Question (from Facebook community): “I’m considering dating again but I’m afraid of making the same mistakes twice. What are some ‘red flags’ I should be aware of before getting married?”
If you are never-married or divorced-yet-hoping-to-one-day-remarry, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing your partner. There are all the typical compatibility issues and how you both handle money and your views on child-rearing, etc., but then there’s this other list…some things you may not have thought about but definitely should keep at the forefront of your thoughts, especially if you’re remarrying.
Do you have similar approaches to your faith?
Are there signs of an addiction of any kind?
Does this person have good friends?
What do your friends and family say about this person and how you two are together? Has anyone showed concern regarding anything in your relationship? Are you open to their feedback, or instantly defensive?
Do you feel like a better version of yourself or do you feel like you can’t quite be yourself around him/her?
Do you feel stifled, controlled or manipulated?
Do you feel you can trust this person? Have they given you any reason to doubt their integrity? Is this person truthful or have you caught him/her in a lie?
Do you argue frequently? How do those arguments typically end: with you conceding, or with both of you compromising?
When you’ve been hurt emotionally, is there a sincere apology, a commitment to change, and do you see the changes take place?
Has he/she been unfaithful to you during the dating relationship?
Has he/she ever been physically abusive towards you?
How does this person treat his parents?
If you have children, what do they think about him/her?
Have you asked God for guidance in your relationship – whether or not to continue it, if it’s in his will for you two to be together, etc. — or are you scared of what he’d say if you asked him?
Move slowly. Tread lightly. Ask for opinions from people who know you and love you well. Don’t rush down the aisle with just anyone. A difficult marriage is worse than no marriage. I know you don’t want to hear that, especially if you’re lonely, and I know you probably don’t believe that, especially if you’ve never been married before. So don’t trust me. Trust that God will bring who he has for you when he knows you’re ready. And please. Become the kind of person that can stand up to the scrutiny of these questions being held up to the mirror of your character as well. Let God does his work in you so that you’re both ready. If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.