Written by Jamal Chubb
I was in the office the other day and I heard people talking about a TV show called “Married at First Sight”. I had knots in my stomach just because of the name. When I searched it online I found out that this show is about people who meet for the very first time and then they get married. These individuals have never even seen each other and are told nothing about the one another so in other words, it’s a blind marriage. I tried to watch the show, but I only made it through the first 15 minutes into the first episode. Cierra, my wife would not even try to watch it with me since she has a short tolerance for stupidity. Marriage should not be taken lightly and each person should consider the long-term commitment when entering into a covenant. When my wife Cierra and I met, we married within six months of meeting because we just “knew”.
This was great on paper but it lacked wisdom. While we both are very happily married, we have struggled through some issues that could have been prevented if we would have taken more time to know each other.
At the marriage alter the pastor who officiated said, “There are six people standing here at the altar. Who Jamal thinks he is, Who Jamal really is, and whom Cierra thinks Jamal is. The other three people are who Cierra thinks she is, who Cierra thinks she is, and whom Jamal thinks she is.” I share that quote to tell you that marriage is for life and you absolutely need to know who you are entering into marriage with.
In my attempt to help you on your journey to a happy and healthy marriage, here are 16 questions you should ask before you say ‘I do’.
- What do they believe about God and does their theology line up with yours?What a person believes concerning faith is a big deal. Cierra and I are Christians and because we both have relationships with God, our moral compasses are aligned. When people believe different things about God it makes it near impossible to have a healthy relationship.
- Do their values line up with yours? This includes political ideologies. The last thing you want is political wars in your marriage. It would help to be on the same page and if you disagree, than it is vital that each of you take time to talk about it.
- Are you sexually attracted to them?Would you buy a car if you did not like it? No! Why would you marry a person if you were not sexually attracted to them? Sexually intimacy is vital for a healthy marriage.
- What kind of family background do they have? I came from a single family home and it was important to me that my future wife came from a home that was not divided. Cierra’s parents have been married for over 20 years and I have learned so much about being a good father and husband from the example that they live.
- Can you support and encourage the career they have chosen? Cierra use to say she would never marry a military man. When she met me I was in the navy. We later found that the married military life was not for us. We simply could not handle the deployments. Are you able to handle the vocation your future spouse wants to pursue?
- Do they have any sexual baggage? Sex does not just connect a man and a woman physically, but it is also connects them emotionally. Sex is a gift from God and it is so good it should be saved for your spouse, however; we know that few people share that sentiment in today’s culture. Remember to ask your future spouse about past partners and get free from sexual baggage that can and will affect your future marriage if left unspoken about.
- How do they view and handle money? Money is the number one reason people get divorced. Make sure that you and your future spouse have a plan on how money will be handled, budgets and who takes care of what.
- Does your future spouse want children? Children are a gift from God that is why it is important to know if your future spouse wants children. I have seen marriages completely destroyed over couples that are divided on this issue. Some people do not think they are called to have kids, while others have dreamed for as long as they could remember. As a couple you should be very clear if children are in your future.
- What are they committed to? A track record of commitments shows an ability to see things through. Marriage is a journey that requires a person to have a spirit that can finish what they start.
- Who are their friends? Bad company corrupts good character even in a marriage. Friends influence your choices no matter how old you are.
- How do they act when they are angry? Take the time so see who people are at their worst. Do they say things they don’t mean? Do they punch walls? Can you handle the way they handle their emotions?
- Can they forgive? Forgiveness in marriage is the key the thriving marriage. If your spouse allows bitter roots to grow, this is a sure fire way to end a marriage.
- Can you have fun with them? You need a spouse that can have fun and laugh often.
14. Do they value others? In our family valuing people is at the core of what we believe. If the person you love lacks honor for everyone else, eventually that behavior will negatively impact your marriage. The last thing you want in your marriage is a person who does not respect others.
- Are they honest? For some, hearing words like good-character and integrity pertaining to marriage may sound like common sense. The reality is that our culture is increasingly lacking in both. For example, in the work place it has become second nature to be dishonest. Being a deceitful in one area of life will spread to others. Character is not built over night. Broken trust in a marriage will eventually break the marriage. If you have caught your would-be the spouse in a lie, you need to ask them what else they have been dishonest about. Can you work through the lies and not hold a grudge against them. Owning up to your flaws is hard. No one wants to do it, but a good indicator that you are ready to tie the knot with a person is how well they own what they have done wrong. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. Admitting fault is a sign of health for an individual.
- Is your future spouse consistent, resilient and hard working? Being consistent, resilient and hard working will see you through hard times when times get tough.
What questions did you ask your spouse before you said “I do”? Leave us a comment and let us know.