Happy first of October! Today, I want to talk about deal breakers. What are deal breakers you ask? Deal breakers are behaviors or actions within a relationship that signal to you that you must end a relationship (either temporarily or permanently), whether that be a marriage, engagement, friendship, business partnership or otherwise. We all must know what our deal breakers are so we can stay emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically healthy. Deal breakers are good things.
Deal breakers, simply put, are triggers that tell us a person is no longer safe. Deal breakers help us with maintaining healthy boundaries and relationships. Deal breakers must also be considered when looking at whether a person is repentant or not in a relationship. This is where the temporary or permanent end to a relationship comes into play. A person willing to repent and allow God to change them is someone you can work with; a person unwilling to repent and allow God to change them is someone you can’t work with, period.
I want to use examples of my deal breakers to give everyone an idea of what they can be in relationships. Deal breakers are ideally applied before you get too deep into a relationship of any kind but can be used at any point during the relationship. I will look at the issue and what the fruit of repentance will look like for this person should they repent. If there is no repentance, it will be impossible to work through these issues. We are not responsible for another person’s decisions nor their repentance. Let’s do this!
A person who is a pathological liar, meaning they lie on purpose, all the time, and don’t seem to care or notice is a deal breaker. Pathological liars can’t be trusted nor are they reliable. When they say “I love you” I can assure you it is to get something from you rather than that they love you in the real sense of the words. If there is love there, it is warped at best and self-serving for them. These type of people usually end up caught in a web of lies they’ve told you and they have a hard time understanding what they’ve done wrong. They may also show no remorse at the fact that they lied and will lie again to get out of it. This is an unsafe person. A pathological liar who repents will show the fruit of repentance by; looking at the root of why they lie, and ultimately, not telling any more lies and not manipulating others – truth will become their best friend.
Abuse of Any Kind
Abuse of any kind is a deal breaker. An abusive spouse breaks the marriage covenant. God is not the author of abuse nor does he sanction it. God does not expect people to live with abuse in their relationships of any kind. Abusers are master manipulators and I will not be manipulated just as I will not be lied to. Abusers are master liars too. You will find pathological lying and abuse go hand in hand. A deal breaker every time! You can’t help the abuser. You can’t fix the abuser. An abuser is an unsafe person. An abuser must repent and get help from outside sources. An abuser has deep soul wounds only Jesus can heal. I have rarely seen abusers repent so I have rarely seen relationships with abuse last, mine included. Abusers who do repent would exhibit the fruit of repentance by; stopping their abuse, receiving counseling both with their spouse/partner and without their spouse/partner, learning new coping skills, and acknowledging and dealing with deep soul wounds.
Consistent Drug and Alcohol Abuse
People who abuse drugs and alcohol are not coping well. They too have deep soul wounds you can’t fix. People who abuse drugs and alcohol are not capable of making good decisions for themselves or families. They may be abusive, aloof, or absent. They are unsafe people. They need help that you can’t give them. They need counseling, therapy and a place to recover. They need to deal with their deep soul wounds. A person who has abused drugs or alcohol will show the fruit of the repentance by; willingly submitting themselves to a recovery program, going to counseling and therapy to begin dealing with deep soul wounds, ridding themselves of all drugs and paraphernalia related to the drugs, breaking relationships with those who abuse drugs or alcohol; learning new coping skills, acknowledging their addiction, and acknowledging the role drugs and alcohol had in damaging their relationships.
Recurring Money Issues
A person with money issues such as bad credit, inability to steadily pay their bills, unpaid taxes, bad debt, unexplained expenses or no ability to account for where money has gone, and/or always looking for someone to take care of them is not a safe person. This person could be a financial abuser, or they may simply be bad with money and not willing to change that. They will bleed you dry. They will put you in debt if you aren’t in debt. They will get you in trouble with the IRS. They will drain your savings and your checking. They will leave you with nothing to show for anything. I’ve lived this. A person with money issues who truly repents will show the fruit of repentance in; sitting down to discuss money issues and help with bills, partner with you in eliminating debt, get to the root of their spending habits, pay unpaid bills and taxes, and last but not least, begin to work a steady job.
Men and women who continually cheat on spouses or partners are not safe people. They have deep, unresolved issues surrounding love and sex that you can’t fix. Consistent cheating may also be a sign of a sexual addiction. A sexual addiction requires counseling and therapy you can’t provide. For any of this to change, they must truly repentant. The fruit of repentance in this circumstance will be seen by; attending counseling and therapy sessions with and without their partner/spouse, acknowledgement of the dangers of their lifestyle, acknowledgement of the danger they have put their spouse/partner in, acknowledgement that they have an addiction, acknowledging and dealing with deep soul wounds as with abusers.
People who make dishonest gain are big NO for me. Deal breaker! I am interested in character, not dollar bills. If I can’t tell where you are getting your money and your story doesn’t match up, we are done. I don’t want any part of blood money or shady money. Shady businessmen and women are good at selling a dream but bad about telling you of all the consequences. They are master manipulators and liars as well – often abusing those they make money from. Shady businessmen and women can get you killed too. Their connections are usually less than desirable and they themselves often don’t realize the level of danger they are in. A person who repents of such things will show their fruit of repentance by; breaking off ties with dangerous people, stop taking advantage of others they have deemed less worthy in the past, tell the truth about where they got their money, give back to others instead of taking, turn themselves into law enforcement if need be, serve any time in jail based on the consequences for their actions. This type of repentance is tough, but it will save their lives and many others.
I hope I’ve given you a really good idea of what good deal breakers are for your relationships. Remember, people can repent while they live but their must be two things present for true repentance: 1) want to, and 2) fruit. Otherwise, stick to your deal breaker. Don’t try to fix people or save them, you can’t. Only Jesus can fix the issues of the heart that I have discussed today. I want the best for your relationships. Be safe. Choose safe people and most of all, never let one bad apple keep you from loving!
Matthew 7:16, 18-20; 16 You will know them by their fruits. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.