Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Danger! Pastor urges partners to look out for red flags in relationships

Published:Saturday | January 7, 2017 | 1:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston

Last night I heard the screaming

Then a silence that chilled my soul

I prayed that I was dreaming

When I saw the ambulance in the road

And the policeman said,

I'm here to keep the peace

Will the crowd disperse

I think we all could use some sleep.

Behind the Wall - Tracy Chapman

For the last few months and more particularly towards the close of 2016, there has been a spike in the number of women being brutally murdered by their partners.

In one of the incidents, a security guard went to his partner's workplace and following a brief conversation, he ended up killing her and then committed suicide.

In a Gleaner report, the eyewitness said after she told him the relationship was over he pulled the gun.

There are a lot of single women around who are probably dying for their prince charming to come along, so much so that they miss the 'red flags' that the relationship might turn out to be a horrific one.

For women in Christendom, many get caught up in marriages that should never have taken place as they are fooled by the 'pious' 'very Christian like' men who find themselves in the church with one intention and that is to find a mate. Their true colours will not be revealed until it is too late, but the woman who has been waiting for this 'gift from God' doesn't wait long to ensure that the man is really a gift and not a trap as she is too relieved that she is finally 'getting off the shelf'.

Family and Religion reached out to Pastor Mark Bryan of the Savannah Cross Church of God of Prophecy regarding making that life-changing decision.

He said a lot of women refuse to 'see the signs' because they are too focused on other things.

"One of the problems is that in Christendom especially, a lot are blinded by their sexual desires and are more focused on legally satisfying that need. So they hurry into marriages without waiting to see if the union is right," he said.

For Bryan, after they 'cooled down the burning heat' which was really a desire in the first place, it is then they realise that apart from the sex (which has now burned out), there is not much else to keep the relationship going and so the problems arise.

Bryan said the divorce and other dysfunctional issues in the church is alarming, noting that it all stems from the fact that Christians didn't take time to discern if the relationship is right or not. "They just go on emotion rather than the fear and dependency on God."

Bryan said too many people in church are getting married for all of the wrong reasons - biological clock ticking away, financial support, sexual satisfaction - all of which are not based on a genuine desire to enter the union with total commitment, mutual love and a desire to let God lead the way.

In commenting on the many relationships that have soured resulting in the death of women, Bryan said the dating period is crucial in any new relationship.

Except in rare cases, he said the 'red flags' were always there that it could be an abusive relationship or the partner is unstable.

"Just by having a regular conversation you can get insight into the person's character. He seems to always want the last say, it's his way all the time. He is controlling," said Bryan, adding that women should be observant regarding tell-tale signs.

For Bryan, another thing to take note of is a partner who claims his total happiness rest solely on you.

"There are those who are resentful of the time you spend with other members of your family or your friends. If you find someone who wants to monopolise every moment with you...it's a dead giveaway you should flee while you still can," Bryan warns.

Lamenting on the many women who have fallen victims to love gone wrong, he said women should now open their eyes and stop allowing feelings of loneliness or needing financial help to power them into making unhealthy alliances.

"While I can understand the secular world regarding these decisions, it is even sadder in Christendom as they are showing that they would rather trust man than God to take care of them."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com