How I Healed from an Abusive Relationship

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I remember in the beginning, you were so charming.

 

I remember thinking finally I found a great guy.

 

I remember being wrapped up in the idea of a relationship.
I remember the excitement of getting to know you and spending time with you.
I remember how you made me laugh and how you spoiled me.
I remember feeling like I was being swept off my feet.

I don’t remember when it started…

But I remember how you told me you hated long hair. How I didn’t love you because I wouldn’t cut mine.
I remember you would point out every girl who had short hair-no matter where we were. You would comment about how much you liked how she looked.
I remember you constantly talking about how attractive girls with tattoos were-and how I didn’t have any.
I remember how you wanted to pick out my clothes. And you told me I was selfish because I didn’t wear what you wanted.
I remember how you always wanted me to eat less so I would lose weight. You would literally take food out of my hand and cut me off when you thought I’d had enough.
I remember how I was the butt of every joke-but as long as you got a laugh it was okay.
I remember how you would tell me not to speak so I wouldn’t embarrass myself.
I remember how you preferred me in my glasses. You would get mad when I didn’t wear them.
I remember when I started making fun of people with you so that I could be accepted.
I remember always hanging out with your friends-and losing touch with all mine.
I remember doing everything you enjoyed, but never doing what I enjoyed.
I remember always being wrong.
I remember never being able to speak my mind.
I remember being called stupid.
I remember believing you were mentally superior to me.
I remember how you never wanted to hold my hand-
never wanted to kiss me
never wanted to hold me
never told me I was pretty
never made me feel special

Then I remember when it was over.

I remember feeling lost.
I couldn’t remember the things that used make me happy.
I couldn’t remember the things that I loved.
I couldn’t remember who I was, because I had tried so hard to be who you wanted me to be.

That’s when I remembered that identity was in Christ.

 
Suddenly I remembered that I was made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)
I remembered that I have freedom through Christ (Galatians 5:1)
I remembered that God knit me together in my mother’s womb (Pslam 119:73)
I remembered that God’s love is unfailing (Psalm 33:22)
I remembered that God draws near to the broken hearted (Pslam 34:18)
I remembered that He would sustain me (1 Cor 1:8)
I remembered that God chooses the weak things of this world to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27)
I remembered I was called to be Christ’s ambassador (2 Cor 5:20)
I remembered that I know the Prince of Peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I remembered that I had joy in Jesus (1 Thessalonians 2:20)
I remembered that God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
I remembered that the Lord can rescue me from any evil (2 Timothy 4:18)
I remembered that Jesus was crucified for me. Left hanging on a cross. Beaten, spat on, humiliated- for me.
I remembered that Jesus already paid for my pain.

He carried my burden.

He took away my sin.

 

I remembered, for the first time in a long time, what love really was.

Jesus is the ultimate healer. Verbal abuse comes in many different forms. Sometimes it is obvious. You get put down, called names, constantly disrespected. But it isn’t always. It took me 2 years to realize I was being verbally abused.

Verbal abuse takes place when you no longer have a voice.

When you believe and listen to all the lies someone says about you. When you accept what someone calls you as true. When someone is trying to manipulate you or transform you into someone you aren’t.

In my case it was mostly about my looks. From my shoes to my hair. He literally wanted me to change everything about me. He never let me forget that he hated the way I looked. Every day he would make little comments. And little comments everyday for two years aren’t so little. I believed no one would ever be attracted to my physical appearance. I believed no one could ever possibly be interested in me. I believed my opinion didn’t matter because I was probably wrong anyways.

When we broke up I dedicated everything to Jesus. He was my sustainer. I went all in wanting to be healed from my broken heart, and I was. But a year later I still wasn’t healed mentally. I was terrified to date. I didn’t want someone to control my identity ever again-my identity is rooted and established in Jesus Christ. After a year of trying to escape all the lies I so deeply believed, I finally asked for help. I found godly counsel through my church. I finally was able to have a healthy mindset of myself again. I stopped looking down on myself and thinking less of who I am. I began believing that I was beautiful and I finally gained my confidence back.

