Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pre-engagement: 5 questions to ask yourselves

by David Powlison & John Yenchko
P&R Publishing, 1987, 36 pages

The subtitle is a good summary of its contents: “5 Questions to ask yourselves.” Authors Powlison and Yenchko want to help couples assess whether they are ready to marry by asking them pointed questions. Each of the five main questions is coupled with several follow-ups. For example, the first question asks, “Are you both Christians?” In the pages that follow the authors note what being a Christian means – that God is first in your heart, above all others – and then ask:

Are you looking to marriage to make you happy or complete, to give you identity or purpose? When this happens, Christ is no longer your Lord in a practical way.

The authors are both involved in the biblical counseling movement (as part of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation) so their questions are consistently biblical, and consistently helpful... even if they might make couples uncomfortably aware of their shortcomings. The other four main questions are:
  • Do you have a track record of solving problems biblically (follow up questions: “Do you know how to solve problems biblically?” “Where do you need to change and grow to become a wiser person?”)
  • Are you heading in the same direction in life?
  • What do those who know you well think of your relationship?
  • Do you want to marry this person? Are you willing to accept each other just as you are?
At just 36 pages this booklet is not comprehensive, but it is a great, and inexpensive way to start assessing your relationship in light of clear, direct, biblical truths. Marriage is among the biggest decisions you can make in your life, so it is that much more important that it is a God-honoring decision.

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