Wednesday, July 10, 2013

courtship questions for potential suitors

On my search this time I came across this bit here & it happens to be from one of the favorite blogs I follow :) Go check it out, lots of neat & edifying things going on there. 
*Your Sacred Calling*

Before you read, I must always remind my readers that I do not always necessarily agree with the theology or info given on some matters, I simply find articles on the web that are of great interest to me or that I feel will bless my readers some how. So always, always keep this in mind when reading my blog. When I find an article that pertains to relationships I post it for many reasons, hoping to bless & have discussion :) Unless its my own writings, then it is safe to assume that I don't always agree with every single post I put up. Well, anyway....... good stuff here.

How do you feel about having questions on hand for a potential suitor? I mean, he will be yours the rest of your life. Is it pervasive in your opinion, or necessary? If you have a list of questions for a "possible" spouse, should he not have one for you? Are you willing to answer personal questions yourself? Would knowing all of these things about your suiter help you with your decision in a possible marriage, could save you a lot of heart ache to get to know as much as possible, no? hmmm.... lots to think about.  Good idea or bad idea? Would you add more? Do you think that perhaps this list of questions is way too much or not really necessary? What other questions would you ask that are not listed that are important to you? Well, Ill leave that up for you to decide :)

I'm sure my pro-dating followers will not agree with any of this, if not, Id be interested to know why, so leave a comment :) 


Courtship Questions for Potential Suitors
My husband, James McDonald, created the following questions for the purpose of getting to know potential suitors for our daughters. This list is NOT meant to be a “checklist,” a “pass-or-fail-test,” or an in depth parental evaluation. Each young man is free to decline questions he feels are too personal.
However, having seen two daughters enter courtship and successfully marry godly young men, these questions have served us well.
During our years speaking at various Christian conferences, my husband has received numerous requests from parents for his “famous” courtship questions. However, he has been hesitant to make them available, since it is easy for people to want a formula for courtship. His concern was that families may misunderstand the purpose for the questions and miss out on potentially wonderful matches for their daughters.
Therefore, please keep in mind that most of these questions do not have right or wrong answers. They are intended to help both parties get to know one another on a deeper and more deliberate level by creating points of discussion. In fact, our daughters have also filled out the questions, upon the request of certain suitors.
Due to the varying theological positions and personal convictions of Christian families, these courtship questions are designed to help disclose important facts that may be significant in both party’s decision of whether or not to  move forward in courtship. It is our prayer that these will be a help to those seeking godly marriages for their children.
One thing I’d like to point out before you read these questions is that we haven’t used this list in its entirety for all of the young men who have called on our daughters. It is a compilation of all the things we thought would be helpful to our daughters in making a decision of whether or not to move forward in a courtship. Things she should know and evaluate, things they could discuss and work out together. Each of our married daughters also answered these questions for their suitors during the courtship. It gave them wonderful discussion points.
If you decide to borrow our idea and use these questions, make sure you customize them for your own family. And again, remember, there are no right or wrong answers. The questions are intended for the purpose of “full disclosure,” as well for discussion points. This doesn’t mean that certain questions won’t be “deal breakers.” Obviously, if you discover the young man is not a Christian, it would be sinful to proceed toward marriage (2 Cor. 6:14).
Remember, these questions are meant to help everyone get to know one another. One of our daughters and now-son-in-law (Ben and Tiffany) spent hours each evening by the fire discussing the questions. Use wisdom, but relax. These are special times – you want special memories!

Your Spiritual Life

    Tea and Love ~  1910s German Postcard
  • What are the evidences of your salvation?
  • Our family subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms as our statement of faith. To what creed or confession do you subscribe? Do you take issue with any part of the Westminster Standards? If so, what?
  • We are members of the CPC – a reformed Presbyterian denomination. Please read through the Constitution and Form of Church Government I sent earlier and let me know if you disagree with any part of these documents.
  • What do you understand to be the role of baptism? What about the Lord’s Supper? Who should participate in these sacraments?
  • What do you understand to be God’s purposes/priorities for the church?
  • What is your view of the Sabbath and the proper use of that day? What activities can children enjoy on the Sabbath?
  • What is the present day application of the Mosaic Law?
  • What do you see as the man’s role in the local church? Your own role?
  • What do you see as your wife’s role in local church ministry?
  • How do you view age-segregation in the church (youth groups, Sunday school)?
  • What is your view on the celebration of Christmas and Easter?
  • How would those who know you well describe your personal character?
  • What is your view of Christian liberty? How does this view affect your lifestyle?
  • Are you faithful in church attendance/participation? How long have you been a member of your current fellowship?
  • What are your habits with regard to prayer and Bible study?
  • What is your opinion of personal witnessing?
  • What would you say is your spiritual gift(s)?
  • What are your spiritual strengths?
  • What is your father’s understanding of Christianity? How would you describe your father’s personal character?
  • What is your mother’s understanding of Christianity? How would you describe your mother’s personal character?
  • Recognizing we are all imperfect, in what one or two areas do you think God wants you to improve most?
  • Do you have a teachable spirit? Can you cite any examples?