 
If you are in a verbally abusive relationship, get out now. I want to remind you that your identity is found only in Jesus. You have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and that is your defining characteristic. Romans 8:38-39 tells us, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” No lie anyone feeds you, no lie you tell yourself, no sin you commit, and no sin committed against you will ever take that identity away from you. You are a beloved daughter of the King.

-Anonymous

Why You Should Ditch Your “Husband” Checklist

IMG_3732A little while ago, one of my friends went on a date with a guy. He was attractive, fun, loved the Lord, passionate, and she loved spending time with him. As her best friend though, something about this guy rubbed me the wrong way. He had this long list of qualifications necessary to be his girlfriend. The many qualifications on this list ranged from “sexy,” to “passionate woman of God”, to “hipster.” Needless to say, I wasn’t a fan. How dare he try to fit my beautiful, Gospel-loving, hilarious, adventurous, bold, compassionate, and thoughtful friend into this list where he was trying to play God to find a woman who fit into his ridiculous mold or standard.

I was furious.
After thinking about this, I realized that growing up, I was always told to make a list for my future husband. I had tons of lists. I have lately been convicted of how this took my eyes off Jesus. Before we begin, I want to be sure to communicate several things to you. The first is that you need to know what a biblical man is. If you don’t know, check it out here. Another thing is I am not saying to stay in an abusive relationship. Having been through several myself, I know how hard they are to escape from. If you are struggling, send me an email and I can encourage you personally. The last thing I want to communicate is that I am not letting men bow out of their standard set forth by God. I’m not giving them an excuse to treat you unkindly or in a disrespectful way. That is between them and God. Through this article, I want your heart and love for Jesus to be the focus. Ok, now we can start.

Here are a few reasons why you need to ditch your list of requirements to date you

1. Stop Focusing on a Guy and Start Focusing on Jesus

There are many reasons why making a list might not be the best idea, but this is the most important. Putting anything before Christ is idolatry. Jesus Christ and the Gospel need to be at your core. When you have a deep love for the Gospel, you will be able to trust that within Him, all your needs are met and satisfied. Then you won’t look to fulfillment through a potential or imaginary “soul mate” as your “other half.” You have been liberated and completed in Christ. Until God is where He needs to be in your heart, you are constantly going to be complaining that your partner is not loving you adequately, treating you well enough, or respecting you like he should.

2. It Can Put Unnatural Pressure on Your Partner

Tim Keller said it best in the Meaning of Marriage, “It is the illusion that if we find our one true soul mate, everything wrong with us will be healed; but that makes the lover into God, and no human being can live unto that.” He goes on to say, “If your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, than anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief, but a psychological cataclysm.” God needs to be your first and foremost love-not your boyfriend or husband. Trying to force him to fit into your little list puts too much emphasis on him and too little on Jesus and the Gospel. The Gospel and Jesus is where your identity lies, not in a relationship or man.

3. Your Relationship Shouldn’t Be a Transaction

Think of Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Is your list putting another’s needs before your own? Ultimately it is selfish. Also, I don’t know about you but I do not want my marriage to be a consumer relationship. Tim Keller explains it best, “Throughout history there have always been consumer relationships. Such a relationship only lasts as long as the vendor meets your needs at an acceptable cost to you. If another vendor delivers better services or the same services at a better cost, you have no obligation to stay in a relationship with the original vendor.” Biblical marriage is a covenant relationship NOT a consumer relationship. Keller describes a covenant relationship as “a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. […] The Bible sees God as the supreme good-not the individual or family.” You should want a relationship built on Jesus and love, not considering how much you can gain through the other person.

4. Christ Came to Serve and Not To Be Served

I always think of this incredible passage in John 13 when Jesus washes His disciples’ feet. Not only was Jesus presenting a beautiful picture of the Gospel to His followers, He was also showing us an example of how we ought to serve others. I remember Matthew 20:26 when considering this, “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus is our example. We shouldn’t be looking for what we can potentially gain out of a relationship, but how we can demonstrate Christ’s love to that person God has called us to be in a relationship with and how you can further the kingdom together.

