1. The Unbeliever
Be careful not to settle for less than what God would want for the spiritual health and care of your marriage. Marriage can be tough enough at times, add to that the pressure of opposing spiritual views, and you may be in big trouble when the normal stressors of life occur. If you hold vastly different beliefs now, don’t falsely assume you’ll get her to “turn around,” or change her ways later. It may happen, but it may not.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 2 Cor. 6:14
2. The Abuser
Many times “abusers” are assumed to be men, but women struggle with this same trap too, and the man in her life may feel like it’s difficult to talk about the problem or find help. Men can often become the invisible victims of relationship abuse and find themselves dealing with deep levels of shame, guilt, and inadequacy.
Ps. 11:5 says, “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence, he hates.” This verse reminds us of how God feels about the heart which instigates violence. No one deserves to be abused. Ever. Move quickly away from the one who brings you physical, verbal, or deep emotional harm. You are not their saving grace. That is God’s work. Marriage must be built on deep love and respect, and abuse of any type has no place there.
3. The Controller, Manipulator
This person’s subtle, dangerous behavior can indicate big trouble ahead. What might be disguised as “I just care about you,” can really be a need for constant control or a heart of jealousy. She may dominate and strive to make decisions for you, especially in regards to whom you spend your time with. She might check up on you frequently, keep close tabs, or falsely accuse you of cheating on her. The one driven by control needs will have continual issues with whether she can “trust you.” Often, under her grasp, you may start to feel like you can hardly breathe. It’s suffocating. It’s supposed to be, that’s how you’re held tightly.
James 3:16 says, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” And that is no place to start a marriage.
4. The Angry, Contentious Woman
If your partner can’t control her temper before you’re married, she most certainly won’t after you’re married. In most cases, her behavior will worsen. No matter what our personality type, it still doesn’t give us room to plow over anyone in our pathway with cruel words and rants. Take time to see how she responds in different scenarios, especially when under pressure.
Proverbs 25:24, “It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” This is more than, “I’m just having a bad day.” An angry, quarrelsome disposition has a pattern of negativity, harsh words, and flaring tempers. The key is – does she realize it’s an area of weakness that she desires for God to change? If the answer is “no,” steer clear.
5. The Seducer
Behaviors established before marriage are not going to magically go away once you say, “I do.” Sexual sin can be a deep trap of the enemy and once ensnared in these destructive patterns, they are difficult to break. Yet the pain or mistakes of the past should hold no control over our present and future. God redeems, sets free, and desires to make us new.
Make the choice together to live by His standards in your relationship. The lies of the world say that sex before marriage is normal, no big deal. Yet it’s a huge deal. Don’t fall for the enemy’s lie. The heart of Christ seeks the best for the one they love, desiring to build up, protect, and encourage healthy, safe patterns.
In the story of Joseph in Genesis 39, we see Potiphar’s wife pursuing him with sexual advances day after day. It was relentless. But he did not fall. The Bible says, “he fled.” Wise man.