By Renee Fisher, Crosswalk.com
In honor of my brother Richard's engagement to his beautiful fiancé Nicole, I'm sharing 34 Christian questions every couple should ask themselves before they get married.
Before Marc and I started counseling, he wrote up with a list of 34 Christian premarital questions. You read that right. He w-r-o-t-e these questions because he is that brilliant. Mostly because we had a lot of questions. The questions we were finding in most premarital counseling books, seminars, and such weren't what he was looking for.
Marc came up with these questions after studying the writings of Count Zinzendorf (1700-1760). What I love most about them is how they continually point back to Scripture, and revisiting these questions is making me fall in love with Marc all over again. I can't believe we will celebrate 10 years this October!!
There are certain questions every couple should ask before marriage. Please use these 34 Christian premarital questions to strengthen your relationship, whether you are dating, engaged, or married:
1. What does this marriage cost you? What do you have to give up? How do you feel about giving that up?
2. How do you define time well spent? What feels like a waste of time to you?
3. Do your partner's needs always come first? (This might be a good or bad thing)
4. What will sustain you when your partner screws up? Does your theology matter in dealing with conflict?
5. Do you feel your partner is committed to you? How? Do you know your partner is committed to you? How important is it to know they are committed to you? How does this line up with feeling God is committed to you?
6. What things hinder your relationship right now, or in the past?
7. What do you want out of marriage?
8. Do you believe your communion with one another directly affects the health of your marriage? What is your communion with Christ like? What are you doing daily to deepen it?
9. What has been the hardest season of suffering you've walked through? How has that shaped you?
10. Does it matter what others think of your marriage?
11. Do you see your spouse as a separate entity? Why? Is that Biblical? How does it affect your marriage?
12. What does it mean to put your partner's needs above your own?
13. Why has God provided you with a partner? What ministry do you see him working through in your relationship?
14. Does it matter to you how marriage relates to Christ and His Bride?
15. What does it mean to become one flesh? How is this influencing you? Are you still independent? Have you had to give up anything? Does a husband and wife with parallel yet independent ministries matter? What does submission mean?
16. Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that he is risen and reigning over this world and your life?
17. What things will most taint your sex life?
18. Is there anything you can't discuss with your partner? Do you think it's okay to have secrets in a marriage?
19. Looking at the face of two people in love, what tells you they are in love?
20. What does being married to Christ entail for you? In what ways are you falling short of this? How do you expect your spouse to help you in this? What if they don't or can't?
21. Do you think it is possible to progress in your relationship with Christ while your mate does not?
22. Does a successful marriage or satisfying marriage top your list of desires in your marriage? What do you want your marriage to ultimately be?
23. Do you believe your spouse's salvation depends on you? Define the Christian lifestyle you want your spouse to see in you.
24. What do you believe sex is intended to teach us in marriage?
25. What does it mean for the husband to be the head of the house?
26. How does being able to reconcile in a marriage affect ministry?
27. What distracts you from cleaving to your spouse?
28. How are you investing in the life of your partner?
29. How does Christian community affect marriage? What if it is wishy-washy, bland and fake? What if it is real? Can you distinguish between the two? Are you willing to change to accommodate in this area?
30. Can you say your mate sees the God of eternity in you? How so?
31. Is "kinky" (inappropriate or impure) sex in marriage permissible? Why or why not?
32. What if you feel called to something but your partner does not?
33. What do you think will bring the greatest joy to your marriage?
34. Does compatibility matter? What does it mean to be compatible? Is your response in line with Scripture?
Marc and I purposefully wanted to talk through all of these questions before we got married. Plus, after you get engaged, all you think about is planning a wedding.
We heard how potentially stressful wedding planning could be. Instead of discussing important matters over designing invite cards at my parents house--we decided to intentionally talk about them in private before things got crazy. My advice to you is don't be afraid to ask the tough questions before you get engaged, and especially before you get married. After all, it's a pretty important decision--the rest of your life!
To learn more about Christian premarital questions, dating, and heartbreak--please check out these four books including two of mine:
- Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary L. Thomas
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller
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