Renee Fisher

34 Premarital Questions Every Christian Couple Should Ask Before Marriage

In honor of my brother Richard's engagement to his beautiful fiancé Nicole, I'm sharing 34 Christian questions every couple should ask themselves before they get married.

Before Marc and I started counseling, he wrote up a list of 34 Christian premarital questions. You read that right. He w-r-o-t-e these questions because he is that brilliant. Mostly because we had a lot of questions. The questions we were finding in most premarital counseling books, seminars, and such weren't what he was looking for.

Marc came up with these questions after studying the writings of Count Zinzendorf (1700-1760). What I love most about them is how they continually point back to Scripture, and revisiting these questions is making me fall in love with Marc all over again. I can't believe we will celebrate 10 years this October!!

34 Questions to Ask Before Marriage

There are certain questions every couple should ask before marriage. Please use these 34 Christian premarital questions to strengthen your relationship, whether you are dating, engaged, or married:

1. What does this marriage cost you? What do you have to give up? How do you feel about giving that up?

2. How do you define time well spent? What feels like a waste of time to you? 

3. Do your partner's needs always come first? (This might be a good or bad thing)

4. What will sustain you when your partner screws up? Does your theology matter in dealing with conflict?

5. Do you feel your partner is committed to you? How? Do you know your partner is committed to you? How important is it to know they are committed to you? How does this line up with feeling God is committed to you?

6. What things hinder your relationship right now, or in the past?

7. What do you want out of marriage?

8. Do you believe your communion with one another directly affects the health of your marriage? What is your communion with Christ like? What are you doing daily to deepen it?

9. What has been the hardest season of suffering you've walked through? How has that shaped you?

10. Does it matter what others think of your marriage?

11. Do you see your spouse as a separate entity? Why? Is that Biblical? How does it affect your marriage?

12. What does it mean to put your partner's needs above your own?

13. Why has God provided you with a partner? What ministry do you see him working through in your relationship?

14. Does it matter to you how marriage relates to Christ and His Bride?

15. What does it mean to become one flesh? How is this influencing you? Are you still independent? Have you had to give up anything? Does a husband and wife with parallel yet independent ministries matter? What does submission mean?

16. Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and that he is risen and reigning over this world and your life? 

17. What things will most taint your sex life?

18. Is there anything you can't discuss with your partner? Do you think it's okay to have secrets in a marriage?

19. Looking at the face of two people in love, what tells you they are in love?

20. What does being married to Christ entail for you? In what ways are you falling short of this? How do you expect your spouse to help you in this? What if they don't or can't?

21. Do you think it is possible to progress in your relationship with Christ while your mate does not?

22. Does a successful marriage or satisfying marriage top your list of desires in your marriage? What do you want your marriage to ultimately be?

23. Do you believe your spouse's salvation depends on you? Define the Christian lifestyle you want your spouse to see in you.

24. What do you believe sex is intended to teach us in marriage?

25. What does it mean for the husband to be the head of the house?

26. How does being able to reconcile in a marriage affect ministry?

27. What distracts you from cleaving to your spouse?

28. How are you investing in the life of your partner?

29. How does the Christian community affect marriage? What if it is wishy-washy, bland, and fake? What if it is real? Can you distinguish between the two? Are you willing to change to accommodate in this area?

30. Can you say your mate sees the God of eternity in you? How so?

31. Is "kinky" (inappropriate or impure) sex in marriage permissible? Why or why not?

32. What if you feel called to something but your partner does not?

33. What do you think will bring the greatest joy to your marriage?

34. Does compatibility matter? What does it mean to be compatible? Is your response in line with Scripture?

Marc and I purposefully wanted to talk through all of these questions before we got married. Plus, after you get engaged, all you think about is planning a wedding.

We heard how potentially stressful wedding planning could be. Instead of discussing important matters over designing invite cards at my parents' house--we decided to intentionally talk about them in private before things got crazy. My advice to you is don't be afraid to ask tough questions before you get engaged, and especially before you get married. After all, it's a pretty important decision--the rest of your life!

To learn more about Christian premarital questions, dating, and heartbreak--please check out these four books including two of mine:

  1. Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary L. Thomas
  2. The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller

Photo credit: Pixabay/Pexels

Married and Lonely, A Cry for Community

married and lonely

If you would have told me as a single person that I would be married and lonely, I would have laughed in your face.

Actually, many people did warn me. Various women and men I looked up to and respected told me many times that it's better to be single and lonely than married and lonely. They told me it's better to wait for the man God has for me because a man cannot satisfy my soul, only God can.

I listened.

I understood.

At least I thought I understood.

I had no clue what they were talking about until I married my husband Marc. They were right. My husband couldn't satisfy the deepest parts of me. Only God could satisfy me full to overflowing. When I began to experience loneliness, I knew.

Loneliness in marriage felt much worse than experiencing loneliness as a single person.

