Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

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newwifenewlife
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by newwifenewlife »

MrMarried wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:22 am
JustDesserts wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 7:59 am If the father has not been present throughout the daughter’s life, as was the case for my wife, what then? Is there a duty to seek out the father?

What if the father is abusive or narcissistic, as happens very often?
Narcissistic? I would imagine there could have been some Narcissists among the Israelites to whom God gave the law. I would try to jump through the hoops if I could do so in good conscience so I could marry on good conscience and pray for the situation to change if it seemed insurmountable. heard a testimony from a preacher named Paul Washer who was in South America and he found a young woman he wanted to marry but her father didn't want him to date her so he told him he respected that and stop dating her but eventually the father called him back and appreciated the fact that he had respected him as a father and allowed him to date his daughter and eventually they got married.

My wife and I face some opposition within her extended family when we got married. but I was glad that it didn't come from her father at least after he initially was concerned when he heard that she was dating a white man thinking that white men were like the oil people that he had seen who take a temporary second wife who weren't serious about having a lifelong marriage. She was able to persuade him that I wasn't that type of person. By the time I took the trip to meet him in person they were already talking about wedding plans but the way they did the wedding was rather heavy on me in some ways. I had to pay for everything but the currency crisis it just hit so prices were extremely low. I still prefer the bride price husband pay for everything culture which is more in line with what we see in the Bible then some of the other cultures...especially since I have so many daughters. 😀
I

If there were an abstentee father in prison that they know of, I believe the potential broom should ask his permission. do everything is honorably as you can.

Hadassah was an orphan but she had a relative Mordecai who cared for her and she was allowed to marry. The benjamites also just took virgins as wives to get around a curse about fathers giving their daughters and marriage to it Benjamite. So there are some exceptions to the rule in the Bible and Paul also says that a widow may marry whoever she wills but only in the Lord.
Those situations are not the same...and I don't believe it's helpful to say such to people who are or have been in emotionally abusive relationships. If they've gotten out or started to get out, there's a lot of false guilt and shame people try to hang around their necks without even trying to ask and understand their history and activity to get out from the emotional, physical, or even spiritual abuse. I'm not saying those aren't great stories or a good thing to do but hardly fair to compare and suggest putting that kind of burden on a victim of abuse.

You are also ignoring Scripture that demonstrates emotionally AND spiritually healthy boundaries, such as ones that Jesus drew such as "casting one's pearls before swine", "wiping the dust off one's feet and walking away", refusing to play games with the Pharisees and Proverbs is full of wisdom in dealing with foolish and evil people and their folly.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by StrawberryGinger »

JustDesserts wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 7:59 am If the father has not been present throughout the daughter’s life, as was the case for my wife, what then? Is there a duty to seek out the father?


Asking "permission" or "blessing" is a sign of respect and honoring one's parents but the couple ultimately makes their decision to join in marriage. It is a good thing within God's perfect design of creation but in an imperfect world of sin and broken relationships it isn't always possible that a woman had a father who acted as God intended fathers to do. For example a father is to protect, provide and cherish a daughter until "giving her hand" to her husband to take on and uphold that responsibility. Children belong to God and parents are given a gift and responsibility to care for and steward them well until they reach maturity but because of sin many fail at this. In the absence of a father, or in the case of a father who didn't uphold fatherly duties, I think it would be appropriate to seek spiritual counsel before marriage from a strong male role model in her life who could give their advice and "blessing" on your union. An uncle, brother, leader in the church, etc. And pray and seek guidance from our Heavenly Father. Regardless of familial blessing, you and your spouse become one and join to create a new family apart from your family of origin. This is God's design in creation. If you are pursuing a biblical covenant marriage with your wife you can seek His blessing and that is worth more than any earthly father's blessing.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by MrMarried »

newwifenewlife wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:30 am
MrMarried wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:22 am
JustDesserts wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 7:59 am If the father has not been present throughout the daughter’s life, as was the case for my wife, what then? Is there a duty to seek out the father?

