As a Pastor, I talk to a lot of couples who are planning to get married. I also talk to single folks who would like to get married someday. Choosing a spouse is one of the most important decisions a person will ever make, so it’s a decision that needs to be approached with a great deal of prayer and planning. Sadly, a lot of couples spend more time preparing for the wedding ceremony than they actually spend preparing for the marriage that will follow, and they are so excited about getting married, that they don’t take enough time to consider if they actually marrying the right person for them.
There are thousands of questions you should consider before entering into a marriage, but to help you out, I’ve narrowed it down to a few of the most important ones. This is a checklist of seven questions I believe every person should ask before walking down the isle.
1. Do I like this person?
I know that this seems like a redundant question, but it’s really not. I talk to many couples who say that they “love” each other, but when you get past all those romantic feelings, there’s no friendship at the core of the relationship. Marry somebody that you love to hang out with. Without a strong friendship, I believe a marriage is destined for failure. Don’t just marry somebody you love…marry somebody you like!
2. Am I attracted to more than their looks?
Physical attraction is definitely important, but looks are going to change. That hot girl or guy you’re staring at now is going to look a whole lot different in 40 years! You need to make sure you’re drawn to who that person is, not just how that person looks.
3. Do I want this person to be the father or mother of my kids?
Before you get married, you need to ask more than “Do I want my kids to look like this person?” You need to ask “Do I want my kids to BE like this person?”
4. Can I be myself around this person?
This is huge. If you feel like you have to be somebody else around your potential spouse, don’t get married! There’s nothing more exhausting than pretending to be someone or something you’re not for somebody else’s approval. Your spouse should bring out the best parts of who you are but never try to change who you are.
As a Christian, I believe God’s design for marriage is that a husband and wife come together with Christ in the Center. Without Him at the foundation, the marriage will eventually crumble. Marry someone who not only shares your faith but also strengthens your faith. Your spouse should bring you closer to Jesus, not drag you farther away.
6. Do the people who love me the most think we’re a good match?
If your family and friends who love you the most don’t think you’re good for each other, then please look past your feelings and weigh carefully if you’re marrying the right person. You need a spouse who is going to strengthen your family bonds, not put a huge strain on them. If your family loves your fiancee, that’s a great sign! If they don’t, seriously consider your next step.
7. Can I stay committed to this person No Matter What?
We live in a world where people like to quit anything the moment it gets difficult. The core of your marriage isn’t feelings which change…it’s commitment which never changes. When you say “I do” what you’re really saying is “I Will.” I will be here for you and with you through life’s ups and downs.
If you can find someone who stands up to these questions and you can do the same for them, then I believe that you’re on your way to “Happily Ever After!” Pray hard, plan well and say “I Do” with confidence and joy!
If you’re engaged, Congratulations! As you set a foundation for your life together, I encourage you to watch our FREE video teaching series The 4 Pillars of a Strong Marriage and also check out our new book, iVow: Engaged Couples Edition and our new resource for engaged couples at ChristianPremaritalCounseling.org.