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10 Red Flags in a Relationship: When to Consider Running

After 30 years of ministering to women who have been in and out of difficult relationships, I’ve compiled a list of warning signs they wish they’d acted upon in time to save themselves from a heartbreaking marriage and divorce.While some claimed they had no indication of the type of man they were marrying, others saw red flags but didn’t feel strongly enough to break things off because “We were already engaged and planning a wedding” or “I’d already invested so much time in the relationship” or even, “I would have rather been with someone who didn’t treat me well than have no one at all.”Dating is all about getting to know a person, and if that person isn’t meeting your level of expectation early-on, it may be time to let the relationship go and start over with someone much better suited for you. It’s also empowering, as a man or a woman, to be able to say “We are not better together, so in this case, you and I are better off apart.”Whether you’re just starting out or have been dating for years, here are 10 red flags that should prompt you to examine the health of your relationship.
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How to Cultivate a Peaceful Living Space for Yourself

Let your personality, preferences, favorite things, and style burst through in every way you can. Know that just as we grow and change, our decorating style can as well, so let it grow with you as you continue to walk through different seasons. It may take time, effort, and a little patience to save up for things that really make your space ideal, but you cannot put a price on peace. Make your space one of a kind and enjoy it!

5 Reasons You Need to Prioritize You-Time

I always thought focusing on yourself first was selfish. Even though focusing on you first should come as no surprise to many of us. We live in a self-first culture where the world's advice is to do whatever makes "YOU" happy. Many live life according to this modern-day thought process way of living.The Bible states that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and strength, with the second being, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:30-31)While we do not want to be self-consumed and self-swallowed by today's selfish culture, how do we learn to love God and others while balancing loving ourselves, as Scripture says? We are to love others, but does that mean we can also prioritize you-time?Let's look at Jesus's life as He is our greatest example. We all know Jesus loves others well: the poor, the sinners, and all the people that society told Him not to love. He loved others so much that He gave up His life on the cross so that we could have eternal life as John 3:16 states. With Jesus being one to love others well, we also see that Jesus Himself prioritized you-time, which helped aid Him in loving others well. He often "withdrew by himself to pray" (Luke 6:12); some verses say he withdrew from the crowd to lonely places to focus solely on Himself and His time with God. He went to clear His mind and realign Himself with God while realigning Himself with His purpose. He withdrew from those closest to Him, including friends and family, and away from the noises and distractions of the world. He could have easily gotten distracted from His mission if He never focused and prioritized you-time. He removed Himself from all the busyness and noise of others to spend time with God to be everything God created Him to be.You-time is important, and we should prioritize it as an active practice in our lives. Here are five reasons why you need to prioritize you-time just like Jesus did.
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7 Things to Look Forward to Besides Getting Married

At my Christian college, I observed an interesting phenomenon. As a playwright, I’ll best illustrate it in dialogue form.Scenario One:Girl 1: Hey, everyone in my dorm, I just got a job!Other girls (with mild enthusiasm): Neat. Cool. Way to go.Scenario Two:Girl 1: Hey, everyone in my dorm, I just got asked out to coffee.(Girls from every corner of campus rush into the room)Girls (bouncing up and down): What’s his enneagram? Have you planned your wedding yet? How many kids does he want? You better let me be a bridesmaid.Granted, yes, I did implement slight hyperbole, but only just slightly.My college campus raved about marriage. We had a number of terms to indicate one’s desperation to find their potential significant other in four years. From the time you moved onto campus and engaged in the “Freshmen Frenzy” (freshmen trying to find their future spouse) to your final semester on campus where you tried to squeeze in last-minute coffee dates with near-strangers (the “Senior Scramble”). We had rituals surrounding dating and marriage life at our college.Couples would walk around the loop on campus, symbolizing a Define the Relationship (DTR) talk. Females who got engaged would sit in a circle in their dorm and pass around a candle, singing, “Going to the Chapel.”Although, sure, friends would beam at you and perhaps give a side hug whenever you accomplished something such as acquiring a job that would propel you into your lifetime career—the item you had signed up for college in the first place to attain—people devoted far more attention, enthusiasm, and favor toward marriage.Those who had other goals in mind were ostracized, ignored, or seen as not-quite-complete.Before we dive into some reasons as to things singles can look forward to, whether they are in a lifetime of singleness or merely a season, I wanted to add a caveat. Marriage is a beautiful gift that God has given us. He calls many of us to marry and being a wife and husband, and in many cases, a parent is a noble calling.But we must also bear in mind that Paul and Jesus both extolled singleness and called it a gift. So let's explore some ways that we can embrace the gift God has given us as singles.Photo credit: ©GettyImages/DGLimages

How the Church Can Make Sexual Desire an Open Conversation with Singles

If we're being honest, everyone, married couples, singles, and even seasoned saints, have sexual desires that deserve to be acknowledged and understood. While sex can be an uncomfortable subject to tackle, it must be openly yet respectfully discussed. Church leaders and churchgoers must come together to change the narrative about sex amongst each other. It is a beautiful thing God created for His creation to indulge in as He ordains it.