 5. Love Like Jesus

Seeing my friend being held to this guy’s ridiculous standard enraged me. It made me realize just how arrogant and egocentric this particular guy was. He didn’t see the wonderful girl before him because he was so transfixed on finding this “ideal” girl developed in his mind’s eye. Instead of fitting someone into your mold, I want to challenge you to love selflessly, expecting nothing in return. One of my favorite pastors Matt Chandler says in his book The Mingling of Souls, “there is a beauty even in loving without response because that kind of love is truly selfless. When we love with no expectation or promise of reciprocity, we know what it means to sacrifice and deny ourselves in ways we wouldn’t otherwise.” Love that way. Love selflessly. Love like Jesus loved.

6. It’s a Control Idol

All sin can be traced to different root sins. Creating a list of requirements necessary in a man is not surrendering your desire to the Lord. It is the opposite. It’s like saying, “God, you are not strong enough to control this, you have too much on your plate. Just let me take care of it.”

Hold on.

Remember that verse in Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” God knows your desires. He understands. Surrender that to God. Seek His face before anything else and hold on to the promise in Romans 8:28, “God works out all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.”

The Measure of a Man

themeasureofamanA few weeks ago, two of my best friends and I sat down, determined to find exactly what the Bible said we should look for in a man. Sick of reading watered-down blogs with vague qualities we set out to find truth straight from the source. Resolutely, I grabbed my trusty ESV Study Bible and got to work. We delved straight into scripture and through prayer and mediation on God’s Word, we came up with these awesome qualities.

1. Spiritual Leader

If you’re dating for keeps, you want a man who cares about your spiritual welfare. Someone who will pray with you, read the Word with you, and discern your spiritual walk. You want a man who on your first date, asks if he can pray over your food. A man who will continuously spur you closer to the Lord through His heart for God and how he cares for you. Husbands are to love their wives in a completely self sacrificial way, following the example set by Christ, who gave Himself up for the church in a loving sacrificial way. The Biblical picture of a husband giving his life for for his wife is directly opposed to any kind of male tyranny or any kind of oppression. He needs to promote your walk with the Lord. A godly husband is bound by love to ensure that his wife finds their marriage a source of spiritual fulfillment and joyful service to the Lord together. He has to point you closer to Jesus.

2. Loving

Ephesians 5:25 says, “husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Whoa. That is a high calling. Your man must love you and cherish you so much he would be willing to die for you. Marriage is a picture of the gospel- of Christ coming down to earth, living the perfect life, dying the death we deserved, and then defeating death. Husbands are called to love their wives AS Christ loved the church. Talk about a high standard. Don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t love you like Christ.

3. Truth Speaker

Ephesians 6:14 says, “put on the belt of Truth.” I definitely want my husband to speak the gospel into my life. He should be rooted and established in the gospel to be able to do this. Whenever you mess up, he should be able to point you to the saving gospel and you two should be able to rejoice and praise God for His grace together.

4. Righteous

Righteous means “right before God.” In order for anyone to be right with God, he or she must have Christ as Lord of their life. Romans 10:9 says “if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” That is how you achieve righteousness, it is by your faith you have been saved (Ephesians 2:6).

5. Gospel-Centered

Ephesians 6 talks about being readied by the “gospel of peace.” The gospel should rule in his life. He should be so firm in his faith and confident in his identity as a son of God that it guides his steps in life. The gospel should produce joy and peace throughout his life. His life should be marked by it.

6. Prays and Values God’s Word

Ephesians 6 calls believers to be “praying at all times.” A godly man is a one who prays and who seeks truth through the Word of God. Ephesians 6 also tells us to carry the “sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” The Bible is our weapon. It has power and the ability to pierce any heart. Hebrews 4:12 is one of my favorites, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God has revealed himself to us through His word. I want a man who prays and values the Word of God.