What if the father is abusive or narcissistic, as happens very often?
Narcissistic? I would imagine there could have been some Narcissists among the Israelites to whom God gave the law. I would try to jump through the hoops if I could do so in good conscience so I could marry on good conscience and pray for the situation to change if it seemed insurmountable. heard a testimony from a preacher named Paul Washer who was in South America and he found a young woman he wanted to marry but her father didn't want him to date her so he told him he respected that and stop dating her but eventually the father called him back and appreciated the fact that he had respected him as a father and allowed him to date his daughter and eventually they got married.

My wife and I face some opposition within her extended family when we got married. but I was glad that it didn't come from her father at least after he initially was concerned when he heard that she was dating a white man thinking that white men were like the oil people that he had seen who take a temporary second wife who weren't serious about having a lifelong marriage. She was able to persuade him that I wasn't that type of person. By the time I took the trip to meet him in person they were already talking about wedding plans but the way they did the wedding was rather heavy on me in some ways. I had to pay for everything but the currency crisis it just hit so prices were extremely low. I still prefer the bride price husband pay for everything culture which is more in line with what we see in the Bible then some of the other cultures...especially since I have so many daughters. 😀
I

If there were an abstentee father in prison that they know of, I believe the potential broom should ask his permission. do everything is honorably as you can.

Hadassah was an orphan but she had a relative Mordecai who cared for her and she was allowed to marry. The benjamites also just took virgins as wives to get around a curse about fathers giving their daughters and marriage to it Benjamite. So there are some exceptions to the rule in the Bible and Paul also says that a widow may marry whoever she wills but only in the Lord.
Those situations are not the same...and I don't believe it's helpful to say such to people who are or have been in emotionally abusive relationships. If they've gotten out or started to get out, there's a lot of false guilt and shame people try to hang around their necks without even trying to ask and understand their history and activity to get out from the emotional, physical, or even spiritual abuse. I'm not saying those aren't great stories or a good thing to do but hardly fair to compare and suggest putting that kind of burden on a victim of abuse.

You are also ignoring Scripture that demonstrates emotionally AND spiritually healthy boundaries, such as ones that Jesus drew such as "casting one's pearls before swine", "wiping the dust off one's feet and walking away", refusing to play games with the Pharisees and Proverbs is full of wisdom in dealing with foolish and evil people and their folly.
Casting pearls before swine is traditionally used of speaking truth to those who do not appreciate it.

Matthew 7:6
6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

It was already an old saying. I don't know the context in which Pythagoras wrote it, but it may have been an old saying before that. Setting boundaries? You'd have to explain that.
"wiping the dust off one's feet and walking away"
The disciples were to shake off the dust of their feet if a city or town would not receive them or hear their words after he sent them to preach. There would be judgment for them on the day of judgment. I assume the idea as that the apostles therefore were not to have the dust of their judged city on their fit, removing it as a symbolic act. I can only think of shaking dust out of feet and clothes towards Jews, who were under covenant with God, but were being rebellious toward it by not accepting that Prophet like unto Moses. The Lord Jesus was not a modern armchair pop psychologist.

But I was responding to the OP and to your post, not whatever ideas are in the thread. It should be the exception, and not the rule, that the father not be involved in giving the virgin (or unmarried) daughter in marriage.

The greater problem on this topic is that, ignore the father, not honoring parents. Show me someone who has made it to adulthood and never been abusive-- including verbally abusive, and you will probably be showing me a mute person who doesn't know sign language. My wife and I have never cussed each other out or wished each other dead. I've never threatened her with divorce? But I'm sure if someone took a transcript of everything we said to each other, there was some word that could be deemed verbally abusive somewhere in there.

