, it will be transferred to you.
7. His place is disgusting
Most people generally try to tidy up when someone is coming over. If he doesn’t care, RED FLAG. He doesn’t respect his possessions or his company. Also, have a conversation about household chores and expectations of who will do what once married. On the flip side, if his house is immaculate, how will he handle having toddlers throwing spaghetti on the walls?
8. He is abusive, gets aggressive or violent
How does he handle anger? Have you seen him angry? Yes, how did he make you or those around him feel? If you or anyone else felt unsafe – RED FLAG!!! Does he erupts in irrational anger or has outbursts that make people cry. If he gets into fights or is violent or gets into fits of road rage and puts himself and others in danger. STOP DATING THIS PERSON IMMEDIATELY! You will not change and abusive person! You can not change him! People can change, but only when they choose to do it for themselves. Do not date or marry someone who has not yet learned to control themselves when angry because it will turn into an abusive situation. THIS IS A DEAL BREAKER
9. You’re having sex
Or you feel highly pressured to have sex. RED FLAG! Indulging in sexual intercourse before the marriage is an excellent way to ensure that you miss or ignore all the warning signs and red flags. If you’re not willing to wait, you’re not ready to enter into a holy covenant between you, him and God. You will not make your decisions based on what the Holy Spirit is directing you to do because you’ve given into your flesh. You’ve started bounding physically and those bonds are hard to break, so you will ignore words of wisdom and choose to have your own way.
10. He is perfect
No one is perfect, so if you think he is, RED FLAG, you’re missing something. Either he is hiding something or you are naive. Likely you’re both busy pretending and you haven’t gotten to know each other yet on an authentic level. Keep getting to know each other, and when you discover that he is human after all, how do you handle that? Do you acknowledge it or pretend it’s not there? Before you get married you should have had enough conversations to have discovered that you don’t agree upon everything. When there is a disagreement, how do you both express yourselves? Does one person have to win? Can you agree to disagree? Do you pout or sulk if he won’t take your side? Having a unique viewpoint is important and we need to be able to express our opinions in a safe and loving way.
BONUS RED FLAG
He’s an addict.
If he is an alcoholic or drug addict, abuses prescriptions or sells drugs, this is a major red flag! Personally, I believe it should be a deal breaker. Until their addictions are dealt with they’re not capable of being in a healthy productive relationship. It can be so tempting for women to want to play the hero. To be the one person in their lives who won’t give up on them. Who will love them unconditionally. To be the one who will always be there. Please hear me when I say this, your love for him will never be enough to cause him to give up his addiction. He will need so much more than that.
There you have it!
10 Red flags. When these come up in a relationship it doesn’t always mean that you must immediately break up with that person. But, you should NEVER ignore them!
- Do not expect someone to improve once you marry them.
- Do not make the mistake of thinking that adding a child to the situation will force them to improve.
Generally, people are on their best behavior in the early stages of a relationship and reveal more and more of their true selves as time goes as they become more comfortable. If you see these red flags prior to formally dating, don’t get attached. This person is not yet ready for a healthy God-honoring relationship.
The Bible tells us;
“Above all else guard your heart!” – Proverbs 4:23
Because “Everything you do flows from it.”
Therefore it’s a really bad idea to go around investing your heart, emotions, time and energy into relationships that are not right for you.
If you recognize your own behavior in one of these Red Flags, stop trying to find a man and start working on that issue first. Resolve it, get help, and correct it so that you do not sabotage a perfectly good relationship with unhealthy behavior.
No one is perfect and we should enter every relationship with a lot of grace and willingness to grow, be vulnerable and forgive when people make mistakes.
This list is not about making general mistakes. This list addresses issues that if not dealt with effectively WILL severely damage a relationship.
Do you’re best to ensure that going forward you are intentional about only investing your time, heart, energy, emotions and love into relationships that have the potential to move towards a Godly marriage.
What do you think?
Have you ever ignored a red flag? What happened?
Share your story in the comments below and encourage a sister to trust her gut.
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