Is That A Red Flag???
While leading ManFast, I've heard a lot of very sad, very painful stories coming out of troubled marriages. Some people have endured terrible experiences in the name of love and at times I find myself at a loss for what to say to them. I also find myself asking the same two questions, over and again...
Did you see any red flags before getting into a serious relationship with the person?
And if you saw them, why didn't you listen to what they were trying to tell you?
Red flags are crucial when pursuing a potential relationship. They provide the warnings you need to keep you safe and protected. They can save you a lifetime of heartache or even save your life, if you pay attention and make wise choices!
Some red flags come in the form of an inkling or a check in your spirit! When you meet a potential mate and start to get to know them, everything may look good on the outside, but deep in your spirit, something is just not setting right. You may not be able to put your finger on it, but you know that something is just not adding up and that's troubling to your soul. When that happens, it's best to get still and listen, to watch and wait.
Make no mistake about it... When a person's got some mess in their lives, it always start to smell and the truth will eventually come out. Especially if you're a praying person!
If you ask God to show you what's really going on, one way or another, He will reveal everything you need to know! He'll make sure that a cheater will slip up and get caught, that a liar will get tangled up in their own web of lies and that the heart of the selfish person will be revealed when things don't go their way!
Yet, for this to happen, you must be willing to search out the truth, no matter how bad it turns out to be!
This is key, because in some cases, a red flag can be as plain as the nose on your face, but you refuse to see it or acknowledge it. For whatever reason, the appeal of being with that person, overrides your sense of self-preservation and you foolishly take a risk that may prove to be a costly mistake. Rather than continue to be alone, you step into a relationship that has major problems going in, simply because you devalued yourself enough to put your own well-being in danger. And that's never a good thing.
For example: If a man says he wants to date you, but you're the one who has to pay his cell phone bill so y'all can talk, that's a huge RED FLAG!
I promise... if you start your relationship that way, when he asks to marry you, you could end up charging the engagement ring on your credit card. Then once you jump the broom, in the fabulous wedding that you paid for, you'll end up carrying the financial weight of the household, while hubby is still trying to get it together! Then one day, you wake up to realize that you can't take this set up any longer and you ask yourself,
"How did I get to the place?"
But you should be asking yourself,
"How did I miss the red flags?" or "Why didn't I pay attention when I saw the red flags?"
As Maya Angelou says,
"When a person shows you who they are, believe them!"
And here's a word of advice from this seasoned sister:
If you see a red flag, pay attention! Stop, look, listen and learn! Ask the questions that you need answered to resolve the red flag. If that doesn't happen to your satisfaction, then do yourself a favor and walk away!
And pay attention to the trusted voices of reason that God has placed in your life. When love comes calling, it's very easy to get swept up in the excitement of the experience. It's hard to think straight when a strong, handsome, delicious-smelling man is whispering sweet words in your ear.
Therefore, you need to let others you trust act as a second set of eyes and ears to help make sure you're thinking clearly and making sound decisions. And if the relationship doesn't pass the smell test with them, at least be open to hear what they have to say. If they can justify their reasons for being concerned, then you owe it to yourself to take a second look before you leap!
Trust me, it's much easier to walk away from a potential boyfriend, than going through the embarrassment of cancelling a wedding, enduring a painful divorce, raising a child with someone who's hell to get along with, or spending years in a loveless, lifeless marriage!
Be Careful... Be Safe.... Let God take the lead and pay attention to the Red Flags!