Friday, January 30, 2009

Book Review: 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged

Book Review: 101 Questions to ask Before You Get Engaged, H. Norman Wright

This is a very helpful book for a couple who are becoming serious in their relationship and wondering whether marriage is right for them. It would not strictly need to be used prior to engagement, and would be very helpful to use during an engagement in preparation for marriage.

It is designed for a couple to look at together, to ask each other questions and bring up conversation topics. Both people would have to be committed to doing it together, if one was not, it would be very hard work, although that in itself would help someone to know whether their partner was ready for a serious relationship.

One risk is that it could be used too early in a relationship, as it requires great openness and honesty about many subjects, and used too soon could create more openness and intimacy than may be appropriate.

Wright starts with a short chapter outlining the risks of marrying someone who you do not really know and that we need to be able to heed the warning signs that we may see in a prospective partner, rather than continuing in the 'fog' of love assuming all will be fine once married.

He then starts with the 101 questions, each posed, with space for writing, and a summary few comments at the end of each. He covers topics like:
  • personal life
  • health issues
  • the future and your view of it
  • finances
  • Christian growth
  • values
  • habits
  • parents
  • family
  • views of marriage
  • children
  • expectations
I thought it was very comprehensive and helpful.

He then has a chapter to cover those who have been previously married. This is formed as a questionnaire to make one examine their previous spouse and their potential future spouse and find the similarities and differences in the relationships. I suspect this could be quite a helpful tool.

I think this is a book which could be recommended for any couple seriously contemplating marriage or already engaged. I think it could also be used in the absence of a marriage preparation course, as long as someone is available to discuss the potential issues it raises with the couple.

This is a book I will be adding to our list of recommended reading for couples who are newly engaged.

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