You’ve found your soulmate. Wedding plans are coming together, and your dreams of having a spouse to raise children with will finally come true. However, there’s something wrong with the relationship, and you can’t figure out what it is. Christian marriages are celebrated and heralded because marriage reduces the chances of a couple having premarital sex.
Additionally, marriage is a sacred agreement between two people and a connection God holds in high regard. Still, if you feel it’s time to break off the engagement, but can’t seem to go through with it, here are some signs that might sway you to call off your engagement.
It’s common for partners to face sexual temptation throughout a marriage. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan in the garden. Living in this world comes with dealing with temptation in various forms. Temptation isn’t a sin, but how you deal with it matters. Though tempted, Jesus used the Bible to refute Satan’s lies. Infidelity is a sign of a bigger problem. Looking lustfully at those of the opposite sex and using pornography is a form of adultery. If your partner engages in these behaviors, it may be time to seek counseling and end the engagement.
You can either seek counseling as a couple or individually. Even if you don’t get married, healing from infidelity’s scars is essential. It’s not impossible to have a sustainable marriage after an affair, but the issue should be handled. The underlying issue should also be resolved before it carries into the marriage.
One should never tolerate physical abuse. If someone is being physically abused in the relationship, there should be zero tolerance, and the connection should be immediately terminated. Still, emotional and mental abuse is much harder to identify because they leave no scars. It’s challenging to see if it’s damaging the relationship until it’s too late, especially if the abuser knows the right words to make you believe they’re repentant and desire change.
Belittling, name-calling, character assassination, constant bitterness, and past transgressions held against the other are also forms of emotional abuse. Mental and emotional abuse, like denial and gaslighting, can be as harmful as physical abuse. If you are going through these issues, alert your church leadership and seek professional help. Breaking off an engagement may be painful, but it isn’t a sin. If you break off your engagement before the problem gets worse, you’re doing yourself an excellent service.
Addiction comes in various forms. Addiction comes in more covert forms, some of which the Christian community supports. Alcohol and drug addiction are noticeable, but Christians can also be addicted to television, work, food, social media, and exercise, among other things. Not only can addictions reduce the relationship’s value, but they can also show that the person’s motives and intentions are in the wrong place.
When someone chooses to advance at work over investing time with their family, it can be as damaging as someone who drinks too much. Addictions are signs that the person has something missing in their soul that only God can fix. Persuade them to run to God and get the help they need, but don’t allow your relationship or you to fill a space only God can fill.
Differing religious beliefs.
It’s one thing to have different priorities in spiritual matters but have the same beliefs that Jesus is the way to salvation. However, it’s another to maintain entirely different religious views. If someone says they are a Christian, explore deeper into their theological beliefs. Ask them what they believe and why. If they have ideas held by their current church denomination, ask them to share what those views mean to them.
The couple might be in different places regarding maturity, but they should hold the Bible as the ultimate authority on who Jesus is, what He does, and His declaration is the truth, life, and the way. Anything outside of that may bring trouble, but it’s an excellent opportunity for you to remember your beliefs, both your interpretation of the Bible and within your church.
Being unequally yoked.
The Bible is clear on this issue. To enter a marriage agreement with someone who is an unbeliever or struggling in the faith will negatively affect your spiritual growth. Paul writes about this topic in 2 Corinthians 6:14, saying, “Don’t be equally yoked with unbelievers, for what fellowship do righteousness and iniquity have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” A yoke is a harness placed on two oxen to allow both oxen to go in the same direction. It stops one oxen from straying from the intended path.
In the same way, when two people are married, they are supposed to do life together, including their spiritual life. If two people are at odds with the priority God put on their marriage, more than likely, one will drag down the other’s spiritual growth. As much as God wants two people to be married, he doesn’t want someone hungry for God to go through life with someone who doesn’t feel the same. There’s nothing wrong with one person not putting the same priority on their spiritual growth, but it’s not conducive for that person to become intertwined with someone who wants to move forward in their faith and grow.
To establish being equally yoked, having tough conversations is necessary. It’s essential to know where you both stand regarding spiritual growth. This includes prayer, regular church attendance, daily quiet time, Bible reading, and raising their children in the faith. It may be tempting to put off these discussions until after the wedding, but knowing each other’s position is vital. Knowing if one person is on a different page regarding their spiritual growth is better, so don’t get married thinking you can change them.
This perspective doesn’t value the other person as their own and capable of making their own choices. When one person bullies the other into picking up their beliefs, it devalues the marriage. The more you push, the more your partner may resent you or resort to rebellion, which may cause friction.
Challenging conversations before marriage are never easy but necessary for a thriving, healthy relationship. God wants two people dedicated to themselves, each other, and God. Anything else will cause heartbreak and disappointment. Breaking off your engagement before it’s too late is best because reluctance may lead to a later visit to a divorce lawyer.