I came across this wonderful article yesterday that spoke of the consequences of marrying the wrong kind of person. It can have a harmful impact on the marriage, emotional and even physical health. Even dating the wrong people can have this impact. Trust me, I know. Pretty much everything on the list resonated with me.
I think articles like the one I posted are good. But one thing I’ve noticed, is that its always addressed to young, never been married people who most likely had stability growing up and ability to make wise choices. But sometimes, stuff happens in life that distorts the colander, creating ill responses and bad choices. When you’re young and full of romantic dreams, you don’t realize how life events can really impact you. This is especially true for those who have experienced loss and brokenness at a young age. You can go through life and respond to buttons that create all kinds of compromise. That was my story.
I’ve been widowed since 2004, but I have a long history of relationship errors and choosing unwisely. From time to time, I reflect on an area in my life that I consider a thorn, especially since I long one day to finally get it right. Actually, it finds a way to prick me, especially when I least expect it. I spent many, many years in a cloud repeating mistakes and wondering why I remained unloved. In fact, one of the most challenging aspects of my seminary experience was an excavation process that exposed the root causes of those choices (along with a couple of relationship flops). It’s been quite painful especially being in a context where love and marriage blossom.
Running away from bad news is difficult for women with low self worth and esteem. When women don’t understand their worth, the compromising soon follows. The red flags that are slapping them in the face are nothing more than mere tickles that can be ignored. I suppose this happens to men also, but I do see it more prevalent in women.
This is why its so important to understand our worth and value in Christ. Our identity in him let’s us know that we are loved, cherished and special. When we truly grasp our valuable we are to our heavenly Father, that need to subject to ill treatment should forge such a contrast that just the whiff of it should make us run. Let Ephesians 5:21-33 be your guide that likens the mutual, sacrificial love to Christ and his church.
So while that article is written to young single people, I hope that you can hear from an older already been there woman. I hope it resonates for older women who seem to keep making the same errors in judgment. Here’s something I wrote back in 2008 on when it’s time to put on the Nikes. I’ve added a few too. Playing around with these red flags will result in their tying a lasso around you and dragging you along for the ride on a bumpy, gravelly road.
If he is an unbeliever, RUN. No more needs to be said. If you are serious in any way about Christ, there can be no common ground with someone who isn’t, no matter how understanding, kind or thoughtful that person is.
If he says he is a believer but demonstrates no such alliance to Christ in word or deed, RUN. See above.
If he says he is not ready for a relationship, RUN. A forced commitment is no commitment at all and you cannot make him change his mind no matter how spectacular you are.
If he speaks negatively about you or insults you, RUN. This person does not respect or value you. It will not improve with marriage.
If he expects you to do things for him but reluctant to give up his own comfort, RUN. This person is selfish and will not be concerned about your needs.
If he refuses to go to church with you or invite you to his, RUN. Again selfish. It also suggests he has no interest in laying a foundation of worship together.
If he rejects your opinions, feedback or input. RUN. Chances are he is controlling and disinterested in you as a valuable person.
If he is comfortable with a sexual relationship outside of marriage or worse, insists on it, RUN. This person is immoral and selfish and could never love you as Christ loved the church. If he does not respect God, what makes you think he will respect you.
If he is moving at the speed of light to the altar, especially if due to some divine direction (“God told me you are my spouse”), RUN. This person is misled and you will be entering into a relationship with an unstable, immature person who does not have one ounce of wisdom or a clue of what it means to follow Christ.
Ok, that last one I have heard happens. But if it is a product of an immature or unstable person, that is a clue to run.
In the beginning people put their best face forward. But there are always clues. And when those clues turn to red flags, do not hesitate to put on the Nikes. You’ll be spared some heartache down the road.