This is a common question that I always get asked by singles and engaged couples. Most are feeling the stress of their parents trying to take control of their love lives but at the same time there is a desire for them to have their parent’s blessings in marriage. So where do we draw the line? Do we actually need to draw a line?
In my talk, “It’s Not that Complicated” last Sunday, I tried addressing the situation in this way:
Genesis 24:1- 4
Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, 3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”
Abraham wanted a wife for his son Isaac who was around 40 years old at the time of the story. He was involved in trying to look for a spouse for his son. The role of parents are crucial in setting up success in their children’s marriage.
I remember Thammie sharing to me her story that when she was 6 years old, her dad would pray with her regarding her future husband and family. Thammie’s dad was setting her up for success the best way possible – through prayer and spiritual guidance. But it wasn’t only prayer where you could set your kids for success.
Thammie went to Manila for college. She grew up in Cagayan de Oro but had to move to Manila, which means he was separated from her family for 4 years. Since she was young, her dad would often say I love you and during college would call her and say I miss you all the time. In theory, he was actually dating her daughter. Because of the father’s love – Thammie was able to distinguish what sincere I LOVE U’s were and what was a flaky and unsure I LOVE YOU, you are beautiful statements from men courting her during her stay in Manila. Because Thammie was so secure with her father’s love – she never entertained suitor while studying. She was content and satisfied with daddy’s love.
As parents we have to take mental note that participating in the love life of our kids don’t start during the wedding preparation. It starts when they are young. Kaya minsan feeling ng anak natin masyado tayo nakikialam kasi nung bata pa sila, hindi ka naman nakikialam.
Now when it comes to parental blessing, here is my personal opinion. Stress on the personal: While not a guarantee, parental counsel and blessing is nevertheless the way of wisdom and must be seriously considered.
Kahit ikutin mo ang mundo magulang mo pa rin yan kahit minsan magulang sila. hehe. It means I seriously take note of their opinion and not just brush it aside na feeling mo lagi kang kinokontra. But also note to parents:
Parents must be certain that they are not trying to relive their lives through their children, and children must be certain that they are not dishonoring their parents with a dishonest self justification. – Ravi Zacharias
What does dishonest self justification mean? That means you might be just telling a lie to yourself that you have a future with your partner when there is actually none. We can sometimes be blinded by the fact and the truth that the relationship you are in today is not going to work out. So learn to get inputs from people especially your parents.
I do know at the end of the day you are to make the decision but I pray that you cover all bases first before jumping into one of the biggest decision of your life – marriage!