Marriage will bring out the best and worst parts of you and your spouse. It will challenge you to love unconditionally and it will require you to give selflessly… always.
Are you ready to make that commitment?
Here are three questions to ask yourself before heading into a lifelong commitment of marriage. If your answers aren’t quite where you want them to be, please communicate that with your partner.
1. Why am I getting married?
Most people ask the question, “Who do I want to marry?” but neglect to answer, “Why am I getting married?” If we were to ask you this question… could you answer it in an honest way? What is your driving motivation for wanting to get married?
NOTE: We believe that financial merging (having two sets of income instead of one), a desire to move into a sexually intimate relationship, and familial pressure are not, in and of themselves, valid reasons to get married.
2. Am I financially ready to get married?
Financial problems do not go away in marriage. In fact, they multiply. Are you financially ready to take on this commitment? Will your financial situation compliment the marriage or will it complicate the marriage? One of the top factors in divorce is money. Are you financially ready to get married? Do you have a stable job? Are you out of (or minimizing) debt?
NOTE: We believe that at least one partner should be out of school/college and have a full-time, stable job prior to marriage. In addition, we recommend that you enter into marriage with minimal or no debt and a $1k emergency fund in place (see Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps).
3. Does my partner meet my standards?
Yes, you can, and should, have realistically high standards when it comes to your partner. This is someone you will spend the rest of your life with! They will raise your kids and enter into your family. It’s okay to expect a lot from this person’s character.
NOTE: We created a “non-negotiables” list while we were dating. We both listed out things that we 100% would not compromise on. We’d encourage you to do the same. Obviously, this is a little hard when you’re hoping your partner is “the one,” but spend a few minutes objectively listing out traits you’re looking for in a partner. Do they need to want to have kids? Do they have the same view of money as I do? Do they follow Jesus? If you can’t put a checkmark by all of your non-negotiables when you think of your partner, that might mean it’s time to have a tough conversation.
Were you happy with your internal answers as you read through this? Great! That might mean you’re ready to get married.
Not super pumped? That’s okay, too. Engagement (and dating) is a process, not an event. It’s better to work through these things now than when you’re married.
You got this!