Your Relationships

  • Describe your relationship with your father? Was (is) it honoring? Was (is) it obedient?
  • Does your father have any medical or mental problems that could affect you or your children?
  • Describe your relationship with your mother? Was (is) it honoring? Was (is) it obedient?
  • Does your mother have any medical or mental problems that could affect you or your children?
  • How many siblings do you have? What are their names, ages, cities of residence? Can you describe your relationship with each of your siblings?
  • Can you describe your relationship with your grandparents?
  • Can you describe your relationship with your friends? Have you ever been peer-dependent? How did you resist this?
  • Are you consistently faithful in fulfilling your commitments? Give examples.
  • Do you show a regular willingness to serve others? In what ways?
  • In what ways is self-centeredness expressed in your life?
  • How do you relate to authority in your life? If so, what adjectives would your employers use to describe you?
  • Have you ever been a supervisor? If so, what adjectives would your employees use to describe you?
  • Are you ever manipulative of others?
  • What kinds of situations cause you frustration? How do you respond?
  • What circumstances might make you impatient or angry? How do you handle anger? Have you ever been violent? Do you raise your voice when angry?
  • Have you ever had to deal with a broken relationship? If so, please provide the details of that relationship, how long ago, the situation, and how did you handle it?
“The Bible gives us many prescripts, but not as many processes. God’s Word presents a number of concepts on how men and women are to relate to one another, as well as how they might prepare themselves for marriage; but it is certainly not a cookbook. While I don’t see a “biblical formula,” I do see biblical principles that will help our children move toward marriage in purity.
“So, the way our family chooses to live out these precepts is just that – our choice. It is our application of the biblical precepts found in Scripture. This is not a new law for you. You may choose a very different path with your family and your children – and that is fine with me. I do not see a “one-size-fits-all” model in Scripture for courtship and betrothal. Each family’s version of courtship will look different – and it may even look different from child to child. It has in our family!”

Personal Habits Affecting Marriage

  • What are your beliefs regarding diet? Are your eating habits disciplined? Do you have any food dislikes? Are you a vegetarian?
  • Do you have a weight problem?
  • Do you have any physical or mental disabilities or diseases? Any allergies? Prior or current health problems?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If so, what and how often? What are your views on alcohol?
  • Do you smoke? What are your views on smoking?
  • Are your spending habits disciplined? Do you tithe? What is your view of debt?
  • How would you describe your work ethic? Do you have a high standard of excellence? Do you tend to be either slothful or a workaholic? How many hours per week do you work?
  • Do you travel with your job? If so, how often? Do you see this changing in your future?
  • If a relocation were offered to you by an employer, would you consider it? What would you weigh when considering such a move?
  • What is your discipline in studying?
  • Do you read regularly, and if so, what? Who is your favorite author? Outside the Bible, what would be your five favorite non-fiction books? Five favorite fiction books?
  • What are your habits regarding sleeping? Are you lethargic? Are your sleep habits irregular?
  • Do you follow a regular schedule? Are you organized?
  • Would you consider yourself neat or messy?
  • What is your practice regarding personal prayer?
  • What is your level of personal cleanliness and hygiene?
  • Do you have any personal habits that might annoy others?

