Most of us want to find the love of our life, get married, and live happily-ever-after. You would think that if you found a Christian man, you would be safe, but abuse has no boundaries. The truth is, abuse is a learned behavior and a choice. It is your responsibility to make sure you choose wisely.
Wolf or Lamb?
So how do you know if you are being fooled by an abuser? How can you tell if a Christian man is really who he says or seems to be? What does abuse look like? The following list of thirteen items are red flags that you need to stop any beginning relationship safely or find help at your nearest woman’s shelter for domestic abuse. If your boyfriend or husband displays any of these behaviors, get help.
13 Red Flags of Abuse
- He is charming and gives you gifts with hidden strings
- Has to know where you are and who you are talking to, he says to protect you
- Isolation from friends and family, usually starts slow
- Jealousy with the rationalization he is protecting you
- Quick involvement
- Blames others for problems or feelings
- Uses mean and judgmental words, discrimination, racism
- Mean to animals or children
- Hypersensitive and makes everything your fault
- Throws or breaks things
- Scares you, especially when he is mad, or you are arguing
- Dual personalities, “Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde.” From http://www.newhopeforwomen.org/abuser-tricks.
Wise or Foolish
If you needed surgery and someone you just met told you they were the best surgeon, would you automatically trust them, or would you check them out? Christ calls us to keep a clear mind, to be shrewd or have great judgment, and to guard our hearts.
Giving your heart to someone is the most precious and intimate gift you can give them because Christ lives in you. For this reason, you must make sure the person you give your heart to will love you in Christ’s design of love and marriage. His love design is full of respect, honor, and will have him treating you as if you were Christ in front of him.
Jesus was never in a hurry with close relationships, and therefore you must never be in a hurry. You need to take at least a year to see how the person you are considering to be with will treat you with people around, in various challenging circumstances, and when no one is looking.
If they are not consistent, read this list and verify that they are not abusing you. If your boyfriend or fiancé pressures you into sex, this is not Christ’s design of love. If they do not believe you are worth waiting for, then you already know they do not deserve you!
You Deserve the Best Love
You may not believe you deserve the best love right now, but with Christ in you, you need to make sure he receives the best. Since Christ lives in you, how can you question your value to him? God wants you to live in Christ’s design of love and marriage, not to settle for whatever someone offers you.
Feeling worthy to have the best love was very hard for me. After being date raped at the age of fifteen, I chose to believe the devaluing words of my father which said, “I did not deserve good love.”
At the time, I didn’t realize that I was letting all of my emotions direct my choices. I didn’t know Christ’s design of love. I didn’t know about signs and the realities of abuse. And I was using my broken model of love.
All of the heartache in my life caused by my unawareness is the reason I am reaching out and helping possible victims or current victims of abuse today. I want to let them know that they are not alone or abandoned. They can discover and understand Christ’s design for love and never settle for abusive treatment, which is NOT love.
Protect Christ in You
I encourage all women of all ages to study these signs of abuse. Know what you need to ask Jesus to help you understand his design of love and marriage. His love design will keep you from becoming or remaining a victim of domestic abuse. Only you can choose who you will trust and give your heart to. Don’t be fooled by men who claim to follow Jesus and treat you like the devil!
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 NIV (Your heart determines the course of your life, NLT)
To learn more about what is blinding you or keeping you stuck, visit my site: https://www.livingandlovingfearlessly.com/