Estimated reading time: 6 minutes:)
The lessons God’s been teaching me lately are a little different than what I’m used to.
A lot are just between me and God, lessons I can’t really share on a blog like this. I wondered what topic I’ve learned about recently that could touch your hearts and help you grow closer to Christ. Truthfully, I sat in my room staring at my wall as topics floated across my mind. “God, what about that one?” No. “What about this one?” No. “How about this one?” Go for it.
So here I am. Writing about red flags to look for in Christian guys.
I decided to break this topic into 4 weeks.
This week I’ll focus on red flags in Christian men. The week after, I’ll post about red flags to look for in Christian women. The following weeks, I’ll post about the green flags to look for in both Christian men and women.
Ladies ~ I hope this post will help you understand what to look for in a godly man and the desires God has for your heart.
And if you’re a guy, this blog is for you, too! I hope it’ll serve as a roadmap not for how to become more attractive, but for how to live in the godly way God wants us to. If you’re chasing Christ, attractiveness follows close behind;).
Back when I was younger, I didn’t really see red flags. I figured if a guy was cute and “loved Jesus” he was good enough to earn my heart. I didn’t pay attention to the details.
It’s been almost 5 years since I entered the dating scene, and I am certainly no expert. Consider these blogs simply what I’ve learned throughout the years ~ and I’m still learning. I’m currently in my 3rd relationship, which is healthy and amazing, more amazing than I ever thought a dating relationship could be. But I’ve been through a lot of heartbreak, and I’ve gone on dates with more guys than I’d like to admit.
This is what I’ve gathered along the way ~ what I’ve learned about the difference between a man who just goes to church on Sundays and a man who’s sold out, crazy, heartsick for Jesus.
So without further adieu, here are 8 red flags to look for in Christian guys:
🚩 #1… He Pushes Physical Boundaries
This seems obvious, but it’s hard to notice in the moment because this red flag usually doesn’t show up into you’re already invested in a relationship.
Here’s the thing: a godly man will be willing to deny his desires in order to respect and honor you. It’s as simple as that. If a guy is breaking boundaries you set in place or going further than you know is right, that’s a major red flag.
Nathan made it clear he wanted to move at my pace early on in our relationship, which I really admire.
I told him I hadn’t had my first kiss yet, and that I usually move really slow in relationships. Instead of pushing my boundaries, teasing me, or belittling me, he told me: “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I’ll go at your pace, and I won’t make the first move until you’re comfortable with it.”
The right guy will not only honor the boundaries you both establish, but also honor the boundaries God established. And as difficult as it can be to deny desires in the moment, the right guy will be willing to be on the same page as you about physical boundaries (inside and outside a tempting moment).
🚩 #2… He Isn’t Excited About Your Dreams
God has given you gifts. And from those gifts sprout beautiful dreams. Maybe you feel led to be a nurse. Maybe you want to be a business owner. Maybe you just want to be a mom. Anyone else? 😅🙋♀️
Your guy might not have the same dreams as you. But he should still celebrate them and get excited about them with you!
For example, Nathan isn’t a huge reader or writer. But he’s still excited about my dreams. He still takes time to read my book, asks how he can support me with my publishing responsibilities, and encourages me as I try to get better at writing. He wants to celebrate the wins with me, even though writing isn’t his forte.
Being with a guy who isn’t excited about your dreams is discouraging. You’ll feel like you can’t share your aspirations with him, that your passions are a burden. You’ll start to think even mentioning them is an inconvenience. Don’t settle for someone who makes your God-given dreams feel like wishful thinking.
🚩 #3… He Wants to Change You
Ladies, there’s a difference between good change and bad change. In a healthy relationship, you should both be pushing each other toward healthy change. Keep each other accountable with your struggles, encourage each other to make wise decisions, and edify each other with your words. There’s nothing wrong with gentle, loving encouragement to become healthier, spend more time with Jesus, or grow in kindness. That’s good change.
Bad change is when a guy wants to mold you into someone you are not. This may look like a guy pressuring you to wear something you aren’t comfortable wearing. This may look like a guy who wants to change your beliefs to match his own without a care for how that pressure makes you feel.
In certain circumstances, this can also look like peer pressure. A guy might try to change you from someone with moral convictions to someone who lets things slide, whether those things are as small as disrespecting your parents or as big as drug and alcohol use.
A guy should never meddle with your identity.
It’s worth noting: your identity is not your sin. If a guy is lovingly encouraging you to leave sin, that’s not wrong. But if a guy is dissatisfied with who you are, who God says you are, and the stories that have built your personality ~ he can’t afford your heart, sis.
