Red Flags – Part 1 Jul 16, 2015 | Uncategorized | 38 comments Please check out Red Flags here. And, please check out A Wife’s New Understanding of the Red Flags She Missed before Marriage Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 38 Comments d on July 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm As a single Christian man, I want to say that April’s list is a good one. If my sister or cousin were looking to marry a man, I would be looking for pretty the same things as April mentions. One additional note, which April touched on somewhat in her original post: never assume that God will fix a man’s problems (or has fixed them). While nothing is impossible for God, He acts when He decides to act. Sometimes that means He won’t heal someone. Remember, St. Paul asked for God to remove the thorn in his flesh, and God didn’t. The best thing to look at is a man’s actions- what he does. Remember, you know a tree by its fruit. Reply Peacefulwife on July 16, 2015 at 7:07 pm d, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, my brother. 🙂 Reply Peacefulwife on July 16, 2015 at 6:41 pm Jacob, Thank you so much for sharing your concerns. I actually agree that there are almost no men in the church today who would not trigger a red flag in this marriage checklist. And if I created a marriage checklist for men to use when choosing a godly wife, there are almost no women today in the church who would not trigger a red flag in my checklist for men. As a Christian culture, we have slid far, far away from God. It breaks my heart! We are supposed to be living holy, Christlike, Spirit-filled lives. But many of us are not. Many of us are very worldly and fall under Galatians 5:18-21 more than Galatians 5:22-25. It is my fervent prayer that God wake us all up and that there might be a massive movement of His Spirit in our midst. I do hope you will notice, that most of the red flags were not things that I said, “You should never marry a guy with those issues,” but rather, I said things like – slow down, approach with much prayer and with godly counsel. Don’t rush into marriage with this issue going on. There is GRACE available in Christ! And we are called upon to extend much grace in marriage. I want women who are considering marriage to understand what they are agreeing to do. I want them to be prepared. It is so much better to address these issues BEFORE marriage, than to assume that all of the problems will magically go away and resolve themselves in marriage. That doesn’t happen. Most of the things I have talked about here as red flags are sinful or ungodly things according to Scripture. Sometimes people had a choice in participating, but in some of these issues, they didn’t have a choice, yet sin always causes destruction. It hurts those who sin. It hurts those who are sinned against. It will continue to cause destruction in marriage if left unchecked. What I can tell you after thousands of conversations with married women on my other blog http://www.peacefulwife.com – is that these flags I mentioned are real problems in many marriages today. They are things that most people didn’t deal with before marriage, and now these very things are helping to destroy marriages. I want to see us have godly marriages. I want to see us living out the lives God commands us to live by the power of His Spirit working in us. I want to see disciples of Christ well-prepared for marriage. I want to see the men honoring Christ. I want to see the women honoring Christ. Yes, we will need to forgive and extend grace many, many times in marriage – but let’s do everything we can to deal with sin and potential problems before marriage. Of course, even if a man (or a woman) didn’t have any red flags on this list right now, something may change him later after marriage. There is no guarantee that a couple won’t have to deal with some of these things just because they didn’t have to deal with them before they got married. But I am concerned that many women are entering marriage with the idea that there will be no problems or that they can change their men. They can’t. They can respect them, honor them, and walk in the power of Christ – and they can influence their husbands. But I want them to understand that they need to be willing to accept their men “as is” before marriage so that they are prepared for the realities of marriage and prepared to handle the “or worse” part that no one thinks is going to happen to them. I don’t believe this post is judgmental. That is certainly the farthest thing from my heart. I believe it is speaking the truth in love to my sisters in Christ. I am not saying there is no hope for marriage for men who have these issues (or women – because I am talking about women having these red flags, as well). There is great hope available in Christ! But let’s not pretend there are no problems when there are. Let’s get the help we need before marriage and let’s get the counseling and the skills and godly wisdom we need so that when we get married, we are ready to handle the things that Satan would love to use to destroy our marriages and families. Let’s get rid of every trace of sin that God reveals to us as soon as possible and let’s ask Him to change us, to regenerate our spirits, and to make us more like Christ! Marriage is hard sometimes. Being married to someone who sins against you is painful. Sometimes it is lonely. But God can use all of it for His glory. And God can use the hard times to refine us and to help us mature in our faith – men and women. Still, let’s be as prepared as possible to choose godly spouses and to prepare to be godly spouses. Much love to you in Christ, my brother! Reply d on July 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm April, your post was not judgmental. You merely tried to provide warning signs of possible future trouble for women to keep an eye out for. Responses like that, which decry judgmentalism that isn’t, are part of the reason why the Church is in such a poor state as is. We need more posts like yours, not less. Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 12:39 pm Thanks for the encouragement, d. 