Do you feel like your relationship heading towards a breakup? Is there a particular thing that continuously makes you uneasy or insecure about it? You might be experiencing a romantic red flag.
Red flags are warnings that indicate a romantic relationship is either already off course or soon to be if the problem continues.
Every relationship is prone to flashing a red flag every now and then. Sometimes they crop up naturally due to circumstances surrounding the relationship. However, being able to identify them is key to fixing the problem. After all, how can you correct a problem that you don’t understand?
We’re going to give you a few red flags to watch out for in your dating relationship. These examples are specifically tailored for Christians. Be vigilant in your defense against them, because the earlier you notice them, the more likely you are to be able to correct them before a breakup becomes inevitable.
When it comes to Christian red flags, it’s important to understand that there is a spiritual issue behind the manifestation of the problem. The following warning signs are good indications that there is a spiritual problem somewhere in the relationship. Keep your eyes peeled for these three red flags.
Sometimes clinginess can be a cute thing, but it’s always and only in moderation. When someone doesn’t want to get off the phone or let you out of their sight it can be quite endearing. Then again, when it happens all the time, it can be quite repulsive. If left unchecked, it can even foster resentment.
The spiritual problem in this scenario is a warped sense of what love is supposed to be. First Corinthians 13:4-5 gives some pretty clear instruction about what love is and isn’t. Specifically, the NIV notes that “love is patient…it does not envy…it is not self-seeking.” A constantly clingy person isn’t being patient at all; they’re envying your time and seeking to gratify themselves with it.
We’ve all had bad days before. You know the kind we’re talking about; occasionally, one of you might have a day when the slightest of things sets you off. That’s not what we’re worried about here. We’re looking for a pattern.
A consistent pattern of losing one’s temper is extremely unhealthy. Unrighteous anger is the spiritual problem to consider in this situation. It can manifest itself as loud outbursts or silent treatments, and if left unchecked, it becomes a destructive force that will eventually obliterate the lovelike feelings within the relationship. Ephesians 4:26-27 reveals that unrighteous anger leads to sin and thereby gives the devil a foothold in one’s life.
Deception is a negative word, and rightfully so, but think about how common it is. We deceive someone when we throw them a surprise birthday party but tell them nothing is planned. We deceive our significant other when we make them believe that we forgot our anniversary, but secretly, we already bought them a gift. We justify these acts by the happiness they will bring upon revealing the truth.
That’s not what this red flag is about. We’re looking for the type of deception that attempts to hide the truth. This is one of the reddest of red flags. Even one instance of deception in the relationship is worth taking a mental note of for future consideration.
Whenever someone is trying to hide their whereabouts or intentions, it’s typically because the information would hurt you to find out. Some form of immorality is the spiritual root of this problem on most occasions. Of all the red flags, this one should worry you the most.
There are corrective measures for these red flags, so don’t get too worried. You’ll notice that each of them had the word “constant” in their names. That’s because everyone has a bad day occasionally. However, when occasional behavior turns into habitual behavior, there’s a problem that needs to be solved.
We’ve come up with three solutions to these problems. They’re suggested as progressive forms of correction. Meaning, you should start with the first suggestion then progress to the second and third if the previous one wasn’t successful. Remember, we want to treat the spiritual cause of the physical issue.
The first stop for every red flag is prayer and discussion. When couples pray about their issues, they’re taking their problems before the One who can make things happen [or not happen, depending on the situation]. Discussing your concerns with your partner and God is the first step towards corrective healing, and it often works!
It’s not wildly uncommon for couples to still be in disagreement, even after prayer and discussion. When these types of situations cause a breakdown in the relationship, they require a trusted mediator to help in the repair process. Just as Jesus is the Mediator between us and God (1Timothy 2:5), you’ll both need someone as the mediator between each other and the relationship itself.
A Christian counseling session is an environment where everyone wants the relationship to succeed. Scheduling an appointment together with your pastor [or theirs] is a great idea. If you can’t do that, then setting up a meeting with a close friend that you both trust is the next best option. Whoever you choose, they must be a godly example, and their opinion should be respected as the final word.
Unfortunately, breakups are sometimes inevitable and destined to happen. If your partner refuses to pray or talk with you about the matter, it’s only a matter of time before this solution becomes the only solution. If your Christian counseling session isn’t successful and the rift in the relationship grows larger, this again becomes the only sensible solution to save the friendship.
No one likes losing the time they invested in others, especially romantically. There’s no doubt that breakups are some of the worst things to go through, but they’re much better than suffering long-term unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the health of your romantic relationship. That’s why this is still a solution and not a failure.