You think you’ve found the one for you, but your parents don’t approve. What should you do? We’d say: Listen to your parents.
When parents don’t approve, there’s usually a good reason. It might be because of heartbreak they’ve gone through or seen others go through. Their own experience or the experiences of others that they have witnessed across a lifetime will give them pause if they see potential difficulty because of something they sense in this other person. They don’t want you to have to deal with that kind of pain; they want you to experience the joy of a great marriage.
Your parents are in your life for a reason—to guide, protect and teach. True, you may not have the greatest relationship with one or both parents, but if they are really unraveling over a potential spouse, it’s generally because they see or sense something in the person that isn’t right. Never marry someone to get back at your parents or to rebel because they don’t like him or her. You’ll only be hurting yourself. Instead, pull back and try to find out the underlying issue that is causing their concern.
We would offer one caveat, however, because of situations we sometimes see in counseling. If there is something unhealthy in a parent’s relationship with you, then you need to be very careful. For instance, if a man’s father dies, his mom may turn to him for lots of help. That’s fine. However, if his mom fails to make a healthy adjustment to the loss of her husband, she may resent any woman her son brings as a potential wife because she’s afraid of being “replaced.” That would be a warning sign. He would need to take his mom’s emotional state into consideration and not follow her opinion completely. If the motive of the parent is to control or undermine, then you need to be cautious.
Outside of that, if your parents are godly, wise, healthy, and nurturing, then you need to really listen.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!