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Is Your Child's Significant Other Good Enough?

Is Your Child's Significant Other Good Enough?

It might seem old-fashioned for your grown child to ask for your blessing when it comes to their significant other, but a parent’s blessing is still highly valuable and relevant today.

Not only do parents have timely advice and Godly wisdom to give, they also have plenty of life experience to share.

It’s no secret the world has formed its own opinions and ideas about what is acceptable and what is not. And if Christian parents aren’t willing to be involved in their child’s life decisions, chances are, they will look for advice from worldly sources.

While you have no control over your child’s final decisions, you can lovingly and faithfully guide them in wisdom and understanding.

Here are 5 things to know about your child’s significant other before giving your blessing:

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  • put god first bible

    1. Know If They Have Committed Their Life to Christ

    Is it apparent that your child’s significant other is in a relationship with the Lord?

    As Christian parents, we know the importance of being equally united in Christ. The Bible reminds us in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

    The word yoke refers to a harness that binds two creatures (such as oxen) together for a single purpose (usually plowing a field). If the animals aren’t compatible, they will not work together. So it is with believers and unbelievers.

    When entering into a marriage union, it is of top importance to be unified in the Lord. Otherwise, it won’t be long before the tether is frayed and each person begins moving in different directions.

    It is perfectly fine to have heart-to-heart conversations about this vital topic, and outright ask your child’s significant other about their faith. However, there is a time and place to do it, so that it comes from a place of love instead of judgment.

    Here are a few ideas to help you know if your child’s significant other has committed their life to Christ:

    • Ask if they’ve received Christ and if they would be willing to share their testimony.
    • Schedule a family meeting with your child and their significant other. Let them know upfront that you’d like to discuss matters of faith.
    • Have frequent, sincere discussions with your grown child and ask about their church attendance, their personal Bible study, and evidence of their significant other’s relationship with God.
    • Invite them to go to church with you and have friendly follow-up discussions over lunch.
    • Watch for visible fruit in their life, such as a willingness to discuss Biblical topics, an eagerness to pray, and outward signs of the fruit of the Spirit.

    While this issue might feel uncomfortable, it’s important to know where your child’s significant other stands with the Lord before giving your blessing.

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  • Teen couple holding hands, There is no such thing as 'safe sex' for kids

    2. Know If They Are Honest and Trustworthy

    It’s been said that honesty is the best policy, and when it comes to your child’s significant other, trustworthiness is a virtue that cannot be overlooked.

    If there are doubts about honesty in a relationship, those doubts will only increase after marriage. Be open with your child about your concerns, especially if there are red flags concerning lying or withholding truth.

    It will be extremely difficult to give your blessing if you suspect things are going on behind your child’s back. While you’ll need to be cautious not to overstep your bounds, you can calmly and lovingly point out the things that you’ve noticed.

    Here are a few signs that may indicate a lack of honesty:

    • Frequent unanswered calls or texts
    • Not knowing where the person is much of the time
    • Lots of excuses about where they were and what they were doing
    • Past instances of lying and being caught
    • Secretive mannerisms and behaviors

    If you are wary of your child’s significant other, and think there could be some unfaithfulness going on, be honest about it and offer whatever support you can. Ultimately, your child will decide whether to continue in the relationship or not, but it’s your duty as a loving parent to warn them if you see a legitimate cause.

    Here are a few more resources to help you know if your child’s significant other is honest and trustworthy:

    Little White Lies
    Build a Marriage Marked by Honesty
    A Prayer of Courage for Greater Honesty with Your Spouse
    Is it Ever Okay for a Christian to Lie?

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  • 3. Know If They Are Financially Stable

    3. Know If They Are Financially Stable

    Money isn’t everything, but financial stability is a great asset in marriage. In fact, one of the leading causes of marital strife, and even divorce, is money. That’s why it’s super important to find out of your child’s significant other is on track financially.

    Without being too nosy, ask your child questions about their significant other’s work and finances. If they are persistently out of work, have a lot of accumulated debt, or show a pattern of laziness, you might consider having a serious conversation about this issue.

    Be sure to let your child know that you’re not trying to interfere, but that you know how difficult money issues can be. Assure them that with discipline and wise counsel, they can learn how to be financially responsible and start off their marriage in the best way possible.

    Here are a few conversation starters that might help:

    “I’ve noticed you and your significant other seem to be stressed out about money a lot. Here is a little advice that might help.”

    “Your significant other mentioned something about debt the other day, and I’d like to follow up with you guys in hopes of pointing you in the right direction.”

    “Before you get married, I’d like to suggest premarital counseling that includes a few sessions on finances. I can’t tell you how important it is to be financially stable before you tie the knot.”

    “This is a really good book, and I’d like to pass it on. I hope it offers some insight!”

    You’ll want to tread lightly in this area without overstepping your bounds, but it’s definitely a topic worth discussing before you offer your blessing.

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  • woman smiling looking at smartphone social media

    4. Know How They Treat Your Child and Others

    How does your child’s significant other treat them? This is a good indication of how they will continue to treat them in the future. If you’ve noticed disrespectful comments or outright rudeness, it would be wise to point this out as a serious warning.

    From a place of love and concern, let them know you are afraid for their wellbeing. Ask thought-provoking questions that will get your child to consider the possible consequences of staying with someone who doesn’t treat them well.

    Here are some conversation starters to consider:

    “I’ve noticed quite a bit of arguing between you and your significant other. Is this a common thing between you? If so, I encourage you to consider what that might mean for your marriage.”

    “I can’t help but point out how rude your significant other is. Do you notice it, too? How does it make you feel?”

    “Please remember that most issues don’t go away once you’re married. In fact, those issues usually become worse. I’m afraid you are going to find yourself in an unhealthy situation if you move forward with this person who treats you disrespectfully.”

    Don’t hesitate to point out the warning signs of disrespect or emotional/verbal abuse. Encourage your child to seek wise Biblical counsel before making a commitment to marriage. This is one area in which you don’t want to remain silent.

    Speak up about this before you give your blessing, and be firm about your position on disrespectful behavior.

    More resources to consider:

    What is Considered Verbal Abuse?
    The Truth about Emotional Abuse

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  • man proposing engagement

    5. Know How They View Marriage

    Is your child’s significant other in it for the long haul? Through thick and thin, until death do they part, are they committed to marriage? This is an important issue to address before you give your blessing.

    In today’s culture, divorce has become so commonplace, it’s rare that young people view it as the sacred union it was created to be. That’s why healthy conversations about the sanctity of marriage is so vital.

    Here are a few Bible verses to consider:

    "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

    “The Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” (Malachi 2:14)

    “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

    "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)

    "Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)

    Emphasize the importance of viewing marriage as a lasting covenant with God and each other. Remind your child and their significant other that almost every problem in marriage can be worked out with healthy counsel and hard work.

    Encourage them to take marriage seriously and be ready to commit for a lifetime.

    More resources to consider:

    10 Things to Say to Your Daughter before Her Wedding Day
    5 Telltale Signs of When to Leave a Relationship in the Christian Dating World
    Should You Speak Up If You Don't Like Your Child's Boyfriend/Girlfriend?

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    Jennifer WaddleJennifer Waddle is the author of several books, including Prayer WORRIER: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayerand is a regular contributor for LifeWay, Crosswalk, Abide, and Christians Care International. Jennifer’s online ministry is where you can find her books and sign up for her weekly post, Discouragement Doesnt Win. She resides with her family near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains—her favorite place on earth.