sponsored by:   and 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How do you know whom to marry?

Send a link to a friend

[November 26, 2008]-- When we marry, we are saying, “I have found intimacy with this person.  This is the one I want to share my life with.”  Next to deciding to become a Christian, whom you will marry is the most serious decision that you will make, and its impact will last a life time.

So what are some guidelines that could help in making this most important decision?  I believe that there a few questions that could help us along the way.

How do you get along with your mom and dad?  It goes without question that the unfinished business that exists in your relationship with your parents you will bring into your marriage.  The person you are considering marrying probably has many qualities that are like your opposite sex parent.  The question is, can you identify those characteristics and are they positive or negative.  It is not uncommon for a daughter to seek after a man who is like her father in temperament, even if that temper is explosive, because that is what is normal for her.  She may not necessarily like that, but she is familiar with it and familiarity seems a lot safer then something different.

Another question from your family of origin is:  How did your parents resolve conflict?  Did you see them fight?  Did they come to a resolution that was agreeable to both, one, or was it ultimately ignored?  How does/did the parents of the perspective spouse deal with conflict?  If one family is highly vocal and the other deals with conflict very logically, it could cause a problem.  How do you and your fiancé resolve conflicts?

What about personality differences?  I give the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis for personality traits during pre-marital counseling.  This examines nine personality traits.  The purpose of the test is to help the individual to see attitudes and behavioral tendencies which influence personal, marital, parental, family, scholastic, and vocational adjustment.

If you were to ask, “What are the three things that couples fight most about?” the answer would be MONEY, SEX and HOUSEWORK.  You might want to look at these issues.

Money; Who is going to make it, both the wife and the husband?  When children come along (assuming they do), will the wife continue to work?  Who will take care of the bills?  How do you spend money?  Will there be a budget?

[to top of second column]

Sex;  Yes, you will have it, but how often? Couples fight most about the frequency.  If there have been other lovers in the past, STDs and treatment need to be explored.  What type of birth control will be decided upon?  There are many other issues, but they will be addressed in another column.

Housework; Whose job is it?  Who is going to do what?  Again, looking back at what happened in your family of origin will help reveal what will happen in your own family. It’s true that just because a pattern was set in your own family doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed.  However, that change must be a conscious, constant, and considered effort.  Within Mark’s home he did the dishes a lot as a kid.  Today he still does the dishes.  (Hopefully this will never change).

Last, but certainly not least, the question must be posed:  Are we spiritually compatible?  In other words, is she/he a Christian?  In 2 Cor. 6:14-18 Paul commends that Christians not be yoked to unbelievers. I understand that this passage pertains to business partners, but how much more important that we have as our life partner someone whose fundamental basis (a world view) is the same as ours.  It is this basis from which all other decisions should be made. 

Marriage is a wonderful, God given gift.  That doesn’t mean it’s not a lot of hard work.  When we are more compatible with one another in background, personality and theology, then intimacy, the sense of oneness, is much easier to achieve.  The journey of life together can be an awesome adventure.

[Roberta Mangano, Counseling Minister, Lincoln Christian Church]

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


< Recent articles

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor