It was only within a month of officially dating that my boyfriend at the time pulled out some wise questions that his mentor suggested to go through. In the newness of dating him, I got nervous to go through such personal questions, but this was one of the best decisions we ever made dating.
If you are dating with the intent to marry, it is vital that you ask the right questions – not to “test” each other, but to understand your backgrounds and your goals. Today I want to share five of those intentional questions to ask when dating. This gave us a head start to engagement and pre-marital counseling, as well as made our first year of marriage so much easier of a transition. We have loved doing life together every day and I want to pass on the wisdom to anyone in the dating or engagement phase. Preparation and communication are very key to a healthy marriage.
What is your concept of God? Christ? Sin? Man’s relationship to God?
If you are going to permanently connect your life with another, it is imperative that you know where he or she stands with the Lord. Ask his or her view of God, Christ, sin, and their thoughts on relationship to God. Whether you know it now or not, if a woman marries a man, his view of God will affect her view.
Choosing a man of the Lord was non-negotiable to me. I knew that he would not be perfect, but I prayed fervently for a man who loved Jesus like I did. When I met that man, it did not take long to realize he was the one who I had been praying and waiting for all of those years. Being honest about your thoughts on spiritual matters and your own personal relationships with God is key. It is valuable to share about your own struggles and growth, as well as the amazing ways that you have witnessed God working in your own life.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
What are the family customs from your own upbringing that you would like to continue in our family? What would you like to change? How important is this to you?
Whether you will admit it or not, your family upbringing has shaped who you are today in some way. Our parents are sinners, and many did their best to raise us well. But we also learned customs of theirs that we desire to carry on, and others we want to drop from our household.
When you marry someone, you are taking on their past as much as their future. Talk through amazing habits and traditions in your family history. Discuss hard things that happened in your home and how you would like to set a different tone in your household one day. Marriage is two homes becoming one. This about what your legacy will be as a couple and potentially as parents.
Psalm 145:4 “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
On a scale of 1 to 100 (100 being high), how would you rate me as a communicator? What, in your opinion, would help me to be a more effective communicator with you?
My college roommates used to hear me always say, “Communication is key.” I knew that in order for us to succeed, that we needed to talk with one another. As a woman, you learn that men are not mind readers. You need to tell them what you are thinking, ask them for help, etc.
I always had a hard time going through these questions with my husband Drew, but the truth is that they were shaping us for a stronger engagement and marriage. Being vulnerable and open to correction is so important in a relationship. One of the greatest purposes of marriage is refinement. Learning how to communicate verbally and non-verbally to one another is a strengthener of your relationship. Talking about how to be more effective in sharing or processing with your love is vital.
Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
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What problem areas might we have in the way I spend money? The way you do? What would you economize on that I might not? Do you feel we can talk about these matters regularly without getting angry?
As you may have heard, money can be a huge contributor to marital conflict. Talking about finances early helps create a clear expectation and understanding of how each person processes and acts.
It is a humble conversation to have, asking your significant other what problem areas you might have with money. Learning how to talk about finances with peace and understanding is very helpful before sharing a bank account. You can tell a lot about a person based on how they spend and save their money.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
5. Household Roles
How would you describe the role of a husband? Of a wife?
A question that may seem so basic, yet is very important is asking “how would you describe the role of a husband or wife?” Everyone is influenced by faith, family, and culture when it comes to views of a husband or wife. It is ok to have a little bit of a differing view, but is there flexibility? Is there a peace about the expectations? Is there a beautiful agreement on how a house is run?
Every marriage looks unique. Some wives or husbands do all of the cooking, some couples tag team. Some men do all of the yard work and women do most of the indoor work. Some couples believe the man is the main financial provider, where other couples share the load. Drew and I have a clear picture of how we view our roles, but also a willingness to help in responsibilities that are not typically “our own” if the other needs help.
We once heard the wise words from our pre-marital mentors, “Marriage is not I give 50, you give 50. Marriage is I will give you 100% regardless of what you give.” (Note: If you are in an abusive situation, please do not apply this to you.) Marriage is truly loving like Christ – selflessly.
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
A lot of dating is the butterfly feelings, the adventure of getting to know someone new, and the determination if you want to continue pursuing a relationship long-term. It is important to ask hard questions as you further your bond. I pray that going through these questions will bless you in the long-run as it did for me and my husband. It is within the vulnerable discussions that we find greater connections with one another and considerable confirmation to move forward.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com