Question:

I have some bad news. Over the past one month I had tried to convince my parents that the girl I love was the right one for me but all was in vain. And, yes, I would have gone ahead and heeded your advice, but the culture I belong is very conservative wherein it is the parents who decide who their children marry. Because of this I cannot even ask her to come with me as her parents would not allow that at any cost.

I have finally given up and had told her that our dreams of getting married would never become a reality. It was very painful for her as I think she expected that I would never fail her. I never would have but the thought that in my striving to convince my parents to agree to this, I would be destroying her future by making her wait. (Again it's a part of the culture that the girls should be married off before they turn 25.) I feel miserable for having told her this.

What am I to do now? Why is it that my mind keeps telling me it would be not right to rebel against your parents and the same time I feel so incompetent in not being able to stick by my decision or convey it in a strong manner? Where have I gone wrong?

Please help me.


Answer:

I'm puzzled because you tell me that it is your belief that your parents have made a mistake about this young lady. You desire to marry this young lady, but you put your your parents' thoughts about who you will marry above your own. That is the choice you made. No one is forcing it upon you. You prefer your parents' good opinion of you over this young lady.

Honoring one's parents does not mean complete obedience in everything they tell you. You honor them by seriously considering their thoughts and advice. But in the end, as an adult, the decisions regarding your life are your own. Good or bad, you bear full responsibility for the choices you make (Ezekiel 18:20).

That is why God said that prior to establishing your own family, you must first separate from your current one. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). You are not ready to do this and that is a decision you must then live with.

Previously you stated that they opposed the marriage because they thought the young lady didn't look good enough. I mentioned that if that is truly their reason, then they are not wise. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30). I would hope there is much more to their reasons than this silly view of the external. If this truly is their only reason for opposing the marriage, then I'm disappointed that you give honor to foolish advice under the disguise of honoring your parents. If there are more serious reasons that they oppose the marriage, then I'm disappointed that you do not honor their opinions by admitting the reasons they give. Either way, I think this is why you have disappointed yourself.