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10 things Christian couples should talk about before marriage

10 things Christian couples should talk about before marriage

by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun


Hi Bi-blings, it's been a hot minute I did a post on relationship and marriage. I guess it's timely because my 2 years wedding anniversary is next week and I'm in the romantic love space so I figured I might as well.

So why is it important to discuss these things? Well, it's necessary because it eliminates a lot of headaches you may have along the way. It may not eliminate it all completely but there won't be any surprises. Imagine if after you said "I do", the person reveals that they are not interested in children and you want 2 kids. Where would you start from? There are so many conflicts that can be avoided altogether by having these difficult conversations before you say I do.

Money

Listen, money is very important in marriage. If you're not talking about your money habits now, you are setting yourself up for hard conversations down the line. Ask questions about beliefs when it comes to savings and investments. Do they believe in the supernatural as their sole source of funds or do they believe that man must work and God blesses the work of their hands? Do they believe in the husband being the sole provider? Do they believe my money is mine and yor money is ours? Are they risk-averse when it comes to investment? Do they believe in investing for their retirement? How do they feel about who should earn more or less? Do we have joint accounts or separate accounts? Who will be your next of kin in important documents? Do you have debts? What is your definition of affordable? Do you believe in budgets? The answers to these questions might be a huge revelation to you and it will prepare you for the future together.

Home management

Listen, you need to talk about expectations when it comes to managing the home. Who will be primarily responsible for cooking? How about cleaning? Do they love fresh food daily? Are you able to meet their expectations? Are they open to ordering from caterers and freezing it? Do they expect the house to be tidy 24//7 or don't mind a little mess sometimes? Who is supposed to do the laundry? Are we outsourcing? The answers to the questions will prepare you for when you marry. It is very important to cover home management expectations that way no one feels cheated when the onus for everything inadvertently falls on them.

Sex

I once heard a story where the husband was completely against oral sex because he believed it was a sin. As believers, they had kept themselves before they said "I do" but never got around to exploring each other's sexual beliefs. Listen, because you are keeping yourself does not mean you can't safely discuss sexual expectations as a couple. You may not know what you like or don't like since you are keeping yourself but you can absolutely converse about what you may or may not be open to. Do they believe in withholding sex to gain a favourable response to a request? What are their sexual fantasies? What are their expectations when it comes to frequency? What are your views on masturbation? Do you believe porn is okay for our intimacy?

The guideline for Christian sex is not to harm or demean each other, not sear the conscience of your partner or starve each other of sex. Outside this, anything goes in my opinion.

Secrets

Do you have a criminal record? What did you do? Have you ever assaulted anyone? Do you have children anywhere in the world? Have you ever been married or engaged? Is there receipt of you acting a fool anywhere? Have you ever been involved in a criminal cover-up? Are you wanted in any country? Do you have any health conditions you may be unproud of? Is there anything that can possibly ruin us in the future? Do you have any addictions?

Children

This is very important as well. How many children do you want? How many years after marriage do you want kids? What happens if you can't have children biologically? Do you want to adopt kids? How would you want to deal with fertility issues? What if we have a miscarriage? What are your feelings on in vitro fertilization, or surrogacy? Do you believe in gentle parenting? Are you going to take parental leave to help parent your newborn? Do you care about the gender of your children? How many years spacing between each child? Would you be open to taking a break for some years professionally to raise the kids? Who will be our children's godparent? Are you open to permanent family planning after having all our children?

Faith

What church do we attend after saying I do? Do you believe in tithes and offering? Do you believe in speaking in tongues? Do you believe in eternal salvation? How would you feel if God calls me to be a pastor? Are you up for complete submission to the church? Are you open to going to church more than once a week? Do you believe in submitting to spiritual fathers and mothers? 

Conflict management

When we experience conflict...Do we use swear words at each other? Do we yell at each other? Do we ask each other for space? Will someone have to sleep on the couch or in the guest room? Are we open to sharing our issues with a trusted spiritual leader? Do we agree to never go to bed without resolving our issues? Do we stop doing our responsibilities because of conflict? Are you open to seeing a counsellor or therapist?

Past trauma

This is a very sensitive space so please proceed with caution and non-judgemental energy. Were you sexually abused as a child or as an adult? Do you think you have healed completely? Would you be open to therapy to explore your past trauma? Were you physically abused as a child? Did anything ever happen to you that changed you or your outlook on life?

Divorce and Prenup

Do you believe in divorce? Do you believe that it's okay to leave for any reason? What realistically would cause you to leave the marriage? Do you believe in staying together forever? Do you believe in Prenups?  

Family expectations

What comes first, our new family or the extended family? How much do we give to the family monthly? How do we manage our parents when they are older? Do they move in with us or live in retirement homes?

There are other things you should definitely bring up, this list is not exhaustible. I hope it helps your relationship to look beyond the loving feeling that leaves you intoxicated and talk about hard things. Love never fails for sure, so don't be afraid of the relationship ending because you bring this up.

As you converse about these things, know that people say stuff they don't mean sometimes. Be discerning. Ask it in natural conversations. Bring it up hypothetically in other conversations. I've heard of many stories where people said stuff and did the complete opposite in marriage. The most important thing is to lead in love, honesty and commitment. Honesty is so important! Don't answer with want you think they want to hear but the truth about your beliefs.  Marriage is a long-term commitment, you don't get to say "Peace, I'm out" when it gets hard (except cases of abuse of course).

Here is a caveat, things change and that's okay. A year down the marriage, your beliefs or agreements can change. It is important to make room for change and discuss it when it does happen. If you keep it to yourself, you would suffer and that's not God's plan for you. Talk about changes, make room for adjustments and continue the flow of things. 

I will leave this bible verse with you, I believe it is the backbone of love for us as believers.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.

With love,
Bibi

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