Sometimes it feels like there are not any godly men out there. Sometimes it feels like the right one will never appear and the world is only filled with awful men who just want to use you. I completely understand if some of you feel that way. But I want to encourage you of several things if you might be looking for your right man.

The first thing is to make God #1. You should be running after God with EVERYTHING you have. You should be falling in love with the absolute greatest love story of all time-of Jesus Christ dying for YOU.
Just take a second to be in awe of that insurmountable truth.
Rest in that peace and knowledge that you don’t need a man. You have the BEST man. You have Christ. Your identity is in Him and Him alone.

The second thing is that no one is perfect. Guess what, whenever you do get married, you’re going to marry an imperfect human who was saved by gracejust like you. That means he’s probably going to be insensitive sometimes and hurt your feelings. Searching for someone perfect is not right and is opposite from the gospel. Tim Keller said it best in his book The Meaning of Marriage, “It is the illusion that if we find our one true soul mate, everything wrong with us will be healed; but that makes the lover into God, and no human being can live unto that.” A man can not take the place intended for Jesus. It is impossible and unhealthy, but most importantly raising someone to that standard is idolatry. But his life should be marked by a love and compassion that only comes from the Lord. He should be able to say he’s sorry because he definitely will mess up sometimes, and so will you.

-Rach

P.S. If you want to read an amazing book about relationships pick up The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. This is an amazing book-whether you are single or married. I’m currently trying to convince my parents, who have been married for 35 years, to read it. You can buy it here.

3 Ways to Overcome a Break Up

3 Ways to overcome a breakepDo we ever actually break up with people? After a breakup, we remain Facebook friends, Snapchat buddies, and Instagram followers; but the position changes. You go from once knowing every intimate hope and dream of another person to suddenly watching their lives through a frosted glass. The conversations stop and you go from being someone’s main confidant to an outsider. Someone who isn’t welcome anymore. This transition can be devastating, life-changing, and confusing. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to be best friends with someone, then the next day you don’t matter. Having gone through some gnarly break-ups, I want to share with you how I have not only survived them, but grown through the miserable process. God CAN and WILL use break-ups to grow you and teach you how to be more Christlike; you just have to be willing to allow Him.

1. God is your Refuge

I wish I could show you my prayers from a break-up I went through a while ago. I remember praying the same prayer over and over again from Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
I literally prayed this nonstop.
I prayed this in the car, I prayed this in the morning, I prayed this on my pink moped driving to class.
This prayer sustained me.
This prayer comforted me.
Take refuge in your Father during this time. He is the only one who can make you get through this. Alcohol won’t help. Going out won’t help. Those things numb you.
God saves you.
He rescues you.

2. Singleness Can Be a Blessing

So many girls want a relationship so badly. We want to share our feelings, passions, and love with another person. God made humans to be relational. That’s a natural, God-inspired desire. It’s not bad, unless it consumes you and comes before God. Also, relationships don’t have to be romantic. You can grow spiritually through friendships. God uses different seasons in our lives to stretch and grow us. Over the past 6 months, I have grown more spiritually than I ever have before. And I know a large reason is because I have been single. For once, I haven’t had a man competing for my attention with the Lord.
Singleness can be huge blessing.
Accept that season in your life and see what God does with it. He has a plan we can’t always comprehend. But remember, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according His purpose (Romans 8:28).

3. Don’t Contact Him

After a break-up, you need time to recover. I know it is so tempting to call/text/tweet/instagram/snapchat/viber (WHATEVER) him. Just don’t do it. Once you break-up, let it sit. Go be with friends who love you and will encourage you to seek the Lord’s face during this time. Seek God’s presence, don’t run to another guy either. You need to be okay with yourself without a man. I know it’s hard to not contact him-he was your best friend right? You are used to sharing your feelings with him. It seems natural. But remember, he is not that person to you anymore. The relationship has changed and the sooner you understand that, the better. Contacting him will not do you any good, it’ll end up hurting you more. If he refuses to stop contacting you, after you’ve told him multiple times to stop, then block him. If you ended it with him and he can’t respect your decision-that significantly shows how much he respects you. A guy must respect that you have choice in the relationship.

