Thursday, January 5, 2012
Before You Say I Do
My husband and I work with a ton of people that are single, dating, engaged and married. One of the biggest problems we've come across is the "surprises"--after the marriage. For example-- "Wait, you dont' want to have kids right away?" or "I wish I would have told me more about your past so I could understand where you are today & how you relate in marriage." Regardless of the questions--I have a AMAZING list of a ton of questions to ask "Before you say I do"--So copy and paste this and and keep it on hand! I encourage anyone who is dating or engaged to go through these questions during date night or in general. Cornelius and I went through all of them on a 14 hour road trip from New York to Michigan. :) We learned sooo much about each other!
As I always say, GOD must always be the center of every relationship--especially if you're considering marriage. I want to encourage you to check out a message I taught on "10 Wrong Reasons to Get Married." Yes, I'm really including this because sometimes--we rush to the alter because we're lonely or we think our "clock" is ticking. We don't operate according to a man-made calender. God's timing is perfect. Trust Him & HIS peace. The WORSE feeling for a woman is to walk down the aisle to a man that she has ZERO peace about. Trust your peace--it's the Holy Spirit leading & guiding you.
. The best part about my childhood was?
. The worst part about my childhood was?
. The scariest thing that ever happened to me was?
. Something I'm afraid to tell anyone about my past is?
. A past situation that could affect my future is?
. The way I feel about my past relationship history is? WHO I AM
. My biggest fears in life are?
. My biggest needs in life are?
. My most frequent mood is?
. The thing I hate most is?
. The thing I worry about most is?
. Three things I want to change about myself are?
. Three things I really like about myself are?
. My most common daydream is?
. I get angry when?
. My favorite kind of house pet is?
. My overall opinion about myself is?
. I think my greatest personality asset is?
. My greatest personality weakness is?
. I find the greatest enjoyment in?
. The sin I struggle most with is?
. I'm most ashamed about?
. Someone I greatly admire is?
. The way I feel about death is?
. I think war is?
. I feel happy when?
. I have no use for people who?
. When someone acts rude to me, I?
. When someone is unfair, I?
. I feel jealous of?
. My dream vacation would include?
. The things I find the most fun are?
. My favorite sport(s) is?
. Playing sports in my future is a [ ] on a scale from one to ten.
. Watching sports on T.V. is a [ ] for me on a scale from one to ten.
. I am disgusted by?
. When I am afraid (substitute sad, angry, happy, lonely, tired), I?
. My hobbies include?
. I spend [ ] hours a week at my hobbies.
. What I really want when I am sick is?
. The part of my body I am most bothered by is?
. The part of my body I am most happy with is?
. What hurts me most is?
. The best (and worst) thing about life is?
. The first thing I notice about someone is?
. When someone is angry with me, I?
. When someone is disappointed in me, I?
. The worst (and best) thing about the opposite sex is?
. Being teachable means?
. People (including me) should say they're sorry when?
MARRIAGE. My reasons for wanting to get married are?
. I think the keys to a good marriage are?
. The biggest mistakes I made in past relationships are?
. The area I've grown the most in relationships is?
. Relationships in the past have taught me?
. I've always viewed marriage as?
. My parents had a [ ] marriage.
. I learned [ ] about marriage from my parents.
. I think the things in marriage you should be honest about are?
. The areas I'm concerned about being married are?
. The areas I'm excited about being married are?
. Marriage for me will be giving up?
. Marriage for me will be gaining?
. I think separate vacations are?
. Traveling together is?
. When having conflict, I like to: cool off by myself before discussing the problem; discuss and work the problem out right. away; pretend there is no problem and just move on; analyze the problem as to what it is, why it happened, how to avoid it in the future, etc?
. Arguing and or fighting is?
. The best way to handle disagreements is to?
. What I fear most about marriage is?
. What I anticipate most about marriage is?
. The role of in-laws in marriage is?
. The thing that will make me most secure (and insecure) in marriage is?
. Dating (each other) after you are married is?
. Love is?
. "Till death do us part" means?
. I think people should be allowed to divorce when?
. For me, divorce is?
SEX. I think sex is/will be?
. I think a healthy marriage involves sex [ ] per week or [ ] per month.
. I'm aware that real sex in marriage differs from Hollywood in the following ways?
. I think being naked in front of someone is?
. On a scale from one to ten, sex is a [ ] in importance in a good marriage for me.
. What sex means to me is?
. Being spontaneous or creative in marriage sex sounds?
MONEY/FINANCES. I think money is?
. Spending money is hard/easy for me because?
. The biggest waste of money is?
. The best investment of money is?
