3 Questions to Ask Your Future Spouse before Marriage
So you’ve met someone special, dated, courted and now you’re discerning pledging your lives to each other in holy matrimony. You’re in love and thinking let’s take on the whole world together! But before you do that, here are three questions to ask your future spouse prior to marriage:
1. Do you both have the same definition of happiness?
Does your future spouse want a big house and a fancy car or is he/she content with a modest home and a mini-van full of kids? How important is socioeconomic status? Are awards and recognition a big priority or is a modest job without perks enough for you? How ambitious is your partner, do they desire to send all your children to private school, be part of a country club and fly first class all around the world or are they happy with the local school district and the community center? If family and friends are close to your heart, your future spouse needs to make an effort to integrate themselves into that part of your life.Will they put work before you and your future kids? Does he/she, encourage you to purse your passions, are they willing to sacrifice to make your dreams come through? Is their happiness more important than your own?
How important is faith, is someone who meets their Sunday obligation enough or do you want someone with integrity, who is passionate, fully alive and living their faith out through daily life? Do you want your future spouse to fully support you in raising your future children in Christ?Remember that happiness isn’t dependent on a person. Your knight in shining armor or beautiful maiden can’t fill the God sized ache of your hearts, only God can complete the infinite.
2. Can you see yourself talking to this person every day for the rest of your life?
Vulnerability, authentic communication and humor is key. It’s a red flag if you’re pressured to impress your fiance by getting dressed up or purchasing expensive gifts. Letting your guard down and being yourself around your future spouse is priceless. Do you enjoy each other’s company? Are you well versed in each other’s hopes, dreams, personality quirks, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes? Do you unreservedly trust him/her with your life? Can you talk about your goals, fears, deepest secrets and more without judgment from your significant other? Does what matter to them also matter to you?
Take out the romance, long walks on the beach and holding hands, are you genuine friends? Do you express love not just in grand gestures but in little ways with daily acts of kindness? Do you love them during their worst and best moments? Listening is love in action, do you intentionally listen when they are talking? In solid relationships, the lines of communication are free, open and honest with an absence of contempt, defensiveness, criticism and stonewalling. Is there an effort to reconcile with each other after fighting? Can you have a heated deep argument and still be friends because this is hard to find. Do you treasure their advice?
3. Do you both have the same mission and set of values?
Having similar life goals is fundamental, it’s difficult to thrive if one of you wants to live in the city and buy a home while the other wants to travel the world for fifteen years doing missionary work. How are they with money, do they value it and save it or are they frivolous with their money? Do both of you have similar moral values? Is one of your goals to take care of your parents in old age and is your future spouse willing to support you fully? Are you both continually willing to nourish your friendship?
Your mission in marriage is to journey together on a pilgrimage from earth to heaven. Do both of you put the heavenly Father first and your future spouse second? Is the foundation of your relationship centered in Christ and prayer? Are you willing to die unto yourself for their greater good no matter the costs? Will they support, sacrifice and help you thrive in your calling? Is this the person you want to endure the sufferings of life with?
These 3 questions are a great beginning to several conversation that are necessary to properly discern marriage with each other. These talks might bring up discomfort, anxiety and tough topics but embrace the tension and work through it together because that is what marriage is - working through the hard stuff together and bringing out the best in each other. I am praying for your discernment!