While we are on the topic of expectations, I think now is the time to publish this as a post.If you’re a man or woman and don’t know what the heck you are doing in a dating/courtship relationship that you want to move toward marriage, I’ve been compiling a list of various questions I use to ascertain their knowledge of the Scriptures and their character. Both men and women can use these because there are going to be both a male and female in the relationship.
Some of them are from Dalrock’s Interviewing a Prospective Wife, and I’ve also expanded it significantly.
Standard Christian questions
- What is your testimony?
- How have you seen God work in your life recently
- Do you fast?
- What is the value of prayer?
- How have your prayers been answered?
- What have you been learning from your Scripture reading recently?
- Are you chaste / virgin?
- What do you think of equality between the sexes?
- Tell me about your past relationships
- What’s your favorite hymn and favorite Bible verse and why?
- What story about Jesus when you first read it blew your mind that you knew this was no ordinary man but the son of God?
- What are your thoughts about missions / are you called to missions?
- What are your spiritual gifts?
- Do you believe in speaking in tongues, prophecy, miracles, etc.?
- Does God speak to you? If so, what has He told you?
- Should women be allowed to be pastors?
- Should women be allowed to teach in church?
Standard marriage questions
- Will she take your last name?
- After a wife has kids in marriage what are her priorities (order them from highest to lowest): Children, husband, herself, her work/career, her hobbies, God, other family relatives, friends, Church obligations. And then justify your answer.
- What happens if we have mismatched libidos?
- What are your expectations with frequency of sex in marriage?
- What does submission mean to you?
- What are your expectations of the husband in spiritual leadership?
- What are your expectations of the husband in household leadership?
- What are your expectations of teaching children spiritually and mentally?
- How do you plan to teach the children?
- How do you feel about adoption?
- What would you do if you disagreed with a decision I made, and I went along with that decision anyway?
- What would you do if I made a decision and you disagreed and it turned out to be that I was wrong?
- What are acceptable reasons for divorce?
- Do you believe in soulmates?
- What do you think about the sexual double standard where men are studs and women are sluts?
- what do you think about a marriage in the church with witnesses and a signed covenant, but not a marriage license from the state
- If your female children wanted to get married at 20 years old would you encourage her/them?
- What are your thoughts on egalitarian marriages?
- Should women have the right to vote?
- Who manages the money? Should women have access to the family’s money?
- What do you think about polygamy?
- What are your thoughts on the distribution of labor in the house. Cooking/cleaning/yard work/etc.?
- If we get into an argument, how would you suggest we resolve it?
- Do you run away from conflict?
- How should a husband handle his wife when she is feeling emotional?
- What do you think the age of responsibility is for children?
- What is a helpmeet?
- Should you ever be alone with a man who is not your husband after getting married?
- What does happiness mean in a marriage? Should marriages strive for happiness?
- Are there any topics that are off limits in marriage?
- Should there be full disclosure about your sexual past in marriage?
- Should you share your passwords to your e-mail, facebook, etc. when you’re married?
- Do you think a husband should check up on his wife if she is out different places with friends or away from home?
- What should a wife do if her husband has a pornography addiction?
- What should a husband do if his wife has a romance novel or emotional affair with another man?
- What would you do if your husband asked you to use birth control?
- What would you do if your husband asked you to have an abortion?
- What should a wife do if she has more expertise in an area, but her husband refuses to listen to her advice?
- How should a husband handle a situation where his wife is hit on by another man? What if they are mutually flirting?
- What do you think makes women feel loved in marriage? What would make you feel loved?
- What do you think makes men feel loved in marriage? What do you think makes me feel loved?
- What are you attracted to in a man?
- What are men attracted to in a woman?
- Should men/women date more than one person at the same time?
- What would you tell women who want to have it all?
- What would you say to women who are having trouble getting interest from men?
- What would you say to women who can get interest from men but can’t sustain any relationships?
- What would you say to men who cannot get any dates at all?
- What would you say to men who can get dates but cannot sustain relationships?
- Why do you think men prefer virgin women?
- Why is lying about sexual history such a big deal to men?
- What is your ideal frequency of sex?
