A man will give away so much about his character, intentions and the condition of his heart without you even having to ask him. The Bible describes this as fruit. Matthew 7:15-16 says Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. (NLT) A man can profess certain things with his mouth and even put up a good front for a certain amount of time, but eventually his true nature comes out in the form of his actions. The issue is that most of the time when we run into a red flag we like to ignore it, brush it under the rug or discount it. Maya Angelou said it best when she said when someone shows you who they are believe them the first time. For some reason, we women like to hang around and wait for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 100th time to finally decide we’ve had enough. That is after we’ve been lied to, taken for granted, let down, betrayed and heartbroken. Those same things that you are sweeping under the rug will eventually become the same things that bring you the biggest frustrations later on if you stick around. Instead of going around the same mountains with guy after guy, try inspecting his fruit by keeping a lookout for the following things early on:
1. Does he keep his word?- When I was single, I threw my “list” in the trash after talking to God one day. I let Him know that I was no longer going to limit myself with a list and just trust that whomever he has for me, will be perfect for me. However, I did keep a few non-negotiables such as ‘Must love God” and even a few suggestions such as “Can he be tall?” (God obliged me lol). Another one of my non-negotiables was “must keep his word”. It was so important to me that any man I even considered dating be a man of his word. I had been let down too many times in the past by people closest to me, so I knew this was not an area I was willing to compromise on. Besides that though, if a man is able to keep his word in even the smallest situations, it shows that he is dependable and is a man of good character. He knows that his word is one of the most valuable things that he has, and it also shows the value that he places on you and your future together. Granted, sometimes people do have situations that come up beyond their control, but if he starts out by not keeping his word, or you notice it’s a pattern and not just a one off situation, then chances are he’s not very dependable or he does not value YOU enough to keep his word to you. Either way, it’s no good and this is definitely a big red flag. You deserve someone you can count on and not someone who you are going to have to question whether or not they’re going to actually come through for you.
2. How does he treat his mother? (or the other women in his life)- If you want a good indication of how you will be treated by a man in the future, study the way he treats his mother (or any other significant female in his life if he does not have a mother). How does he speak to her? Does he go out of his way to do nice things for her? Does he honor and cherish her? Chances are, if he treats his own mother badly, the odds of him treating you any better are slim to none. The way that he treats his mother indicates his level of respect as well as his attitude towards women. So pay attention to his phone conversations with her, the way he treats her at family functions, or even the way he talks about her in casual conversation. You can even ask a few questions about their relationship if it comes up in casual conversation. A man’s relationship with his mother is a very important aspect of his behavior in relationships and could have a huge effect on it. You also want to watch out for the mama’s boys and men whose mothers did a lot for them especially later in life. He may put some of those same expectations on you or it could cause some sort of strain on the relationship. Those types of things can be talked through though. What’s a major red flag is someone who has no regard for his mother and treats her pretty badly. Run. far. away.
3. Does he make you better? Any man who you are considering going the long haul with should help improve your life and make you a better person in some way, or at the very least make you want to be a better person. When he opens his mouth does he speak with wisdom? Are you able to discuss biblical truths with him or are you the only one who can discuss scripture? Does he know how to encourage you when you need it? Can he teach you new things, expose you to new experiences, or show you new places? You want someone who is going to be able to add value to your life, not someone who sucks all of the life out of you. As women, we are natural givers and nurturers so we have to be careful that we are not draining ourselves in a relationship. Pay attention to how you feel after you leave him? Are you drained or refreshed? Uplifted or cast down? Full of joy or depressed? Full of peace or uneasy?
4. Is he good with kids? It doesn’t matter whether or not the two of you want kids, you just want to observe how he is with them. If a man is not good with kids right now, that does not necessarily mean that he is a bad person or that he will never be good with kids. However, if he is good with kids and he doesn’t even have any of his own just yet, that is a good indication. What this demonstrates is that he is tenderhearted and has a nurturing side. If he goes out of his way to volunteer with children, if he babysits his nieces and nephews from time to time, or even if he likes holding babies whenever he gets around one, these are all good signs. Of course if the two of you do decide to get married and have kids, he'll more than likely make a great parent which is a huge plus. You have to remember that anyone you marry also has the potential to be the father of your children so you want to make sure you are going to have a great partner in that area.
5. How does he treat waiters/waitresses/people in public service? If you want to see a person’s true nature exposed, take them to a restaurant with horrible service and just watch and listen for their reaction. From this, you should be able to gauge their patience, see if they're easily angered, rude, or prideful. One of the things that I really admire about my husband is that he is so kind and patient whenever we receive sub-par service from a waiter or waitress. As a matter of fact, if the service is terrible, he always insists that we give the person an even bigger tip than was originally intended. He says things like, “Maybe they are having a bad day or they're probably going through something” or “Let’s show them the love of Christ”. Things like that in a person really reveal if they are a doer of the Word and not just a hearer, and it gives you a good idea of the type of person they will be even when no one is around- that’s real integrity.
What are some indicators that you look for? Share your tips!
Still Hidden in Him,