When I was single, I could fix my mood. I wasn't dependent on another person. If I wanted to get a massage, go out to eat, or partake in shopping therapy--it was all up to me. If I didn't like the church I was at, I could immediately find a new one. There was no discussions, no debates. Just action.

When I was single and lonely, I cried to my girlfriends. I cried at church. I cried during prayer time. I cried in the arms of my parents. I got over my loneliness because of the support and love of my community. When I was married and lonely, I cried to my husband. It felt much more difficult to me that I couldn't just fix our lack of community. It takes years to build friendships. We tried over thirty churches in less than four years of marriage and made a total of three friends.

I wasn't expecting to be miserable and happy at the same time as a married woman.

I was miserable without a community, but happy with my husband. When Marc and I got married, I thought that my loneliness in the church would end. I was wrong. I thought being single in the church was the worst position. I, again, was wrong. Being married without kids feels much lonelier than when I was single. I quickly found out how important finding the right church was important. I couldn't just find a new one. It had to suit both of us. Finding community as a married person is harder than finding community as a single person because it involves two people.

I am still trying to find my fit in God's Kingdom and His church.

When I asked Marc what he thought or if he wanted to contribute anything to my blog, he said that it's been hard for him too. He said that it was such an exciting thing to get married. He didn't want to join Men's ministry and be a part from me. He also said most Men's ministries are geared towards older men who already have kids.

I have felt the same thing about women's ministry.

A lot of it is geared towards women with children.

We both waited a long time to get married that it was pretty depressing when we couldn't find community together.

As a body of believers we all need each other. Whether we're single, married, or married with kids—we need community. Even though we had the support of both of our parents, what we craved was so much more. A small group. Friends. People to share life experiences with. It got so frustrating to find a place to worship and connect with its community that we moved. It did help to move to Texas from California because the church climate feels a lot more open and inviting.

Now that we are finding community, we are still running into the same problem: being the only married couple without kids. But instead of allowing this to hinder us from finding community, I'm diving in. Before we moved, God impressed a verse on my heart from Romans 1:11-12 that says,

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me (KJV).

Romans 1-11-12 (1)

The word established in Greek is sterizo. It means:

  1. to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix
  2. to strengthen, make firm
  3. to render constant, confirm, one's mind

My parents came out to visit us this past week. My dad asked me how many friends we've made since we moved to Texas. I joked with him that it was more than the three friends we made while visiting numerous churches in California. It was so refreshing to introduce them to our new friends.

I long to be friends with those who want to be friends with me. Mutual friendships.

Maybe I don't have kids yet, but I do have gifts and strengths to contribute just as much as I want to receive from others. I long to be mutually encouraged by the men and women God places in our lives during this season. I love that the word established from Romans 1:11-12 is the same word strengthen from Luke 22:31-32. Let's read:

31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you,Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Friends, we need to strengthen others so that we can receive strength when we need it the most. Even though I am still finding my place, I love how marriage has sharpened me to see how much I desire to be in community. If nothing else, marriage has taught me that it's okay to be lonely. It's okay to cry out for community.

Question: What makes you lonely as a single person? As a married person? What do you most long for?

Do You Need a Reason to Celebrate?

a reason to celebrate

There is always a reason to celebrate!

As a Dream Coach, I often encourage my clients to celebrate whether it's completing a goal, reaching a milestone, or dreaming big. Unfortunately, there can be many hindrances, excuses, or fears as to why someone wouldn't.

  • Maybe it's insecurity.
  • Maybe it's fear.
  • Maybe it's thinking too highly of what other people may think.

Regardless of the answer, I do my best to help coach my clients through the process of healthy celebrating.

Me? I celebrate everything. I have been through too much not to celebrate the little things, the big things, and all the things in between.

I thought I would celebrate by making a list of gratitude to help you get started. Today, I am thankful for:

  1. God/The Bible
  2. My husband Marc
  3. My family
  4. My dog Star
  5. My friends
  6. My church
  7. My new home
  8. Living in Texas
  9. My MacBook Air
  10. My iPhone
  11. Mental Health
  12. Religious Freedom
  13. Writing
  14. Helping others through coaching and consulting
  15. Laughing
  16. Pedicures
  17. Medication to help regulate my anxiety
  18. Good food
  19. Traveling
  20. New York City (who wouldn't love it?)
  21. Vacations
  22. Driving fast
  23. The ability to run (maybe not long distances but long enough for me)
  24. Healthy skin
  25. The internet
  26. Shows and movies that make me laugh
  27. Inside jokes with my husband
  28. Facebook
  29. Pictures (I love taking pictures)
  30. Being self employed
  31. My ability to parallel park
  32. Listening to loud music (when my husband isn't around)
  33. Praying with my friends and praying

Question: Today, do you need a reason to celebrate? What would be on your list of gratitude? Why?