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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I Needed & More, July 15, 2009
This review is from: Pre-Engagement: Five Questions to Ask Yourselves (Resources for Changing Lives) (Paperback)
I went to a marriage conference in town at a local church holding the "FIREPROOF LOVE DARE MARRIAGE CONFERENCE". At this event, I ran into a marriage counselor that I know and her husband. I asked her what she would recommend for someone trying to prepare theirself for marriage. She gave me this little book. Very short but very powerful and wonderful advice that helped me tremendiously with every question that I asked her. I would highly recommend getting this book and actually did not know where I could get this book to give to others that are considering marriage. I know this is a short read but a very great step to a wonderful and lasting marriage success!

Buy and read it. You will not regret it!

Here is a few things that is in this booklet...

We will give you and your potential fiancé five questions you can ask yourselves and discus together. Answering these will help you decide on solid grounds, "Should we get married?" We are convinced that the time to ask yourselves some serious questions is be-fore you ask that most serious question, "Will you marry me?" Answering these questions now, before you make the commitment, can prevent the pain of major repair work later.

1. Are You Both Christians?
Marriage is a "covenant of companion-ship." Two people pull together in the same harness. If two people have God first in their lives, they are able to answer with confidence, "Yes, we both know Jesus as our Savior and follow him as our Lord."
Under Christ's lordship you will be able to face with confidence whatever comes your way. Have you believed in Jesus, the unique Son of God the Father, who died in your place, who was raised from the dead to give you the Holy Spirit and the power of a new life, and who will return to give you an immortal life with him?
Being a Christian means that these truths shine in your heart so that you know God and receive his love. Being a Christian is more than a verbal profession of faith in Jesus Christ. It is a way of life. It means in practice that you love and rely on Jesus more than on your spouse. Are you living as a Christian? Or are you making marriage more important than Jesus? Ask-for yourself and for your prospective spouse-"Is Jesus really my Lord?" Is he your number-one priority? The master you listen to? The one you trust more than anything or anyone else?
There are at least four ways in which Jesus' lordship can be compromised when it comes to deciding whether or not to get married.

First, are you looking to marriage to make you happy or complete, to give you identity or purpose? When this happens, Christ is no longer your Lord in a practical way.
Marriage is a wonderful gift from God, but it cannot take God's place. Do you think getting married will provide meaning in your life? Direction? Security? Self-respect? Do you hope marriage will remove a sense of despair, inadequacy, failure, bitterness, or isolation? Do you say to yourself, "If only I could find a husband, then I'd be happy," or "I can finally find love, acceptance, and security if I get married," or "My life is a failure unless I get married"? If so, you are asking too much of marriage.

Be honest with yourself. Deep down, are you looking to marriage for what you hope to get from it?
Or are you aware of what you must give, because you have already gotten from God what you really need?

Second, are you thinking of marrying a non-Christian?
The Bible cleary teaches that Christians should not be "unequally yoked" (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

Third, does either of you have complicating entanglements from past marriages or relationships?
We live in a society of "easy come, easy go." Marriage, sex, and children are not viewed with the sanctity with which the Lord Jesus views them. If Christ is the Lord of your life, you need to determine, according to his Word, whether he says you are free to marry or remarry now.

Fourth, has God given you the gift of singleness?
God sometimes calls people to a fruitful life of ministry as a single person. This possibility is discussed by two very well known singles, Jesus and Paul! (See Matthew 19:11-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, 17-40.)

For Discussion
Jesus Christ is called "Savior" and "Lord." What do these mean in your life?
How do you pray about marriage? Is it "Lord, give me a spouse and then I'll be happy"? Or is it "Lord, help me to be a better person, more worth marrying"?
Are you pretending to be a Christian in order to get a husband or wife?
Have you made a public profession of faith in a Bible-believing church?
Are you both free of prior entanglements from past marriages and/or relationships?
Does either of you have the gift of singleness? Would marriage help or hinder your usefulness to the Lord?

2. Do You Have a Track Record of Solving Problems Biblically?

Problems come up in every relationships. How do you handle them? Because we are all sinners with problems, none of us has a perfect track record here. If you are honest, you will likely answer "Sometimes" or "No" to this question. But the key is not perfection. Rather, is your "no" becoming "sometimes" becoming "more times"? Is there a growing "yes"? The focus is on your maturity. The question of your maturity for marriage has three parts:

Do you know how to solve problems biblically?
Do you do it?
If not, where do you need to change and grow?

