I have been a counselor and a pastor for eighteen years. I am always counseling with Christians who are in relationships with people who discourage their spiritual growth or even hostile towards Christianity. You meet someone who is not of like faith with the hope of changing him or her. Unfortunately, it usually goes the other way. It is always easier to pull someone down than to pull one up.
The real trick to not getting into these relational mismatches, is to decide up front. You can usually see signs of the mismatch early.
#1 – They are not willing to fight FOR purity. (Trust me…if they won’t fight for purity with you before you are married then there is a greater chance they won’t fight for purity after you are married.)
#2 – If they are trying to get me to compromise with God’s Word says so clearly. (If they lead you away from God’s Word before marriage they will do so even more after marriage…the way they have lived in their past and the way they are living now are indicators of how they are going to live when they marry you. You cannot change them…you are NOT the Holy Spirit!)
#3 – If you are always defending him/her to the people who know me, love me and love Jesus. (Love is blind…and many times you cannot see the blind spots that others can see so clearly.)
#4 – If you find yourself not wanting to talk about him/her in front of the people in your life that you know may disapprove of the relationship for some reason. (Because…when this happens you are choosing to ignore what the Lord could be trying to make obvious through others because you are too involved emotionally to make a rational decision.)
#5 – If you know the relationship isn’t really going anywhere…but you don’t want to “break up” because doing so would cause you to be insecure because you have allowed yourself to be identified by who you are dating rather than who you are in Christ.
#6 – You find out that they are lying to you. If they lie to you before you are married then they will lie to you in marriage.
#7 – If you cannot confront them about issues without them losing their temper.
#8 – If you discover that they are unfaithful to you.
#9 – If something about them absolutely drives you insane…but you convince yourself that after you get married “that problem” will go away. (Actually…it’s won’t, it will get larger!)
#10 – If the Lord has specifically spoken to you and instructed you to end the relationship but you can’t/won’t because you either “don’t want to hurt them” or you fear that if you end this relationship then you won’t have another chance at one.