Break-ups suck. They can be some of the most awful, heart-breaking, and devastating times of your life. Whenever you go through a breakup, remember to seek God as your refuge. Pray that prayer from Psalm 18:2 all the time. Write it out and put it on your mirror and memorize it. Lean into God’s Truth that you are His daughter and He loves you immeasurably and walk with that confidence and knowledge at the forefront your mind. Remember, God’s love defines you, not a guy’s affection.
You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe.
That’s who you are.
That is power.
God is watching out for you. He has the perfect man chosen for you who will love you and help you walk closer to the Lord. God closes doors for a reason, and it is always because there is a better one He is wanting you to walk through once you are ready. Allow Him to work in your heart and make you into the woman that He has empowered and called you to be-with or without a man.

-Rachel

5 Dating Non-negotiables

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Dating is the training ground for marriage. I didn’t realize that until after I was done with college. Throughout college I dated just for fun and didn’t look for the qualities that were necessary for a godly mate. Now that I am on the other side of college, I have begun to see the characteristics that are absolutely critical to have in a boyfriend. These qualities are rooted in scripture and some in common sense. Whenever you are dating someone, you should be a detective. Analyze how he interacts with others, what he believes, how he spend his money, and where he spends his time. Try to be analytical, don’t be swayed by his deep blue eyes or his elegantly disheveled hair. Look into his heart. These are the non-negotiable qualities a guy should posses if you are considering a dating relationship. We all have other qualities we want in a guy, but these are character traits a man really needs to possess if you’re considering a dating relationship.

1. He Loves the Lord More than He Loves You

As women, we often want to feel like the most important person/thing in our boyfriend’s life. That isn’t healthy. Christ needs to be the most important. Then you second. If the guy knows how to love Christ wholeheartedly, then he can love you correctly. A man who loves the Lord will be more committed to your relationship because he is committed to God first. That means he will take his promises seriously because God tells him to. God commands in Exodus 20:3 to have no other gods before Him, this includes YOU.

 

2. He is Kind to His Family

See how he interacts with his close friends and family. Is he kind to them? Does he have good relationship with them? See especially how he interacts with his mom. If he is kind and gentle with her, even when she’s annoying, then it’s a really good indicator of how he will treat you in the future.

3. He is Gentle

A real man is gentle. He is kind to those in positions lower than his own. He is kind to animals. He is gentle when he speaks to you, even when he is angry. A man should never yell at you. Instead, when they are upset, they should come to you in gentleness and love. Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and it oftentimes gets overlooked.

4. He Makes you Grow Closer to the Lord

The purpose of a relationship actually isn’t to make each other happy, that is just a great benefit. But the purpose of a relationship, dating or friendship, is to run after Christ together. To make each other increasingly more Christlike. The man you’re considering ought to not only be pursuing time with you, but pursuing your heart for the Lord. This means asking what you are reading in the Word, asking how he can pray for you, and praying with you. He needs to be able to lead you spiritually.

5. He Serves Others and Tithes

The absolute best indicators of where a person’s heart is, is where they spend their time and money. A person can have the best intentions and a great philosophy on life, but if they don’t act on those good ideas-what’s the point? If a guy consistently serves others in some way-that is a great sign. Also, if a guy tithes, he loves the Lord. Tithing is hard to do. People don’t want to give up their hard-earned cash. So if a guy gives his 10%, he probably loves God.

Girls, don’t settle for less than God’s best. I know it can seem like a guy who loves God and is fun doesn’t exist, but he does. Remember Luke 12:7,
“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Pray and trust that God will provide for you. He knows every minute, tiny details of your life.

Sometimes God’s timing is very different than our own. He is omnipotent and sees the big picture. We can only see what is before us. The best thing to do, is run after God. Run after God as hard as you can. Seek complete closeness and intimacy with Him. Become the woman that God has called and empowered you to be. God should be your first love, not your boyfriend or even your husband. Come to God in prayer and trust him wholeheartedly. He always comes through.

