If you are a Christian and are thinking about marriage, then you may have been considering the topic of Christian marriage readiness. The topic can be complex and, in some circles, even controversial—but it’s important to remember that marriage readiness is a personal choice between you and your partner that should be mutually agreed upon beforehand.
Let’s take a closer look at the essential things you need to know about Christian marriage readiness.
What is Christian marriage readiness?
In Christianity, marriage readiness is an informal term which refers to a couple’s preparations before they get married—and no, we’re not talking about wedding reception preparations! Christian marriage preparations, as a general rule of thumb, are intended to help a couple confirm that they are meant for each other, that they truly want to be married, that they understand what it means to be married, and that they are actually ready to be married.
Are there any specific obligations?
Christian marriage readiness takes on many forms. For some couples, and in some churches, marriage readiness is as simply as the couple being asked to reflect on marriage, their reasons for marrying, their commitment to each other and their hopes for the future before they marry.
However, some Christians and churches have more specific readiness requirements that go a lot more in depth than simple reflection. For example, some churches require couples to go through several weeks, months (and sometimes even longer) of classes and programs before they marry. These classes will typically include books and lessons on what the Bible says about marriage, the expectations of marriage according to modern religious teachings, the importance of the marriage partnership, and so on.
Other churches may even require couples to live apart for several months before marriage, or see church-approved marriage preparation counselors who will talk to them about marriage.
Churches sometimes require couples to show proof of ‘readiness’ before they will agree to marry the couple in the church.
Do all Christians go through ‘readiness’ ?
No. Some Christian couples do not go through any specific readiness preparations. This does not mean that they marry without thought or aren’t ready to be married—again, marriage readiness preparations are a personal decision that can depend on a person’s particular belief structure, their church, and even what denomination of Christianity they personally practice. In general, ‘readiness’ is considered more of an expectation in Baptist, Catholic and more traditional churches than it is in modern churches or denominations.
What if a couple don’t wish to go through ‘readiness’ ?
If one half of the couple does not want to go through any particular readiness preparations—such as a required church program—then the couple will need to have a serious discussion with each other about how they feel they should go forward. In a best case scenario, the couple may resolve their differences or come to some sort of compromise; in a worst case scenario, it may cause a potential problem for the marriage.
Pre-marriage checklist to determine ‘readiness’
When we talk about wedding planning, we tend to focus on preparations for the big day but neglect to plan the marriage. To help you plan your marriage better, it is important to include a pre-marriage checklist.
Take for example your social media habits. How are they different from your partner’s? Is anyone of you addicted to social media? Will this interrupt or intervene in your marriage? These are just some of the things you need to discuss and ponder over.
Marital readiness questionnaire
Next, ask these following questions that will help you assess your marital readiness. Be honest while answering them.
- Do you feel comfortable to discuss about each other’s differences?
- Are you fully committed to each other to make your relationship work?
- How much time would you be willing to devote to your life partner?
Make sure to be fully prepared for the journey that you are about to begin with your partner. Getting mentally prepared for marriage readiness is a great start!