What I see is a tendency with some to quickly disassociate with parents and draw 'boundaries.' Now, there are people who say yes to everything to the point that they aren't responsible with what they have rightfully been entrusted with who may need boundaries. But 'boundaries' can quickly become an excuse for not honoring parents, wives not submitting to husbands, not giving to the poor, not 'condescending to men of low estate'.

There are aspects of national and regional culture that can be at odds with living a godly life. In some cultures that may be idolatry imbedded in the culture. In another, it might be greed. That can be a problem in the west. So can following the lengths to which we take our individualism. We are supposed to honor parents, which, based on the teachings of Jesus and Paul involves taking care of their material needs-- at the very least if they need it. The Old Testament speaks fathers giving daughters in marriage to some degree of detail, and the New Testament references that idea also. The idea that we just marry whoever we want, or it's all okay if we get a preacher or priest to perform the ceremony is in our culture, but that's not really Biblical. The first part of that sentence there is an outgrowth of individualism. Among collectivist cultures, it is more common for the parents to play a stronger role in deciding who the children marry (at least veto power.)

And western culture has evolved to have extremely high divorce rates also. There have been a lot of other trends along with that that may have contributed to divorce, birth control and the sexual revolution, the normalization of fornication of all kinds of varieties, social acceptance of divorce, legalized no fault divorce, radical feminism, and a number of other trends. Of course, a lot of the divorce and remarriage that occurs is adulterous, and in some cases adultery precedes the divorce. My point is the west has evolved to have a pretty lousy culture when it comes to marriage and sexuality, and relying on cultural norms to determine what is right and wrong can lead one into the wrong direction.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by MrMarried »

StrawberryGinger wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 9:31 am
JustDesserts wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 7:59 am If the father has not been present throughout the daughter’s life, as was the case for my wife, what then? Is there a duty to seek out the father?


Asking "permission" or "blessing" is a sign of respect and honoring one's parents but the couple ultimately makes their decision to join in marriage.
Where do you get this idea from the Bible? That's my question. I'm singing out this one quote. You also talked about giving the father's hand, but I would like us to consider this question.

I see in the Old Testament, the father gives the virgin daughter in marriage. Now, Jewish tradition is that she has to agree to it. He doesn't just give her to someone she hates who can provide for her, maybe advance the father's social or economic position or something like that. But the Torah isn't that explicit. It gives examples. Rachel agrees to marry Isaac. I also recall that Micah was in love with David.

The New Testament mentions giving in marriage also. It's in Matthew 24, for example. Some interpreters take some of the references to giving virgins in marriage to be about the father doing so, rather than the betrothed.

There are also non-Christians who may agree to a Christian child marrying a Christian. They may not have the same faith, but a lot of them will recognize someone who cares for their child. And if you are dealing with a secular American dad and the son-in-law follows tradition and asks for the daughter's hand, and his mindset is that it is her decision, that can be an easy dad to get permission from. For parents who aren't so easy, a man can try, respect the father, but pray and trust God to work it out.

The idea of not getting to marry my wife back when we were wanting to marry would have been extremely emotionally painful and difficult. But we both perceived that this was from the Lord and that he would work it out, and I believe the Lord gave a friend of ours a message along those lines to pass on to us.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

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It meant a lot to me when my daughters BF ask us for our "permission" (his words).
And it meant a lot that he listened and engaged us in a conversation. My son had discussions with us and genuinely asked our thoughts on his marriage long before he asked her. I appreciated that too. Had we said "NO!", I think he would have given it more consideration, but don't know if he would have changed his mind. Once he decided to ask her, his mind was made up and he just told us what he was going to do. Before that, it was malleable.

