Principle 1: Talk About Family
Before you say "I do"
Finding your life partner is a significant milestone. But it doesn’t just end with finding one another. Usually an engagement is seen as the time for wedding gown shopping, finding a church, hosting showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. But if used wisely, your engagement can be a time to really get to know each other, not just in terms of dating, but in terms of spending your lives together year after year.
The questionnaire below is designed to start a conversation about what it means to be in a partnership. Once the enthusiasm of your engagement has settled, try to discuss and measure your expectations. Talk about things like your love language, how you save or spend your money, and how you view the responsibility of raising children.
We’ve listed questions touching areas that have proven the most challenging for lifelong marriages. Our desire is to help you discover more of who you are as a couple. Hopefully, that will create an atmosphere where you’ll always feel free to discuss marital issues well after you’ve said “I do!”
Also, it’s been said that we don’t just marry our beloved—we marry into a family. Your responses to this questionnaire will force you to consider what this means for each member of your family, and what it will mean for your marriage.
We encourage you to read the questions on your own and jot down your responses. Feel free to print a copy and write on that. Once both of you have completed your answers, share them with each other. If you are seeing a pastor or other counselor for pre-marital counseling, consider using your completed questionnaires as a basis for discussion.
Principle 1: Talk About Family
1. Have your parents given their blessing for you to marry me?
2. How well did/do you get along with your parents?
3. What’s your happiest memory from childhood?
4. What do you think is a woman’s role in marriage? A man’s role?
5. What do you hope I will contribute to our marriage?
6. How do you see us dividing the household chores?
7. How close do you want to live to your parents? Siblings?
8. Which holidays will we spend with which family?
9. How was love expressed in your home when you were growing up?
10. Did you grow up with pets? Do you like them?
Principle 2: Talk About Parenting
1. How many children would you like to have? When?
2. What dreams do you have for our children?
3. Would you ever consider adopting a child?
4. What will make you a good parent? Me?
5. What fears do you have about parenting?
6. How do you feel children should be disciplined?
7. Do you believe in spanking?
8. How are we going to handle birth control?
9. Do you believe a woman should stay home to raise the children?
10. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
Principle 3: Talk About Career and Growth Issues
1. What personal goals do you have in your profession?
2. How important is your job to you?
3. How many hours do you expect to work during a week?
4. How do you spend your discretionary time? Are you able to relax?
5. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
6. Who are/were the important people in your life? Why?
7. How often do you like to get together with your friends? Be by yourself?
8. How do you make major decisions?
9. What are your dreams? Your greatest fears?
10. What was the saddest moment of your life? The most embarrassing?
Principle 4: Talk About Finances
1. Who will be the primary money manager?
2. Are you a saver or a spender?
3. Do you have trouble balancing your check book?
4. What is your attitude toward credit cards and how do you use them?
5. Are you in debt? Why?
6. Did you have to go without wants or needs due to limited finances?
7. Can we agree on the need for a budget before we get married?
8. When/How should we begin planning for retirement?
9. How do you spend your discretionary money?
10. Have you ever been in legal trouble?
Principle 5: Talk About Spiritual & Relational Issues
1. What is your concept of God?
2. What makes you angry? What makes you laugh?
3. Why is your faith important to you?
4. How do you like to show affection? Receive it?
5. What gives your life meaning?
6. What kinds of experiences do you hope we can share together?
7. What is your concept of fidelity? Infidelity?
8. How do you feel about divorce?
9. Have you ever been hurt by love?
10. When and how do you like to pray?