5 Ways to Get to Know Someone
- Dating vs. Courtship
One of the beautiful things about romance is God’s ability to take two different people, each their own individual, and bring them together as one. For many couples, their differences make them a strong pair. They complete each other.
But there are certain matters in marriage that couples should agree on, or it will cause problems. These problems can be avoided by ensuring you are on the same page with someone before you even tie the knot. Consider the following list of things you will want to be like-minded on with your future husband or wife.
For a Christian, this is the most important category to examine when considering a romantic interest. Since Jesus Christ is the center of our lives, He must also be the center for anyone whom we seek to share this life with. Since husband and wife become one flesh, and our bodies belong to God, that one flesh must equally belong to Jesus. Our faith in Christ determines who we are as a whole and affects our standards. It guides us in the life decisions we make, the way we raise our family, and the way we conduct ourselves in our marriage; if your spouse does not see eye-to-eye on these matters, it will cause issues in your relationship and marriage.
The bottom line is that our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing in this world. If we cannot share that with the most important human being in our lives, that person is not a good match.
Not all married couples choose to raise a family, but many do. That is why it’s vital to make sure you and your future spouse have the same principles for child-raising. How many children do you want? Homeschooling or public school? Do you believe in spanking children? These are all important questions to ensure you know the answer to well before tying the knot; it will save you both a lot of hassle as opposed to finding out your differences later in marriage. Another question that should be discussed, as it is controversial amongst many Christians, is the use of birth control. Just as not discussing the previous questions could lead to a frustrating child-raising experience, not discussing this one could lead to a less-than-memorable wedding night battle.
This subject is a little more tricky, depending on your stance towards politics. Some Christians are not involved enough with political matters to care if their significant other is Republican or Democrat; some Christians do not even follow or participate in politics at all because of spiritual convictions. It may seem silly to let a person’s stance on tax cuts or government spending determine your decision to pursue them, but remember that politics goes beyond just economic issues. Topics such as abortion and same-sex marriage fall under the political genre, and the future of these subjects depends on the actions of our current politicians. If you care strongly about these topics, and other such related ones, make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
Imagine diligently recording every penny you spend, carefully building up good credit and retaining it, and faithfully putting money into savings. Now imagine marrying someone who is not disciplined in their spending habits, never pays their bills on time, and shows no self-restraint when it comes to financial matters. Your savings account? Empty. Your good credit? Ruined. An irresponsible spouse who does not accept their Biblical role as a steward of everything they own can cause many problems.
But even if you are both disciplined in your spending, financial disagreements are still strong issues. So strong, in fact, that financial issues are one of the top reasons for divorce. Disagreements over allocation of money, financial investments, and spending priorities are only a few of the issues couples will have to deal with. Make sure you both have the same standards and priorities on the financial aspect of things.
- The In-Laws
Ahh yes, the butt of many jokes and sarcastic jabs. But just remember that the family of your spouse will become your own family. Not that you’ll necessarily be living under the same roof, but they will forever be a part of your life through family gatherings, holidays, and family issues. They will always be the parents of your husband or wife and the future grandparents of your children, so make sure you can at least tolerate having them around for the rest of your life.
Also, ensure you and your future spouse agree on in-law rules, such as: How close will we live to the parents? How frequently will visits be conducted? If one spouse is especially close to their parents, but the other wants to distance themselves from the in-laws, this can cause hurt feelings.
- The Role of the Husband and the Wife
This matter is mandatory and will lead to many, many problems if not discussed and agreed upon. A man looking for a submissive wife may be angry to discover that his new bride does not like the idea of submitting, or a woman may be frustrated by her hubby’s lack of ability to spiritually lead the household. A career-minded woman may be irritated that her husband wants her to stay at home and raise the children, or a man may be upset by his wife’s decision to stay home when he thinks she should be out earning a second household income.
Think of an actor – unless he knows the object and role of his character, he will not be able to adequately perform. In the same way, a husband and wife will not be able to adequately make their relationship work unless they both understand the role they, and their spouse, are to play in the marriage.