So I think it has a lot to do with individual relationships with your parents. I didn't ask my mom about my wife, but I did ask her parents. There could be some socio-cultural norms involved in this too. At least I didn't have to procur three goats and a chest of gold... :lol:
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by newwifenewlife »

MrMarried wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 12:10 pm
Casting pearls before swine is traditionally used of speaking truth to those who do not appreciate it....
Have you ever dealt with a clinical narcissist? They can't, make that won't listen to truth. They have no ability to accept anything else but their own reality. My point in listing that and the "wiping the dust off" was because sometime one has to learn to walk away from toxic situations...to draw healthy boundaries for one's self for one's own spiritual, emotional and spiritual health. A toxic person will not listen to wisdom and truth nor take the advice of anyone. (My wife made the comment just last night about her ex that he wouldn't EVER ask for help or advice because that would put him in a bad light and show vulnerability.)
The Lord Jesus was not a modern armchair pop psychologist.
You are right, Jesus was not a pop psychologist. But he is the Lord, he does know people and the human heart, and all truth comes from God and Jesus does offer us great wisdom, insight into people, and an example of setting healthy boundaries and "drawing lines in the sand" in relationships. Proverbs does as well. Jesus demonstrated that sometimes one has to walk away. Jesus didn't heal everyone even though he had the power to do so. Again, he walked away.
But I was responding to the OP and to your post, not whatever ideas are in the thread. It should be the exception, and not the rule, that the father not be involved in giving the virgin (or unmarried) daughter in marriage.

...The greater problem on this topic is that, ignore the father, not honoring parents.
I disagree for the reasons I've stated which is part of what this topic has leaned towards (along with other threads on TMB at times). If I have done everything I can to reconcile a relationship with an emotionally, mentally, even spiritually unhealthy person who is regularly behaving in an abusive manner, then I have tried to honor them but that does not mean I stay and maintain the relationship. Just as they've made choices, so I "honor" their choices, which include allowing me to make decisions based on their previous decision(s).
Show me someone who has made it to adulthood and never been abusive-- including verbally abusive, and you will probably be showing me a mute person who doesn't know sign language.

Careful...now you've gotten personal and I find that statement offensive for a multitude of reasons. I have a Deaf child and you just showed your ignorance of and to the Deaf and other disabled communities. Are you suggesting that Deaf and mute people cannot be verbally abused because they can't hear or speak? That's not been my observation or experience.

Putting that aside and moving on, acting in an abusive manner is not the same as regularly abusing someone just someone acting selfishly and arrogantly does not make them a narcissist. I can, and sadly confess, that I have acted thoughtlessly, selfishly, or treat my wife and sons poorly but that doesn't make me a malicious monster but make now mistake, I have acted abusively toward them at times and had to confess my sinful behavior. I did not act in a Christlike, James 1:19, 1 Corinthians 13, Phil 2 or Ephesians 5 manner. I was wrong. HOWEVER, when one repeatedly acts abusively, that behavior needs to be addressed because abuse is happening. And yes, giving someone the silent treatment is emotionally abusive behavior. Does that make the person an abuser? A narcissist? No, not on that alone. Abuse can be attributed to the depth, breadth, severity, and/or frequency of behavior or combination of behaviors that regularly happen, then that person is not only acting abusive, they are an abuser.
My wife and I have never cussed each other out or wished each other dead. I've never threatened her with divorce? But I'm sure if someone took a transcript of everything we said to each other, there was some word that could be deemed verbally abusive somewhere in there.
I'm glad to hear that. I'm not referring to that kind of behavior (see last sentence above).
What I see is a tendency with some to quickly disassociate with parents and draw 'boundaries.' Now, there are people who say yes to everything to the point that they aren't responsible with what they have rightfully been entrusted with who may need boundaries. But 'boundaries' can quickly become an excuse for not honoring parents, wives not submitting to husbands, not giving to the poor, not 'condescending to men of low estate'.
Yes, Jesus called the religious leaders out for not caring for their parents and using God as an excuse to do so. I am not talking about that. My observation and experience has been much more with dealing with people in emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abusive relationships.

