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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Five More Questions to Ask in a Relationship
In the last post, I mentioned 10 important questions to ask your significant other. I’ve gathered a few more important ones to add to that list.

11.) Do you like kids/ever want to have any when you are married? – This question gives you a gauge as to if this person feels the exact same way you do. If you do not want a large family or having a child year after year, you really shouldn’t be in a serious relationship with someone who ardently does.

12.) How do you feel about homeschooling/private school/public school?
-  Maybe you’re okay with public school and he or she is not. This is also important. Can a compromise be met? Or will one of you have to cave into the other’s beliefs? This is very important to think about.
13.) How do you feel about debt? At what point is it okay to go into debt? – This will give you an idea if the other person spends inordinate amounts of money just because, spends money they don’t have, or if he or she is practical and only spends what they have.
14.) Do you believe in divorce? – This one will require you to go over different scenarios with your significant other. For instance, perhaps they don’t believe in divorce, but give them a scenario that involves a bad accident that leaves you with the mindset of a five year old for life. How would he or she react to that? What would happen if you were in a house fire, badly burned, and badly disfigured? How would they react? Those are important things to ask.

15.) How do you feel about . . .? The last question I have are questions you need to think about. Do you have a problem with people who smoke or approve of tattoos? Then you should ask them how they feel about those things. Do you disagree about going into bars to do a Bible study, then ask them how they would react to an invite. You want to know just how like-minded this person is and what is a make or a break issue. Some of these questions may not be, and some may. It all depends!

Hopefully these questions have given you an idea on what's important in a spouse and have given
you an idea of how that lines up with where you're going in your relationship.

Monday, May 9, 2016

You're in a Relationship- Now What?

If you're a Christian in a relationship with the intended goal being marriage, it's extremely important to ask the deep questions, not just the surface level ones like, "What's your favorite color?" I mean the ones that can impact a marriage for life. Maybe you've found yourself in a relationship and you think you've asked him/her everything that's important, but just in case, here's a checklist of questions you should ask and need to ask. Some of the questions are questions that are not meant to be asked immediately, rather gradually, but of course, never late enough where you're already deeply committed to this person. If their responses aren't favorable, then you're going to have a difficult time extricating yourself from the relationship because of your attachment and misconceived notions that "It's okay. It will all work out in the end."

1.) How would you describe your salvation experience? - This question is the most important, as it gives you an idea about their conversion. Did someone force them to say a prayer, and they said it just because? Did they do it because everyone else was doing it at the time?

2.) Do you read the Bible and pray on a daily basis? - This question gives you an idea on the spiritual status of this person's life. Are they Christian only in name?

3.) What denomination would you say you adhere to the most? - This question gives a gauge on how like-minded you are.

4.) Have you ever been in jail/prison or have a criminal history? If so, what for? When was the last time you were in jail/prison? Is this still an issue?- You might have found yourself with someone who became a Christian later on in life, and knowing their past is very important. It may not define them as Christians, but the past can impact the future, and you will want to proceed very carefully with issues such as this one. You want to be sure your significant other has the help/accountability he or she needs to ensure this is never a problem again.

5.) Have you ever been addicted to anything? If so, what? Is this still an issue? - This question covers drugs, alcohol, and other pertinent issues that need to be known.

6.) Have you maintained sexual purity? If not, when was the last time you had sex? - The last question is to figure out if the person still has a problem with fornication.

7.) Do you have STI's? -If you're going to eventually marry someone, it's important to know this one.

8.) Have you ever purposefully looked at porn before? If so, is this still a problem? If it's not a problem, when was the last time you looked at porn? - If your significant other currently has a problem with porn, that's a good way to realize you need to end the relationship.

9.) Have you ever purposefully looked at child porn? If so, is this still a problem? - Child porn and adult porn are quite different, and this question can gauge whether your significant other has a problem with pedophilia. Are you going to be able to trust them around children?

10.) Are you in debt? If so, how much and what is your goal to get out of debt?- This gives you an idea if you will be struggling in a marriage because the other person is unwise with their money.

These are tough and sometimes awkward questions, but they must be asked. Some of the responses to these will be "deal breakers" and others will elicit a response from you that provides the ability to guide them to someone who can help them work it out, such as the road to being debt-free. Of course show grace at all times when speaking with your significant other on issues such as these. Don't harbor a judgmental attitude towards him or her. Be kind and gracious in your responses, even if you have to end the relationship.

You might be thinking, "Well, they're saved now and that's all in the past, so it's all okay." And yes, we have to show grace to those who have been redeemed from those things, but some of the issues discussed above can be lifelong struggles. Marriage is for life. If you decide to marry someone who struggled with some of those issues and they relapsed, things will be extremely difficult. What if they decide that divorcing is okay or that they know you'll never divorce so they'll continue living on in the past sins they committed? It's very important to think and pray about these things, talking with your parents and pastor, instead of just "jumping into it." Marriage is serious business and should not be taken lightly.

Those are just a few important questions to ask. I'll be back with more questions for next time. Perhaps you have some you think need to be added to my list. Let me know in the comments below!