-Rachel

Girl’s Guide to Dating

Dating BlogI am just going to come out and say it: dating in the 21st century sucks. With all the games we play, technology we utilize, and insanely busy schedules, traditional dating has gone the way of the clog. Meaning it is completely out of vogue. Now tack on being a Christian girl wanting to date a man after God’s own heart and the results are dismal.

It seems like mission impossible.

Over the years, I have compiled some good, godly dating advice and personal experiences that I feel God has called me to share with you guys. Being a twenty something Christian girl in the dating world is difficult, but when your perspective is properly focused and you go into a new relationship with a clear mind, armed with scripture, it makes the whole process 100x easier.

1.Keep your perspective

I say this a lot. And is it numero uno on this list because it is that important. Keep your eyes focused on God. Keep Him as Lord of your life. As women it is so easy to get wrapped up in a new relationship. It’s easy to get swept away in the romance of it all and that can be a good thing. Don’t feel bad for getting butterflies and getting excited when you see him. That is normal! But make sure that he doesn’t take the place that was meant for Christ. Christ can only fill that longing and make you complete. No guy can even come close to filling that place. When you put that type of unnatural pressure and expectation on a relationship, it will end up hurting both people involved and making you extremely let down. Matthew 6:33 states,

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Keep Christ as your #1.

2. To Attract the Best, You Need To Be Your Best

In order to snag the godly guy, you have to be a godly woman. A man who loves God is going to be attracted to a woman who loves the Lord and that is evident through how she treats others, how she serves others, and how she carries herself. I know this should go without saying, but go to church. Get involved. Serve the Lord because you want to become more Christlike. A servant’s heart is one of the most attractive characteristics a person can possess. If you want a man after God’s own heart, you need to be a woman who loves the Lord.

3. Know You Can’t Change a Man

I know women love projects. We love crafting and decorating our tiny apartments. And that is awesome, but do not make a man into your next project. I know we all have had that thought, “he will change for me!” But do not fall into that deception. Yes, people can change, but it’s not your job to fix someone. That is the Lord’s work and when you put that kind of burden on yourself it really is not good. Don’t get into a new relationship wanting to change someone. You can grow closer to God together. But if you enter into a new relationship with the idea that you will evangelize him and lead him to Christ, just don’t. You can point him to God as a friend. You do not want to fall in love with someone who doesn’t have a relationship with the Lord.

4. Have Friends Who Keep You Accountable

You need to have godly friends: friends who you can share your struggles and temptations with. Friends who will make sure you don’t spend the night at his house and friends who are in fight for purity with you. It’s a tough battle and you can not do it alone. As humans, we are made for companionship. You need friends who encourage you and tell you lovingly when you are in the wrong. This is absolutely critical. Proverbs 27:17 speaks to this truth, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We need friends who will make us better and hold us accountable!

Dating is hard. Dating godly is even harder. Whenever you start a new relationship, keep your heart and your eyes transfixed on the Lord. Go into that new relationship with your priorities in check and with a clear mind centered on the Lord. Have a strong group of godly girlfriends who do life with you and help each other’s walk with the Lord. The most important thing to remember when dating is knowing who and what defines you: your relationship with the Lord. And always keeping that identity at the forefront of your mind.

Radically,

Rachel

10 Signs He Might Not Be the One for You

10 signs he might not be the one for you

We all know that guy. The guy who makes you compromise or be the person you never thought you would be. But for some inexplicable reason, you can’t shake him. The thought of living without him makes your throat constrict. You love him and you don’t understand why. Here are some signs that you may need to cut it off for good. It might be the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. But if these signs are present in your current relationship, it’s time to do some serious soul-searching.

10. He isolates you from your friends

This can be really subtle, but if he takes you away from your godly friends it could be a sign that he needs to go. This can range from him talking bad about your friends consistently, to getting overly jealous when you spend time with them, or to him suggesting you find new friends all together. You have to consider your friends too. If you have a solid group of Christian friends who love you and have your best interests at heart; and he wants to separate you from them, it’s a huge red flag.

