Many couples enter marriage unrealistically. God wants us to be full of faith but “wise as serpents.” With the great wealth of literature, videos and tapes available to us on the subjects of marriage, sex, finances, communication and so forth, no couple should enter marriage unaware of Satan’s devices to undermine and destroy relationships.
This session will help you to assess your expectations and perceptions of marriage and will end with the two of you working on a cooperative mission. It will help you to know if you are called together in this mission.
CALLED TOGETHER: Reasons for Marriage
Answer the following questions without the help of your fiancé.
1. In your own words, define marriage.
2. Have you thought through your reasons for marrying your fiancé? List 10 of those reasons.
3. What confirmation do you and your fiancé have that God is calling you together? Please elaborate.
4. Why is this the right time in your life to marry?
5. Marriage is for the mature. List some characteristics and evidences of maturity that you see in yourself and your fiancé.
Expectations and Perceptions of Marriage
A. Without the help of your fiance, list ten expectations you will have of your fiancé when you are married. For example, a husband might expect his wife never to be employed outside the home, to balance the checkbook, to perform all household duties. A wife might expect her husband to be the head of the family, to administer all child discipline, to help with housework or to decrease sports activities with his friends.
B. Without the help of your fiancé, consider your expectations in the area of household chores. Below is a list of chores. Who will be responsible for the completion of these chores? Mark H for husband, W for wife or S for shared.
• Washing dishes
• Cleaning vehicles
• Washing windows
• Cleaning bathrooms
• Meal preparation
• Collecting trash
• Making the bed
• Grocery shopping
• Vehicle maintenance
When meeting with your premarital counselors, take the time to discuss any differences you discover regarding chore and household expectations.
The following are some tips for you and your fiancé to keep in mind:
• Make chores a team effort.
• Decide which chores each person is responsible for.
• Share less desirable chores.
• If there’s a chore that you desire to be completed a certain way, then you should do that task.
• Keep in mind, chores don’t have to be equally divided.
[Below is a partial list of the challenges the workbook poses]
How would you react to the following circumstances?
• You and your spouse are scheduled to work opposite shifts.
• Your spouse no longer has time for daily Bible devotions.
• You cannot get along with your sister-in-law.
• You have a communication problem with your mother-in-law.
• Your spouse spends more money on himself/herself than on you.
• You discover that your spouse cannot let go of his/her mother.
• A job change requires you and your spouse to move to the other side of the country.
Families of origin play a vital role when two persons are considering a lifetime together. Discuss your feelings about your parents and your future in-laws by answering the following questions.
1. Have you communicated to your parents your desire to be married? Yes ___ No ___
2. Are your father and mother in agreement with your plans for marriage? Yes ___ No ___
3. Do your parents agree with the length of your engagement and the date of the wedding?
Yes ___ No ___
4. Have your parents expressed any hesitations concerning your desire to be married?
Yes ___ No ___
5. Have your parents met your fiancé’s parents? Yes ___ No ___
6. Do you feel your parents are supportive of the person you want to marry? Yes ___ No ___
7. Are your parents born-again followers of Christ? Yes ___ No ___
8. Will you attend your parents’ church? Yes ___ No ___
9. Have you asked your parents for any wisdom or advice that they may have for you?
Yes ___ No ___ If so, what advice have they shared with you?
10. How can you maintain a spirit of honor toward your parents after you’re married?
11. How often do you plan to visit your parents after you’re married?
12. How will you respond to advice from your parents that you don’t agree with?
13. Are there other matters concerning your parents or your fiancé’s parents that you have questions about?
14. I would like my marriage to be like my parents’ marriage in the following ways:
15. I desire my marriage to differ from my parents’ marriage in these ways:
This worksheet came from the excellent workbook titled, Called Together, written by Steve Prokopchak, published by House to House Publications. This book asks the difficult questions that all couples must answer before and after they say “I do.”
We were only able to extract a portion of the excellent material that was offered in this chapter. They have additional questions to ask each other that we didn’t include. In this particular chapter there’s also a “Parent Questionnaire” that’s intended to give to your parents to complete and give to your pre-marital counselors to help you work through possible complicating circumstances before you’re married.
The workbook itself also supplies down-to-earth advice and biblical wisdom. Plus there’s post marital checkups on communication, sexual relations, emotional needs, goal, budgeting, and many others.
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