Before starting on this journey, ask yourself just one question. Only you know the true answer, and this answer can determine your own future and the future of your relationships. Are you ready for a lifelong commitment?
Take a good look at your partner. Look at the person you hold in your arms. You are preparing to commit to this person for the next 50 years. Think really hard about it. Changing partners is not an option for Christians. Lifelong commitment means different things for different people. Friendship is how we choose the person we commit to for life.
One of the most important questions we have to ask when considering marriage is: "How well do we know each other?"
Answering this involves two equally important aspects: duration and depth. How long have you known each other for? And how deeply? (You can easily stay for a long time at a level of superficial knowledge)
It’s a simple formula: the longer and more profoundly you know someone before marriage, the happier you’ll be as a couple. The better you know someone before marriage, the better you can understand them and discover the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship.
You may wonder why you have to answer this now. You may hesitate. But why? Maybe you’re worried about what your partner thinks. Or maybe you do not want to confront the truth of your relationship. Keep in mind that ignorance is not always bliss. You can answer this question together now ... or later, during your marriage. It's your decision. Sooner or later, the answer will come up.
More and more studies show that getting married without careful consideration can make things harder for the couple later on. Problems and disappointments may arise, compromises are inevitable, and relationships can develop over time in ways that you might not expect.
Do not ignore the warning signs!
The perfect partner ... I think most of you know there is no such thing. If there is any advice to follow, it might be to ask questions, and to check if the answers you get match the actions.
If there are any warning signs, do not ignore them. Interact with each other's friends (in groups), visit their parents (your partner is the product of their relationship). If you can, see how they respond to stress and pressure (just so you can see how adaptable they are, and how they handle obstacles). Build a true friendship; pray together; avoid physical temptations...
Friendship is often based on innocence - or lack of experience. We do not even try to find out what to ask. Or we don’t think we have the right to ask such questions. Often we assume everything is the way it should be.