🙂 Reply JC on July 17, 2015 at 11:32 pm This is just an fyi: if you find a list REMOTELY like this for men (which is exceptionally rare, especially compared to how often women get this sort of message), you will find the comments absolutely drenched with angry Christian women objecting to it being judgmental more than anything else. And, such a list for men is always going to be a “part 2” follow-up for a list for women, yet that still doesn’t stop the onslaught of women who will protest it. And, by the way, it’s not going to be nearly so descriptive. “I believe it is speaking the truth in love to my sisters in Christ.” That is part of what I crave, as a man: the same loving protective spirit, and restorative. Proverbs 31 was written for men, not for women, even written by a woman, for that very purpose. There are other passages (such as the mention of the “contentious woman”) also written for that reason, most likely. But somehow almost no one seems to see the need to echo these kinds of sentiments to men as far as I can tell. It’s as you say: husbands and wives will sin against each other no matter how much it will be “Mr. and Mrs. Right.” I laid the idea of marriage down at the altar, that I may grasp the love that God has for me through His Son Jesus Christ that passes all understanding. I’d certainly throw my whole being into marriage on Earth if that were my situation–what a joy for a man to see a woman happy and fulfilled by his strength! Ephesians 3:18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Honestly–and this is no joke–if most of us are just too messed up for the lofty requirements of marriage, I’m all for us putting a greater focus on strengthening as a church in general instead. I really think that a lot of the misery women are experiencing in marriages (and I say this in total sympathy) comes from an extreme lack of willingness to apply energies in men’s direction. Oh sure, people love to jump on men to fix their behaviors–which isn’t always or necessarily a bad thing (just like it isn’t for women). But I’m talking about the healing, restorative, supportive language and action that is so hard to come by for men. If men–collectively–are to have their blood sucked with little energy going back in their direction (and I’ll use the protective sentiments of this post as an example again), they are simply going to lose their abilities to offer what women need from the deprivation of love, and that’s what we’re seeing more and more. I recently talked to a friend of mine of many years, an older Christian man who is highly devout and spiritual and (for that reason, not in spite of it) avoids church to study his Bible–I know a few such men, who are, in my experience, the most spiritually strong and devout. He wrote three books on freedom from sin which might actually get published. I mentioned the situation of men not praying with their wives which blew my mind, and he agreed with every word I said about why I think that is: men are in an environment that is designed more to appeal to women (as a business) and intimidates the men. Remember how you acknowledged that women are portrayed in Christian culture as spiritually superior to men? And men are supposed to be empowered as spiritual leaders of their wives after that put-down? Again, it’s another example. Healing is needed on the men’s end–some serious loving effort and more than just behavior correction–or it’s going to be ten times as much damage control on women’s end, and ultimately futile. I feel for the problems that men and women–I care deeply about both!–are facing and I feel like the answers and reason stare us in the face. It grieves me to think that, unfortunately, people will persistently choose not to pursue them and instead go down a path of pain and confusion. As for me, I desire Christ, because he will be my judge, and I love him so much that I want to please him–thankfully, that is possible because God loved me first. 🙂 I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will experience the joy of being conformed totally to Him, knowing His love. Blessings to you in Christ, April. And in case there is any confusion, I’m aware of your particular limitations. May the Lord continue to keep you strong, nurture you and reward you for your zeal for him. 🙂 Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm JC, I laid the idea of marriage down at the altar, that I may grasp the love that God has for me through His Son Jesus Christ that passes all understanding. I’d certainly throw my whole being into marriage on Earth if that were my situation–what a joy for a man to see a woman happy and fulfilled by his strength! God is working so powerfully in your life and heart, my brother! It is such a blessing to see the healing that He is doing in you. I love your heart for Christ and your desire to please Him above all else! There are a lot of changes that are necessary in our lives as believers today and in our Christian culture. I continue to pray fervently for God to intervene in a mighty way – one person at a time. Thank you for your love for men and women. I do sometimes wish I could write a post for men about red flags. But – yes – I do have limitations to write for women. I long for my brothers and sisters to be prepared to be godly husbands and wives and to marry godly husbands and wives. Reply Peacefulwife on July 19, 2015 at 6:11 pm JC, I’m sure our brothers in Christ could probably use this post as well as the one I put up today to help them “reverse engineer” red flags in their relationships if they would like to. Reply JC on July 19, 2015 at 11:18 pm Thanks so much, April! I know you bless many men with your sentiments and things to “reverse-engineer!” I am extremely grateful and know you do a lot of good with that! I have also always admired the manner in which you speak to men: you are such an example in this regard as well, “speaking to men without directives!” Thank you for all your love and grace! 🙂 God bless you and your household. Reply JC on July 18, 2015 at 12:45 am I wanted to make a couple of extra notes about this to see if I can make sure to come across the right way. Of course (as your writing acknowledges) a lot of these issues swing both ways and there is a tone of accountability in either direction–I just wanted to convey that I give you credit for that to be sure. 😉 It’s definitely a big deal, signing up to live with someone else for the rest of your life. That’s why Jesus’ disciples reacted, it’s better not to marry, just at Jesus’ mention of divorce being unacceptable. (Matthew 19:10) We need a stronger church that leads to stronger people, which leads to stronger marriages as a benefit–to me, that’s what your list and your experience concludes in short. Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 8:13 am JC, I am in total agreement – we need a Great Awakening among us all. We need the power of God’s Spirit in our lives transforming us and regenerating our souls to make us more like Christ. We need to be a holy people – by God’s standards – then we can be a lot more prepared to have godly marriages. The goal isn’t just godly marriages, but that we might be prepared to serve and honor God through singleness or marriage or whatever position God gives us at any moment. The glory of Christ must be the primary thing for each of us. As He refines us and purifies us of our sin, we will be ready to do the work of His Kingdom. