male and female couple frustrated at each other in a toxic relationship sitting on the couch

Toxic Relationships

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Using the word toxic has almost become second nature to our culture. What does a toxic relationship look like in the Christian worldview?
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There are a lot of signs that a relationship can be toxic in our lives. The list could go on forever. Read our list below to see if any match yours. If they do, you need to either get out of it, or have some serious conversations with your significant other about making changes. If there isn't change get out. Or just get out and don't dance with emotions that can hurt you really bad. Have good community and support around you. Make sure your views on dating and marriage are as Biblical as they can be and keep them on lock. Don't let your emotions get the best of you and your life, you are in control. Do what's best for you and your relationship with God, not keep giving second chances to him or her that is pushing you farther away from Christ. If you aren't in a relationship, get your views on LOCK and work on becoming the person you hope to find, not just waiting and looking. Grow yourself and be the best version of yourself you can every day.

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Isn’t a toxic relationship just something we use to describe reality TV or Michael and Jan from the Office? Of course, we would never find ourselves in something like that right? Are Christians even able to have toxic relationships if Jesus is at the center? Well, let's dive in!


Now it wouldn’t be crazy to say if we brought this topic up ten years ago it would be way less relatable than it is today. Why is that? Why does it seem everywhere we look people are in toxic relationships or somebody close to us tells us another friend or family member is toxic? I believe the answer is different for believers and non-believers. For example, Christians should not be surprised to hear this term thrown around in secular circles. The world we know is a toxic place because our hearts are deceitful above all. But why does it seem we are hearing this more and more in Christian communities as well…


Now let’s be honest friends, it is way easier to point out the toxic in other people than realize it in our own lives. We can tell our friend they need to break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend really easily, but when they see toxicity in our relationships, that’s where we tend to draw the line. 


So where do we find most toxic relationships? Of course, friendships can be toxic and those are important to address but let’s dive deeper into the romantic relationships side. 


EVERYONE nowadays wants to be in a relationship. but when you don’t wait for God’s plan, and YOU make the decision to date someone who could be toxic… that sucks. 


It’s SO HARD to see your relationship as toxic until you’re out of it.


EVERY relationship has clashes (obviously you are two different people who probably were raised very differently attempting to come together in a relationship…. you’re going to clash) 


Some “SHOULDS”:

  • You SHOULD feel safe to be completely yourself
  • Your boundaries SHOULD be respected 
  • Relationships shouldn’t be a blame game 
  • You shouldn’t feel smothered 
  • You should be growing closer to Christ
  • You should have accountability with close friends
  • You should have hard conversations when they arise
  • You should rely on Christ always before your partner
  • You should be communicating well together



RED FLAGS: 

1. Always making it about them 

3. Putting you down/ striping your self esteem 

4. They’re controlling excessively 

5. They’re EXCESSIVELY jealous 

6. You keep wanting/hoping for them to change 

7. They never take ownership/responsibility 

8. Your family and friends are concerned for you

9. You’re making excuses for their bad behavior 

  1.      Boundaries are being crossed (sexual, spiritual, emotional)
  1.      They center all decisions around one side, they don't compromise for each other. It's always "his way" or "her way"


My friends here’s the big point on this topic we need to be reminded of. Most of the time a toxic relationship is born from both partners. Of course, there are serious situations where one person is being abusive in whatever way. But for most situations and relationships, the toxicity comes from both sides. 


But the good news is, there is always a choice to leave that relationship. Here is where we get a lot of pushback most of the time. All I will say is there is probably a hundred lies the enemy will tell you to stay in that toxic relationship; but know that Christ can break any chain and all bondages. He sets us free. So even when you feel like the darkness is winning and there’s no way out, cling to the light. Because we know the light has overcome the darkness forever in the name of Jesus. 

Beyond these, let this be a reminder that the purpose of dating SHOULD be for marriage. Dating isn't biblical. It's not. It's a worldly practice that came about 120 years ago. Like anything, we can use it to God's glory, or abuse it and hurt ourselves and our relationship with God. To date without marriage in sight is to simply set your relationship up for sin or heartbreak, or both. Emotions are powerful. Dating and feeling affection and being affectionate are TEMPTING in this world. But the cost of choosing those emotions over wisdom and God's will more often lead to destruction in our lives and we regret it. If you are in a relationship right now that has lasted longer than 3 months and marriage hasn't been talked about, talk about it. If you freak out thinking that's way too soon, be more intentional with your time and find out if they are someone you want to marry. You don't have to get married that moment, but you should know if you are going to get married and make plans on that sooner rather than later. If you aren't dating anyone right now, make sure your view on dating and marriage are SOLID before getting into that next relationship. Become the person you hope to find. Work on your relationship with God and run full speed and the right person will meet you at the same pace. Just be patient. Don't compromise for emotions early. It just causes more pain in the end.


Take away:

  • Prevent toxic relationships before they happen by not entering into that relationship in the first place. Most of the time the toxicity is noticeable from the beginning
  • Surround yourself with good community and listen to them when they speak to you about your relationship
  • Be in relationship with Christ before anybody else
  • Be the person you are looking for is looking for. If you want to date a stud for Christ, become one yourself
  • Be renewed in the truth of the word and believe it in your life
  • Get your views on dating and marriage on LOCK
  • Get out of a toxic relationship if you are in one, or make some serious changes to it if both parties are willing to make change