Marrying someone with multiple red flags tends to never turn out well. The wait of finding that person God has for you can feel long and often hopeless, but I can assure you that jumping into a marriage with someone who is not the person you need to be with, will leave you with a lot more struggles in the long-term.
We sat down with Pastor Vlad and Lana Savchuk with Hungry Generation church to talk about the kind of qualities you want to make sure are not in your future spouse.
Here are the 13 red flags to keep an eye out for:
Their relationship with God is not a priority. The Bible says you can marry anyone in the Lord, “that refers to an identity,” the Savchuk’s say. God is clear when He says you are to marry someone who is equally yoked. If you are pursuing Jesus, living a life following God’s will, you want someone who is doing the same. As a woman, you submit to your husband and his leadership. You don’t want to submit to a man who is not aligned with God’s will for his life.
Their actions and words do not match. If the person you are talking to says they are a person with good morals and character but their actions don’t display that, believe what you see and not what you hear. Anyone can say the right thing, but it takes someone who has the commandments written on their heart and is filled with the Holy Spirit to live a life honoring to God.
Their close friends are not committed Christians. The phrase “you are who you surround yourself with” is said for a reason. The people in your inner circle are molding and shaping you and your future. If you are talking to someone and their inner circle is not dedicated Christians, that is a red flag. Those people around them can and will rub off on the person you potentially are looking to marry.
The person has a wandering eye. There isn’t much to say beyond this point. If you are looking for someone to be your future spouse and co-parent, and they don’t respect you enough to not “check out” other people then they are not the person you want to spend your life with.
They recently got out of a relationship and they aren’t healed. Relationships can take a toll, and it takes time to heal from the wounds and pain you experienced when those connections end. Give that person time to properly heal and move forward with their life and relationship with God.
They exhibit signs of control or abusive behavior. If someone is already exhibiting the early signs of control or abuse in a dating relationship you can believe that unless God intervenes in their life, that will only continue to grow into a severe problem.
They have habits, addictions or struggles they haven’t healed from. Everyone is on a different journey and walk with God. If the person you are interested in dating just recently got out of a life filled with bad habits and addiction, then they need time to heal and grow in their relationship with God by themselves. A spouse is not the replacement for a therapist. In order to have a lasting and healthy marriage you both need to be healed and whole.
This person doesn’t respect the purity in a relationship before marriage. You are a child of God and it is God’s design that sexual intimacy would be in the confines of marriage. Date someone who respects that purity in both of your lives. Know that if you broke up and ended up marrying someone else that your future spouse would feel comfortable being around that person.
You wouldn’t want your future children to be like this person. If you see character traits that make you nervous, don’t continue the relationship. If you daydream about your future children and worry they would end up like this person, it is not someone you want to marry.
You don’t have peace about marrying them. God has given all of His children discernment. Use that discernment and intentional time in prayer to see if this person’s future aligns with yours. They may love God but be on a completely separate career and life path than you are, and God may have someone that better aligns with His will for your life.
Your family and mentors have an iffy feeling about the person. The Bible says there is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. Before jumping into a serious relationship make sure that your family and mentors sign off on the person. These are people God has put in your life that know you best. Sometimes they can see things that we aren’t able to see ourselves.
They distract you or lead you away from Christ. When you join together with someone you should be running the race with God together. If you are dating and can already feel this person slowly pulling you away from Christ, run the other way.
You are already praying for God to change this person. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you are already praying for God to change this person’s heart in a dating relationship, you don’t want to enter a marriage in that place. Chances are, without a miracle, most people don’t change.
“You will either wait for God to bring the right person or you will wait for God to change the wrong person, Either way, you are going to wait,” Savchuk says.
Tune in to the rest of the episode to hear from the Savchuk’s about obeying God’s principles for dating.
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Shelby Bowen is an assistant editor for Charisma Media.