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing, my brother! Reply ChildofRa on July 17, 2015 at 3:24 am Finding a guy thats a virgin is like finding a unicorn to me Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 12:40 pm ChildofRa, Apparently there are many more men than women who are still virgins today. I’m sorry it is so frustrating. This is definitely not the world that I would choose for my children to have to pick a spouse from. Reply seventiesjason on July 18, 2015 at 12:30 pm Part of the reason why I had to choose celibacy in Christ was because of the ‘red flags’ in my own life; and it was more of a reluctant choice; but really there was no other choice for me as I matured in Christ. I was in my forties. Never had a date, or girlfriend………I was really ‘beyond’ what women wanted or expected in a Christian man my age. I was getting so angry at myself for my past…….something I could not change….something that would not go away no matter what I did. My future in these matters of finding a Christian wife required so much work on a “wordly” standard; it was easier to just live a life of Holiness and His calling. Acceptance of His call of celibacy and service became the only choice in the end. It’s very hard in our Christian walk at times to not only hear; but understand when God tells us “no” to our desires. We don’t like it. Too often we have the “plan” and we throw it at the feet of Christ and tell Him to “bless it” when in fact we should be asking Christ for the answer; and waiting on it. There is a terrible message in ‘christian-culture’ today of prosperity, of looks, of happiness, of expectations and we all seem to be forgetting that marriage is to glorify God. Not ourselves, not family, not friends….and the expectations of men and women today seem to be causing more and more singleness because no one can ever “measure up” to the worldly expectations. Not to say people should not have standards. No……but something, something is so very wrong today. Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 1:01 pm seventiesjason, I appreciate your perspective so much in this discussion. The thing is, all of us have sin issues in our lives to one degree or another. And any sin issue that has not been dealt with is a red flag – for men or for women – as they approach marriage. We are not supposed to continue on in known sin as believers. To live in habitual sin – and to be comfortable with it – is a very poor indicator of spiritual health. In fact, it may indicate that we don’t know or love God – according to I John. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3:7-10 We all start out as wretched sinners – and we are all in desperate need of the Holy Spirit to empower us and to give us the victory of Christ every moment of every day once we have received Christ. We can’t do this following Christ and walking in obedience thing ourselves in our own strength. It is God’s will that all of us be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in holiness. That is the greatest goal in the Christian life – to know God, to be holy as He is holy, to be filled with His power, to bring glory to Him. Our lives are to be all about Him. Marriage exposes sin. It brings it to the surface. All trials do this. They reveal the true nature and character of our hearts. The pressures and stresses in life force our real selves to the surface so that God is able to show us our sin so that we may repent and He can skim the “dross” off of the surface as He refines the gold – our faith. It is so important for us to deal with any sin in our own lives before we attempt to go forward in marriage. And it is important to be aware of the sin issues in another person’s life before we commit to marriage. In marriage, we must be a united team. We must be prepared to extend much grace. We will suffer when we are sinned against. The one we are married to will suffer when we sin against him/her. Worldliness and holiness can’t go together, as you have discovered, my brother. Holiness is so much more important! God says that if we are friends with the world, we can’t be friends of God (James 4). If the only way for a believer to get a spouse is to be worldly, it is so much better to stay celibate and to continue on the walk of holiness! The only thing that will matter – when this short life is over – is what God has to say to each of us. How I long for Him to say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant,” to each one of us – married or single! How I pray that God’s people will hate sin the way God does and hate worldliness and cling to Christ. May we love Him with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, and may we love others with His love. If that includes being married to someone else who is pursuing Christ whole-heartedly – wonderful – if that is God’s will. And if it doesn’t involve being married – may God give each one His strength to be faithful to Christ no matter what the cost. If believers are to marry, I want to see us have strong, godly, holy, vibrant lives, marriages, and relationships that bring much glory to Christ where He is the center and He is LORD. If believers are to stay single, I want to see us have strong, godly, holy, vibrant lives and relationships that bring much glory to Christ where He is the center and is LORD. The church is very sick today. We are not well spiritually overall. We are weak in our faith. We are lukewarm in our love for our Savior. We often have self as lord instead of Christ. I did. That was totally me for the first 14+ years of our marriage – until God woke me up to my sin. I had tons of red flags before we got married – but neither Greg nor myself recognized them. We will not be perfect until heaven – but how I long for us to be sanctified and to be purified and to become more and more like Christ and for us to each fully submit our hearts to Him as Lord of all. Yes, may we each humble ourselves before Christ and one another. May we allow God to determine the plan Himself for our lives. May we wait patiently on Him and not move without His prompting. But when He does prompt us, may we move swiftly and obediently. Thanks so much for sharing! Reply seventiesjason on July 18, 2015 at 1:17 pm Indeed Peaceful! To put it in a different way………….it was time for me to start living my life for Christ instead of trying, praying, begging, wanting a Christian girlfriend / wife. It was time to knock the idol of “girlfriend / wife / marriage” off its high-place and accept what Christ has given: Sobriety. A restored relationship with my family. A sense of purpose. An eternity of promised righteousness. A cooling temper. An improved attitude. A strong confidence of what He overcame for me. My past, my red-flags would never leave me. Despite the decade of sobriety. Despite my changed outlook. Despite the confidence in Christ…… My past, the red-flags would not leave despite the changes in me through Christ….and it hurt badly. Even in Christ, my anger and jealously still came out because to the “world” and even in the church (in general) concerning