They say that hindsight is 20/20, and that can’t be more true as you look back on dating relationships from the past. When the relationship ended, you probably felt devastated. The pain made your heart break, and you wondered if it would ever heal. After all, breakups are like a death and have to be mourned. It’s the death of a relationship, friendship, hopes and dreams, and memories. Then time passes. You begin to feel grateful for the path the relationship took. You can see God’s provision in it and how He spared you from future hurt, or how He had a different and better plan entirely.
Regardless of how a relationship ends, the goal of every healthy dating relationship, if it doesn’t end in marriage, is for the two people to leave each other better than they found them. In God-honoring dating relationships, selflessness and edification should be the motive. In ideal circumstances, two people break up because they discern that they’re not compatible or their relationship isn’t God’s will for their lives—not because one of them has hurt the other one.
For years I called myself a “recovering single.” This name came from my need to recover from the mistakes I made when I was a single woman. I now tell single women that you bring into marriage everything you struggled with as a single—that includes past relationships. The memories linger even though I am "recovered."
I wish my discerning eyesight was as clear back then as it is now. I would have saved myself a lot of time, regret, and hurt. In an effort to use my experiences for good, here are ten red flags to watch out for while dating.
The first three are the most important and non-negotiable for a Jesus-follower. If the man you are dating or want to date does not possess these three criteria, then you should not date him. However, the other seven are red flags that may need discernment. If they are present in a relationship, then it’s wise to slow down, pray, and think with logic.
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