Red flag alert: Danger ahead
Oh, if it were only that easy, sisters. If only there were literal red flags that would wave whenever we are about to get into a relationship with someone we ought not to.
We want to trust folks, don’t we? We especially want to trust men we’re considering devoting our lives to. And if he’s a good man, we ought to trust him. No marriage is a good marriage if there isn’t trust. The question is, how do we know we can trust him? Is he even worthy of our trust? Or, are we being fooled?
The truth is, there are red flags. They are contained in Scripture.
If we don’t want to be fooled, we need wisdom. The more we read, understand, and obey Scripture, the more wisdom we’ll have. In Proverbs 1: 7, the Lord says that The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. When we know the Lord–through the study of His Word–we’ll fear Him. We’ll desire to please and obey Him. And we’ll be equipped to identify others who have the same desire.
Marry in the Lord
If we’re a believer, we’re going to want to marry a believer. Anything else is foolishness. But should we take him at his word that he loves and desires to serve the Lord? Or are there things we can look for? If we are steeped in Scripture, then there are certainly signs we can look for that will show us this is not a man to be trusted.
Let’s discuss a few red flags we ought to be on the alert for:
Red flag #1
Does he love the Lord and is the Lord Lord of his life? Is he a believer with a credible profession of faith who is a member of a theologically sound church, in the process of becoming a member in such a church, a regular attendee with an eye towards becoming a member, or a regular attendee in a sound home church (if no sound congregation exists)? Does he understand biblical truth and hold Scripture as the inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative Word of God? Does he show Christlike fruit in his life? Be aware, if not, he’s not the one for you. No exceptions, no excuses. Run.
Acts 2:38, And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 10:25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Red flag #2
Does he treat you well, not sometimes but all the time? Before you answer, notice what I am not asking you. I am not asking if he treats you as a princess. He shouldn’t. Nor am I asking if he puts your wishes above his own consistently. No one should have their way all of the time.
I’m also not asking if he, in all seriousness, tells you that you are the best thing that’s ever happened to him, that you are his better half, or if he kowtows to you consistently. These are all marks of a weak man at worst or, at best, a man who misunderstands his future role as husband and yours as wife.
A good man doesn’t need to lower himself in order to exclaim your worth. I am asking if he treats you with respect, gentleness, kindness, consideration, and like a Christ-like lady. If he doesn’t, this is a definite red flag and you should leave the relationship while you still have the time.
Ephesians 5: 28, In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Red flag #3
Is he patient even when he’s under pressure, when things go wrong, he’s inconvenienced, tired, or even ill? Is he kind even when faced with cruelty? Does he seek God’s glory no matter his circumstances?
You want a man who, in any circumstance no matter how difficult it might be, seeks to honor the Lord and bring Him glory. If this doesn’t define him, he isn’t the man for you.
1 Peter 1: 14-15, As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
Red flag #4
Is he sexually pure? Does he pleasure himself or give into the temptation of pornography?
Sisters, a man who is bound to sexual sin is not thinking about your soul. He’s not a godly man and he will not make a godly husband.
Be aware, though, of what I didn’t ask. I didn’t ask if he has he ever given himself over to pornography? I didn’t say has he ever sinned sexually? If he has, the question you need to be asking is this: Is he truly repentant? Has he been forgiven? If God has forgiven him, you ought to also.
But I must also ask: Has he ever tried to take advantage of you? Does he push you to be intimate? Any man who will try to take advantage of you, does not love you and he won’t care for your soul. Run and never return.
Hebrews 13: 4, Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Red flag #5
How does he handle money? Does he give to the Lord, pay his bills, and handle necessities before he spends it on fun? Is he a wise steward? Can he control his spending even if he doesn’t “have to”? Does he budget wisely? Does he help others as he can? If he has older parents who are in need of his help, does he provide that help? If he isn’t as good in this area as he ought to be, is he actively seeking to learn? If the answer is no to all of these, tell him goodbye.
Matthew 6: 21, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Red flag #6
Is he in control of his time or it is in control of him? A man who cannot control his time will forever be dependent upon someone else to control it for him. He will never be a master of himself. He will not make a good husband.
Ephesians 5: 16, Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Red flag #7
Does he understand your role and does he fully support you in it? Can he biblically defend his role as leader and yours as his helpmeet? A man who doesn’t understand this from a biblical standpoint will not be able to lead you wisely.
Titus 2: 4-5, That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Red flag #8
Is he a humble man who can accept correction? Does he apologize when he is in the wrong? If he doesn’t accept correction, he doesn’t repent, he doesn’t apologize, and he never accepts blame, he will never make a good husband or father. Leave.
Proverbs 12: 1, Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Red flag #9
A man worth marrying is a man who understands his God-given role as a husband, father, leader, protector, teacher, and defender. Does this describe your man? If not, don’t marry him. He cannot be that which he doesn’t understand.
Ephesians 5: 25-33, 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Before you marry, you have a choice. After you marry, you’ve made your choice. The man you marry is the man you are choosing to lead you, protect and provide for you, to guide you spiritually, and to be a wise and loving father to your children. Never ignore red flags. Be wise biblically. Before you say “I do,” make certain he’s a godly man.