Should we get married?

I just finished an excellent article called “Should We Get Married?” by David Powlison and John Yenchko (Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 33-42), available online here. Below is my summary, basically quotations from the paper, but I still recommend the article because it has excellent discussion questions for you and your fiancĂ©e.

If you are already married and reading this, you may find this to be a good cause to review your own relationship that it might grow.




• Are you both Christians?
o Are you looking to marriage to make you happy or complete, to give you identity or purpose?
  • Do you hope marriage will remove a sense of despair, inadequacy, failure, bitterness, or isolation?
  • Will marriage make your life “come together?”
  • Do you believe your spouse will meet all of your desires?
o Are you thinking of marrying a non-Christian? (see 2 Cor 6:14–16)
o Do either of you have complicating entanglements or relationships?
o Has God given you the gift of singleness? (Matt 19:11–12; 1 Cor 7:1–9; 7:17–40)
  • Are you getting married only because you have been taught that the ideal Christian is a married one?
  • Is marriage an idol in your life?
• Do you have a track record of solving problems biblically?
o Do you know how to solve problems biblically?
o Do you do what the Bible says?
o Where do you need to change and grow to become a wiser person?
• Are you heading in the same direction for life? Considering the command to “leave and cleave:”
o Some leaving questions:

  • Are you willing to make a break emotionally with your parents?
  • Are you willing to make a break financially?
  • Are you willing to break with your friends and single life?
  • Are you willing to break with your job?
  • Are you willing to break with the right single people have to make independent decisions?

o Some cleaving questions:

  • Where are you going in your life?
  • What is your basic lifestyle?
  • What level of financial and material expectations do you have?
  • What level and kinds of church involvement do you desire?
  • Are you basically agreed in your theology?
  • What are the views and attitudes towards roles of men and women, husband and wife?
  • How many children do you want?
  • How often will you visit parents?
• What do others who know you well think of your relationship? (see Prov 12:15; 15:22)
o Ask others who know you.
o Ask people who know how to make a marriage work.
o Ask people who will help you look at a marriage from a Christian point of view.
o Ask your parents.
• Do you want to marry this person? Are you willing to accept each other just the way you are? (see 1 Cor 7:25–40)
o Are you getting married because of spiritual manipulations (someone says “I know it’s God’s will”)?
o Are you getting married because of fear, guilt, social pressure, or a twisted sense of fate?
o Are you harboring secret reservations?
o Do you want to marry this person? Are you willing to accept each other just the way you are? Is my “yes” a simple “yes” (Matt 5:37)?

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