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Parental Approval in Marriage – Part 2


In the Catholic Church, consent of Parents is a requirement for the validity of marriage during the prenuptial investigation. The Catholic Church teaches that familial love and respect for Parents should prompt children not to ignore their obligation to Parents in a matter of such importance.

Vatican Council states that children should be so educated that as adults, they can with a mature sense of responsibility, follow their vocation, and choose their state of life. If they marry, they can thereby establish their family in favourable, moral, social, and economic conditions. Parents or guardians should by prudent advice, provide guidance to their young with respect to founding a family and the young ought to listen gladly. At the same time, no pressure; direct or indirect, should be put on the young to make them enter marriage or choose a specific partner.

Again, the Council states that forms of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, colour, social recognition, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incomparable with God’s design.

It is regrettable that these basic rights are not being respected everywhere, as in the case with women, who are denied the chance to freely choose a husband or a state of life or to have access to have the same educational and cultural benefits as are available to men.
The Catholic Church also teaches that regarding the choice of the state of life adults are not subjected to parental authority.

Talk and listen to your Parents
Have frank discussions with your parents and listen to why they do not approve of your marriage. Maybe they do not have the chance to get to know your lover and their opposition is based on misunderstanding of some sort. If you can get to the bottom of the problem, you may be able to reassure them that your fiancée will make a good spouse.

However, if your parents have legitimate issues like infidelity, abuse, previous marriage, communicable and incurable disease, hereditary defects, serious mental breakdown, heavy financial obligations and blood relationship etc, you may find your parents’ concerns are legitimate you may have to give up or see a counselor for advice.

It is a myth to think there is only one human being who can be your spouse. For every potential spouse, there are hundreds of others who could be better than your lover. Therefore, do not let the choice of a spouse be a life-or-death matter between you and your Parents. A marriage without parental approval and blessing may be predisposed to many dangers. Keep your vision for a happy marriage but do not destroy the bond with your parents. You may have an ex-lover but not an ex-Parent.

Allow your Parents to know your lover better
If you think spending more time together will help your Parents become more comfortable with your lover, encourage such opportunities, and discuss dreams and goals so that your Parents get to know your lover better. Sometimes seeing the two of you together and witnessing your love can help convince them that your lover will be supportive and committed partner.

Be patient and buy time
If you are sure your spouse is the best for you, you may go ahead and marry. You are an adult and do not have to obey your parents in everything. Appreciate however that it is difficult to marry without parental blessing but if they are being unbiblical and using excuses as age, tribe, beauty, poverty, educational background as excuses, you may go ahead and marry.

Obedience to Parents is not absolute but loyalty to Jesus is absolute.
It may not be ideal, but it is consistent with leaving and cleaving. If you decide to proceed, do so prayerfully, and be fully aware of what you are walking away from.

Love does not blow traditions (1 Corinthians 13:5). As far as possible avoid defiance to your parents and let there be a spirit of humility.
As much as possible enter marriage without regret.


… Watch out for Part3


Source: Dr. John Boakye, Marriage Counsellor

Parental Approval in Marriage

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