women…..they could not see past “my past” I had to accept the call for celibacy in the end because “his grace IS sufficient” and no one said our walk with Him would not be with struggle 🙂 Reply Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 1:36 pm seventiesjason, I know that it is so painful to tear out those idols. I had many myself. How I praise God for what He has done and is doing and will do in your life! I actually don’t believe that the red flags from your past mean that a godly woman couldn’t or shouldn’t marry you. I have seen the transformation God has worked in your life. It is beautiful. I praise God for how He is using your celibacy and your life for His glory! But I believe that even though there may be old red flags in your life – that a godly woman might still prayerfully consider you as a potential godly husband. God has changed you so much! Of course, if you believe that God is calling you exclusively to celibacy, then I rejoice with you in that calling. I love that you are living for Christ now! WOOHOO!!!!!!! Reply JC on July 19, 2015 at 11:15 pm Hey April, I got Jason’s permission to take this opportunity to respectfully ask for some clarification on something. First of all – praise God! – I finished my MS in computer science. I’m about to be flown down to the HQ of a company as a candidate for software engineering that pays REALLY high–as in, a starting wage that is way, WAY above what the average man makes for a living at any point in his lifetime. It also sounds like the job is “good” in other ways, with good “work-life balance”. It’s very common for computer science grads to get very high-paying jobs right out of the gate, so I’m not too surprised. But keep in mind that feminists are preying upon men’s jobs STEM fields for that very reason. They hate that men are successful at these careers and that men vastly outnumber women. They have billions of taxdollars funding their efforts for results and they are continuously successful as they are not seriously challenged by very many–men are, of course, pushed out of the workforce for the sake of women’s increased “choice” to pursue a career (which tends to leave men with NO choice, as you pointed out, as most women usually don’t accept a man not making an income). The simple reality is that men WILL BE and ARE pushed out of the workforce as a result. Some men will still work of course, yes. A small minority will be able to be sole-income earners too (pre-feminism, women worked with their husbands too to pay bills). The simple fact is that many men will not be working, period, especially because of the success of feminism. That’s just a reality that we have to live with, and that (as Jesus says) “the poor are always with you” in general. The Proverbs 31 woman “extends her arms to the needy!” by the way. 😉 What I’m asking you–respectfully–is about your sense of reality for this. Jason is a good man, and I actually “envy” him in a way that he’s doing a job that’s more fulfilling to him even though it pays very, very low. But he’s a man on his mission! I would commend a woman who found him attractive for that reason and overlooked the fact that she would absolutely have to go to work in a marriage especially if there were children to provide for. Not that their income would have to be extremely high, but from my understanding of his situation, there is flat-out no way that’s possible, despite that Jason is hard-working at a meaningful job. Moreover, I’d also point out that Jason and I have time to fellowship as men with what little free time he has. Would we able to do that if he were married with children? In his words, probably not. And we are both completely tired of the lack of loving ministry on the men’s side of the fence–along with more and more men getting just sick and tired of this unmistakable neglect. Many of us can see the poison of it–Jason and I both see more and more “ministry” associating men’s total value by money, with ministry being behaviorist and output-oriented for men than the actual love that’s abundant in women’s ministries. God knows Jason is a more patient man than I am, bless him, because things would probably get very ugly if I was forced to be around the things he tells me about. In general I fear your sense of reality of what men have to work with–spiritually, materially, and time-wise–with your implied expectations. I don’t mean to say that it’s your job to save the whole world either (in case you get the wrong idea, as again I respect things you’ve said to me regarding your limitations), but in every way, I think there’s more “roughing it” on many, many levels that women have to do with men, both in marriages and in the church–somehow. It’s a load for men that I believe we clearly see men cannot bear, and let me be clear: my concern is for BOTH men’s and women’s provisions in this situation as of course women do have needs from men, but men are taxed well beyond their limits if the economy doesn’t circulate, as it were. We all need the church! 😀 An older, effectively semi-retired friend of mine (again, the reason why he has time to talk to me and real ability for significant fellowship with other men) tells me that he learned 80% of Christian authors are women! The trouble with hired pastors effectively ministering to men is that they have to worry about their livelihood in what they say. It’s like I told you about the “women men shouldn’t marry” lists (while women get this truly at least ten times as often) and how much venom they get from women whenever it actually does happen: pastors don’t enjoy as much freedom with what they can even preach. That’s another source of limitation of genuine ministry that men can receive–I know you read a lot of books about men and women out of Christian culture and I’ll certainly grant that those ideas are represented among a lot of believers (men and women alike), yet there’s a lot more and different takes on the story of men and their needs that just won’t make it past a publisher as itching ears don’t want to know about it. As you know, I have a high opinion of women and femininity, it’s validity and its usefulness. I think she is a “suitable helper,” not an incredible, awful and painful burden introduced by God to men (individually and collectively) Another thing I’ll tell you about me, looking at your “red flags” list, about the income business, is that I’m wondering if you’re remembering some sentiments of other men. As you notice men feeling depressed when they’re out of work, are you also hearing of men who do not want to be considered a meal ticket? I’ve heard stories of wealthy men who go out dating and get a cheap car and cheap apartment while doing so to make sure she’s not after marrying his wallet! Proverbs 6:26: by way of the prostitute a man is brought to a piece of bread. SO many more men would be free of sexual immorality–I have