Red flags. Yuck. Something in the past I would avoid noticing because well… he was cute, funny, and/or charming.. Maybe… it isn’t a red flag….I would tell myself.
Dating is already hard in 2020. It is even harder when you are looking for someone who loves Jesus and is mature enough spiritually to be in a serious relationship. So if you’re like me and have often avoided red flags… I get it.
Most Christian bloggers/authors seem to have a serious relationship or a spouse. I often laugh because I feel like I am the only one in this industry still very single. I go on dates… but nothing has happened for many reasons. But let me be clear: I am not sad about this, because I know I would rather be growing alone than stuck with someone else. And I want that for you.
So hi, I’m Grace Valentine, a Christian who is refusing to settle. I will use wisdom in dating and I want this same thing for you.
I think it is actually more tempting for Christians to “forget” to notice red flags. Why do we suck at this you ask? Because we use “grace” to justify someone’s disobedience to God.
That guy makes the bad choice that Friday night… instead of seeing the red flag and using wisdom…we think… well, he still goes to church!
That girl constantly gossips about others… instead of seeing the red flag and using wisdom we think… well she knows who Jesus is! That’s enough, right?
That partner keeps pressuring me to go farther than I’m comfortable with…instead of seeing the red flag and using wisdom we think… well we all have our struggles!
That guy makes us confused where we stand…we hear from multiple sources he’s also texting other girls… instead of seeing the red flags and using wisdom we think… well maybe if I give him one more chance he will rise up to his potential.
We think we are giving grace to these relationships or interests but the truth is we are only giving excuses. We are excusing their behavior and red flags because we see their potential. Do they have potential? Yes. Could they become a Christian chasing after Jesus fully tomorrow? Of course, remember Paul! He went from persecuting Christian to being an apostle because of one walk and encounter on a road. And that’s the thing about being Christian…we see everyone’s potential because we know how lost and broken we once were. We know the power Jesus can have. We were once the one giving red flags. We were once not ready. We were once the one who had the potential, and had the many red flags.
But when it comes to dating I need you to listen to what I am about to say… you aren’t dating their potential. You aren’t dating the person God could make them. You are the dating the person they are now. Stop avoiding red flags and claiming you are just giving “grace” and being “non-judgemental”, because we both know you are just making excuses for a worldly desire you have. Trust wisdom over excuses. Wisdom will allow the Spirit to intercede in your decision. And the Spirit will lead you to make choices that represent love, kindness, self-control, obedience, and even grace.
So to you, the one dating or in a relationship, I have four tips for you regarding red flags:
1.The biggest red flag when it comes to dating in our generation is a lack of clarity. You are worth clarity. Do people owe you clarity when it comes to the beginning stages of dating? Honestly, no. No one ever owes anyone anything including clarity. You are not their boyfriend or girlfriend, so no they don’t owe you clarity. But…clarity is kind. Clarity is respect. Making intentions and desires clear says, “hey, your time is precious, I don’t want you to waste a minute confused because of me.” If you’ve asked for clarity more than twice and were only left more confused– that’s your red flag and please walk away. If you’ve been “talking” for multiple months with no clarity if y’all are exclusive– that’s your red flag walk away.
2. Do you like the feeling of being wanted? Or do you genuinely feel like you can grow with this person and like this person? That’s a big difference. Make sure your next relationship isn’t a band-aid that you’re using to fix your loneliness, insecurity, or even your hurt from a previous relationship. Just because they are cute and Christian does not mean y’all are compatible.
3. What would you tell your best friend? If a guy pursued her in the way this guy is pursuing you, what would you tell your best friend? If a girl spoke to your best friend in the way she’s addressing you, what would you tell your best friend? Our insecurity and doubt often blinds us from red flags…because deep down we think we deserve that mediocrity or hurtful relationship. But remind yourself you deserve someone who loves you in a way that reflects Jesus’s love for you.
4. It is better to be single than to be stuck with someone who isn’t helping you grow. Find confidence in your present, so your future you can blossom. When you see the red flag, use wisdom instead of giving excuses. You are dating who they are today, not their potential.
I pray these posts are speaking to you and impacting your life in a mighty way! We LOVE you and we believe in you. If this resonates with you, share with a friend, shoot us a DM and let us know how it impacted you. See you next week for Week Two on Lust, Porn and Purity by Rachael Kaulen.