Do I need her mother's permission to get married?

Question:

Greetings in the name of God!

I've read through your response to a mail from somebody whose fiancée's parents denied them consent to become one. Mine is a bit similar, except that my fiancée's father is deceased and the mother is insisting her daughter cannot marry me.

Initially she was in full support of our marriage when I first broke the news to her. She prayed for us and encouraged us to be quick about it and not to wait for us to have enough money before getting married.

She took us to her pastor and introduced me to him. The pastor welcomed us and congratulated us and prayed for us. We began our counseling classes, as required by the church, while preparations toward the wedding were on-going. We were supposed to attend three counseling classes before our wedding because we were living far away from the church. We finished the first and second and was about to attend the third when my fiancée's mother made a U-turn. She decided to withdraw her support a few months prior to our scheduled date. It came as a big shock to me as I never envisioned she'd do such a thing.

At first, I thought I had done something wrong, or I had failed to do something I should have done. But I needed to be sure of the true situation. I called her, but she refused to take my calls. At this point I was going out of my mind, as I kept getting calls from family, friends and well-wishers as to the progress of our preparations. I didn't know what to say to them but to tell them "we are still working on it." I decided to pay my fiancée's mother a visit to tell me my fault and why she suddenly changed her mind, but each time she learned I was coming, she would leave the house to avoid me. I decided to pay her a visit unannounced in the company of two friends. We were lucky to catch her at home. She was surprised and as soon as she saw us she flared up, telling us in a very harsh tone that over her dead body she'd allow her daughter to marry me.

Meanwhile, my fiancée's uncles, aunts and her two elder sisters are all in support, even now. The uncles want me to ignore her mother and are willing to conduct the marriage, but I insisted that we get her mother's consent. I decided to give her time to rethink the situation. It has been over a year now and she still insists she will not allow her daughter to marry me. Her pastor invited her to explain to him the reasons for withholding her consent. No reasons were given and the church decided to place a hold on our wedding until we get her consent.

This is where we are now. My fiancée and I, her uncles, aunts and two of her elder sisters on same side against her mother, one elder sister and the younger ones are on the other side.

My question here is: If I decide to go on with the marriage would I be going against any biblical injunctions?

Thanks for your anticipated response.


Answer:

"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

Nowhere in the scriptures is there a requirement that the parents approve of a marriage. In many countries younger people need to have a parent's consent because they are not at the age of independent decision making, but once a person is considered an adult there is no need of parental approval.

Notice that from the start, in Genesis 2:24, there is the idea that people separate from their birth families to form new families. You are not marrying your wife's mother. She will have no say in the day-to-day operation of your new family. That she disagrees with the marriage should give your fiancée pause to consider why she objects, but in the end it is your fiancée's decision whether she marries you or not. Either her mother will relent or she is going to have a hard time seeing her future grandchildren, which would be a shame.

You can't make her mother see reason if she is being unreasonable. If the preacher at the church doesn't want to conduct the wedding, there are plenty of other places you can get married at. Having a parent's blessing is nice to have, but it is not a requirement nor a hindrance to marriage.

Thanks for taking time to read and reply to my mail. Thanks for the advice and God bless your ministry, in Jesus' name -- Amen!