Marital Roles

  • If you already subscribe to the concept of courtship, give me your definition of it.
  • Do you tend to be more of a leader or follower in life? Can you cite any examples?
  • In making decisions, what role does God’s Word play?
  • What is your attitude toward women? What is their purpose?
  • What is your view on the role of a wife?
  • What are your views on women working outside the home?
  • What are your views concerning divorce and remarriage?
  • Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should provide for a wife and family?
  • Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should protect a wife and children? How do you feel about guns?
  • How do you see your future relationship with your in-laws working out?
  • What has been your prior experience with dating and romance? Have you ever kissed or been physically intimate in any way with a girl/woman? If so, explain the circumstances.
  • What is your stand on abortion? What about in the case of rape?
  • How do you relate to children? How often are you around children?
  • What are your thoughts regarding birth control and family planning?
  • How many children do you hope to have?
  • What is your attitude toward adopting children?
  • What are your views on child training, including corporal punishment?
  • What are your views on homeschooling?
  • What are your thoughts on family worship? What would be the key attributes of such a practice in your home?
  • When you fail someone, what actions do you take to rectify the situation?
  • Are you honest? Do you ever slant the truth for your own benefit?
  • How have you prepared yourself for marriage?
  • In what ways do you think you may need to grow before marriage?
  • What does “leave and cleave” mean to you? Are you prepared to put your wife first, before all others, including your parents? Give me an example of what this may look like to you.

Moral Standards

  • What are your standards of propriety in dress? How do you dress?
  • Describe your standards of dress for women?
  • What are your views on head coverings for women?
  • What are your views on public swimming?
  • Do you use offensive language?
  • Do you watch television, R-rated movies? PG-rated movies? What were the last five movies you watched?
  • What kind of music do you prefer? What kind of music would you find offensive?
  • Have you ever been exposed to pornography? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
  • Have you ever been exposed to homosexuality? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
  • Do you currently use any type of drugs? Have you in your past? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
  • Do you have any financial debt? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
  • Have you ever been in trouble with the law? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.
  • What tendencies do you have toward prejudice or racism?
  • Have you ever had periods of rebellion?  If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.  Are there any unsettled issues with your parents?

Miscellaneous Discussion Starters

    the best!
  • What is your attitude toward pets? Indoor? Outdoor?
  • What are your political leanings?
  • What is your general attitude toward civil government?
  • What is (are) your favorite sources for news?
  • What are your interests, hobbies, talents?
  • What are your income producing (vocational) skills?
  • What is your attitude toward family (home) business?
  • What do you value most highly in life? What next?
  • What do you tend to do in your spare time?
  • What is your involvement in sports? Do you participate, attend games, watch it on TV? To what extent? What sports do you like?
  • If “your” daughter were marrying “you,” what cautions would you have?
  • What are your thoughts on alternative medicine?
  • What are your thoughts on immunizations?
  • What is the role of psychology in the life of a Christian?
  • Do you prefer to live in the city, suburbs, town, or country; farm, seaside, mountains, or desert? Why?
  • Describe a typical week day in your life from start to finish.
  • Describe a typical Saturday in your life from start to finish.
  • Describe a typical Sunday in your life from start to finish.

Your Future

  • Can you describe your life purpose, i.e., how you intend to use your interests, experiences, skills, and talents to serve and glorify God?
  • What role would your wife and children play in your life purpose?
  • What role would your job/career play in your life purpose?
  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 20 years?
  • Where do you see yourself spiritually in 10 years? In 20 years?
  • When the Lord calls you home, how would you like people to remember you?


  • Do you have a personal timetable for marriage? If so, what is it?
  • What type of education are you hoping that your future wife will have?
  • List the five most important characteristics of a wife (for you personally).
  • List any characteristics or personality traits that would bother or irritate you in a wife.
Please feel free to copy and modify these questions for your own personal use in your family.  If you would like to share these questions with others, you can click on the options at the bottom of this page, or grab the code in the right hand column to put a button on your own blog that links to this page.
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  1. Very in-depth! I thought many of the questions were very good, some I didn't necessarily agree with, but others I thought would be great to ask. After all, you are going to spending the rest of your life with this person, so it would be important to know some of those things before committing to a relationship. And I don't think this list would necessarily just apply to guys (though some of the questions are geared more towards them). I wouldn't have a problem with a guy I was courting (not who *I* was courting, who was courting me, you know what I mean =P ) asking me some of the questions,either, because they may be important character traits to him and something he would want me to have.

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  4. Personally, I'd probably call a relationship "dating" rather than "courting", though my view on the purpose of dating would be to discover if we're compatible for marriage rather than just having a boyfriend.

    That said, that's a crazy-in-depth list! While I wholly agree that each of those are important topics to discuss ... my opinion is that most of those questions would not need answered *before* entering a relationship and most would be better placed *within* a relationship in discovering whether to get married or not.

