In a recent blog post, John Piper provides a list of “Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage.”
His list includes the areas of theology, worship, roles of husband and wife, children, entertainment, conflict, work, friends, and health and sickness. These excellent questions are designed to help couples move past superficiality and infatuation and help them determine if they are of one mind and truly able to love and serve one another with joy.
I’ve developed a list of questions that I always ask engaged couples to talk about prior to entering pre-marital counseling — and then we all talk about them together. These questions have more to do with the potential marriage itself, and attitudes of all those involved — the couple and their families:
- Why do you want to get married?
- How do you know this person is the right one for you?
- How do you know this is the right time for you to marry?
- How do you know you are in love? How do you define love?
- What initially attracted you to your intended partner?
- How well do you feel you know your fiancé? Explain.
- How has God been a part of your relationship over the past months? Explain.
- Do you regularly pray together as a couple? Do you regularly read and/or study the Bible together?
- What are your greatest strengths? Greatest weaknesses? What are the greatest strengths and weaknesses of your fiancé?
- How do you view your role in your upcoming marriage? What is the definition of “leader?” What does it mean to “submit?”
- To the woman: Is your fiancé a godly spiritual leader? In what ways?
- To the man: Is your fiancée a godly submissive woman? In what ways?
- What ministries have you been involved in previously? Presently?
- Who are your closest friends? What do they think about your marriage?
- What are your greatest struggles personally, and how are you dealing with them?
- What are your greatest struggles as a couple, and how are you dealing with them?
- What is your greatest need as a couple? I.e., what do you need to work on the most?
- Are you willing to break off your engagement if it is the right and best thing?
- Are you willing to postpone your wedding until a later date if that is the right and best thing?
- Are you willing to postpone the wedding if any of your parents are opposed to the marriage for Biblically justifiable reasons? (I.e., how will you honor your parents in the manner in which you get married?)
- Under what circumstances would you consider a divorce?
All the questions on both these lists are not only helpful for engaged couples to address, but they are also good conversation starters for married couples if they have never talked about these issues.