Who gives permission to marry if your father isn’t around?



I've been having problems with what to do when it comes to my wedding next year. My parents and my fiancé's parents have separated. According to our African customs, the father should be the one to give permission on whether we get married or not. He is also the one to receive the dowry.

This has been bothering me so much because we have been raised by a single mum who has catered to all our needs.

How can I handle this as a Christian?


Traditions are nice, but traditions are not law. God's laws come first (Matthew 15:1-9). In this case, there are no laws regarding dowries or giving away the bride in the Bible. The important point is to get married. How that is done is left up to individuals.

I am positive that your marriage is not the first where the father is not present. I don't know all the ins and outs of your traditions, but I am sure there is a tribal elder who can discuss these things.

In most African cultures there are different types of marriages, so you could get married in a civil ceremony, which doesn't require a dowry.

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