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Eight Questions I’m Going to Ask the Young Man Who Wants to Marry My Daughter

October 20, 2009

I have three daughters (ages 20, 17, and 14), and my oldest is very interested in a young man at our church. This has prompted me to consider what I, as their father, should be thinking about in regard to the young men who will want to marry them. I’m going to list my questions here, and if the reader desires to see each question explained, read this longer article.

  1. Do you love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength?
  2. Are you committed to the local church?
  3. Do you know what love is?
  4. Do you know how to lead?
  5. Do you live out godly character?
  6. Are you in a position to financially support my daughter?
  7. Can you identify my daughter’s weaknesses and sin struggles?
  8. Are you ready to be a parent?

I know that there are other questions one could add (e.g., what do you want to be if you grow up?), but I’m trying to approach this subject with a bit more seriousness, especially considering the fact that wedding bells may be nearer than I thought (or maybe it’s just that  my eldest daughter and I have aged more quickly than expected).

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. jeff permalink
    October 20, 2009 12:18 pm

    I would add:

    Can you run faster than a speeding bullet?

    This question has many subtleties to it, let him squirm in all of them.

  2. Jonathan permalink
    October 21, 2009 4:01 pm

    A number of great points (and questions)… I am thankful for parents who made me consider and answer these difficult questions before I married my wife. My Dad even gave me some required reading! My parents role in our dating and engagement fostered much growth in my wife and I. I think that our Mom and Dad helped us ask questions we would not have had the foresight to consider.

    By the way Dr. Straub, the first time I met my wife’s family her grandfather had a double barrel shotgun over his shoulder! He asked me if I wanted to go shooting, but I very kindly declined.

  3. October 21, 2009 10:12 pm

    Change the questions into open ended questions and not yes/no questions…it might yield more info

    • Jon Pratt permalink*
      October 22, 2009 11:12 am

      David, I agree that simple yes/no questions are easily answered, especially by someone who really wants to marry my daughter! If you were able to read the longer article by clicking on the link, you can see that I have high expectations in regard to each question. I don’t think it would be all that easy for someone to give a positive answer to one of the questions without my being aware of the truthfulness of his answer. Of course, all this requires that I, as the father, am doing my homework, studying the young man’s life to see whether or not I believe that each question could be answered positively. Thanks for your suggestion.

  4. October 22, 2009 10:06 am

    Used it over here

  5. Kent mcCune permalink
    October 22, 2009 11:50 am

    Don’t you think you should have observed the answers to most of those questions yourself (except maybe for #6) long before he asks you for your daughter’s hand in marriage? It might be too late to turn things around by that point…

    • Jon Pratt permalink*
      October 22, 2009 12:00 pm

      Yes, I think that’s obvious. My purpose for writing the article and for phrasing the questions this way was to encourage all of us who are fathers along with the young men who want to marry and the young ladies who want to be wise in how they respond to inquiries from young men, to be thoughtful about the whole dating and marriage issue. Far too often, all of us – parents and singles alike – fail to give wise consideration to the issues that really ought to matter when it comes to this vital institution we call marriage.

  6. Ben permalink
    October 22, 2009 2:02 pm

    Question #9.
    Have you lied to me, to even the smallest degree, in any of your previous answers?

  7. October 22, 2009 5:23 pm

    You’re not going to ask some tough ordination-style questions like:

    What lapsarianism view do you subscribe to and why?
    Are you a dichotomist or a trichotomist?
    Are you covenantal or dispensational in your theology?
    If dispensational are you progressive or classical?

    AND relate each of your above positions to your view on helping out with house cleaning, laundry, and the dishes!

  8. Richard Glenny permalink
    October 23, 2009 8:33 am

    Good article and good questions. I’m preaching on Mark 10 this Sunday (divorce) and I found your thoughts helpful.
    R Glenny

    • Jon Pratt permalink*
      October 23, 2009 10:49 am

      Richard, I’m encouraged that you found the article helpful. As you learned by following the link to the article, the reader will receive a much greater benefit by reading the entire article rather than merely considering the 8 questions apart from the commentary.

  9. Danette permalink
    October 24, 2009 10:08 pm

    Your questions are great. I had most of them in a list already but have added a couple more (stolen from yours). :o)
    My husband and I are actually going to take our daughters out when they are a little older and give them the questions. We want to help them think through them for themselves and then how to discern them in their future husbands life. We want to teach them how to look for godly character rather than lip service.
    From your list we have added:
    1. What in your life demonstrates godly character?
    2. What are my strengths, weaknesses, and struggles?

  10. chris permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:11 pm

    The link to your longer article appears to be broken.

    • Jon Pratt permalink*
      May 13, 2010 11:41 am

      You’re right. Thanks for the heads-up. We’ll try to fix the problem soon.

  11. September 21, 2010 5:35 pm

    Just had my first daughter 3 weeks ago, and my heart is already starting to think about these things.

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