Are you wondering if you’re dating/courting/engaged to the wrong man?
Nobody is perfect, so for anyone to get married, they have to settle in some way. But while God created each of us fearfully and wonderfully, there is a level beyond which no woman should settle. There is such a thing as getting married to the wrong person. A good friend once told me that even the most spiritually compatible of couples have to fight to keep their marriages. It has been said – and sung – that wedlock is a padlock. And like another friend’s mother wisely told her, marriage is a strange city; those without are desperate to get in, and those within cannot wait to get out.
The best way to prevent divorce is by taking the time to build the right foundation long before marriage vows are said. It is better to be single and whole than married with a broken spirit. I don’t know for sure which is worse between being married and broken and being divorced. But I will say that because nobody forces anybody to walk down the aisle, it is imperative that every woman take the time to assess her relationship and the man she loves before she commits to becoming a wife.
We all know about several common types of men to avoid – such as the player/womanizer, the physically abusive man, and the alcoholic. But is it possible that even men who hide in the church have toxic tendencies that could cause great heartache in a marriage? Far be it from me to try to put asunder what the Lord has joined together – if you are married, please make the best of it. But if you’re not, this is the time to figure out if you are going to stick things out for life or run for the hills. Ask yourself, is he:
1) A people-pleaser? The People-Pleaser is not Mr. Nice Guy, but I believe it is because of him that women tend to avoid the Nice Guy like the plague. If you are in a relationship with the People-Pleaser, it might feel nice at first, because you, after all, are a person, and he will try his best to please you. But if you realize that he will bend over backwards in an effort to win everybody’s favor, then you are in trouble. Why? Because not only will he not stand up for himself; he will never defend you before meddling in-laws and raging neighbors, or advise you against deceitful business deals or false friends. He will not discipline his children. His fear is disappointing man, and unfortunately, any human being who tries to live to please clay will ultimately displease God. If you are in a relationship with a man who has trouble saying no, think deeply before you go any further. Check out Gal. 1:10.
2) A workaholic? From what I hear, men get a certain satisfaction from work that they cannot get anywhere else. It is my understanding that any man without a vocation feels incomplete. I am not refuting this; I actually believe it is a God-given need placed in every man, perhaps to ensure that he fulfills his role as a provider in his home. However, even God, who never tires, took a break on the seventh day to demonstrate how important it is to Him that we dedicate one day a week to Him. If you ever hear a man say things like “I am married to my job,” “My job comes first,” or “God understands/knows my heart,” please take note and ask the right questions to be sure that in marriage, this job will not become your co-wife. You might end up celebrating anniversaries and going to church, PTA meetings, sports games and prize giving days all by yourself. Have a look at Is. 56:1-2.
3) Lazy? Everybody hits a rough patch from time to time. But it is strange if a man consistently has unpaid bills and credit issues, is an immigrant who has fallen out of status and is doing nothing about it, has no job and no plans to get one, or is complacent, and has everybody but himself to blame for everything. If he says things that imply that everybody else owes him: “My younger brother is so selfish; he bought his wife a car – you’d think he would buy one for me, his own brother.” Or, “Those people are mean, they can’t even give you anything for free,” be careful. Unless your goal is to take care of all household expenses on your own one day, know auctioneers and the KPLC motorbike guys by name, or run the risk of your children being sent home from school every term for unpaid fees, you might want to run for the hills. The book of Proverbs has several verses that speak against laziness.
4) A member of that famous band, Boyz Never II Men? Times are hard. Things happen. It’s common nowadays to see men living at home in their 20s and even 30s. These are the times we live in. But note his character and speech. Is he working towards eventually being on his feet? Does he contribute to bills in the house and/or help out where he can? Does he – God forbid – think getting high and having multiple sexual partners and talking about these things is cool? Does he have an idea what he wants to do with his life? If not… pause and think about it. For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother… turn with me to Gen 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mk 10:7, Eph 5:31.
5) Addicted to strange things? Alcoholism is not the only addiction women need to be wary of. There are many men in church who are addicted to pornography, video games, sports, social networks, the aforementioned work, and even CHURCH. If it takes you an hour to tear your man away from his game, know that the best you will ever be is a co-wife to an addiction. It will be the mistress that keep your husband away from you. Still have your Bible? 2 Pet 2:19.
6) Jealous/Controlling? We all know the extremely jealous, extremely controlling man who will call his fiancée at 5:01 just to check if she is where she said she’d be at 5:00. He might show up at her job and cause a scene. If your man checks your emails and phones but never allows you to touch his laptop or phone, you might be headed for trouble. The control freak is often manipulative, verbally abusive, and quick-tempered. The more subtle version of the control freak is harder to detect. He is emotionally abusive, offers backhanded compliments, and puts you down even in front of other people, but uses scripture to back up his meanness so that it seems right even though it makes you uneasy. Nobody was created to control or be controlled by another human being. If this is your man, please run. Doesn’t sound like Gal. 5:22-23 to me.
7) Lukewarm? If you marry a lukewarm man or an unbeliever, this man will become your ministry for the rest of your life because you will probably spend so much time trying to get him back on the straight and narrow that you won’t have any time to do what God called you to do. If your man can’t pray, doesn’t read his Bible, or refuses to worship together when you’re just dating, then nothing about that is going to change just because he put a ring on your finger. A lukewarm person makes a horrible leader. If Jesus abhors lukewarmness, would it be wise for us to embrace it? Rev 3:16.
8) A know-it-all? If he can never be corrected, never consults you, is impatient with questions and acts like you make him have to dumb everything down for him to speak on your level, never asks for help and is the type who will say he does not need anybody else to handle his problems, then be warned. “I’ve got this,” “I’m a private person,” and “This is between me and you, not us and your pastor” are classic lines that this man will spew. He is not accountable and thinks counsel is for children. He does not negotiate – remember compromise is crucial for every relationship. Run. There is very little hope for a fool, but there is more hope for a fool than for a man who is wise in his own eyes. Prov 26:12. If you walk with a wise man, you become wise, but if you walk with a fool, you become… foolish? No, destroyed.
9) Allergic to the “F” word? How does he react when you mention the future or ask (even after several months or years) where the relationship is headed? Does he jump in enthusiastically or does he get upset? Does he change the subject? Does he begin to fidget when you use the words “we” and “us”? If so, then it could be that you’re with someone who is not interested in the long haul. Save your years, count your losses, and move on, or else you will end up in a relationship for eleven years that heads nowhere. If he cannot commit in the small things of life, he will not be consistent with the big ones. Prov 24:21; it is unwise to meddle with those who are given to change.
10) On a different spiritual wavelength? We can’t change people. If you’re not going in the same general direction, don’t get married because that means one person will have to sacrifice his or her dreams. The only result can be bitterness, and bitterness is one of the routes to divorce. If he is reluctant to pray, then he will not lead his family in prayer. From the way he speaks about things like divorce, you will know if it is an option for both of you. If scripture is not an absolute in his view, then everything else in life will be blurred. How important is God to you, and are you on the same page? If not, please run. Two people cannot walk together if they are not in agreement; Amos 3:3.
Is this scary? It shouldn’t be. Is it possible for people to change? Very, but only God can do that. Marriage is a serious issue. The way I see it, we are living in the last days, and life is hard enough. There’s no point making it any harder by ending up married to the wrong person.
Prove all things – it’s for your own good.
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