Most of us will remember the media frenzy that was lit in October 2011 when Kim Kardashian filed for divorce after 72 days of marriage to Kris Humphries.
I’ve never even watched a single episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and I still couldn’t get away from the blaring headlines on the magazines as I waited in line at the grocery store.
Though several potential reasons and theories were cited after the big news broke, one of the earliest rumors for the split was that the couple couldn’t agree on where to live. Apparently Kris wanted to settle down in his home state of Minnesota, while Kim wanted to stay near her family in L.A.
Now, I realize that many other factors played a role in their break-up, but one would think that their place of residence would’ve been a topic of conversation before the big day, right?
And even if they did disagree, would that really be something to get divorced over? Surely there could be a compromise in such a case?
This whole debacle got me thinking about what points of contention between couples would be serious enough to validate a split. I should preface this conversation by clarifying that in this case, I’m talking about couples who arenot yet married. Reasons for divorce are in a different realm altogether – which means there is all the more reason to make sure of things before the organist starts playing the prelude and the bride walks down the aisle decked in white.
So. If you are in a relationship, or even if you are contemplating one and have your eye on the horizon – what are your dating dealbreakers?
What are the things you hold near and dear that you absolutely would not be willing to compromise, even if Mr. Right had a differing opinion?
When I was in college, I had a few guy friends who used to joke about their “checklist” for a “perfect wife.” Pre-requisites included items like “must play the organ,” “must speak Latin,” and “must be able to cook as well as my mom.”
They were exaggerating, of course, and are both very happily married now to wonderful women – and I’d venture to guess that their checklists were rearranged slightly when the women of their dreams came onto the scene.
Turns out “must speak Latin” wasn’t really in the “dealbreaker” category.
We might have our own personal checklists highlighting what we would desire in a future mate, but many could fall by the wayside in favor of other, more important qualities.
So how do we filter through which are mandatory, and which are non-essentials?
How would the following items rate on your priority level when it comes to being in agreement with a future spouse?
- Living in a different region
- Number of children
- Method of birth control
- Relationship with parents
- Stay-at-home moms vs. working moms
- Theological views
- Role of religion/faith in life
Are there other major areas you can think of which would be important to discuss beforehand?
What does the Bible have to say about agreeing with a future mate?
By the process of deduction from Scripture, it is reasonable to conclude that at the very least, women should be able to:
- Respect their husbands (Eph. 5:33)
- Submit to their husbands as they submit to Christ (i.e. must be a Christian) (Eph. 5:22, 24; Col. 3:18)
Likewise, men should be able to:
- Love their wives like Christ loves the Church (i.e. must be a Christian) (Eph. 5:25, 28; Col. 3:19)
- Lead his family as head of the home (Eph. 5:23)
If you’re in a dating relationship now, do you respect your boyfriend? Is he someone you could willingly submit to if he were to become your husband?
Does he strive to love you as Christ loves the church, even though he is sinful and flawed? Is he someone you could trust to lead a future family that you might build together?
Before you say “I do,” ask yourself whether your ‘significant other’ meets the criteria according to Scripture, over and above your personal list of dream qualities. If he or she doesn’t … maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your relationship.
Do yourselves a favor, and don’t make the same mistakes that Kim and Kris made. Talk in advance about the big issues and the small – the non-essentials and the dealbreakers.
Kate Motaung is the wife of a South African pastor and homeschooling mom of three. She has contributed to Ungrind, Radiant Magazine, (in)Courage, StartMarriageRight.com, Thriving Family, MOPS and Young Disciple magazine. You can read more from Kate at her blog, Heading Home or on Twitter @k8motaung.