Where do you see a tendency to quickly disassociate with parents and do what you say/suggest? Have you regularly counseled physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually abused people? Both in their own home and in the church by parents, spouses and pastors. Abused people who were not believed and then told they weren't spiritual enough, didn't have enough faith, say enough prayers, submit enough, obey enough, have enough sex, and that if they would have done those things, their spouse wouldn't have watched porn, cheated, given them the silent treatment, thrown things, hit them, screamed at them, kicked & beat the dog, controlled their every move, dollar, relationship, work, etc. or done any number of those things with their kids. So yes, I am sensitive to how people down play abuse and drawing healthy boundaries, especially in the church.
There are aspects of national and regional culture that can be at odds with living a godly life. In some cultures that may be idolatry imbedded in the culture. In another, it might be greed. That can be a problem in the west. So can following the lengths to which we take our individualism. We are supposed to honor parents, which, based on the teachings of Jesus and Paul involves taking care of their material needs-- at the very least if they need it. The Old Testament speaks fathers giving daughters in marriage to some degree of detail, and the New Testament references that idea also. The idea that we just marry whoever we want, or it's all okay if we get a preacher or priest to perform the ceremony is in our culture, but that's not really Biblical. The first part of that sentence there is an outgrowth of individualism. Among collectivist cultures, it is more common for the parents to play a stronger role in deciding who the children marry (at least veto power.)

And western culture has evolved to have extremely high divorce rates also. There have been a lot of other trends along with that that may have contributed to divorce, birth control and the sexual revolution, the normalization of fornication of all kinds of varieties, social acceptance of divorce, legalized no fault divorce, radical feminism, and a number of other trends. Of course, a lot of the divorce and remarriage that occurs is adulterous, and in some cases adultery precedes the divorce. My point is the west has evolved to have a pretty lousy culture when it comes to marriage and sexuality, and relying on cultural norms to determine what is right and wrong can lead one into the wrong direction.
I agree with your thoughts. But are you really suggesting that the Bible's customs, which are specific to Jewish culture, be the way we marry today? You even refer to other customs and cultures. If that were the case, then those things wouldn't be valid unless they are exactly like the Bible. But it seems to me that you're trying to uphold and codify Jewish culture in the OT and NT as the right way and anything else is not good and it was also a time when families lived together for generations. Hardly the same and I believe and for example, that if one's parents are misbehaving financially, is it my responsibility to pay for their financial misbehavior OR could it mean that honoring them means I'll help you get on the right track financially but I have a responsibility to provide for my household so I'll help you right the ship but you need to keep your financial vehicle out of the ditch? I believe there are important principles written in the Bible but I don't think that following Jewish culture written in Scripture is the same thing just like fishing is different that it was when Jesus walked the earth. Different boats, nets, materials are used BUT the principle is the same...catch fish. My point is that honoring one's parents may look different for some people because of differences in people and times. I'll admit it'll be much easier for me to honor my parents and the heritage given to me than it will be for one of my stepdaughter's who has struggled with this for as long as I've know her. Her couselor also demonstrated from Scripture, including Paul's writings, that she could honor her dad while cutting him out of her life until he changed (he won't because he's never been held accountable for his choices and actions and he's incapable of introspection). It is messy and she's given him every opportunity to make amends and reconcile but as a clinical narcissist, he's always the "victim" and never "responsible".

To the point of the thread, the question to be defined is: how does one "honor thy father and mother"? I believe that is acknowledging them as parents and also learning to accept (I'm not saying tolerate) their choices. If they chose to act poorly financially, maybe it means I honor them by allowing them to reap the consequences of their choices, just like we do with our kids. I wouldn't let my parents go hungry but I'm not gonna pay for more than some basic food when they have cable, pedicures, expensive trips and eat out all the time.

