He Said-She Said: When Parents Interfere
- Thursday, May 26, 2011
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
Once they have said their piece, share from your heart (not your emotions) how you feel about what they said, what your boyfriend means to you and why you believe he is the one God chose for you.
When all is said and done, find some common ground. There is no reason to force a date to be married or make ultimatums (for either party). Take your time. If God has chosen him to be your husband today, he will also be the one God chose for you tomorrow, next week and next year. If both of you truly believe you are to be together, then allow God to work in the hearts of your parents, give them time to experience all of the good in your boyfriend you do, and make opportunities for the four of you to spend together.
If you and your boyfriend don’t want to make the effort to give your parents the chance to get to know him in the way you know him, maybe he isn’t good enough for you. However, if he is everything you know and believe he is, a strong Christian man who will lead your future family, time won’t hurt your relationship, it will only bring you closer.
Honoring your parents as the Bible says even when you adamantly disagree may express Jesus’ love to them more than anything else. Wouldn’t you want your parents to truly understand and share in the God that brought the two of you together?
1 Corinthians 13:4 is not just applicable for wedding ceremonies; it was given to all of us for all times.
Love is patient, love is kind.
SHE SAID: This is a difficult situation, for sure.
I know you are torn. On one hand you probably want to honor your parents and their wishes and not disrespect them in any way (Ephesians 6:2). But on the other, since your parents are not believers you are probably looking for different things when it comes to selecting someone who you believe God has brought to you for marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14). And so I will answer based on the assumption that (a) you are a responsible and emotionally mature adult and (b) are also a believer (as you have indicated your boyfriend is).
Having dated for a year, you have no doubt had the opportunity to observe your boyfriend through all the seasons (as some dating experts and books suggest). And hopefully you have seen past the exterior and have a pretty good understanding of his character and what kind of man he is when no one else is around.
Since your parents are not looking through the lens of faith (as you are) when it comes to your boyfriend and marriage, it is understandable that you (and they) are looking at a potential mate quite differently. That being said, it would still be helpful to know what specifics they are objecting to when it comes to your boyfriend. Are these critical issues, such as character flaws (does he have a history of lying or stealing or has he committed a serious crime)? Or are they purely superficial (length of his hair, what part of town he lives in, etc.)? Another thought could be that your parents are just panicking a bit about losing you and don’t want to see you grow up and get married (this could be true regardless of your age). Thus, the threats.
But let’s get back to your boyfriend. You’ve pointed out some positives such as his job and home. In this day and age, having a solid career and being a homeowner is becoming more and more of a rarity when it comes to eligible young men. That’s just what I’ve found in my world, and it may not be true in yours (especially since I don’t know your ages). But I’ve noticed a trend wherein some single men (usually mid to late 30s and on up) have seemingly delayed their maturity. And visible proof of that can be lack of direction when it comes to career or instability when it comes to securing and maintaining a job or having multiple short-term jobs, as well as lack of home ownership by a certain age. (NOTE: I didn’t say is or always is, so please, dear readers, don’t send me hate mail saying that I said “all men who don’t have stable jobs or own homes are immature or irresponsible.”)
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