Traditionally, college has been a type of “cuffing” season, wherein one might find their spouse. Fewer people actually find their spouses on campus compared to generations ago, but it is important to live life in anticipation for God’s will, no matter what it is. Remain vigilant in every situation, including relationships that might form.
Healthy relationships are great, but college can be a time in which the enemy is able to use relationships to disrupt, derail, and destroy the many beautiful things God has for you. Here are a few red flags that may point to these tactics and your need to cool things down, regroup, and focus on the top priorities.
#1. The person makes your relationship with God weaker. Be it questioning your relationship with God or causing you to abandon your commitments to God, this is a sure sign you should resist. It could be that they keep you away from church or fellowship with other Christians, or they seriously entice you to sin–please trust that compromising your relationship with God is never worth it.
#2. They do not encourage you in your faith walk or make your relationship with God stronger. Remember, be not unequally yoked 2 Corinthians 6:14.
#3. They do not have marriage in mind for their future, or other “big” things that you already have. Why not date with a purpose? Trust me, time waits for no one! Marriage is a partnership to pursue God together. It is OK to want to get married soon–like in your twenties. If marriage is something that God has put in your heart, pray about it and pursue it!
#4. They are MUCH older than you. I am not saying that an age difference is impossible, but it is highly likely that you are seeking something in an older person that you should be seeking God for (or something that a parent should have filled).
#5. You cannot bring them around any of your loved ones, or any of your family in God (fellow church members, Christian friends). Even if you have critical relatives, the people who love you and want you to be happy can sense when someone does not have your best interests at heart.
#6. They take your emotions bungee jumping. Yeah, anyone who disturbs your peace should not be allowed in your sphere–just keeping it real. Peace is way too valuable to be compromised over a boyfriend or girlfriend.
#7. They make you lose sight of your other priorities. For the driven and focused, this is probably an easy one, although one can never be too careful. After all, What smarty pants with a 4.0 will contend with a person who detracts from the very thing that makes them shine? One with a low self-esteem, that’s who. One who may have not have a strong footing relationally in terms of family, etc (this is why it is so important to have a church home!). It does happen. Even if you are able to balance a relationship and maintain your stellar record, know that the wrong man or woman will still take away from your fullest potential. And that’s truth.
#8. You have a gut feeling. No matter how amazing they may seem to be and how many boxes they are able to check off on the list, God will sometimes give you a feeling that you can’t shake. Pray on it before going forward.
#9. They pressure you to have sex. For many, this is an easy one. For others who are not so strong in their faith or believe that sex outside of marriage is not a sin, this is a bit of a toughie and possible an opportunity for the enemy to do them in big time. Turns out, sex outside of marriage is a sin. It gives the enemy so much opportunity to wreak havoc in your life. Just one big train wreck. Plus, you will have to share your sexual history with your future spouse; do you really want to have to mention those who had no real place in your heart but to whom you have your body? Trust me you would rather not. Taking sex out of the equation means that you can soberly assess the situation about the person. And don’t get me started on soul ties! Soul ties are spiritual, emotional, and physical bondings to another person due to intimacy with them, including sex. There are those that are good–when they are made according to God’s intent–and those that are bad. Sex creates soul ties that can damage your mind and spirit if made with the wrong person (please trust me on this one!). Here’s a secret: A wolf in sheep’s clothing can only maintain for so long before they are exposed or removed by the Great Shepherd. If you honor God by refraining from sex and just wait, eventually the wrong ones will eventually fall away. However, if you fall and sin in this area, you will become entangled when you didn’t have to be.
Have some others? List them in the comments!