In this post I am going to give you 2 questions to ask before getting married. These two questions are extremely important and will serve as the foundation of a strong Christian marriage.
Getting married is like starting a life long road trip with someone. And these two premarital questions will determine whether your journey together will be a blessing or a curse.
As you read through this article, it's important that you answer these questions about your fiance honestly. As much as you may love this person now, without being able to answer yes to the following 2 questions, you're marriage will be on shaky ground at best.
Question #1: Do I Have The Right Travel Companion?
In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, Paul gives us a spiritual principle that has important implications for marriage.
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
When you marry someone, you are forming a lifelong, committed partnership with that person. God intends it to be permanent. The Bible warns that we must not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. In other words, for your marriage to be a success, you need to be certain (as much as possible) that your spouse is a believer.
But how can you know? None of us can see the heart of a person, but your partner's actions and words reveal what's in his or her heart. So here are a few questions you can ask to help you determine whether your potential spouse is a believer?
- Do they claim to be a believer in Christ? Do they have a credible testimony?
- Was their faith in Christ evident before your relationship?
- Have demonstrated obedience to God by maintaining appropriate sexual and physical boundaries?
- Do they practice the spiritual disciplines of regular bible reading, prayer, evangelism and christian fellowship?
- Do they choose to associate with people who encourage them spiritually or who tempt them to sin?
- Would those who know them best easily recognize their faith in Christ?
- Do they show humility and repentance when they sin? Do they ask for forgiveness?
If you have doubts about the faith of your partner now, then it's wise to postpone marriage until you can be sure the he or she is serious about their faith in Christ. Many marriages experience lifelong struggles simply because the couple is unequally yoked.
One of the most common problems in "Christian" marriages is that one spouse is a genuine believer while the other shows no evidence of true faith (even though they might confess to be believers).
So the very first question you should ask before getting married is "Are we equally yoked?" because God designed Christian marriage to be between two genuine believers.
Question #2: Are We Following The Same Roadmap?
3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet? (Amos 3:3)
Imagine starting a road trip with someone without agreeing on where you are headed or how you'll get there. This would be a recipe for disaster. And this is what happens in many marriages when couples rush into marriage without taking the time to clarify the roadmap they plan to follow.
You see, we all start marriage with a plan and with our own expectations of how the marriage will function. The problem is that we often don't articulate those expectations or take the time to discuss them until it's too late.
Part of my job during premarital counseling is to force couples to have these kinds of conversations before getting married. Because you just may find that you and your partner don't agree on some issues that are really important. You may have deep philosophical differences that will make it much harder to travel through life together.
So what are some questions to ask before getting married concerning your future together? Here is a sample of topics to discuss.
Church and Spiritual Life
- How often will we go to church?
- How involved will we be? Will we attend a small group? Will we volunteer?
- Will you have family devotions? Who will lead them?
- Will you pray together as a couple?
- How will you decide which church to attend? What denomination church will you attend?
The Role Of Husband And Wife
- What do you believe is the role of the husband and the wife?
- What does the husbands leadership look like?
- What does it mean for the wife to submit?
- How will you make decisions as a couple when you disagree?
- What is considered abusive in the relationship?
Money and Budgeting
- Is it ok for Christians to have prenuptial agreements?
- Should you have joint accounts or separate accounts?
- Who will be in charge of paying the bills?
- What are your views on debt?
- What are your financial goals?
- How many children do we want?
- What will be our parenting style? Authoritarian, permissive, authoritative, free-range, etc?
- How will we discipline our children?
- What kinds of extra-curricular activities do you want your children be involved in?
- What kind of education will they have? Homeschool, public school, private school?
Chores and Household Responsibilities
- How will we divide responsibilities?
- What chores will the husband be primarily responsible for?
- What chores will the wife be primarily responsible for?
- How often will chores be done?
Sex and Romance
- How often will we have sex?
- What forms of sexual activity are acceptable? What is off limits?
- How will we maintain closeness as a couple over the years?
- Will we have regular date nights? How often?
- Will both partners work or just one?
- Who will be the primary breadwinner?
- Will the wife stay at home with the children? Or have a career outside of the home?
- What is an acceptable work schedule?
- What kind of job opportunities would not be acceptable? Would you be willing to relocate? What if the job requires abnormally long hours? What if the husband will travel regularly
Relationships and in-laws
- What kind of relationships will we have outside of marriage?
- How will we relate to people of the opposite sex after we are married?
- How often will we see our in-laws?
- How should your relationship with your parents change after married? How should it stay the same?
- How will you maintain appropriate boundaries with your in-laws?
These are some very important questions to consider and some of them have clear biblical answers. As you discuss the questions with your potential spouse, it is important to evaluate their response in light of the Bible.
If one of you is committed to following the roadmap provided by God's Word and the other chooses to follow the roadmap provided by our culture, then this is a recipe for disaster.
If you need help answering these questions as a couple, then I invite you to schedule online premarital counseling with Heart Talk Biblical Counseling. If you are local, then we can also setup in person premarital counseling sessions.