In the case of misbehaving and abusive, controlling parents who are not wise, it may mean, they don't get the invite, maybe then should get told but must someone ask for a blessing from a fool? Open one's heart to abuse? No. I don't agree with encouraging someone to do that time and time again and neither does Jesus, David in Psalms, nor Proverbs.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by Paradox »

My parents were delighted when my wife and I were dating, so that was not a problem. My wife's mother, on the other hand, was/is difficult. She is an atheist, and felt that my Baptist beliefs were dangerous. She had taught my wife she should never get married, and abhorred the idea of a woman using her husband's sir-name. She disliked my wife getting pregnant the month after we were married, and suggested an abortion when we got pregnant three months after the first child was born. When my wife chose to stay home with our children, her feminist flares went everywhere. Basically, her atheist and feminist views (most of which she had failed to keep herself) were a constant condemnation of my wife's life choices. My MIL grew up in a weird family. Her married father impregnated a young nurse, who had the child, then gave the baby for the father to raise. A couple of years after the child was born, he gambled his wife off for the neighbor's wife. (I'm dead serious, in a card game on a Saturday afternoon: "If I lose, I mow your yard all summer," to which the man said, "I'll meet your mowing, and I get your wife." The neighbor lost, and that night the neighbor's wife moved in with them, AND the neighbor had to mow his yard all summer.
"Honoring" father and mother does not mean agreeing with everything they say. "Boundaries," by Dr. Henry Cloud is a must-read for when you find yourself in conflict, especially to understand family issues. When your parents are causing pain in your life, you may need to block their number.
For my wife and I, we just nodded and did what we wanted. And then she didn't like our school choices, so she threatened to turn us in to Child Protective Services, to which I replied, "If you do that, we will keep you from ever seeing your grandchildren."
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by mywifesman »

I think the only way I might have asked for my in-laws' approval would have been if I'd known them a lot better and had well understood and respected their spiritual and other values. But I didn't, so I didn't. Also, I considered this to be a decision only between my fiancé (wife) and I - so, I didn't "need" anyone else's approval. And what if I'd found out they disapproved or wanted to assert themselves further and inappropriately? Turned out, FIL was a lovely, but very quiet and thoroughly dominated, man. My MIL was a nightmare, until her last three years - and she lived to 99. So, asking for approval would have been a massive mistake. If we'd lived in the same town or state, it would have put a terrible strain on our marriage.
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Re: Thoughts on parental approval before marriage?

Post by MrMarried »

newwifenewlife wrote: Tue Mar 19, 2024 1:51 pm Have you ever dealt with a clinical narcissist?
I've got one relative in mind, but there is no diagnosis. And she seems to be improving a little as she ages.

Be that as it may, I say not honoring parents is a bigger problem because... but how many people have parents? and how many people are narcissists? How many people had abusive parents? Yet, in the west, not honoring father and mother is a widespread issue.

If we want to nit pick, just about everyone has said something 'verbally abusive.' There are people who are consistently terrible in this regard. But just about every one you have met has spoken an ill, harsh, hurtful word.

If you will read my post earlier, I was saying that if you show me someone who has not been verbally abusive and made it to adulthood, you are probably showing me someone who is mute who does not speak sign language. I was not saying such individuals cannot be abused, but rather would likely be the ones who could find who have not been verbally abusive toward others. I do not know or recall that your child was deaf. I do not recall reading any of your posts on that topic if you brought it up.

Many children are verbally abusive toward other children from time to time, also.

My parents were not perfect, but they were good to me. They did discipline me. My wife's memories of her father involve getting hit with a belt buckle and being whipped with a belt buckle and being held over a well and threatened with being dropped in it for some offense that she cannot recall. She was sent away to the big city to live with aunts or uncles, and said her parents never sent month. She fried and sold snacks and school to pay her middle and high school tuition, and opened a food stall to pay for college before we met. But she sought to honor her father and mother. He gave her away at our wedding. When we were able, we provided an allowance as we could. I have a house of kids, too. Of course, they live in a developing country where children are the social security system, and where the cost of living is cheaper. She learned to love and forgive, and mourned his passing a few years ago.
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