One blog commenter, who is in a serious relationship, recently asked whether she should bring up the issue of pornography with her boyfriend. The answer is a resounding yes. A wise and wonderful married friend of mine compiled a list of the “hard questions” to ask a potential spouse. She created the list based on heartbreaking circumstances she witnessed in her friends’ marriages. She emphasizes asking your intended very specific questions. Not just, “Have you viewed pornography?” but “When and for how long?”
This is not meant to say that if your guy doesn’t measure up in one of these areas, you must dump him, my friend points out. It is meant to help you honestly consider what life will be like with this person in the long run, and figure out how to prevent future trouble.
These questions would be appropriate to ask someone you are engaged to or courting for the purpose of marriage; many of them apply to both sexes, though I’m phrasing them in the masculine here.
- Is he a virgin? How do you know?
- Does he have a sex addiction? How do you know?
- Has he ever looked at pornography? How do you know? What is he looking at, how often, for how long, and what exactly he was doing to deal with the problem?
- Has he ever used alcohol or drugs?
- If he has had sex before or has taken intravenous drugs, does he have HIV or any other STD? How do you know?
- Does he have the same opinions about birth control that you do? (Do you share the same convictions about appropriate methods?)
This list of questions may come across as a downer, but it shouldn’t. Many of the comments on Ted’s post made a good point that struggles with sexual sin are prevalent in our culture. I appreciated the stories that demonstrated how open communication between the man and woman uncovered sin and allowed the couple to address it, before marriage—many with successful results.
Don’t think of this as a “good enough” checklist (although we have a few more here); it is a tool to address sin and strategize about purity before you enter a lifelong covenant.