it can be difficult to be clear-headed in a dating relationship.  It is easy to see only the positive in the other person and completely ignore any warning signs.  Optimism for a relationship can cloud judgment.

It would be foolish to date someone and not even consider the possible outcomes.  Not only would it be foolish, but downright selfish.  While you do not have to commit to marrying this person right away, you should realize thatany guy-girl relationship you begin has the potential to end in marriage.

If there is always that possibility, then you must ask yourself whether this person has the qualities you will need in a husband.  You are not being selfish in asking that question.  It is important that you do.  That is why it is important to consider some warning signs you will look for while dating someone.  Watch out for the following red flags.

Is he having a relationship with Christ?

If you desire to have a marriage relationship built on Scripture, you will want to marry a man who will be a strong spiritual leader to you and your future family.

Ask yourself these questions:  How strong is his relationship with Jesus Christ?  Is he interested in growing spiritually?  How passionate is he about reading God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers in a biblically solid church?  Is he servant-hearted?  Are you spiritually stronger than he is?  Your spiritual maturity may result in frustration and leadership struggles if he is not as strong as you in his relationship with God.

Second, does he care about your spiritual growth?  Ultimately, your spiritual condition is up to you and you alone.  However, in Ephesians Paul compares a husband’s role toward his wife with that of Christ’s role toward His Bride, the Church, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, the she might be holy and without blemish,” (Ephesians 5:25-27, emphasis mine).

Christ’s role and a husband’s role do differ because only Christ alone can truly cleanse us.  However, a husband is responsible to lead his wife in sanctification, as this verse explains with the imagery of Christ and His bride.  If a man cannot do that, he is not ready to be a husband.  And if he is not ready to be a husband, dating him could only have a sorrowful outcome.

Is he depending on you?.

Marriage is a covenantal bond between a man and a woman where there is dependence—to a certain extent.  If you are dating a man who expects you to be everything to him and always make him happy, you both are in for a harsh awakening after the honeymoon ends.  You are both sinners and you will sin against each other.  While you do not want that to happen, it is reality. You will disappoint each other, not on purpose, but you will.  You cannot meet his every need.  To try to is foolish. Also, if he wants you to meet all his needs, that is close to idolatry (Exodus 20:3, 4).  Only God can truly satisfy a person’s soul.

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