Sunday, October 9, 2016

PARENTS AND YOUR CHOICE OF MARRIAGE PARTNER 2

I came across a certain information years ago saying that it was discovered that 80% of marriages that failed had no parental blessing! 
This underscores the point I raised in the previous post that not all parental opposition is bad or evil-motivated. 
So what should you do? What is the appropriate response to your parents' expression of reservation about your intending spouse? Indeed, how should you wade through the whole parent- spouse -to-be issue?
 I need to mention at this juncture that you be determined well in advance to as much as possible embark on your marital journey with your parents' blessing. As much as possible.
 Ephesians 6:2&3
2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.


Avoid picking a fight with your parents or falling out with them because of opposition to your relationship. You will always need your family! Remember that. 
Not being on good terms with your family on account of your mate sends a subtle wrong signal to your spouse and makes you vulnerable to being ill-treated by them if they are not mature and God-fearing!!!
Also-and this is so very crucial- make sure you know what you are doing beyond any shadow of doubt. You need to be sure of God's leading and involvement in your relationship. Your conviction that you are marrying the right person must be unequivocal! This will help you stay the course of opposition that may not be valid and will also help you remain calm and handle such opposition well.
Having said that, now how do you deal with parental opposition of your relationship?

1. Pay attention. Listen to them. Find out the root/true cause of their opposition. Be unbiased in your judgement of what their motive is. Make independent enquiries of your own about their claims and see if there is any truth to it all. 
If you discover that their motives and claims are true, genuine, divine and godly, then bring it up with your beloved and see if such can be remedied with time. ( Please refer to my post on STANDARDS: TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE).
 If things remain the same with your partner then you have a decision to make about your future and whether what you have on ground is what you would like to live with for the rest of your life. If not, then you may need to submit to your family's godly counsel for the sake of the great future that you seek. 
If on the other hand your family's concerns are not valid and are probably just borne out of bias and wanting to have their own way at all cost, then you will need to politely but firmly seek ways to clarify issues and convince them otherwise. AND WHILE ALL THIS IS GOING ON, YOUR BELOVED SHOULD STAY OUT OF YOUR FAMILY'S VIEW! Lol.

2. If your conviction is in place and you know that you know that this is the right person for you, then engage the help of some people that your family respect and listen to. Some people that they look up to who can provide unbiased counsel for them. This includes but is not limited to church ministers, elderly family friends, elderly family members, Church Marriage Committee members etc. They can help put things in perspective for your parents and have fruitful discussions with them aimed at helping them to soft-pedal on their stance. 
Proverbs 15:22
22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

3.  If you have sought God's face concerning the matter and are sure that God is with you in your decision, then do spiritual warfare in prayer to establish God's will. Dislodge every satanic attempt to resist God's plan for your life. 
Ephesians 6:12
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

4. Give it some time. Be patient.
James 1:4
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Meanwhile, be discreet and wise. Maintain a good rapport with your parents and remain respectful towards them while trusting God to intervene for you. 

5. If things do not change, your family remain unyielding and hold on to invalid, sometimes ungodly and unscriptural biases, then YOU have to decide what to do at this point in conjunction with your pastor and spiritual leaders.

Ultimately, it is your character, your person that will bail you out. According to John Maxwell, "your character is your most effective means of persuasion."
 How you behave and conduct yourself consistently over time before your family and your beloved's family and friends is what will determine their response to you in the long run. It is all about 
your testimony! 
- Let them be able to see over time that you are different, disciplined and responsible and that you mean well for their child. 
- Let them come to trust you and your motives and intentions.
- They will judge you by the effect you have on their child!
So if they notice that since their child met you he/she has become better spiritually and otherwise and is truly happy, they will co-operate with you. But if on the other hand they observe that their child is being maltreated or that you are using them, exploiting them and so forth, they will definitely resist your relationship. 
- Befriend them gradually without forcing yourself on them or visiting/calling them all the time.
**Girls, avoid going to his family and running errands and doing chores for them all the time! Give yourself some respect! Otherwise they will think you are desperate and have no self-respect.
- Be yourself. Always. Do not be pretentious around them for whatever reason. Be discreet but unpretentious. 
Before I wrap this up, let me address the issue of parents or future parents-in- law demanding exorbitant sums of money, unreasonable sometimes ungodly things for traditional marriage rites. To be sure, some of these demands border on outright exploitation and greed! 
But then it is scriptural to part with precious things as a potential groom to the family of the bride as a way of showing appreciation to her family for raising a wonderful daughter and handing her over to you to love and cherish like they have done over the years. Gen. 24.
My take on this is that you ladies should not wait until it is time to get married before you have a candid discussion with your family members about their material expectations from a potential spouse. Find out what is the 'going price' (lol!) for bride price too. 
It is at this time that you let your family in on your preferences as well as your faith ( which hopefully you have mirrored beautifully before them over the years). Negotiate with them in advance even before you bring a suitor home and prayerfully settle in advance the issue of unreasonable demands during traditional marriage.
Live a consistent christian life of integrity and respect for your parents and family before your wedding comes around. If you have been a wonderful child to them and have prayerfully discussed the issue with them in advance, they will also want to make you happy if only as a reward to you for being a blessing and great child to them.
I believe that if properly handled, transitioning from a single person to a married person can be a win-win situation with you and your partner on one hand and your two families on the other hand. 
May you be blessed always! 
Please air your views on this very important topic so others can learn more from your contributions.

2 comments:

  1. Amen..nice and educative piece ma.More grace in Jesus name.
    Kaffy

    ReplyDelete