🚩 #4… You Turn Into a Different Person Around Him
This is a red flag you can look for in yourself, but it happens when a guy makes you uncomfortable in your own skin. Thus, you might feel the need to turn into a different person when you’re around him.
God designed you with so much intention, and it breaks his heart to see his daughters putting on masks to seem more “attractive” to the world. In his eyes, you are already the peak of beauty ~ to put a mask on would only hide how stunning you are.
This, to a certain extent, includes makeup. Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with putting on makeup. It’s fun to dress up, get fancy, and look nice for a guy. That’s perfectly fine!
But if you feel like you can’t show your natural face around him, ask yourself why. A godly man will still think you’re attractive with or without makeup on, and he will love you the same no matter what.
Same goes for your personality. If you don’t feel like you can be goofy, awkward, or silly around a guy, ask yourself why. The right man will love your genuine self even more than whatever mask you might be tempted to wear.
🚩 #5… Your Family/Trusted Friends Don’t Approve
When you marry someone, you aren’t just marrying that person. You’re marrying their family, too. And if they don’t approve, that might be evidence of a red flag.
Of course, there are exceptions. But in general, if you have a healthy relationship with your family and they don’t approve of a guy, they probably have pretty valid reasons.
Ultimately, your family and trusted friends know you best. They’ve seen you at your worse. They know how to piss you off, and they know how to make you feel loved. They probably also know who would be a good fit for you. And if they don’t approve of a guy, instead of getting upset and defensive, sit down and ask them why. Their opinion is valid, too.
🚩 #6… He Causes Conflict in Your Family
Similar to the one above, a guy shouldn’t be the cause of strife in your family.
That means if your parents set rules, your guy should respect and follow them, encouraging you to do the same. That means if your boyfriend and a family member disagree about something, your boyfriend doesn’t engage in arguing that damages the relationship he has with your family. That means if a common topic in arguments with your parents include that guy, there’s probably something dysfunctional underfoot. That also means if you have a curfew, your boyfriend will respect it, too
God-given relationships are surrounded with peace, support from others, and clarity ~ NOT strife, confusion, arguments, and tension.
🚩 #7… You’re Not Attracted to Him
This one also seems obvious, but as a girl, it’s easier to date someone you’re not necessarily attracted to than you think. You might try to justify it by claiming “he’ll get more attractive to me as our emotional connection grows,” but it usually doesn’t work that way.
Physical attraction certainly isn’t everything. But it can’t be left out, either. If you aren’t attracted to a guy emotionally and physically, be wary.
🚩 #8… He Watches Porn
I debated including this one, but I know we are all adults here. And I think it’s important to talk about the uncomfortable topics, too.
Porn is adultery. There is no other way of putting it. If your boyfriend watches porn, that’s as good as him cheating on you.
And I get it. I know the stats. I know how common it is. I know it’s nearly impossible to find a guy who doesn’t actively watch porn. But do not settle.
I think the situation is a little different if you’re already in a solid relationship. Let’s say your man accidentally slips in a weak moment and watches porn after going porn-free for years. If he tries to hide that from you, has no desire to be kept accountable, or doesn’t view it as a problem: major red flag. He should bring that to you, set accountability, and battle it actively.
But do not enter a relationship with someone who sees nothing wrong with porn. Of course, a conversation about porn probably shouldn’t happen on the first date or at the very beginning of a relationship, but having that conversation eventually is important. If they do not view porn as a sin, run for the hills.
Offer grace and forgiveness, but do not compromise. Pray for your future spouse’s heart. Ask God that He would protect him in moments of weakness, keep captive his thoughts, and keep him from temptation. God alone provides the strength and avenue to resist temptations.
At the end of the day, there are dozens of red flags out there. I could go on and on about things you can nitpick in order to find the perfect guy. But it’s important to remember: no one is perfect.
If you’re waiting for the “perfect” guy, you’ll never find him. But if you’re waiting for a godly man who love Jesus with his whole heart ~ who treasures his relationship with God first and foremost ~ you’re waiting for a keeper.
Make a list of the non-negotiables. Paint a picture of the person you hope to marry one day. A non-negotiable might look like “Loves Jesus (like actually loves him)” or “interacts with his parents respectfully.”
But what should not be on that list includes “has to be at least 6 feet tall,” “has to play football,” or “must hate the Patriots as much as I do.”
Even your dream guy will make mistakes from time to time. We all need grace; what would be the point of the cross if we didn’t?
The point is, don’t compromise on the important things. But allow grace where it’s appropriate.
And at the end of the day, if you’re looking for what makes a godly man, go read your bible! This blog is just my personal convictions I’ve derived from reading scripture ~ but scripture is pure, straight-into-your-heart truth.
Happy Saturday ~ Jesus loves you!