3. Are You Heading in the Same Direction in Life?
When the Bible speaks of marriage, it speaks four times of "leaving means you are tied no longer to the direction set by your parents and your single life. Cleaving means you choose to move in the same direction as your spouse.

Leaving Questions
Are you willing to make a break emotionally with your parents?
Failure to do this leads to such problems as: the man who visits his mother every day before returning home to his wife; the man who won't defend his wife against criticism by his parents; the woman who insist that all vacations be taken with her parents; the woman who "goes home to mother" - by phone or physical visit--at the first sign of difficulty. Leaving your parents means you build a new family unity.
Are you willing to make a break financially? Are you taking responsibility to care for yourselves and pay your own way?
Are you willing to break with your friends and your single life? The man can't go out three nights a week with the guys. The woman cannot make her best friends the source of all her emotional and spiritual satisfaction.

Cleaving Questions
Where are you going in your life? What are your gifts and ministry interests? What are you doing with your life to serve the Lord? Can you walk alongside each other gladly? What kind of job do you have or anticipate?
What is your basic lifestyle? What are your work hours and habits? How do you like to spend leisure and recreational time? How do you spend Saturdays? When do you go to bed and wake up? How much TV do you watch--one hour per week or four hours per night? What kind of food do you like--are you a health nut or junk food junkie? How will you use the Lord's Day? (It will be one-seventh of your life together.) Do you have things you enjoy doing together?
What level of financial and material expectations do you have? How is money handled? What percentage of your money are you now giving to the Lord? What kind of neighborhood do you anticipate living in--inner city row home or suburban mansion? What geographical location--Uganda or Vermont or New York City?
What level and kinds of church involvement do you desire? Will you go to church once a week, or will you spend four nights a week in church activites? How much time do you spend devotionally?
Are you basically agreed in your theology? How do you view the authority of Scripture, Calvinsim, the charismatic movement, baptism, eschatology, etc.?
What are your views and attidues towards the roles of men and women, husband and wife? Will both husband and wife work? How should decisions be made?
How many children do you want? None? Two? The more the merrier? How should children be loved and cared for? How should they be disciplined? What dare the "disciplinable offenses"? Who does what with the children?
How often will you visit parents? Where do you like to spend vacations and holidays? How much will you do with other friends besides each other?

4. What Do Those Who Know You Well Think of Your Relationship?
We often do not see ourselves as well as others see us. And sometimes we are star-struck with another person that we do not see the whole picture very clearly.
While we don't let others make our decisions for us, the Bible is clear that we are not to rely only on ourselves for wisdom. Proverbs 15:22 says, "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed." Romans 15:14 (CCNT) tells us that as we grow in the knowledge of God, we become "competent to counsel" each other.
It can be tough to balance the fact that you need the counsel of others while at the same time you must make the final decision. We usually see three kinds of people in this regard.

Whom Should You Ask for Counsel?
First, ask people who know you. People who have seen you and your potential mate in action together can make helpful observation.
Second, ask people who know what makes a marriage work. Choose people who ar experienced, "older and wiser" than you are, whose opinions and wisdom you respect. Even non-Christians--parents, relatives, family friends, a college roommate, a work mate or employer--may have perspectives worth considering.
Third, ask people who will help you look at marriage from a Christian point of view. Your pastor, an elder from your church a fellowship group leader, and wise Christian friends can help you think biblically about what is involved in marriage. Getting specifically biblical pre-engagement counseling is extremely important, whether done informally or formally.
Fourth, ask your parents. They know you. They have lived longer than you. They care about what happens to you.
We must say another word about talking with your parents.

5. Do You Want to Marry This Person? Are You Willing to Accept Each Other Just as You Are?

AND SO MUCH MORE!!! (NO, I DID NOT TYPE ALL THIS IN HERE FOR THIS REVIEW. I ACTUALLY TYPED THIS UP MONTHS AGO SO I COULD SHARE WITH OTHERS BECAUSE I DID NOT KNOW WHERE I COULD GET ANOTHER ONE OF THESE BOOKS. I WISH I WOULD HAVE FOUND THIS SOONER!!!!)

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FUTURE MARRIAGE!
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