“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3) What a great question to consider if you want to advance your relationship from dating to getting engaged! Do you have the type of relationship where, for the most part, you CAN agree on the important issues? It’s one thing to enjoy dating him or her, but it’s another to marry each other.
“Engagement is a serious state. Listen to these words: ‘Dating is one thing, but signing up for the rest of your life is liable to give anyone a few second thoughts. The challenge is deciding if you’re suffering from garden-variety cold feet or what I call, “frozen footsies” —a much rarer malady.” (H. Norm Wright, from Crosswalk.com article Should You Get Engaged?
Consider: are each of you ready for marriage? And are you good for each other where you can become good marriage partners for life?
“If you are dating someone seriously, how peaceful do you feel when you think about marrying that person? Committing your heart to someone is a huge decision. If you choose poorly, you could suffer years of heartache or wind up abused or divorced. However, if you select a marriage partner wisely, you could enjoy a lifetime together of intimate love and passion.” (Maria Taviano)
Maria makes a great point. This is such an important decision in which you really need to be wise when making it. To help you with this determination, we encourage you to read the following CBN.com article:
Beyond what Maria wrote:
“Are you friends? That is foundational. Are you both committed to living for Christ? That is essential. Do you spur one another on in your faith and service to God? Are you together looking toward a God-honoring, fruitful marriage? These are questions to answer.” (Candice Watters)
And there is more. Do you marry if you have a great chemical reaction with each other? But is that the most important consideration to make before approaching engagement?
To prayerfully consider what Candice has written to someone wrestling with this problem, please read:
Before Getting Engaged:
- Would You Marry You?
- Are You All Dated Out?
- Do You Make A Good Couple?
These are 3 important questions to settle in one’s heart and mind that author Dave Gudgel poses (among others) to those considering marriage.
• “Would You Marry You?
A dating or engagement relationship, or ultimately a marriage, is only as healthy as the individuals in it. Relational health is vitally connected to individual health. It begins with you. That’s why you need to first ask yourself ‘Would you marry you?’ before you ask ‘Will you marry me?'”
Dave goes on to explain more pertaining to this question (that we encourage you to read). And then he asks:
• “Are You All Dated Out?
If you get married before you’re done dating, you’ll be susceptible to past and future dating dangers. You can be burned by an old flame or fall into a new fling. Marriage is meant to be a one-man-one-woman “till death do us part” unconditional commitment —for life! Without this kind of lifelong commitment, you could find yourself with regrets.”
And living a life without regrets is important. That’s why Dave Gudgel poses this very important question (and gives additional reasonings related to that question) that you need to prayerfully consider. Here’s another:
• “Do You Make A Good Couple?
From the beginning of time, God said, ‘It’s not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ (Genesis 2:18) God created a man and woman to complement each other —in body, soul and spirit. Together they can do more and be more than they would if they lived life alone. Their differences and similarities mold them each into better people.”
Please, please, please don’t just look at the obvious as you answer this question. It’s important to dig deeper. Having fun together, and enjoying each other’s company, isn’t enough reason to progress into your relationship into marriage. You need to make sure that you can work together as a good marital team for the rest of your lives.
If you’re having a difficult time resolving conflict in healthy ways, realize that this will only intensity after marriage. It’s important to be able to work things out to find ways where a compromise is made where BOTH of you are satisfied. This other person may be enjoyable to be with, but that doesn’t mean it would be good for you to marry.
Should you Be Getting Engaged?
To learn more about the above questions and more, please read this Boundless.org article:
Additional points and questions to consider before getting engaged, and certainly before marrying, are:
“If you’re thinking of committing your life to someone for the rest of your life, identify the non-negotiables. Don’t do this after the fact.
Consider these non-negotiables:
- If your partner hurts you physically, don’t proceed. It won’t get better.
- Emotional abuse is more difficult to identify. But it can involve lack of respect, controlling, etc.
- Does the other person put you before their parents’ wishes? Or are they controlled by their parents? The scriptural teaching of ‘leave their mother and father’ includes emotional as well as physical.
- Don’t plan on a marriage fixing your current problems. It compounds them. Work on fixing them now, but if you can’t repair them…
- If you feel inhibited in what you talk about and can’t bring up your needs and concerns now, it won’t improve. Try new approaches now.
- If you find yourself saying ‘I love him or her, but…’ why would you think of proceeding?”
You can read more from reading the Crosswalk.com article written by H. Norm Wright at: “Should You Get Engaged?“
There are a lot of questions to ask and then pray about before you would commit to getting engaged. Here’s a link to another set of questions you should individually ask yourself. And then you should ask the person that you are considering getting engaged to:
Marriage is a very sacred commitment to make. It goes beyond your current happiness and enjoyment in being together as you receive his or her love at this time in your life. Please proceed only after you have been very prayerful and careful, asking God for His wisdom and guidance and confirmation that He will bless your union.
As it pertains to marriage:
“If happiness is our primary goal, we’ll all get a divorce as soon as happiness seems to wane. If receiving love is our primary goal, we’ll dump our spouse as soon as they seem to be less attentive. But if we marry for the glory of God, to model His love and commitment to our children, and to reveal His witness to the world, divorce makes no sense” (Gary Thomas from the article. “God’s Design for Marriage”)
So choose wisely. Keep in mind that now is the time to consider this —not after the wedding. It’s especially relevant that God looks at marriage as a sacred commitment. And so should we.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
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