Question:

Jeff,

I stumbled onto Do you need her parent's blessing before marrying? I was looking for information to present to my children living at home why I can't attend a marriage between my daughter and a young man whom she feels is "perfect." My husband did not give his blessing for her to date or court and, of course, now he is marrying her without our blessing. It is a sad time and we are struggling with this.

At the end of your article it sounds has if we have no rights. Not sure I totally agree. but maybe I just don't want too. Jesus was an adult and he didn't rebel against His father. Adam and Eve were punished I assumed they were adults maybe they weren't, but if not they soon became adults.

We have also had your final paragraph stated to us. It's not that easy and heartbreaking when you're the parent receiving that speech.

Anyway pray for us all,

In Christian Love


Answer:

I don't know the particulars of your situation. I did mention at the start of the answer that when good parents object to the selection of a spouse, their objections ought to be seriously considered because they have more knowledge and experience. However, as I pointed out there is no biblical teaching that states a parent controls who his child marries. Many of the questions I receive on this topic come from Asian cultures where the parents assert complete control over their children, even long after they are married. Thus, Hindu parents refuse their daughter marrying a Christian, even though she has renounced Hinduism -- it becomes a way to control their child. The example given was a former Mennonite who wanted to marry a Christian. Her family was applying pressure to keep her in their beliefs by refusing to give blessing to the marriage, even though she sees them as wrong. I've seen this also growing up when parents refused to allow their children to marry someone of a different skin color (it went both ways).

In the two examples you gave, God is the Father, and what He states is perfect. To extend this to earthly parents is too much of a stretch because we parents make mistakes. God had the right to punish Adam and Eve because He was more than just their parent, He was also their government and their God. They had broke His law.

I'm not saying that you and your husband's decision was wrong or that your daughter is right. However, the job of any parent is to raise responsible children who can make sound decisions on their own. You can't totally prevent bad decisions, but you can instill good habits of making right choices. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6). Parenting thus moves from authoritarian to persuasion as a child reaches adulthood. Ultimately it is the same style that God uses with each of us. God wants none of us to perish (II Peter 3:9), but He allows us to make our choices and live with the result of our choices. Consider the example in the story of the prodigal son. The father did not like his son's choice to take his inheritance early, but he also did not prevent him from making this bad choice.

If the choice in spouse is wrong, then show scriptural reason why it is a bad choice. If the marriage is one that God will not honor, such as your daughter marrying a man who was divorce because he committed adultery, then I would agree that you cannot show support for a marriage that God does honor as a legitimate marriage. However, if the marriage is allowed by God, even though you don't agree with your daughter's choice, show support for the sanctity of marriage.

If her fiancé is not a Christian, the way to win him to Christ is to treat him with respect as an adult. After all he will one day be the father of your grandchildren. Both he and they will need someone to gently lead them to heaven. Take a bad situation and turn it into one that gives glory to God, if it is within your means to do so.