These are all very practical and down to earth questions that should be worked through carefully and thoroughly so as to ensure you're both on the same page after the excitement of the honeymoon and the first six months of married life entering into regular passion, romance and mutual delight.
The six stated in the article in News.com Lifestyle and Relationship section are -
What are your and your partner's financial goals?
Who will be in charge of our money?
When will we have kids, how many will we have and who will look after them?
How involved will our families be in our daily lives?
Is there anything you're not prepared to give up?
What if one of us gets offered a job somewhere else?
These practical questions are all valid and they all exercise important considerations for any newly married couple. However, marriage vows taken by Christian couples involve a third party.
The Holy Spirit
Christians involve a third party in their marriage vows in their commitment to each other and this third party is the Holy Spirit and to this end, the prior considerations in marriage are first and foremost spiritual ones.
Recently, we had an extended family member visit our home and the conversation ranged from issues relation to general health to that of life's commitments. This extended family member who was single, was more than a little taken-a-back when I explained that my wife Delma of 35 years and I had a prior commitment to each other and that was to God.
I explained in a little detail that although there was obviously romance and compatibility, the most important issue was our prior commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. How we exercised that commitment as individual Christians was discussed for a couple of years (not months), and moreover, whether our focus to serve Christ would be curtailed by either of us confusing romance for the Will of God in our lives.
I have come up with six spiritual initial issues to be worked through by Christian young people considering marriage.
Six Spiritual issues
Priority commitment -
Where does God fit in my life. Is my first commitment to the Lord as a default position?
Decisions of conscience -
Will you be with me on commitment decisions as a follower of Christ?
God's Calling upon me/you/us -
Are you able to leave opulence, comfort and security should God's unequivocal Call to serve Him 'elsewhere' shine on us? Of our calling is at home, can we commit to the local church.
Our financial commitment to God's work -
Is the basis of our financial commitment to the work of the Lord? What other process might we consider?
Devotional commitment -
Are the Scriptures and Prayer a priority, will we also collectively pray together as well as family devotions when the children come along.
Marriage and family -
There will be times when we're called away for work commitments – can we commit to recapturing lost time (marriage and family) as a priority in our service to the Lord.
Critical for Christian considerations
These were the types of issues my wife Delma and I discussed endlessly in our four years of courting and the final two years in serious courting – we lived 500 miles apart, which explains the many letters (in the 70's there was no Email or instant mobile phone text).
This process has been the norm for Christian 'evangelical' couples and once they had been worked through thoroughly, then the practical issues relayed by the article above come into play. Sadly divorce in the West is almost as high within churches as it is in the wider community, and therefore these spiritual questions have become even more pertinent.
They provide a corner stone to Christian marriage.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html