NO doubt–if this matter were preached! I would NEVER allow a wife to reduce me to a piece of bread the way a prostitute does with her sentiment. I actually don’t have anything against housewives at all per se, but that attitude would inspire me to ask her to get a job and contribute in response. If the “curse to Adam” was only to men, then why is the Proverbs 31 woman so busy? She too doesn’t suffer from the cursed ground, yet she’s supposed to be working all day as well, just minus the paycheck? Is that what Eve did in the garden? And let’s face it: a woman would have to be a genius to figure out how to spend 40-60 hours a week in today’s world keeping a home (certainly in the shack the average man could afford on his own) as Proverbs 31 says nothing about raising children–Scripture indicates fathers’ involvement in children’s lives as well (the usual rationale of “but she’s raising the kids” is not valid). Again, fundamentally, I see this as a “suitable helper” issue rather than a woman being this dreadful, back-breaking burden. I hope you are not hearing me the wrong way because I believe in your intentions. I’m particularly asking for clarification about Jason’s case to help my/our understanding: do you really expect that he’d be a sole-income earner? Again, Jason and I are both confused and would like to understand–that’s straight-up impossible unless he quit his job and who knows how likely it would be that he could make a high enough income at another job otherwise. Many men simply HAVE to do low-paying jobs (as he points out) if only because they have to be done by someone, and they cannot support a family. Speaking again to your point, Jason is not bothered with his low income (good man!). But, like me, he’s sick of the male objectification going on. By the way, regarding this post on which I’m commenting, I totally understand the idea. I feel that, marriage troubles cannot be avoided. But that’s why Paul says: 1 Corinthians 7:28 Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. I’m with Jacob in a way, too: it’s not so much that a woman would have a “red flag” or two that concerns me (likewise with the reverse)–because Paul said, regardless, marriage will come with trouble to the point that (like you) he says that it may be better not to marry, except Paul accounted for that being universal. No, my concern is that–ESPECIALLY as a man–the church is too weak, inept, or unwilling to support the individuals IN the marriage, and it particularly neglects men almost utterly and completely and I’m not prepared to face that abandonment. It’s painful enough already! How much WORSE to suffer in marriage and only have men’s “ministries” that offer no comfort but “your duty” spiels! But, my hope is that men and women will all get in the trenches and improve the church in ways that will sustain men and women IN marriages. Right now I fear that–to the detriment of both men and women–men’s macho strength will wear out under the burden of negligence. Much love and much respect to you April, as I SINCERELY pray for your continued/increased effectiveness, wisdom, and growth with God! Reply Peacefulwife on July 20, 2015 at 7:57 am JC, I don’t want women to marry a man to be a “meal ticket” – as I hope will be obvious in all of my writings – particularly the post I reblogged yesterday describing how a woman can evaluate herself about if she is prepared to be a godly wife. But I will add a bit more about that. I know of quite a few couples where the husband won’t work and expects the wife to work at least one full time job if not also another job (not all of these husbands are believers, by the way). I have never seen it work out well yet. In every case, the husband also expects the wife to take care of all of the housework. And in most of these cases, it is not that the husband can’t work – what I am talking about is a husband who refuses to work. Then he complains about that the house is not neat enough and that she is not taking care of the children well enough and often that she has gained too much weight. I know of situations where the husbands won’t touch their wives anymore because the wives have gained weight but they don’t have time to exercise, shop, or cook healthy meals. And the husbands sit around spending money and dictating to their wives all the things they need to do to improve. I have seen wives with top paying professional jobs with husbands like this whose husbands just go buy fancy new cars for themselves and do nothing at home but then scream at their wives that something isn’t clean enough or that their wives spent a few dollars. I have often seen affairs results on one side or the other in this situation. And there is usually seething resentment and complete disrespect on the part of the wife in a scenario like this. There is also seething hatred and/or disrespect toward the wife in many cases on the husband’s part. This is a recipe for disaster! In the case where a husband wants to work but can’t find work – I have seen that create tremendous depression for a man – more so than having terminal cancer, it seems. Even if his wife says nothing negative about the situation. It seems that many husbands in this situation feel emasculated and feel no sense of purpose. I have seen men feel that they don’t deserve to live if they can’t find work (which is not what I ever want to hear about anyone! So tragic!). I have seen wives decide that they should just lead because they are making the money – and the husband is too shut down and depressed to lead anyway. And even in these situations, the wife still ends up doing almost all of the housework and childcare and is often too exhausted for intimacy – which only compounds the problems. Of course the husband’s severe depression often drastically reduces his libido – but if he does desire his wife and she rejects him sexually that only compounds the depression he has about his lack of income. I have seen wives resist their husbands’ leadership when the husband isn’t making money solely on those grounds – which is not biblical, but it is what seems to happen in almost every case like this. I have seen both husband and wife spiral away from the marriage into very negative, destructive feelings and mindsets. If a woman or a man is going to willingly get married in such a situation, I suggest they do a lot of research and preparation because it is probably going to be a very difficult road. I am not encouraging wives to do nothing. I myself work part time as a pharmacist and contribute almost half of our income – and for the first 16+ years of our marriage, I contributed the majority of our income. Once children arrive, however, I believe that the best place for children to be is home with their mama. No daycare can raise children in a godly way the way that a godly mother can, in my view. If a mother can be home taking care of the children