Deep thought questions — asking them as if she were talking to a Christian wife or single, and if she was talking to a non-Christian wife or single.
- How do you explain submission (to a Christian wife if she is in rebellion, or a Christian single that believes in egalitarian marriage, or a non-Christian wife or single)?
- How do you explain self esteem to your kids?
- How do you explain divorce to your kids?
- How do you explain gay marriage to your kids?
- How do you explain abortion to your children?
- How would you explain feminism to your children?
- How would you explain why feminism is bad to Christian wives or non-Christian wives?
- What does peter mean when he talks about women being a weaker vessel?
- What does it mean in Timothy when it says women are saved by childbearing?
- What would you tell your female children if they wanted to have a career and travel before getting married?
- Is sex in marriage different from sex outside of marriage (as in the same act, just different context)? Why? See Cane’s post and my post for details.
- How would you explain why God allows suffering in the world to your children? Or Christians? Or non-Christians?
- What are your thoughts on free will and/or predestination?
- Can you explain the relationship between faith and good works?
- What would you do if you were married and found out you couldn’t have kids, or your husband was sterile?
- Should a husband or wife have close friends who are divorced? (The statistics do show that if you are friends with someone who is divorced it increases your chances of being divorced).
- What should be a husband’s response to his wife if she lies to him, and he finds out behind her back about it and confronts her?
- What should a husband do if his wife denies him sex? What should a wife do if her husband denies her sex?
- What should a husband/wife do if his wife/husband is unhappy in marriage?
- What should a husband/wife do if his wife/husband is not attracted to him/her anymore?
- What should a husband/wife do if their spouse wants a divorce?
- What should a husband do if his wife goes behind his back to do something he told her not to?
- What should a husband do if his wife lies about her sexual past before marriage?
- In what type of circumstances should a husband apologize to the wife? A wife to the husband?
Other personality questions + your preferences
- What do your closest friends say about you?
- What are your life passions?
- What are your pet peeves?
- What piece of playground equipment did you play on the most?
- Favorite childhood memory?
- Earliest childhood memory?
- Other habits
- homeschooling versus private school versus public school
- Chores at home
If you have any more that are stimulating questions that you’ve seen work well then add them in the comments and I’ll add them up here.
Here’s a few:
What are your top priorities / dealbreaker qualities when considering potential spouses, and why are they so important to you?
What kind of quirks do you have?
And a fun one: If you could have any super hero power (only one!) what would you choose, and why?
Too much. Her opinion on many of the above listed things really does not matter. Asking a woman what she thinks she would think in 20+ years if a daughter that she currently doesn’t have wanted to get married is like asking a 6-year-old how to build a house–the answer you get may be entertaining, but has little value other than entertainment. Plus, asking a woman what she thinks about something is an exercise in futility–she may well tell you what she thinks you think she should think about the topic, rather than what she thinks about the topic. Actions matter far more than opinions. Observe. Does she willingly defer to her father when his decisions conflict with her opinions? Or is she openly rebellious?
You are correct.
However, stuff from this list easily weeds out women that you wouldn’t want to marry in the first place.
Inevitably, you’ll also get to at least one question where you may significantly disagree. This will show you if she’s stubborn, willing to change her ideas when presented with evidence, and also her attitude/approach to disagreements.
There’s a lot of things that can be learned from an exercise such as this, although I would say seeing her in action like you stated is the best measure. Evidence should and can be gathered in lots of different ways.
very thorough, we went to a pre-marriage counseling class with our pastor and hit many of these.
Be aware that practical questions about sex (e.g. frequency) from a virgin to a virgin are useful mainly to expose assumptions. Real answers aren’t available until you both have some experience with that journey.
Related to Jenny’s comment: I think some of these questions would work better with a third party (pastor, parent, mentor, …) asking both members of a prospective couple than 1-1 between partners. Though as a list of “stuff to discuss, if not in so many words” it’s probably very useful.
Andrew has a good point about using a confessor, a trusted 3rd party, to ask some of these questions. A good pastor would be ideal, I think. Better than a parent, as they would be an interested party and not likely to be objective. I think that objective status is pretty important, actually.
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