Our Life on Christ

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

20 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Get Married

Photo Credit: Roger Kirby

Years ago we read the below list from Oprah outlining 20 questions you and your partner should ask before tying the proverbial knot. We are not big Opah fans (don’t shoot us, please) but we think the questions, written by author Susan Piver, are a good starting point. Not everything can be planned but these 20 talking points will give you a good idea if the two of you have compatible ideas about life.

Of course, we think question 19 should be addressed before anything and question 20 could be a moot point based on 19's answer (go ahead, scroll down and read them). Agree? A relationship built upon two different foundations, whatever they are, will find it hard to be steady. Also, questions 9 and 10 should definitely be addressed after you are Mister and Misses "So-and-So" if you want to fully honor God with your relationship.

Believe us, the answers to the questions are not so obvious. At least 18 of these (if not all of them) will come up as a point of contention at some point during your marriage. We personally do not know of any marriage that hasn’t dealt with question 1 through question 20. In our eight years of marriage, we sure have!

20 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Question 1: What percentage of our income are we prepared to spend to purchase and maintain our home on a monthly or annual basis?

Question 2: Who is responsible for keeping our house and yard cared for and organized? Are we different in our needs for cleanliness and organization?

Question 3: How much money do we earn together? Now? In one year? In five years? Ten? Who is responsible for which portion? Now? In one year? Five? Ten?

Question 4: What is our ultimate financial goal regarding annual income, and when do we anticipate achieving it? By what means and through what efforts?

Question 5: What are our categories of expense (rent, clothing, insurance, travel)? How much do we spend monthly, annually, in each category? How much do we want to be able to spend?

Question 6: How much time will each of us spend at work, and during what hours? Do we begin work early? Will we prefer to work into the evening?

Question 7: If one of us doesn't want to work, under what circumstances, if any, would that be okay?

Question 8: How ambitious are you? Are we comfortable with the other's level of ambition?

Question 9: Am I comfortable giving and receiving love sexually? In sex, does my partner feel my love for him or her?

Question 10: Are we satisfied with the frequency of our lovemaking? How do we cope when our desire levels are unmatched? A little? A lot? For a night? A week? A month? A year? More?

Question 11: Do we eat meals together? Which ones? Who is responsible for the food shopping? Who prepares the meals? Who cleans up afterward?

Question 12: Is each of us happy with the other's approach to health? Does one have habits or tendencies that concern the other (e.g., smoking, excessive dieting, poor diet)?

Question 13: What place does the other's family play in our family life? How often do we visit or socialize together? If we have out-of-town relatives, will we ask them to visit us for extended periods? How often?

Question 14: If we have children, what kind of relationship do we hope our parents will have with their grandchildren? How much time will they spend together?

Question 15: Will we have children? If so, when? How many? How important is having children to each of us?

Question 16: How will having a child change the way we live now? Will we want to take time off from work, or work a reduced schedule? For how long? Will we need to rethink who is responsible for housekeeping?

Question 17: Are we satisfied with the quality and quantity of friends we currently have? Would we like to be more involved socially? Are we overwhelmed socially and need to cut back on such commitments?

Question 18: What are my partner's needs for cultivating or maintaining friendships outside our relationship? Is it easy for me to support those needs, or do they bother me in any way?

Question 19: Do we share a religion? Do we belong to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple? More than one? If not, would our relationship benefit from such an affiliation?

Question 20: Does one of us have an individual spiritual practice? Is the practice and the time devoted to it acceptable to the other? Does each partner understand and respect the other's choices?

Have you dealt with these issues in your marriage? If you are not married, do you think these are good questions to ask before doing so? What questions would you add? Leave a comment below!


  1. Good questions. Even after seven months of marriage, I know we've already run into most of these discussions. The more you can talk about these things before you get married and are actually dealing with it, the better. 

    To answer the question about our ultimate financial goal and how much we want to make in a year? I'd say the sky's the limit. With God, all things are possible, right!? 

  2. Thanks for linking up with my blog, this is an interesting post, although I don't think 9 and 10 should really come up before marriage, if you are seeking to live Biblically and stay pure till you're married :) I wanted to explain too that I am taking you off the link up because it looks like you live in the USA and my blog hop is for UK blogs. Sorry about that!

  3. Thanks for visiting, Rhoda! Sorry about that...I have only seen the "Linky" thing one other time and I didn't know what it was...I was really kind of seeing what would happen! I understand getting axed! ;-)

    Yes, you are very right about points 9 and 10 and we meant to address that. I am going to update the post now! Thanks for pointing that out!

  4. Yes, Amber, God is amazing and anything is possible with Him!

    The first year of marriage can be a crazy one. Ten months (to the day) after we were married, I moved out! Marriage is a lifelong learning and growing experience. We didn't talk about any of these points before we were married but, after many, many ("many" x 100) ups and downs, we can finally go through each 20 points and feel confident that we know where the other person stands and feel compatible as a couple.

  5. Yes, Amber, God is amazing and anything is possible through Him!

    The first year of marriage can be a crazy one. Ten months (to the day) after we were married, I moved out! I couldn't stand it anymore. Somehow, though, after six months of being separated and going through divorce proceedings, we started dating again. Weird. A few years and a child later, we were back in the same place!

    Marriage is a lifelong learning and growing experience. We didn't talk about any of the points listed on our blog before we were married but, after many, many ("many" x 100) ups and downs, we can finally go through each 20 points and feel confident that we know where the other person stands and feel compatible as a couple. We can only thank God for this!

  6. Great questions.  I will have to use these.

  7. Thanks for visiting, Lady K (and for retweeting the link)! They really are pretty good questions--I wish we would have had these before we took the plunge!

  8. I stumbled across this article. For a site named 'our life on Christ' I am amazed at how devoid of Jesus and his teaching these questions are, they are so wordly and man-centred.

  9. We agree, they are very man-centered. However, if you read the paragraphs preceding the questions, you would know that these are not questions we created and the reason we posted them is because, while we are striving to live for and imitate Jesus, these are still things that have come up in our (almost) nine years of marriage. Before we got married and in the early years in our marriage, we were less mature (as people and in our relationship with Christ), much like many engaged people who we know.
    If they can ask these questions before they get married (not all of them, like we said in the paragraphs before the questions), they can at least make sure they are on the same page with these simple things.

    If we were to write our own list, we would probably suggest that couples pray together and ask God to help them determine (based on what we have experienced thus far in our walk):

    1. When will we pray together?

    2. What will our life of service look like?

    3. Will we attend a traditional church or hold Bible studies with a small community?

    4. Do we agree with the traditional school system for our children or will
    we homeschool?

    5. When will we have family devotionals together?

    6. How will we discipline our children?

    7. Resting is important. What does that look like for us?

    8. How will we give financially?

    There are many questions that people living for Christ should ask before
    getting married...we just cannot think of any more at this moment. You may
    think that the above questions are not necessary, either, because the Bible
    gives us many answers. But because everyone is different, everyone has
    different interpretations. So, for example, some may see the "rod" of
    discipline as figurative while others see it as literal. It is good to
    discuss these seemingly apparent answers before they become a problem. No
    matter what the issue, though, we believe that a strong prayer life and
    Bible study is the key to solving marital problems. We will probably write
    another post and expand on this subject.

    Thanks for your comment.