our last lesson we noticed the importance of the engagement period. It offers
many opportunities for to get to know each other. We must always remember that
marriages sensibly begun offer far more possibilities to be harmonious than
hasty hitches. The axiom "haste makes waste" is never more true than
in this realm. Prospective husbands will do well to consider carefully and
prayerfully all the issues involved. A leisurely period of engagement still
remains the best prelude yet devised to a durable, happy and satisfying
marriage. By making the most of the engagement period, you are noticeably
enriching the years that are to follow.
this lesson we want to consider some more facts about the engagement period.
I. USUALLY YOUR FIANCÉ OR
FIANCÉE WILL BE YOUR MARRIAGE MATE.
Very few engagements are broken.
B. Becoming engaged to the wrong person will crucify
happiness in the home later on.
C. This is why we once again emphasize the
"courting or dating period".
1. Advanced courtship should be "the court of
legitimate inquiry". Here you discover your darling!
2. Ask in advance, "Would
I want this person to
be the mother (or father) of my children?"
3. Deception in dating is dangerous. (Proverbs
a. Be yourself
b. If that is not good
enough, the two of you will
never be happy.
D. GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR YOU BOTH TO ASK:
is primarily for self-examination. This is to test your own maturity for
marriage. It is not so much a matter of physical age as it is advancement
1. How close am I to taking full charge of my own life
a. Have I developed self-discipline?
b. Can I make a whole-hearted decision?
c. Am I dependent on others for little
2. Have I made (or am I making) myself a desirable
a. What is my reputation?
Have I developed skills and attitudes necessary
for my part in marriage relative to household work (cooking, ironing, house
cleaning, etc.), toward sex (I Cor. 7:1-5), toward children, toward guests and
3. Do my family, teachers, employer, and friends
trust me willingly with responsibility?
a. If others don't trust me, how could
I expect a
mate, who must depend on me, to be satisfied?
4. Am I resourceful?
a. Do I panic in a slight change of events, or an
b. Do I need frequent attention and entertainment or,
can I find plenty to do if left alone by myself?
5. Can we solve our
differences of opinion by
a. Must a difference always go one direction?
b. Are both willing to yield a little here and there?
6. Do we agree on vital issues?
God - do we agree about Him? Do we include Him in
our plans? Do we agree about how to serve him and how we will train our
you considered these facts?
(1) Nine out of ten divorces granted in the U.S.
given to people who have different religious affiliations.
(2) Superior Court
Judge Roger Alton Pfaff, who
presides over the Conciliation Court of Los Angeles County says, "My
studies show that among 95% of the couples coming for divorces, either one or
both of them do not attend church regularly".
(3) There has never been a divorce in
b. Life Companion - Do we feel marriage is a vital
requirement for our happiness? Is it going to help us or hurt us? Is this a
desire to share life or a desire to do as others have done? Do we agree about
companionship and family life?
c. Life work - Do we agree about the husband's
vocation? Will it solve the problem of money matters? Do we agree about the
wife working or not working? (With a family?) Do we agree about HOW money should
d. It is interesting to note that Judge Pfaff,
mentioned above, found in a recent poll that "the most important factors
in keeping a family together are: 1. having an active religious affiliation,
going to church. 2. having children, 3. and owning a home - in that order.
II. STUMBLING BLOCKS TO
TO BE CONSIDERED BEFORE MARRIAGE:
1. Set too high an IDEAL for the one you
2. Ignorance of "IN-LAWS"
3. Stress "One Trait" too
4. Know his (or her) faults, marry to
correct his (or her) life. Plan to reform.
5. Marriage without discussion.
6. Narrowing the field of choice, too
7. Falling in "love" suddenly.
Love at "first sight".
8. Marriage on the "Rebound"
(so comforting and understanding).
9. Marriage on an impulse.
10. The feeling that
you are isolated ••• no one else
left for you (now or never attitude).
11. Marry to be a good sport.
12. Marriage, prompted by spirit of superstition.
13. Adultery with person
engaged to (or anyone else).
Some persons feel that they are promised in marriage, hence gives right for
sexual familiarities before marriage.
14. Fear of divorce.
15. Overly cautious (fearful).
16. Mobility of American people.
YOU SHOULD KNOW AS MUCH ABOUT YOUR MATE BEFORE MARRIAGE AS POSSIBLE:
an attempt to get at the personality traits that make for happiness or
unhappiness in marriage, one sociologist asked 792 couples to rank the most
common grievance each mate had against the other according to their seriousness
in causing difficulty in marriage. Notice the top ten as follows:
LISTED BY HUSBAND:
Wife nags me.
Wife not affectionate.
Wife selfish and inconsiderate.
Wife complains too much.
Wife interferes with my hobbies.
Wife slovenly in appearance.
Wife is quick tempered.
Wife interferes with my discipline.
10. Wife is insincere.
LISTED BY WIVES:
Husband selfish and inconsiderate.
Husband unsuccessful in business.
Husband is untruthful.
Husband complains too much.
Husband does not show affection.
Husband does not talk things over.
Husband harsh with children.
Husband has no interest in children.
10. Husband not interested in home.
You will notice that the
large majority of these traits are not traits that develop suddenly after
marriage. Most of them were present before marriage, but the future husband and
wife were blind to them, or else they did not consider them serious enough to
cause difficulty in their marriage.
Another study of a large
number of couples that had been successfully married for some years revealed
that these couples explained their success in marriage on the basis of certain
personality traits. They mentioned most often: (1) affection, (2)
understanding, (3) ability to give and take, (4) cooperation, (5) and
willingness to talk things over. More care in choosing a marriage partner could
go a long way toward ensuring the success of marriage.
There is a danger that,
in making lists of characteristics to consider in choosing a mate, we will
leave the impression that one should not marry until he finds the perfect
person. We must be realistic and accept the fact that no one is perfect.
Benjamin Tillet once said, "God help the man who won't marry until he
finds a perfect woman, and God help him still more if he finds her".
The things presented in
this lesson are very important. Use all the guidance you can in choosing a
mate. But once you are married, try earnestly to do what you can toward making
your marriage a success, regardless of the shortcomings of your mate. Try to
build a marriage that will have God's approval.
1. Should marriage be
entered into with haste?
Yes ____ No
2. Do you need time to
consider all the issues involved in marriage? ____ Yes ____
you usually marry
your fiancé or fiancée?
Yes ____ No
4. Should you marry a
person you wouldn't want to be the mother or father of your children? ___ Yes
Is deception in dating
a good thing? ____ Yes ____ No
6. Should you always be
yourself? ____ Yes ____ No
7. List six (6) things
you should ask yourself in self-examination.
8. Is it important that
you agree about God? ____ Yes
stumbling blocks to be considered before marriage:
Should you know a lot about your mate before you marry? ____ Yes ____ No
List ten (10) complaints made by husbands about their wives.
List ten (10) complaints made by wives about their husbands.
Were most of these personality traits developed after marriage? ____ Yes ____ No
List five (5) things most mentioned by happy couples that help create
Is anyone perfect? ____ Yes ____ No
We should try to build a marriage that will have God's approval. ____ Yes ____ No