(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Red Flags In Christian Dating: Part 1
By Tori Martin
The world of dating can be rather daunting. Add, “walking with Jesus and pursuing purity” into the mix and it can feel like walking through a minefield! And without having a basic foundation of what is healthy and what is not so healthy in dating you can find yourself in some rather dangerous territory…like the date you go on with the person who declared to be a Christain but then finding yourself nearly choking and spitting out your coffee all over them when causally informing you, “I just want you to know that if you don’t want to get sexually intimate together at first then I respect your decision…”
Erm hello?… this is not a healthy comment to be made by someone who is a follower of Christ, this is a whopper of a warning red flag! Run friend, run!
So, how can we discern what is healthy in Christian dating? If we stay close to God and in His Word, He will help us to have discernment and be able to recognize what is healthy; by showing us a green flag, and what is not so healthy; with a red flag.
Whether you are new to Christian dating or have been on the scene for a while I’m hoping that together we can work out the basics of what we should be looking for and to help us to avoid any unnecessary heartache and a whole lot of agro! In part 1 of this article, we are going to take a look at 8 Basic Red Flags to watch out for indicating that this might not be the right person for you, right now.
- Are they Christian?
To many of you, it may seem like an obvious one but many Christians do date non-Christians and then wonder why it doesn’t work out or brings several unnecessary problems and burdens. I can say I have been in an unequally yoked relationship and it lead to nothing but confusion, frustration, and a whole lotta pain for both parties involved. But don’t just take my word for it, we must go to our life source for guidance, God’s Word:
2 Corinthians 6:14 (AMP) says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” And 1 Corinthians 7:39 confirms, “…she is free to marry whomever she wishes, only (provided that he too is) in the Lord.” Also, bear in mind that there is a huge difference between a believer and a follower of Christ. Many believe, devil included, but few follow!
2. Theological differences.
Does your doctrine match the basics such as The Gospel, tongues, Holy Spirit, domination, prayer life, etc? If your doctrines differ, this may cause issues.
3. Fairytale Head Space.
Are you both talking about the future together after the first phone call? Are you sharing too much personal stuff even before you have actually met? Have you already married them, had four kids, and a dog in your head, and it’s only been one date!? When a relationship is more serious in your head than it is in reality, this is what leads to BIG hurts in the future. There is nothing wrong with getting excited about this person however guarding your heart, taking things slowly, and keeping Christ at the center of it is a very wise thing to do. Not every person you have coffee with has to be your future husband or wife! “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
4. Attraction is the Main Reason You’re Together.
Attraction IS important of course, but it shouldn’t be the only reason. The danger can be that the physical attractions can make us overlook the red flags God is giving us! Don’t be blinded by all that beauty!
5. Compromising on Lifestyle
Is this person pushing you closer to sin rather than closer to God? If so, then yes, they gotta go!
No one is perfect, except Jesus. If we think this person is perfect or they think we are, then we are setting ourselves up for failure. Because when (not if) they or we do fail, will be extremely angry, hurt, and frustrated.
7. You Are Both Still in a Healing Season.
One or (even more devastating) two, unhealthy hearts connecting is an accident waiting to happen. Hurting people will hurt people. You can’t love healthy with unhealthy heart. Allow God to heal your hearts first remembering that people can’t fix you, only God can.
8. Serial Dater.
If they have dated every single person in the church, life group, and on the mission trip …alarm bells should start ringing. That’s not healthy.