    1. You said just what I was thinking but couldn't put into words! Hopefully I would know the guy pretty well if I was thinking about getting married to him, and not need a "list" to know whether or not I agreed with him or trusted him. :)

    2. Oh yes, getting to know him is important! Not to downplay the importance of beliefs/specific doctrines ... but I think we downplay sometimes the importance of the individual's personality and their personality as a couple. Logically, things "should work out" but don't (my experience). That cannot be truly detected through a questionnaire, but this questionnaire brings up a lot of things that you may not have thought to discuss.

  5. Agree with Moriah, I think a lot of these would be better asked within a relationship in discovering whether to get married or not. In fact I think the fact that a person is asking some of these person questions show that you are at the stage of being in a relationship whether it has been officially stated or not.

  6. Doesn't work. Take my word for it...from experience, I can say that a guy can answer a question exactly how he knows/guesses you want to hear it...but that doesn't mean he believes it. It takes getting to know a person to see what they really believe, and a list is not a fool-proof way to find out if this is the right person. Sure, it's good to know if you're likeminded before entering a relationship, but a loooooong list of questions is, I believe, NOT the way to go about it.

    Don't mean to be so strong about this ;), but from painful experience, I know this doesn't work. :)

    1. They're good discussion points ... but yes, some people are good at giving the "right" answer without showing who they really are. It's also short-sighted to think that the answers that someone gives at the beginning stages of life/relationship won't change as they grow/change as they mature and develop together in a relationship. To be able to have concrete and sure-of-yourself answers as a young person on some of these would be a red flag (to me) :D

    2. Good points Alexandra and Moriah. I agree these are good discussion questions but aren't the "fix" for making sure you find the right guy/gal. I have definitely seen for myself how my understanding has grown over time on some of these questions and my views have changed and they may change more overtime. It is very easy to say what you think someone wants to hear and often you don't even realize it and convince yourself that that's what you believe even (speaking from experience).

  7. Hmm. Hmm. Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn't read most of this. I'm sure it's good, (?? perhaps. :P ) but if I'm going to make a "list" and interrogate someone, I might as well join a singles site (and we ALL know how I feel about that! :P ) I was told once to "throw away my lists". Huh? I've never had lists. Oh sure, there are certain qualifications a man must have, namely a love for the God and the Bible that far exceeds ALL ELSE. I think there are more practical ways of getting to know someone than list making/interrogating.

    1. Good thoughts! I do think everyone naturally has at least some of these questions in their head but a person doesn't need to make a list. In fact I believe when just talking and getting to know a person overtime these subjects will come up on there own and will not feel forced and thus will provide more genuine responses. That is how I see the practical way of knowing someone without interrogating someone. haha

    2. ^^Good point when you said "I believe when just talking and getting to know a person overtime these subjects will come up on there own and will not feel forced and thus will provide more genuine responses."

      I did question when reading those if a guy would be totally honest with some of them...but I am glad that it worked out for the people who did go through this route, though that would be my personal qualm with the method ( though I did like some of the questions, because they *are* things that are good to think about/know about a person, you just may not have to go this route to find them out)

      Like Michaela said, a love for God and the Bible will exceed all else and will mean that a very good majority of those other things will be in place. I wouldn't mind using some of the questions myself, but I would want it to be in a very relaxed setting, not a "let's sit down and go through this list" setting. I think as you spend more time together you will learn more about each other, as you will probably find yourself talking about a wide range of topics, and the things that are important to you will probably become evident as you get to know each other better.

      It needs to be relaxed, and while I think some things should be figured out before you even enter a "formal" relationship (making sure you're on the same page spiritually), many of these things will become evident just through time spent together, and if not, you can always bring up a question, but in a relaxed manner. And the guy *may* not answer just as you had hoped, but there again, it is up to the girl to decide whether that is really something to break the relationship over or if in the whole scheme of things she can work with it. I know there are things I didn't think I would want that I have changed my mind over, so it's good to not be so set in your ways that you can't consider something else (it's good to be solid in your spiritual life, but other things, mainly expectations, are okay to re-evaluate if necessary)

      Sorry, long comment. =P I should learn that if I am the first person to comment that it will probably mean coming back, reading all of the other comments, and leaving *another* because I have more to say, or something triggered a thought that hadn't entered my mind before. =)