Don't Throw Purity Out with Purity Culture

While I am all for forging your way ahead past spiritual abuse, purity culture and fear-based teachings, I believe so strongly that purity is a gift from God, not a punishment that toxic church culture invented.It’s easy for humans to throw out the baby with the bath water. Purity culture has undoubtedly caused spiritual and sexual damage to those who grew up under its fearful, controlling grip. But purity itself isn’t bad. It’s beautiful.If you’re either single and unsure if purity is worth it or married and need a reminder about God’s perfect design, keep reading.Here are 3 ways on how not to throw out purity with purity culture:

How Do You Know When You're in Love?

When starting a new relationship, everyone has that elated feeling. You get excited, happy, and nervous when you are going to see this person. You want to ensure you look great and put your best foot forward. Those butterflies are a sign that you are falling in love with someone.

What Does the Bible Say about Bitterness?

One of the keys to protecting our hearts from bitterness and making sure we are pursuing peace with everyone, like God would want, is to pray blessings over people, especially the ones who have hurt you.

Does God Care about My Happily Ever After?

Will you let God have the pen to write your happily ever after? When it comes to human relationships, God knows what His best is for you and who you really need. If God can fashion Eve as a custom-fit rib and help mate for Adam, can He not do the same for you? Even if you have found yourself married before and divorced, even if you have given away aspects of yourself and even your own name, believe that God can restore and redeem, it is not too far gone. Ask God to forgive you for the mistakes you made without Him and instead give you what He desires to give you.

10 Warning Signs You Need to Let Him Go

Dating is all about testing the waters and seeing if you can find someone with whom you want to form a lasting bond. After all, if a relationship doesn’t lead anywhere, why waste the time, right?After more than 20 years of ministering to women who wish they’d heeded the warning signs in their dating relationship before pursuing marriage (and many whose marriages ended in divorce), I’ve compiled a list of the characteristics or scenarios that raise red flags and indicate you should look elsewhere.Whether you’re engaged to be married, in a serious relationship, or in the first few weeks of dating a man, I encourage you to keep both eyes open and maintain a teachable heart so you don’t miss the warnings and red flags and commit to a relationship that leads primarily to heartache.In case you’re already contemplating the question Should I stay or should I go? let me help you decide on what could be the difference between a successful marriage and a misery-ever-after or painful divorce. Here are 10 signs you need to not just put on the brakes, but all-out let him go.
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Is Your Relationship Ready for Marriage?

When you determine to grow your love for Christ and trust Him to write your love story, you can trust that He’ll guide your heart toward a godly spouse––in His timing.

8 Encouraging Prayers for Those Who Are Dating

Dating can be daunting. It can bring excitement as well as anxiety. There are moments of great joy, and the possibility of pain and rejection. There are many unknowns as well as many opportunities. In many ways, dating can be much like life itself!Below are some prayers written for those who are dating and who may be walking through the highs and lows that it can bring. However, these prayers also serve as a reminder to all Christians, whatever our relationship status may be. Matters of the heart and our affections toward God and others are important. May these prayers strengthen and encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord.Photo credit:©Getty Images/Rawpixel

7 Things I Do When the Future Scares Me

So often, our fears are based on nothing more than a thought, suggestion, or opinion. When I find myself fretting over an unknown future, I ask God for clarity and wisdom.

Can Christians (or Anyone) Manifest Good Things?

Manifestation, the act of willing one’s desires into reality, is not found in the Bible, potentially taps into the realm of the demonic, and ultimately allows someone to set themselves up as their own god.

3 Ways Luke 7 Teaches Us How to See Ourselves

How we see ourselves determines how we see others. We need to treat others with love and forgiveness, as we have been forgiven and loved. When we see ourselves in need of grace and forgiveness, it is easy for us to see others in that same light.

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