“Oh, he’ll go to church when we get married.”
“I know he has an anger problem, but he is calm with me.”
“Her spending is out of control but she is working on it.”
“He doesn’t know the Lord but I’m hoping he will.”
Do any of these statements strike you as a relationship red flag? Relationship red flags are important to pay attention to, especially at the beginning of relationships.
If you can notice them early, you can decide not to pursue that relationship and save yourself a lot of grief later. Or if you are already in a committed relationship, you can identify the problem and get help.
During the show, we talk about 10 relationship red flags that are sure to contribute to problems. One of the most glaring is being with someone controlling.
A big red flag is someone who is constantly jealous of your other relationships. The person tries to control who you see, how often you see them and then tries to guilt you into spending time with him or her rather than others.
And to top it off, the reason given is because they care and want you all to themselves. Run from this type of relationship if you can. Controlling people don’t become less controlling when they become more intimate in their relationships. They usually escalate to more control.
And then there is the red flag of faith incompatibility. You know the person isn’t a Christian. You don’t share the same world view. Yet, you continue down the relationship path, hoping he or she will become saved. This is a risk, and scripture warns us about being unequally yoked.
Think about how important faith is to everything you do. It shapes the way you respond to others, calls you into accountability for your actions and influences what is important in life.
A spiritual connection brings depth into a relationship not possible otherwise. And it colors your values, beliefs and actions. Without a faith compatibility, your relationship will struggle.
For those already in that situation, continue to pray for the person. Model the life of a Christian in all you do. But if you haven’t tied the knot, think twice about continuing that relationship no matter how much you love the person.
I believe faith compatibility is what has gotten me through forty years of marriage. When problems come, we have a common place to look for guidance and help. Faith matters. Faith promotes grace, but also calls you into accountability. It pushes us towards forgiveness while also looking at our own issues and choosing to forgive. Faith helps us examine our hearts, but also be wise in the people with whom we associate.
So if you see a red flag flying in the wind, don’t ignore it and don’t justice the flag. Attend to it, examine it and decide, do I really want to enter this relationship with this issue?
And if you are in a relationship, please point out the flag and get help!