Do we need her father’s blessing?


I bring you greetings,

Please, sir, I have a pressing question that demands an urgent answer.

I proposed to a girl and she accepted after praying about it. We both belong to one group in our church and according to the ethics of the group, every member of the group must attend an interview where renowned counselors, all elders of the church, question you about your conviction.  After the interview, they advised us to go ahead with our wedding plans.

In my county's custom, marriage is a process so the next thing I did was to go and meet her parents with members of my family and one member of our church. Before we went there, I let her father know in advance that I will discuss something important with him and we booked a date. We met him on the said date and told him our mission and he said OK, he has heard us and that he will discuss it with his daughter and later get back to us.

Two weeks later, he called me and said he would like to see me and my brother alone. He said my brother would stand in place of my father because my father is deceased. He met us that day and said that there is something he won't tolerate and that is to try to convert his wife from paganism to Christianity. He won't like anything that will bring division between him and his wife. I said OK. You are the head of the family and you don't want division. I will not preach to your wife alone. Anytime I want to preach, I will preach to both of you so that I won't cause division between the two of you. He said OK that if I maintain this boundary, there will be no problem. But he still wanted to meet his daughter and ask her some questions.

After another two weeks, he called me and told me that they have accepted me. The only thing I should do now is to allow his daughter to finish school or to at least reach the final year before our wedding, and I agreed to that. When the daughter reached her final year, I approached him again to remind him of his promise. He said his daughter didn't inform him properly the first day we came to his house. Because of that, I should go and find another person to marry. I asked him if I have ever offended him, and he said no. Then I asked him why are you doing this? Your daughter didn't inform you properly, yet you welcomed us, accepted what we brought, told us that you will get back to us which you later did, and told me to wait till she reach her final year, which I did, only to come back now to tell me that I should go and look for another person because she didn't inform you properly? And he said that is it.

So my question now is, must we receive his blessings when he is tyrannically abusing his fatherhood authority? As it stands now, I want to go on and start planning my wedding.

I met my local priest and told him. He said I must wait for his blessings and that, even though he is a pagan, his blessings are essential to our marriage. Since he said that, I have been thinking, can God be so insensitive to the feelings of His children that He will allow an unbeliever to manipulate them any way he wants because of tradition? I know my God is not a God of injustice. But, please, I still need your advice. What should I do?


The difficulty you are having is that you have people making up rules and not following the standards God set out. There is no requirement in the Bible that a couple getting married must have the consent or blessings (well-wishes) of their parents. It is good to know that your parents believe you have made a good decision in selecting a spouse, but there is no requirement.

When someone follows God, there are going to be times when parents are going to disagree with their children because of the differences in beliefs. "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:34-37). In such situations, it is likely that parents will not agree with their children's choices in spouses.

Thus, the question is not whether you have her parents' blessing but whether the woman you love is willing to marry you knowing that she may lose contact with her family because of her choice. Things might get resolved later, but at the moment, decisions have to be made with the assumption that this will make a permanent split with her family.

I teach God's Word in its purity. In the New Testament, there is no priestly class of believers. Instead, all Christians serve as priests to the world. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (I Peter 2:9). There are a few things in your note that indicate to me that you are involved in a group that doesn't follow Jesus fully. Consider finding a better church. See We Are Simply Christians Without Being Members of Any Denomination. You Can Be Too!

There is always the option of having a civil marriage in your country.


Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it.

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