9. He Doesn’t bring out your best

Relationships are supposed to bring out the best characteristics in you. Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” That is how a dating relationship is supposed to be. You are both supposed to bring out the best characteristics in each other. If you find yourself losing your identity or deviating away from the Lord, be careful.

8. He belittles you

Little criticisms can add up. Be careful if a guy is constantly criticizing your appearance or making fun of the quirky way you do things. Oftentimes these jabs at your ego will be paired with a nice comment to conceal the true insult. If you begin feeling self-conscious or depressed about certain things about yourself you never felt before, be wary.

7. He hates your family

If a guy does not take an interest in your family, it’s time to let him go. We all have family baggage. It apart of being sinful humans. A relationship is supposed to empower you and help you through the difficult times. If he isn’t willing to put up with your family, even if they are difficult, he isn’t worth your time.

6. Your family hates him

This is a big one. If your family has negative feeling about a guy you are seeing, it’s probably for a good reason. Your family has your best interests at heart. If they absolutely hate your boyfriend, it is a red flag. They selflessly love you and have no ulterior motives, so if they’re getting a negative vibe from your boyfriend, it is probably for a good reason.

5. He makes you compromise

If you are doing things inside a relationship that you never thought you would do, it is time to reevaluate. If he is making you compromise your purity or your faith, he is not looking to honor God through your relationship. A dating relationship is supposed to reflect marriage, which is meant to reflect Christ and the church. Many people have asked me, “how far is too far?” My answer is always the same: if you’re asking that, then you’ve gone too far. Fight for Christ in your relationship. You should be seeking Him together, not worrying about how far you can toe-the-line before you make God mad. Ephesians 5:3 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” I wish someone would’ve told me that when I was 17. So if he is trying to pressure you to dishonor God, he needs to hit the road.

4. He doesn’t pursue you spiritually

This is a tough one. I know I want the man I marry to be intentional about his walk with God and to encourage me to walk closer with the Lord. The man you seriously consider for marriage needs to be asking you intentionally how your walk with the Lord is, what you are reading in your Bible study, or how he can pray for you. This is a rare gem to find, so if you have one of these men of God, hold on to him.

3. He isn’t serving others

God calls us as Christians to be lights to the world. It is our job as ambassadors for Christ to lead others to Him. If your man isn’t striving for a life to honor God through service, you need to consider where his heart is.

2. You grow farther away from God when you are with him

Often times, many women look for completion in men rather than in Christ. I cannot stress this more, if you expect a guy to fill Christ’s place, the relationship will end horribly. Men are sinful. They cannot ever fill the place that was intended for Christ. When you put that kind of pressure and expectation on a man, it is not good for either one of you.

1. He doesn’t love God

This is the most important one. If you find yourself in a relationship where he does not love God, leave now. If he doesn’t love God, he is incapable of loving you the way Christ loved the church. Do not be gullible and think that once you are engaged or married this will change. If you are in a dating relationship and you are not pursuing Christ together, this won’t magically change once he gets you a diamond. When you date, date with your eyes open. Be aware of his spiritual walk and see if he is a man after God’s own heart. Even if he professes to love God, see if his actions correlate with his words. See how he spends his free time and money. Does he use it to glorify God and pursue intimacy with the Lord?

Whenever you date, it’s crucial to have perspective. Keep the Lord as your number one. Don’t let any man take His place. No man is capable. Seek the Lord’s face and ask Him for wisdom whenever you are getting into a new relationship. Remember that you are a daughter of the Most High and don’t lose sight of your identity. Don’t settle for anyone who treats you less than that. Remember that you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 149:13) and that God loved you so much He gave his son to die for you.
This is not an easy thing to do. It’s not easy to end a relationship with someone you are in love with. But sometimes it has to be done, regardless of your feelings. You may need to put your emotions aside and make the Godly decision to end a bad relationship. Like I said earlier, it may be the hardest thing you will ever do and it may take you months or years to heal, but lean on God through the process. He promises to never leave you or forsake you.

-Rach