"There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Parental Consent in Marriage

I was reading online about arranged marriages in some countries like Indian where the parents introduce a son or daugher to a potential spouse based on set criteria that they have. Most of these marriages seem to last (note this is not the same as forced marriages). This got me thinking about what impact parents have on their children having successful marriages. I believe even when you select your husband or wife to be- the blessing/approval of your parent is vital before you tie the knot. Now there are exceptions to the rule where some parents are just unreasonable for no just cause so this post isn’t dealing with such anomalies. I have found though that more often than not, godly parents who have been involved in the life of their children want what is best for them even in marriages.

From the movie: Father of the bride

There is a saying from my culture that goes, "a child may have many clothes like an adults but cannot have many rags like an adults." This means older people generally know more about life than younger people since they have gone through life and experienced life more. As a result when it comes to marriage, the criteria they have for choosing a partner might differ from what a young person considers as ideal. Parents in Nigeria (where I come from) look at things like background, the dynamics of the other family itself, status, health etc. Some even go as far as checking if there are any hereditary diseases in the other family.

From the little I have observed around me- when parents are against a union, few years down the line you beginning to hear of serious issues in that marriage sometimes resulting to separation or divorce. Please note I am not saying this happens all the time. Because we are so "in love" and on cloud 9, we cannot always see where our parents, our family or even friends are coming from when they say they have their doubts. Let your parents be a litmus test especially when you know they love you and want the best for you.

Deuteronomy 5:16 says- “Honour your father and your mother… then you will live a long full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you." This is the first commandment with a promise and such a powerful promise it is. The average person who gets married and lives long will spend most of his/her adult life married. So having a long full married life I believe will be covered by this promise if we honour our parents' perspective. Sometimes young people believe their knowledge of their particular situation is wiser than the wisdom of their parents whom God has ordained to lead/guide them.

Personally, I think every intended couple should endeavour to have their parents’ blessings before entering into marriage. In a scenario where the parents have their doubt, find out what it is and see if it is something you can clear up with them. Be honest with them and let them get to know your man/woman better. It might just be a case of a misunderstanding, misinformation or miscommunication.  If it is deeper than that and you are sure this is the man or woman for you, then go to God in prayer to change their heart. There is nothing impossible with God.

Of course there are cases of people who married their partners against their parents wish and are genuniely happy and sometimes the parents even came around. I personally would rather just have the approval (which I before tying the knot. Remember your parents will always be in your life and will also become grandparents to your children, so ask yourself if it is really worth getting married without their blessing.

Ultimately the success of a marriage depends on both people in the marriage, however the foundation of a marriage counts in this success as well.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think having your parents blessing or approval is important before you get married? If no, I’ll like to know more as I am sure some cases are not clear cut. Some people are still waiting for parents approval for years. I genuinely sympathise with you and pray God directs such people in the way to go.

Please note that this post doesn't address complex issues that may exist in some families. I am simply just sharing my point of view.

The book series will resume in the new year. Compliments of the season!!!


  1. I think parental consent is very important. Getting this consent reduces the amount of battles one might be liable to face in future and it kinda places a seal on the couple.
    And yes, some parents can be very unreasonable and wicked

  2. Parental consent is crucial. In fact, even where they are proving somewhat unnecessarily stubborn, I suggest being patient and prayerful till they come around. I know this for sure, because my parents pray for me everyday and I see the rewards. If this were the other way round..not palatable at all. Great post.

  3. I agree with you - I think having parental consent before getting married is very important. It may not seem like it is to a young impatient person who just wants to get married, but having being married for a while, it becomes clear that there are many things a single person cannot forsee that the parents have lived through.
    I believe that most parents want the best for their children, so unless their reason for disapproval is based on something unreasonable like a prejudice against race or class, then having their blessing on your choice of partner should be sought.
    If a parent is genuinely looking out for your welfare, it might be wise to delay the marriage and pray over the situation until God makes His will clear to you.

  4. I also believe in parental consent provided that your parents understand your faith(if they are not christians), that you do not want to be unequally yoked. In general, if parents are genuinely concerned about the happiness of their children, it is best to trust their advice and wait on God to give clarity.
    I remember when I was with a briother that I thought was going to be my husband. Even my father that is not saved knew somthing was wrong in that relationship. I am happy that I followed my parents' advice.


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