Once a relationship has passed a certain point and certainly after a public engagement announcement, you’d be more hesitant to calling it off. Even though that is exactly what the engagement period is for.
It is a public proclamation that you are considering marriage. So you are “off the market,” while preparing for this momentous step. But that does not mean you MUST take the final step.
Bottom line: until you make the vow before God, you can always back out or push pause to make sure you’re making a wise decision.
Here are 4 Topics Every Christian Couple Should Discuss before Marriage…
This list highlights key conversations that should take place before you say “I do.”
Even though you both may be Christians, you may not agree on significant beliefs or what church you will attend.
For example, one issue we had to work through prior to getting married was our view on the place of children in the Church. I had come to believe the historic Christian position that children of believing parent had a special place in the visible body of Christ. But my husband had been raised in a traditional Baptist church that had different views.
We studied Scripture together and he came to embrace my beliefs. If we had not agreed, we would have set ourselves up for significant conflict down the road.
Within the broad umbrella of Christianity, you will find a lot of disagreement. A clarifying question to ask is this: “Can we agree on a shared belief system that we can teach our children and that is consistent with Scripture?”
Don’t be afraid to push pause on the marriage plans until you are confident you are on the same page.
If asking the person to wait while you work it out is too much for them, that may be a good indicator you were headed for bigger problems anyways.
2. Emotional Baggage.
Each of us has experienced pain in our lives. We’ve been scarred from living in a fallen world.
Some may have been abused. Some may have had their hearts broken. Some may experienced great loss as a child.
Whatever the emotional baggage may be, it’s best not to ignore it by getting married.
If you need to enlist the help of a biblically-based counselor or therapist, do it. You can thank me later.
If they are not Biblically based, be very cautious about trying to make any sense of spiritual issues with a secular therapist. It usually will only make things worse.
An example from my own marriage: A few years into my marriage, I realized that because of the pain I had experienced in a relationship prior to meeting my husband, I was afraid to confront him when I thought he was wrong.
I needed to find the courage to speak the truth to him at all costs. When I began to do that, our relationship deepened.
I still struggle with it to this day, but we are more consciously aware of my tendency not to say anything for fear of pushing people away.
Check out your baggage before boarding the marriage train. I am not saying you should call it off as result, but just be aware of what baggage the two of you have and be open to the reality that you are likely to discover more once that train leaves the station.
And that leads us to one of the greatest sources of friction in a marriage–money.
“The love of money is the root of all evil,” Scripture tells us. Jesus himself said that money is the chief rival for our love for Him. Is it any wonder that it can cause such division in marriage, a relationship intended to best reflect His image on earth?
What we do with our money reveals what is in our hearts. We may not like to admit that, but “where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.” That’s why this issue can be so contentious in a marriage. We’re dealing with heart issues when we deal with money.
And let’s face it, most of us know what it’s like to not have money. Some of us have a lot but don’t really know what to do with it. And yet we are most afraid of not having enough.
Money exposes the focus of our faith.
As I mentioned earlier, we went through a Biblically-based money-management course prior to getting married. All couples should at least do that.
This is a conversation you need to have before getting married. Don’t assume you will work it out later; when the time is right.
Across Christianity, you will find all sorts of opinions about birth control. Do your own research and study of Scripture.
Once your wedding night comes around, it may be too late to start the conversation about when you will be having children.
Oh, and if the person you are thinking about marrying is open to considering abortion as a means of birth control. Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit.
You need to make your decisions about education and get on the same page as soon as possible. Don’t assume you know what the other person is thinking.
If you are having second thoughts after reading through these topics, you can and should push pause on marriage until you are confident you are making the wise decision.
Whatever you do, don’t enter a marriage thinking “ well divorce is always an option” or it soon will be.
And don’t fall for the lie from Satan that there is no one else left out there for you.
Waiting for the God to provide the best person to marry is an act of faith.
What did I miss? What other factors would you add to the list for Christians to think about before getting married? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.