Question: We have been approached by a young man who is interested in dating our daughter with the hopeful intention of marriage. What are some questions we (as parents) and our daughter need to discuss with him before they get too serious in their relationship?
Israel Wayne answers:
It is important for a couple to know in advance of their relationship what their non-negotiables are. Some of the big issues that almost never get discussed until after a couple is engaged (or amazingly sometimes married) include:
a. Children: Birth control? Number of kids? Child discipline methods?
b. Education choices: What all is on the table for you as an educational path for your children? Private school, Christian school, public school, homeschooling?
c. Finances: Are you a saver or spender? Do you have debt? Do you know how to budget?
d. Conflict resolution: What is your approach to conflict? Do you retreat or escalate when hurt or angry? Who would you go to if you reach an impasse in your relationship?
e. Health issues: Food allergies, food preferences, weird diets, views on vaccinations, approach to doctors and hospitals for children’s health, home birth or hospital…
f. Trauma: Physical or sexual abuse history.
g. Accountability: What structures do you have in place in your life to help you succeed? Especially for men: What filtering and accountability software do you use? Who is your accountability partner? Who would you turn to if you are struggling with sexual sin? Have you experienced any addictions in the past / present: Alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc?
h. Doctrine: They should never bend on primary doctrines. They should know which secondary doctrines they are willing to flex on (my Foundations in Faith curriculum will help with that).
I think a lot of these issues need to be discussed and understood early in the relationship because they can be deal busters later. It’s harder to break up 6-12 months down the road after the two have given their hearts to each other and then they discover they have a major incompatibility.
It’s a good idea to begin having discussions with your teens about their own views on these issues before they begin pursuing romantic relationships. They should begin to study the Scripture on these topics and begin to apply Biblical principles to these vital areas of life. This is a great time for you as parents to help guide them as they are looking toward their future and considering the kind of person with whome they may spend their life.
We would encourage your family to listen to the story of how God brought my wife and I together in marriage (without dating or courting). While it’s not a model we believe everyone else must follow, we do believe your family will be inspired by how God worked in our lives and helped us experience his plan for purity. Download the audiobook/ebook combo of What God Has Joined Together.
Learn more about Israel Wayne and Family Renewal, LLC visit https://www.IsraelWayne.com and https://www.ChristianWorldview.net
Other Links of Interest
Israel & Brook’s blog
Family Renewal Facebook Page
Israel Wayne’s Facebook Author Page
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Family Renewal YouTube Podcast