In Formula One racing different colour flags signal different things to the driver. Every driver knows to look out for the red flag because it means that conditions are too bad for the race to continue. Red flags can be the difference between life and death.
In relationships too, there are red flags that you should be looking out for. These are signals that warn you to stop moving forward. Before you’re married, these are things that you should be looking out for in a man because when you’re married it’s a different game altogether!
You’re committed for life.
If the man you are with falls into any one of these categories then it’s time to check your relationship. Don’t just proceed when there’s a clear red flag. There are so many more things that I could identify, these are just the obvious ones:
Red flag #1 He has anger management issues.
Being angry is human, it’s what someone does with their anger that matters. How does he react when someone cuts into his lane when he’s driving? Does he have a short temper?
The way that a man manages his anger is important. He shouldn’t swear, shout or get physical when he’s angry. On the other hand, passive aggressive behaviour is just as bad. Anger management issues are an indication of emotional immaturity – an inability to deal with negative emotions in a healthy way.
Red flag #2 He is possessive and jealous.
This is the dude who wants to know where you are and who you’re with 24/7. He wants a full report on why you’re not answering your phone. He checks your messages and emails. He is suspicious of your friendships with other men. He tells you that he’s jealous because he loves you, the truth is that he’s jealous because he’s insecure.
You are not his property so he has no right to be possessive. Be careful of men who want to own you and control you. This isn’t something you should be ignoring or shaking off, it’s not normal! You should feel trusted and free in a relationship.
Red flag #3 He’s really bad at managing his money.
Very few of us think that this aspect is important, but finances are actually the most common cause of divorce. Even more than infidelity! Does he have a budget for his income and expenses? Does he give money wisely? Does he have a financial plan for the future?
A man who is financially wise is really easy to spot. He has a plan for paying off his study loan debt. He’s been setting aside money for the lobola payment. He honours biblical tithing and gives regularly to those in need.
Red flag #4 He lies.
Be careful of a man who tells little lies or big lies to cover his tracks. You can never truly trust a man who lies because he is deceitful. You can never know if he really means what he says or is just saying it because it’s what you want to hear.
An honest man is someone who does what he says he will do. He is open about his thoughts and feelings and can admit when he’s wrong. He knows how to speak the truth in love and hates lies. He can be trusted.
Red flag #5 He deals dishonestly.
Does he steal office stationery? That’s an issue! Dealing dishonestly might be as small as not returning excess change from the supermarket or as big as evading his taxes or bribing an official to get his drivers licence. Dishonesty is a heart issue and disrespect of rules says something about a man’s character.
Integrity is so important and it requires discipline. It’s easy to bend the rules, it’s hard to stick to the standard.
Red flag #6 He has a jerry curl hairstyle.
Red flag #7 He has a problem with authority.
Rebels are really attractive but very dangerous. This goes deeper than not believing in formal employment or not combing his hair. It’s about an inability to submit to anyone – whether that’s an elder, pastor or boss, even when they’re right. He is a law unto himself and is always inciting rebellion in the ranks.
A man who respects authority is a man who respects Christ’s Lordship. He is open to being corrected and is not afraid of loving discipline. He is a good follower- he has his opinions but is willing to submit to someone else’s leadership for the good of the team.
Red flag #8 He’s not accountable.
A man who isn’t accountable gathers “yes men” around him. His friends are people who enable bad behaviour and will cheer him on in his silly or immature behaviour. Stay away from lone wolves! They look really cool from a distance but are the worst kind of partners.
An accountable and transparent man is open with those closest to them with his life. He isn’t afraid of criticism and is humble enough to seek help for his issues. He has friends who can check him and check up on him .
Red flag #9 He doesn’t respect you.
A disrespectful man is always on your case about relaxing your standards. He’s always trying to persuade you to adjust your boundaries for him. He’ll use charm or threats and won’t hesitate to violate your emotional or physical boundaries.
A respectful man knows that he doesn’t own you. He respects your choices and decisions and adjusts himself accordingly. He speaks respectfully of women. He respects his mother and all women (even women who don’t respect themselves!).
Red flag #10 He can’t stand children.
It’s one thing to not want children for himself; it’s another thing to think that children are the spawn of Satan. The way that a man treats vulnerable creatures (like tiny humans) says a lot about his character.
Some men think that being nurturing is a quality that only women should have. They’re so wrong! A man should be nurturing and protective. He needs to be able to relate to children (even awkwardly) and should view them as a blessing.
Red flag #11 He is ‘Spiritual but not religious’.
This is a classic cop out for men who have dodgy theology. What he actually means is, "I have an issue with religious rules; I refuse to be spiritually accountable; and I like the idea that there’s a God out there who does things for me but I’m not okay with Him expecting anything from me."
Be clear on what he believes, this is very important. So he calls himself a Christian, what does that mean to him? What are his ideas on church and doctrine? To what extent is he living those things out?
So now you know what red flags to look out for. Turn it around now, do you see any of these things in yourself?
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