Your engagement is such a special time in your life. You are beginning a journey. I like to call it “the journey of a lifetime.” Marriage really is a journey that takes a lifetime to complete. No one begins a journey without good preparations. Only quick errands can be completed without much planning (probably sometimes even quick errands would go better with a little preparation!) Long journeys require good directions, adequate finances, bags packed properly and much, much more.
These questions can be part of the total package of preparing for your journey of a lifetime. They are based on Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Here are several key principles that may not seem important right now but will be after your wedding and as you begin your marriage journey.
1. Marriage unites. Marriage is the uniting of two people from different backgrounds, with different preferences and opinions, and sometimes very different personalities.
2. Avoid surprises. You really know your fiancé very well, right? Within the first six months of your marriage, there will be surprises of all varieties. Some will be pleasant surprises about your mate. Some may not be so pleasant. I am convinced the more you know about your mate’s opinions, preferences and even convictions, the better it will be.
3. So go ahead and ask! This resource provides you with key questions to think about and discuss with your fiancé. Both must be agreed to do this. Both must see the value (sometimes men are not as quick to see the value at first!) Select a time that is good for both of you, and then don’t rush through them. Some questions will be answered within a moment or two. Others will take some time to work through. It will be interesting to see how many times you already agree on an answer. It will always be important to consider the answers and opinions of your fiancé. If you cannot come to compromise and agreement, be sure to let either your pastor or your premarital counseling facilitator know, and bring your questions to the premarital counseling session at the appropriate time.
1. Why do you want to marry me?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of our lives? How do these complement each other?
3. When disagreements and conflicts arise in our marriage, how will we resolve them?
4. Have we talked through and reached an agreement as to whether we should rent or purchase our home? How much of our income should be spent on housing?
5. Do we agree on the need for a budget, and have we tried to project our expenses? (See the article, “We Can’t Live on Love Alone—Our Financial Situation.”)
6. If we are virgins, should we wait until we are married for our sexual relationship, or if we have been sexually active, do we think it is important that we stop sexual activity until after our wedding? Do we know what the Lord says about this in His Word?
7. Do we really understand what a healthy sexual relationship looks like?
8. How many children would we like to have someday? How long should we wait before we try to get pregnant?
9. Have we settled on birth control, and have we worked through this with our physician to guarantee our chosen method prevents conception and does not function as an abortion which terminates our pregnancy?
10. How will a baby change our lives?
1. After working through the first ten questions, are we seriously praying about our relationship with each other and with the Lord?
2. What place does the Lord Jesus have in our personal lives and our lives together as a couple?
3. Do we both know the Lord Jesus in a personal way as our own Savior?
4. What place does worship have in our time together as a couple? Are we satisfied with how often we read the Bible and pray together?
5. Are we in agreement as to which church we will attend, how often we will attend it, in what ways we will serve and how much we will financially support it?
1. As you view each other, how would you describe your fiancé’s view of money?
A) Too important to my fiancé: I am very concerned that it is too much of a focus. My fiancé tends to be sometime stingy at times and finds it hard to spend money even on good things that we can afford.
B) Important: My fiancé has a right view of money and is wise in handling it.
C) Not important enough: I sometimes wish my fiancé would be more careful with his or her funds. My fiancé tends to spend money very easily.
2. Have we settled on whether we will have separate accounts or joint accounts?
3. What are three or four things that we would like to acquire someday for which we must save?
4. What is our view of indebtedness? How much is too much? How many credit cards should we have, and what is our view of paying each card off at the end of the month?
5. What percentage of our income should we have for savings and investment?
1. As we look at the marriages of our parents, what are several good things we would like to incorporate into our marriage? What are several things that we would not incorporate?
2. Who is going to write the bills and keep the checkbook?
3. Who is going to do the cooking? How will we share the household chores such as cleaning, washing the clothes, grocery shopping, etc.?
4. How often should we eat out, spend time with friends, or reserve a night at home where we can enjoy being together? What are some things we can do that both of us really enjoy?
5. What are some safeguards we are establishing to keep our marriage strong and healthy? Are we open and honest with each? Are we both satisfied with our level of communication? Do we demonstrate that we really care about each other? Are we really connecting? Does the Lord Jesus have a first place priority in your personal lives and marriage plans?
May the Lord richly bless you as your plan for your “journey of a lifetime”! For further information, check out the resources for married couples!