Choosing someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It requires a lot of wisdom.
When a couple dates, they tend to overlook their mate’s bad habits because they’re so caught up in the euphoria of their relationship. Even worse, they think, “That behavior will change once we’re married.”
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that your spouse will change in the ways you hope they will. Which is why it is wise to ask hard questions of your future spouse, of your relationship, and of yourself before you make a lifelong commitment.
Author David Gudgel offers couples advice about questions they should ask before they get engaged. While purchasing a car, David made sure that it had three critical dashboard gauges: oil pressure, engine coolant, and the charging system. The information provided by those three gauges would increase the likelihood that he would avoid problems with the car.
The same metaphor applies to relationships. Three “gauges” help couples spot problems before they become bigger down the road:
- The Spiritual Gauge – Christ should be the foundation of your relationship. Problems arise when you allow your significant other to take His place.
- The Relational Gauge – Look for three things:
- Do each of you love others more than yourself?
- Is the direction of your life moving toward qualities of love, mercy, and grace?
- Have you each forgiven those who have hurt you in the past?
- The Identity Gauge – There is a difference between being full of yourself and realizing your full potential. The first comes out of an unhealthy heart full of pride; the second comes from a grateful heart.
David Gudgel is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged” to help young couples ask honest questions that need answering before entering into engagement and marriage.
David serves as the Director of Church Health for Northern California Venture Church Network, after ministering for forty years as a lead pastor in California and Arizona.
David Gudgel’s book Before You Get Engaged is full of insight and wisdom that will help you examine your heart and your relationship before you make a lasting commitment. It’s available for a gift of any amount. For more information, visit our website or call1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
We have many other great resources that will help prepare you for marriage, like our Ready to Wed curriculum. It’s a great tool produced by the marriage team here at Focus on the Family that pastors and churches can use to mentor engaged couples.