Saturday, October 8, 2016

PARENTS AND YOUR CHOICE OF MARRIAGE PARTNER

Parents are supposed to be God's representatives and authority figures in their children's lives. 
Exodus 20:12
The Bible records in Luke 2:51 that even Jesus was subject to His parents.
God expects our parents to be godly and to co-operate with Him to bring up children and guide them in the right direction including the choice of the right marriage partners. Gen. 24:2-
Unfortunately not all parents know God or walk with Him.
Not all parents understand the ways, plans and purposes of God for their children's lives. This constitutes the root of the conflict of interest between parents and their children when it comes to the choice of marriage partners.
I would like to point out some reasons for the disagreement and sometimes outright battle between parents and their children over the issue of choice of marriage partners. In some cases it could be close family members, close friends, spiritual parents etc that are involved in this. 

1. Most parents' love for their children makes them over-protective of them. 
Most parents want the very best for their children and think that the only way to guarantee that is to be involved in the selection process of who their children marry. In some cases, parents want more than being involved in the process; they actually want to choose for and dictate who their children get married to! 

2. Selfishness on the part of some parents who want someone for their child that they perceive to be right, fits their own mould/ template of a spouse, someone they are familiar with and who they think will take care of them later in life in concert with their child. They do not want their child to marry someone who they think may be hostile and poison their child's mind against them in the future. This holds true especially where the parents and their child have shared a very close bond and relationship over the years.

3. Traditional/ cultural/ tribal biases or prejudices about people, places and families borne out of actual experiences or just mere stereotypical leanings. 
This mindset dates back to the days before urbanization in various communities and among various people groups. Families and communities were very closely-knit. Everyone knew everyone else. Everyone knew everyone else's family pretty well: their history, lineage, positive feats and accomplishments, negative predispositions etc. Children with a good pedigree and beautiful history were more desirable as potential marriage partners as opposed to children from homes and communities whose parents and ancestors were not so valiant, had certain diseases running in their families or were slaves to other families in the past! 
So marriages were contracted between families, not just the guy and the girl, and sometimes exchanging children between families was even a way of strengthening the bonds of friendship or other contractual agreements between families! People felt safe doing this because they knew the other family well ( most times their children's new family was just a shout or short walk away.) So even if any problem arose in the marriage in future, the parents were just a whisper away and they and their in-laws could mediate in the crisis and provide direction for the couple!
But then modernization crept in unwittingly. 
Children began to move further and further away from home to study, pursue careers and businesses. And gradually but surely, parents no longer had a front-row seat in the affairs of their children's lives because of distance necessitated by the exigencies of modern day living.
Times have changed! 
Many parents and families however still want to insist on some of the modus operandi handed down to them by their own parents and grand-parents regarding who their children marry.
Insisting that children marry only those from their communities or language group started becoming less fruitful as their children began to mingle with people from a wider circle of backgrounds, tribes, cultures and so on.

4. Economic considerations.
Many parents take a myopic look at the potential of a male suitor ( in most cases) to take care of their daughter and even they the parents in the future. They look at a guy who is not up 'there' financially as being incapable of becoming financially buoyant tomorrow. This is especially true for parents who struggled financially themselves and made a lot of sacrifices to see their children through school or to learn a vocation. They figure that their children would be better off marrying someone who is financially more buoyant than they were so that their child would not 'suffer' the lack and want that they endured.
For some other parents, they are well to do and raised their child    in comfort and abundance. They therefore want their child to marry into the same social stratum as they are in and live the kind of comfortable life they were raised in even in their married life.
So any potential or intending husband or wife had to pass the test of financial and social suitability.

5. Ignorance on the part of some parents of spiritual principles and the workings of the kingdom of God.

6. Indiscretion ( lack of wisdom) on the part of singles and their prospective spouses. 
Parents tend to oppose their children's choice of a life partner when they observe that their children are not being treated well, are being taken advantage of or have become distant from their other vital relationships, especially family. 
Any right thinking parent would oppose any relationship that does not bring out the best in their child but rather draws them farther and farther away from God, fellowship, academic and career pursuits, morality etc. 
6b. Also many parents do not trust their children's judgement because over the years the children have not demonstrated maturity, sound judgement and the discipline of a person who is on a mission of making something good out of their lives. 

7. Devilish opposition to the fulfillment of God's purpose for His children. 
Sometimes the devil stirs up opposition in order to thwart God's purpose for His children.

NOTE:
 Not all parental opposition is wrong and devilish! 
Sometimes it could be God's intervention to stop what might turn out to be a disastrous relationship. 
Pr. 14:12 and Pr. 16:25
Proverbs 16:25
25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
How so, you may ask?
i. Some parental opposition to a relationship may be motivated by true, genuine concern occasioned by actual information about the guy/girl. Many parents despite the realities of modern day living, still go to great lengths to carry out independent, unbiased investigations into the lives of their prospective sons- and daughters- in law. The findings from these sometimes prompt them to seek to put a stop to the relationship because it holds the potential for brewing trouble which they do not want for their children. 

ii. Could be foresight ( truth hidden to the child who is blinded by 'love' for their beloved).

iii. Most parents have an innate sense ( understanding) of the characteristics and peculiarities of their children, having raised them, as well as some divine intuition about the prospective husband/wife. So when they oppose their children's relationship, it is because they sense that the relationship does not stand a chance of thriving in the future because of the peculiarities of the parties involved. 


TO BE CONTINUED...

4 comments:

  1. An interesting topic for our generation, which now faces the same challenge we thought our parents just didn't seem to get.

    I particularly love this verse in Scripture as a parent, "... Children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward." (Ps 127:3; NKJV). Mind you, it doesn't exempt us from having to wipe their soiled bums. And just to rub it in a bit, the angel Gabriel's declaration, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" didn't in any way exempt Mary, the mother of Jesus, from her motherly duties either.

    Sometimes parental objections to a child's choice arise from reasons which are just hard to articulate; such as that a particular and unacceptable mode of behaviour appears consistently in the known generations of the suitor. It may be a predilection to infidelity, for example. It may be an inclination to abusive behaviour which demeans or dehumanises their spouses. Sometimes, just sometimes, children simply need to trust the better judgement of their parents who merely say, "Unhn" and when they're disinclined to do that, then ...

    Other times of course, parents are simply wrong, because they're, well human.

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  2. Very well said Mr. Markwei. Thanks for your input and for stopping by!

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  3. Well researched indepth piece of work, I would recommend every parent ought to read. knowledge gives understanding, which helps in broadening one's outlook.- Vera Kpeto.

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    1. Most definitely Sis Vera.
      God bless you richly.

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