and home – I believe that is an incredible blessing. It isn’t always possible for a mom to be home full time. But I think it is something for women to prayerfully consider. My parents made this sacrifice for me and my siblings – and I am so thankful for it! I don’t have a choice and have to work part time, but I am thankful that I am able to be home so much with our children. No one cares about a child’s soul, body, nutrition, development, and well-being more than a mother cares about these things. Fathers do need to be involved, as well. But when the father stays home and the wife works – I just haven’t seen that work well for anyone that I know of. Perhaps there are exceptions that I am not aware of at this time. Children do best with having parents with a loving, godly marriage and being with mom and dad frequently. In a situation where a woman makes more money than her husband – there is still a temptation for a wife to believe that because she makes more money, she should be in charge. A wife going into a situation like this would need to prepare herself to understand that her income level has nothing to do with God’s design for leadership in the marriage. But it often is a subconscious thing that wives begin to believe they should take over and they should make more decisions because they make more money. This issue needs to be addressed before marriage and both husband and wife-to-be need to have an understanding that the money that is made will belong to them both, and that the wife’s paycheck is not to be used against the husband with any resentment. I have nothing against a husband having a low paying job. But I want to be sure that they are both prepared for the potential marriage dynamic problems and temptations that this arrangement may create. I would like to see wives prepare to live frugally and to be content with a small house and without a lot of luxuries – which is entirely possible in Christ! And I want to be sure the wives are willing to honor their husbands’ leadership regardless of who makes more money. Yes, marriage does bring trouble. That is unavoidable to some degree. But I’d like for people to be as well prepared as possible to deal with the issues that tend to arise frequently. Greg and I were NOT prepared for the consequences of this particular scenario and our lack of preparation really hurt us when I made a lot more money than he did. My thinking that resulted from my greater paycheck was destructive to our marriage, and I didn’t even recognize that for many years. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit might move among us in a way that we have never seen in our lifetimes to cause the church and each of us as individuals to walk in a way that is holy and pleasing to Christ. Much love in Christ, my brother! Reply JC on July 24, 2015 at 12:36 am There’s no doubt that there’s always such a thing as truly lazy people, that’s for sure. : Or whatever problem there is that causes someone not to want to work. I know a man who talked about how he worked more than full-time at a job he absolutely hated that didn’t pay very much. It was his desire for his wife to stay at their very small home–that’s what he wanted and she didn’t have a problem with it either. (good for them!) But, he said, there was simply no way they could afford children–not possible. Maybe you know a story about a man who pays for a stay-at-home wife/mom and a child or children on $15,000 a year or less, but that kind of income that some are stuck with is usually the reason why a lot of men can’t even get married, let alone support a family. It’s just a reality. That’s where Jason and I were confused on your take, as that’s close to his situation. Many good, hard-working men have always been in extremely humble circumstances. It’s truly a cultural flaw that causes men’s income to be correlated to their worth. I told you how even my mother told me she was sorry she birthed me because of my lack of success–and she let on a number of times that her disdain was particularly because I’m a man. Her sentiment about that is a totally different story today! But I’m a human being, and as such not too wild about people considering my worth tied to career/success/money whether it’s bad OR good–it’s not uncommon for men to react like that, either. Yes, there are a lot of godless attitudes about a spirituality in money–just lies. Scripture thoroughly addresses it, but some men insist on building their houses on the sand, not even considering that wealth is uncertain and they’re ill-advised to pin the entirety of their self-assurance to it like that. (James 4:13-17, 1 Timothy 6:17) The attitude is just a million miles away from Scripture. I don’t know how anyone could miss it if he was serious about his Bible over the culture. Anyway, that’s not your message I guess. The woman’s side of the coin is feeling like her worth is related to her outward beauty. Women are often marketed like “prizes” for men’s success, and as such portrayed like trophies rather than life-partners. It’s at least as old as the time a man used his daughter, Rachel, to get Jacob to work for 14 years! Use a “pretty girl” to make a machine out of a man, if you will. It’s a disaster. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, as it’s the same as love of the world. You certainly do a TON of work in every sense of the word, that’s for sure, and carry a LOT of heavy burdens! It sounds like the Lord has blessed you greatly in all that you have done, too. Peacefulwife on July 24, 2015 at 9:20 am JC, Again, I have no problem at all with a man who is making a humble salary but is seeking God, living for Christ, willing to love his wife and treat her well. I DO want the potential wife in such a situation to be willing to live sacrificially and frugally. I want her to be prepared to help contribute financially if necessary without resentment and to allow her husband to lead even if she is making more money. I want her to be prepared to respect her husband deeply even if she makes more money than he does and not try to usurp his position as leader in the family. A man who refuses to work but demands that his wife work and then he mistreats her – that is a big concern. But it is a totally different situation than a husband who is working or is willing to try to find work and who is treating his wife well. I hope that makes sense! Much love in Christ! JC on July 24, 2015 at 10:48 am “I want her to be prepared to help contribute financially if necessary without resentment and to allow her husband to lead even if she is making more money.” I had just noticed that comment in your other post, too. Thank you for clarifying in patience. “A man who refuses to work but demands that his wife work and then he mistreats her – that is a big concern. But it is a totally different situation than a husband who is working or is willing to try to