Asking Can Be Hard Day 3: Asking the Big Question—Proposals
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22, ESV)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14, ESV)
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9, ESV)
Perhaps the most intimidating moment for a man is the moment he approaches a woman’s father, asking for her hand in marriage. And then there is pressure of that big moment when he drops down on one knee and asks the love of his life to marry him. Most men refer to both of these moments as ones that made him sweat and caused his heart to beat very fast. With today’s added pressure to have the perfect proposal on video, something original that no one else seems to have done before, the stakes are higher than ever. Honestly, I feel for them, and wish the pressure to make it perfect wasn’t so heavy for them.
But it’s certainly true that there is a lot at stake here, so when we get to the point of a proposal, we want to make sure of a few things. Here are some key questions to consider before getting down on one knee (or saying “yes” to your man):
-Are you both like-minded in your faith? (this is the most important question!)
-Do you have similar life goals?
-Are your spiritual goals similar, and do you have a desire to help one another reach them?
-Do you both see marriage as a lifetime commitment—even when it gets hard?
-Do you understand that marriage will be hard, and that this person before you is only human—flawed and broken—just like you?
-What values do you both hold dear, and are you on the same page?
Your answers to these questions are not to be dismissed. Don’t believe that over time you’ll be able to change them into the person you wish them to be; that’s actually a foolish thought. So before you get to the point of a proposal, give a lot of thought to each question above. Feeling in love is a wonderful and intoxicating feeling, but it should not be the lone factor in making this life-changing decision.
However, if all the boxes check out and God has clearly opened the way for the two of you to be married, then asking is natural and good. Finding our lifetime partner is one of the most wonderful gifts God has blessed us with. Alternately, when we ask or agree to marry prematurely—before we give careful consideration to the questions above—we set ourselves up for possible failure and heartache.
Sometimes it’s hard to backpedal once we’ve made a promise and the big day approaches. It’s always, always easier and best to step back and reconsider—or even change your mind—if any of the above questions don’t settle well for you. God’s plan for marriage is one that includes a committed approach until the day one of you takes your last breath; that’s a serious commitment! It takes far more courage to step away when warning bells go off than to forge ahead so you don’t disappoint people or waste money. It’s far better than a life of disharmony, divorce and a broken family.
As you progress toward thinking about marriage, my encouragement to you would be to make certain you’re both on a God-honoring path. Married life is beautiful, but it’s also a challenge. Having a shared faith with similar values and goals gives a solid foundation to build on. Saying yes and then planning for the big day is a lot of fun! But making sure it’s the right decision in the first place is the best place to start, and choosing well is one of the biggest blessings you’ll enjoy!