I am writing for women who follow Christ wholeheartedly who are seeking to marry men who follow Christ wholeheartedly. I am assuming that both people already know Jesus and know that the potential spouse is a strong believer, as well.
Here are some questions that may be good things to talk about before marriage. They deal with expectations for your relationship. You could just casually throw one or two of these questions into normal conversation once in awhile – especially ones that would apply even during dating/courtship. Or, once he begins talking about marriage, (I believe it is usually best if he brings up the issue first), you may be able to have a mutual conversation about these issues, especially the ones that are obviously only about dealing with expectations after marriage. Or this could be something you use together during a premarital counseling session with a mentoring couple. (I don’t think I would try to answer all of these questions in one sitting. That may be a bit overwhelming for some people.)
There aren’t necessarily right or wrong answers here. The purpose is just to get you thinking about your expectations ahead of time and to think about if there are areas where your expectations don’t match. Having different expectations isn’t necessarily a big problem – as long as at least one of you can be flexible in that area.
- How are you best able to go to sleep? Do you need the TV on, or music, or silence? Do you need a certain temperature?
- How do you like to handle paying bills and managing finances?
- What is your approach when you have a disagreement with someone close to you?
- What are your favorite foods and what are some foods you can’t stand?
- Do you like to have lots of stuff or do you prefer not to have a lot of things?
- How do you expect we might handle chores?
- What are your biggest pet peeves?
- Do you like to pray out loud with others or do you prefer to pray privately?
- How do you like to process your feelings? With words, by writing them down, by thinking about things alone…?
- How much time do you need to yourself to recharge each day/each week? How much time do you want us to spend together? What do you believe you would most want us to do together?
- What are your hopes for how we might handle vacations after we are married?
- Do you need time and space to process your emotions and thoughts during conflict?
- What kinds of activities cause you to feel most bonded as a couple?
- Do you think mostly in words or do you think more in images, silent movies, formulas, or some other way?
- How much affection was displayed in your parents’ marriage and from your parents to the children?
- What are some things you think your parents got right in marriage that you want to emulate? And vice-versa.
- What are some things you want to avoid in our future marriage that you have seen don’t work? And vice-versa.
- What speaks love to you and fills up your “love tank”?
- What things make you feel unloved?
- What makes you feel most respected and honored?
- What things make you feel disrespected?
- What are your beliefs about divorce? Is it ever acceptable for Christians? If so, when?
- Would you ever consider initiating a divorce? If so, why?
- What kinds of things are most important to you about choosing a church?
- What is your general personality? (You may even want to take personality tests together.)
- What can we do to best be a team with our different personality types?
- Do you tend to hold grudges or does forgiving come easily to you?
- What are our greatest weaknesses as individuals and as a couple?
- What are our greatest strengths as individuals and as a couple?
- How do you believe our marriage might best glorify and honor God?
Prayerfully think through both of your answers. You may even both want to take some time alone to write down your answers – if you would like to. Then you can slowly read through things and decide if these are all things you are willing to live with.
Check out Part 2 next week. 🙂