find work and who is treating his wife well.” I agree. And I know you’ve seen all manner of horrible things happen that we would want to avoid. Peacefulwife on July 24, 2015 at 12:54 pm JC, Yes – sometimes the greatest issue in a situation where a husband is making less money than the wife – isn’t really the money. And the problem really isn’t that the husband has a smaller income. It can be primarily an issue with the wife’s attitude. Or it can be the husband’s feeling of being emasculated – or a combination. But by far – the most difficult thing I have seen for couples to overcome where the wife is making more money, or (even worse) all of the money – is HER attitude that she should be able to be in charge because of her financial contribution. It is VERY difficult for many of these wives to choose to respect their husbands and allow them to lead. They CAN do it. In God’s power, it is absolutely possible. But may wives resist and cling to their income. It often becomes a pride and self-righteoussness kind of thing. They have a sense of entitlement to have control because they are bringing in more money. That is not biblical. But it is a very common mindset that can be difficult to change. The attitudes are what I want to be sure are right. The money actually isn’t a big deal. Much love in Christ, my brother. JC on July 24, 2015 at 11:28 pm Here”s what I think the essence of it is, April: a woman wants to see her man as stronger than she is. A girl said this to me when we were younger, that she loves to be overpowered by him. Physical strength, intelligence, money, by some measure, she wants to consider him stronger. The real essence of a man’s strength however is his autonomy and socially-independent thinking, which affords him the ability to give her a purpose greater than herself (and himself) as his helper. That’s exactly why a man’s strength is taken away when he is “under control” by his wife and the action backfires for her own interests as well. Money is a tempting thing to worship because it represents worldly power. But love of the world is hatred towards God. I got feedback from a woman who said that her husband doesn’t pray with her, wishing he did. He’s the only income earner, but she says that he feels “inept.” They both seem like competitive (i.e. insecure) people from what they say and I can tell. That’s another issue, but in general, I think a man’s confidence in a financial situation that you describe would have a big effect on the problem you speak about of resentment on the wife’s end. I and some other men had an interaction with a woman in that situation, with the attitude of contempt for her husband who was out of work for a long time and did NOT seem upset about it but kept himself busy with the house and children–he’d just had a continuously hard time finding work. We confronted her gently and she said she repented in many tears, saying that she didn’t even mind at all going to work, but (said she came to the conclusion) that she had just an arbitrary notion that a man isn’t a good enough man if he doesn’t make more money–she felt that that belief was in her mind for no reason that she couldn’t just decide to let go. From men I’ve known and heard from (varieties, such non-believers in work situations), I never hear men say anything about some of the awful treatment you mention but most of us understand that it goes on. It’s hard to imagine a man being known for treating his wife some of these ways and the other men not protesting the behavior toward his wife, and of course, mainstream culture (including Christianity) condemns that kind of misbehavior in general. I recall one of your posts, sometimes a counselor is worse than no counselor. Some people would agree, I think the key to improving that situation for a lot of husbands is making the “fix men’s behavior” sentiments come with a full scope of understanding–not excusing sin by any means. Warm the culture to make it more appealing so that such husbands who show up can believe that the rebukes made for them are actually being done in love. It’s like when Jesus showed up, he was full of rebukes and strict calls to repentance, but he was also compassionate for people underneath religious leaders who were unhelpful with people’s burdens. Not everyone will be fixed even in (otherwise) ideal situations of course. Sorry that I guess I’m repeating myself. In all honesty, it’s really the problem-solver in me wanting to see wrongs made right, I think, as you do. 😉 I too am deeply upset and frustrated in how some married people have a horrible time that doesn’t look like it has any answer (men and women both). I wouldn’t blame a woman for bowing out for “red flags” either given how things can turn out. In general the church is there for “spurring on one another toward good deeds” and helping each others’ “red flags”–but yeah, in a culture in which that’s lacking, a “red flag” in someone you have to live with for the rest of your life is scary, male or female. The health of the church is key–many are full of “red flags” from the past you mention, as, in general, it is God’s pleasure to redeem sinners and heal the afflicted. He has also commanded the church itself to “love one anther, as I have loved you,” and so we support the wounded among us, encourage, rebuke, and spur on toward good deeds. 🙂 For the sake of pleasing our heavenly Father, that is my primary “romance” for us. God bless you richly! Peacefulwife on July 18, 2015 at 1:55 pm All, I want to be sure I am clear that we don’t have to be perfect to get married. But that if we can deal with our sin issues first before seeking a spouse or getting married, that is really smart. Bringing unrepentant sin into our marriages is a recipe for a lot of pain. Of course, unrepentant sin is always a recipe for a lot of pain – whether we are married or single. It is always the best thing to do to get rid of every trace of sin ASAP! Reply JC on July 20, 2015 at 1:41 am You have seen a lot of horrible things happening to wives and it is dreadful. Sin is always destructive, to ourselves, to others, and grieves God. You also speak against divorce, which is also biblical and commendable. I thank God no one is “doomed” though (not something I’m saying in an argument to you because I know you agree): It’s easy to say, but I know that God is with those women who struggle in those marriages, men in theirs, and that He works in all those variety of situations. I believe you write with great constructive intent, even when it rubs someone the wrong way sometimes (it happens) or sometimes people are confused. You have such a wealth of love and wisdom and you do so much work! And you are so patient with people. It is wise for men and women both to be careful for themselves (such as in the case of avoiding and protecting oneself from suffering) as well as living with grace for others, like when choosing a spouse. It IS a big deal! I pray that you are uplifted and only encouraged personally, and that we all can be, even when it involves improvement: spurred on to good deeds, uplifted, ministered grace. It takes a lot of effort for me to do things right and struggle to find the entirely constructive way to speak. : Thanks again for your love. 