Can I Please My Parents and Still Be Myself?
- Thursday, June 27, 2013
It is not proper for your father to “speak words of negativity” into your life and from the sounds of it he seems more concerned with how others will look at and judge him rather than your happiness and what is best for you.
Honor your parents by receiving and considering their “counsel” sincerely (not defensively), at the same time trying to share the qualities and attributes of your boyfriend, and the reasons why you are attracted to him.
You are a grown woman and can make your own choices. Granted, it would be nice for your parents to “approve” of who you want to spend the rest of your life with, but that is their personal choice, just as it is yours to date whom you desire.
Thanks so much for sharing your story. As much I would also agree that it's important to honor your parents, there also comes a time when you must stand alone and make your own decisions. At some point in time you decided to date this man, knowing that his background would not be acceptable to your parents. As stated, you have lived in the US since you were 17. You have also wanted to separate yourself from your Nigerian culture and what people might think of you back home. Please know, as much as I like to think I am all grown and do not need my parents to approve of what I do, I do need to respect them. When I was as young as you I did something horrible. I not only dated a man who had been married several times but I even moved in with him. I greatly hurt my parents and extended family. It was only through prayers that got out of the situation and back to God. I am just thankful I never married him.
On the contrary, I realize that your boyfriend loves the Lord and you are not living together. I also have no problem he has been divorced. Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. What does raise a red flag, is...are you so troubled over your parents' opinion because some part of you knows it's wrong? Not wrong because you are sinning, but wrong because you always knew that your parents would not accept this man’s background. Is this man worth losing your parents over? It is true once you are married the two of you will become one. That your life will be with your husband, not your parents. But can you live with that?
Here are some ideas, some things to pray about. First, is there a way you and your boyfriend can go home to Nigeria so your parents can meet him, and hear from his own words his love for you and for God? If you can't fly home, perhaps you could Skype. If you fell in love with him, despite his age and background, maybe your parents will too!
Another thought is that your father says God hates divorce. Yes, that is true. But God also hates a lot of other things. I think your father's concern are normal. Second marriages have a higher rate of divorce than first. But again, with God leading, and with God being the focus, your marriage can be successful. I know several people who were once divorced, remarried and are now serving as pastors. Perhaps you father needs to know more of the circumstances of your boyfriend's divorce. Was he a Christian then? How longs since he was divorced? (And so forth.) The more information your father has, the more he gets to know your boyfriend, the more likely he might change his mind.
If this is the man God has chosen for you and you have kept God as the center, if you have had some great counseling by your pastor and he is in agreement (maybe even have your pastor talk to you parents), then I think you will have to do what you feel God is leading you to do. You can't change people. If you parents would disown you, this tells me that their pride is more important than you are to them. In time, hopefully they would see their error and things could heal and be restored.
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