John Piper has an excellent (and exhaustive!) list of questions that couples can ask each other before they are married. Whether or not our children can handle his list, it raises the question for the parents, “How will I equip my child to prepare for marriage? How will I equip my child to begin the process?”
I have learned from church conflict situations that the time to stress the value of church unity is when there is peace in the congregation. If I stress unity in the midst of a disagreement, it will seem I am telling people they must agree with me.
Similarly, the best time to prepare our children for what questions to ask in a relationship is before there is a relationship. If we wait until there is a relationship, it will seem like we are campaigning for a certain outcome.
So, Piper’s questions are excellent. But perhaps the starting question that we as parents can ask is, “What questions will you ask a person you are thinking about becoming serious with? What are important areas of agreement?” Perhaps we can even suggest that they give us their first draft for keepsake so that when there is a relationship, we can talk through different issues.
With my daughters and sons, at the appropriate times, when there are no passions, I want them to think through the questions they will ask their future spouse. Though all of his questions taken together seem too exhaustive to me, he certainly moves us down the road in thinking correctly.