🙂 Reply JC on July 20, 2015 at 2:33 am PS, from me, I pray and intend to tone down my own sound of negativity. I am praying very specifically about this and my speech a lot . . .fwiw. Another lady I spoke with earlier today was rather rattled by my tone in something we talked about. : Maybe it’s a male/female thing–IDK. Guys like Jason and I can shout at each other and nobody’s taking anything personally or getting disturbed about it, but I’m returning to the realization that the sound of a lot of passion often causes women mostly to hear “he’s mad at me.” 🙁 Oh boy. That, and of course that I’m ever on the road actually to cleaning myself out so I produce figs and not thistles! But I trust the Lord for that too. In general I pray that the Lord preserves you from grief that can come during all your hard work in grace. Reply Peacefulwife on July 20, 2015 at 8:50 am JC, Raised voices sound like anger to a lot of women, and it tends to scare us. I’m glad you are working on that. 🙂 Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. 🙂 Reply JC on July 24, 2015 at 1:30 am It was an IM conversation, but somehow, my “tone” in disapproval must have lacked grace I guess. : I can barely remember any times I actually yelled (like raised my voice) in anger at anyone in my life. Peacefulwife on July 24, 2015 at 12:55 pm JC, That is awesome that you really don’t normally yell. Such a blessing! daisymae on July 19, 2015 at 9:22 am April, I think your list is great! If I had had this list, I may not be in the situation that I am in now. I made sure my marriage was biblical correct in that we both had been victims of adultery in our previous marriage but I ignored all the other red flags. The only 2 he didn’t have was he loved his mom and hated porn. The others, he had almost everyone. So ladies, you may not like this list and think there are no men out there but trust me it is better than being in a horrible situation. Trust God. He knows the desires of your heart. Reply Peacefulwife on July 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm Daisymae, Thank you for sharing the wisdom you learned the hard way, my precious sister. There are worse things than being a single Christian woman. That is for sure. Reply Maine on July 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm Dear April, You mention that, when considering potential husbands, we women should approach guys with large debts with caution. I am currently in a relationship with a young man in his thirties who has more than $50,000 in student loans. When he was younger, he borrowed the money to finance his education, and worked full-time in college in order to chip away at the debt. He was expecting to make a good salary after graduating, but, exiting school smack in the middle of the Recession, was unable to do so. When we get married, we will be slaves to his debt for years to come. Nevertheless, I am having trouble dismissing him as unfit for marriage, as his debt was accumulated not for frivolous purposes (education). And waiting for him to pay it off before we get married is unrealistic, as, given his income, it will take years before he is able to do so. So, when you talk about excessive debt as a red flag (which, I agree with you, it definitely is!), do you also take into account debts incurred for education? With love and respect, Maine Reply Peacefulwife on July 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm Maine, No matter what the source of the debt – I believe it is important for a couple to be on the same page about how to handle it. And I believe a woman will need to be prepared to shoulder that debt herself and that it may affect her credit if something happens to her potential husband’s income. What I don’t want to see is a woman getting married and having a lot of assumptions about what will happen with the debt and then resenting and disrespecting her husband for it later. I would also want to see a willingness to approach the debt as a team. I don’t want a wife, 5 years down the road, to decide that she is no longer on board with living in a frugal way to pay off her husband’s debt because she wants to have a family or buy a bigger house or have fancier vacations. If a man has debt because he is irresponsible – that is a totally different situation – but again, a woman will need to decide if she can live with that without disrespecting and resenting her husband for many decades. I hope that makes sense. 🙂 Much love! May God give you His wisdom. 🙂 Reply Maine on July 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm Hi April, Thank you for your reply. I see a lot of wisdom in it, and all the things that you address are very on-point. I also worry about the issues you brought up, especially potential resentment down the road. I think “for richer and for poorer” is not just form and an outdated, meaningless phrase, but many of us, myself included, have not really sat down to consider the “for poorer” part in depth. Thank you for your wisdom and insight, always delivered in a loving and caring manner (as I can see from your other replies on your blog). God bless you and your family. Reply Peacefulwife on July 25, 2015 at 7:10 am Maine, I think it is easy before marriage to assume that we won’t personally have to face the “in sickness,” in “bad times,” or “for poorer” parts. But we may! It is wise to really search our hearts and souls before we commit to marriage to be sure we are willing to fully commit, even if things get very difficult – that we are not just going to bail out. And even if we stay, it is important that our hearts and attitudes honor Christ and our husbands, even when it is painful or hard. Much love to you! I’m glad this was a blessing. 🙂 Reply Peacefulwife on July 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm Please check out the posts: Red Flags Part 2 Preparing to Marry a Man on a Mission Reply Peacefulwife on October 10, 2016 at 9:23 am A Wife’s New Understanding of the Red Flags She Missed before Marriage by the Satisfied Wife https://peacefulwife.com/2016/10/06/a-wifes-new-understanding-of-the-red-flags-she-missed-before-marriage/ Learn from My Mistakes about Ignoring Red Flags – by the Satisfied Wife http://wp.me/p6xLFb-2Ye Reply Trackbacks/Pingbacks A Wife’s New Understanding of the “Red Flags” She Missed before Marriage – The Peaceful Wife - […] Red Flags Part 1 […] It’s Wrong for Men – but Is It Okay for Women? | Peaceful Single Girl - […] Red Flags Part 1 […] Submit a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.