Imagine coming home one night and your wife of 20 years says she’d like for the two of you to get a prenuptial agreement. How would you react? “What’s going on?” “Is she getting ready to leave?” “Does she think I’m ready to hit the door?” Would be pretty tough wouldn’t it? Eventually, you could probably sort out the money and property . . . the ‘who brought what’ of the marriage. You might figure out what to do with the stuff you’ve bought together. And you might even be able to agree on how you’d manage your future finances, probably with separate accounts and a huge helping of complexity.
But the damage to the relationship would be done. Your trust would forever have an asterisk.
I’m a big believer in being transparent and dealing in facts. Don’t deceive me and if you really love me, don’t let me deceive myself. But there are some questions better left unasked once you’re married. The value of the answer is far less than the impact of asking the question. A few come to mind . . .
- If I die first, will you remarry? Nobody can answer that question until they get there.
- Tell me about your sex life before we were married? Nothing good comes from talking about sins of the distant past after you’re married.
- Prove to me you’re a Christian. No one can prove their faith to another person. But putting them in this spot is like telling them to stand in the corner of a round room.
What’s my point here?
Big questions need to be asked early in relationships. My friend Dennis says, “Mist from the pulpit yields fog in the pews.” Clarity is critical before you get too involved. Discussing how to handle your money and property should be done way before you get married! If we don’t share our pasts with our girlfriends and boyfriends before we get serious, we’ll always wear masks and have secrets to keep. If the person we’re interested in can’t do the same . . . can’t forgive and give grace, then they’re probably not who God wants for you anyway. On asking someone to prove they’re a Christian, it’s better to observe than to question someone’s faith. And those discussions need to happen well before there are entanglements of romantic love or business partnership.
My dad always told me, “curiosity killed the cat.” Sometimes it’s better to leave things alone.
Scripture: Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. (Proverbs 17:28)
Mentor Tip: In Radical Mentoring groups, transparency and vulnerability are critical. Confessing one’s sins to his brothers can bring healing and connection. Marriage requires a different kind of transparency . . . one filled with wisdom and loving-kindness.