. I have [ ] in personal debt.
. I use credit cards for?
. I think car loans are?
. Saving up to buy big ticket items is?
. My savings plan is?
. My retirement plan is?
. The way I feel about tithing is?
. I hope my spouse is a: saver, spender, somewhere in between.
. On a scale from one to ten, financial security is [ ] in importance to me.
. I want to save up to buy a?
. The kind of house I want to own someday is?
. Other items I hope to own are?
. Charities I want to contribute to are?
PHYSICAL APPEARANCE. Is my own appearance important to me?
. Is it important that my spouse maintains his/her current physical appearance/weight throughout our marriage?
. How important is hygiene to me, i.e. brushing teeth, taking showers, deodorant, etc.?
. How do I like to dress for special occasions? For church? For dates? For work?
. Do I want to be able to have a say in my spouse's choice of clothing, hairstyle, or general appearance?
. Do I care if they have a say in mine?
. Is cologne/perfume important to me?*
. What physical features are attractive to me?
HOUSEHOLD. How clean is a home that is comfortable for me?
. What is my favorite thing about home?
. What can I not tolerate in my home (noise, clutter, dirt, pets, unmade beds, etc.)?
. How many/which jobs do I think I should do to keep my house maintained?
. How many/which jobs do I think my spouse should do around the house?
. Who should keep the yard maintained (spouse, both, or hired out)?
. Who will maintain the cars (spouse, both, or hired out)?
. Who will make decisions for and carry out decorating the home (spouse, both, hired out)?
. Who will cook family meals?
. How many meals do I expect to cook or for my spouse to cook daily?
. Who will do the shopping?
. Who will do laundry?
. Who will do the dishes?
. Who will pay bills?
RECREATION. My idea of recreation is?
. To me, camping means?
. My favorite sports are?
. The way I relax on the weekends is by?
. What areas of recreation do I want my spouse to accompany me on?
. What areas of recreation do I want to do with my friends or alone?
. How often will I want to spend time away from the family in my own recreation?
KIDS. I think kids are?
. Kids get on my nerves when they?
. I love it when kids?
. The way I feel about other people's kids is?
. The way kids usually feel about me is?
. Kids should be disciplined when?
. The way I want to discipline my kids is?
. The role of a parent is?
. I want [ ] kids someday.
. How important is showing physical affection to my kids?
. Is telling my kids I love them important?
. How much time do I think I should spend with my kids daily?
. How important is two-parent interaction and discipline?
. I think the bottom line for discipline should be with the (mom or dad)?
. How important is it for kids to respect their parents in my home?
. When it comes to discipline, I think I will be: lenient, strict, or somewhere in-between?
. Where do I want my kids educated (private school, Christian school, home school, etc.)?
HEALTH/HISTORY. Taking care of myself and my health is [ ] important to me.
. I think a healthy lifestyle includes?
. Physical exercise is?
. To me, eating right means?
. My idea of a good work out is?
. My life fitness plan is to?
. My health problems (present or past) are?
. I take medication for?
. I think life long-term supports are?
. People in my family have a history of the following health problems?
. People in my family have died at the ages of?
INTIMACY. I feel loved when?
. The way I show love to people is?
. Which of the following are ways I feel most loved? Time spent with, words of encouragement/praise, gifts, being touched and hugged in a non-sexual manner, when people do things for (serve) me.
. Showing affection in front of kids or friends is?
. Intimacy is developed through?
. I think a good marriage needs at least [ ] hours a day (or week) of focused communication to stay connected.
WORK. My idea of a dream job is?
. I think the average number of hours a person can regularly work a week and maintain family commitment is?
. Providing for the family is whose responsibility?
. My career plans are?
. How important is a steady job to me?
. What kind of work ethic do I want in my mate?
. Where do I draw the line with a job that demands too much time?
. My plans for retirement are?
SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION. The way I feel about God is?
. I think the way God feels about me is?
. On a scale of one to ten, going to church is [ ] in importance for my life and future.
. I want to raise my kids in the [ ] faith.
. Will God be the center of my home? Why or why not?
. If yes, how will I make Him the center?
. Prayer is something I do when?
. To me, the Bible is?
. Other religions besides Christianity are?
. Eternal life is accomplished by?
. Select and discuss the following. To me, God is: personal, real, distant, vague, angry, happy, loving, harsh, demanding, gentle, kind, good, make-believe, living, powerful, weak, or other.
. The way to have a relationship with God is?
. For me, including God in my daily life is?
. On a scale from one to ten, obeying God and His word is a [ ] to me.
. When I die, I?
God loves you like crazy,