I remember going home to my parents’ house for a visit during my 20s and being surprised when my mom gave me a copy of the book 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged by H. Norman Wright. I may have been interested in a guy at the time (I don’t honestly remember), but I definitely wasn’t dating anyone, so her latest Christian bookstore find amused me. (I spoofed it in this classic Boundless video.)
However, several years later, when I was seriously dating someone, I dug out the book, and we went through the questions. That relationship didn’t end in marriage. Two years after that, I pulled it out once again, while I was dating my now-husband, Kevin. (And, obviously, that relationship did end in marriage.)
In 101 Questions, couples counselor Norm Wright provides a series of questions relating to spiritual matters, finances, family of origin, past relationships and even quirks and habits. If you’re in a relationship that’s moving in a serious direction, I highly recommend Wright’s book as a pre-engagement step. Kevin and I used the questions — some of which are fun (“What is your best childhood memory?”) and others which are more serious (“What are your views on child discipline?”) — on date nights. They illuminated areas where we held different convictions and also showed us our natural similarities. Plus, the questions simply allowed us to get to know one another better.
Another great resource for seriously dating and engaged couples is Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. The questions in this book go beneath the surface to explore overall compatibility and readiness for marriage. Among the seven questions the authors say couples should address are:
1. Have you faced the myths of marriage with honesty?
2. Can you identify your love style?
3. Do you know how to fight a good fight?
If you’re looking to grow your relationship and find clarity on marriage potential, questions are a great way to go deeper. You may not be ready to take the relationship to the next level right now, but with 101 questions to choose from, you can at least get things heading in the right direction. (By the way, I’m thankful my mom gave me that book. I used it twice and then lent it out to several friends.)