For those of you considering marriage, use the following questions to initiate conversations and exploration. Take time to sit down privately and answer the questions. Then sit down with your prospective mate and go on an expedition together. Your talking probably will stimulate more questions. Share your feelings as much as possible. Have your partner reflect back to you what he (or she) has heard you say.
Finally, discuss ways you can compromise and come to a better understanding about how you both want these areas in your relationship changed or improved. [You should do this immediately after you answer each question with your prospective mate. That way you don’t get sidetracked away from discussing this for your future lives together.]
Be specific and set some goals.
Dealing With Conflict:
• How did your parents deal with conflict?
• When conflict arose in your family, what happened (silence, withdrawal, explosive anger, open discussion, etc.)?
• How as conflict resolved?
• Did one parent always seem to “win in the end?”
• How was love demonstrated in your family of origin?
• How were you disciplined?
• Was the discipline harsh or suited to the offense?
• Did you live up to your parents’ expectations?
• How did you learn about money management?
• Who took primary responsibility for money matters in your home?
• What significant patterns do you have today that reflect your family’s view of finances?
• What was your family’s philosophy or motto regarding money (not what was said, but what was lived)?
• Was appropriate physical affection shown in your family?
• Was sex a taboo subject?
• How were nudity and sexual issues handled in your family?
• What was the underlying tone in your home regarding sex and your sexuality?
• Was it safe to talk about feelings?
• Who was the communicator in your family?
• Were you expected to “read minds?”
• Could you express your emotional needs and receive a proper response?
• What role did your grandparents play in your family?
• Was family loyalty important?
• Were there family secrets that were forbidden subjects for you to discuss?
• Who, besides your parents, could you go to for support and understanding?
• Was having fun as a family “legislated” in your home?
• Did you vacation as a family?
• Was it an enjoyable experience?
• What family activities stand out in your mind?
• Was recreation a leisurely experience or just another arena for competitiveness?
• How was God’s character portrayed in your family?
• Was tradition more important than having a true relationship with God?
• What one significant message about yourself and about God did you come out of childhood believing?
• Do you feel a true sense of God’s acceptance and love?
These questions come from the book, “WHEN VICTIMS MARRY” written by Don and Jan Frank. It is published by Here’s Life Publishers. Unfortunately this book is no longer in print. However, you can visit their web site to view other materials they do have available by going to Janfrank.org.
We are thankful for the authors Don and Jan Frank. Most of all, they demonstrate by the testimony of healing in their lives, that you CAN reach out for healing and help. You don’t have to live as victims for the rest of your life. Thankfully and most importantly, God redeems for good despite what the enemy of our faith causes for harm!