Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice?

In light of the post yesterday about the difference between Lot and Abraham in helping their children choose a spouse, what did or didn’t your parents do?

Would you have taken their advice?

My parents had very little input into my marriage, not that I asked for it either.  However, even if they had desired to give advice or share their wisdom I probably wouldn’t have listened.  I came from a broken family and between my parents there were a total of at least four divorces.  So needless to say I wouldn’t have considered their opinion important or useful.  Also neither were actively striving to live as a Christian nor attending church so that would have also played into my decision to not take their advice.  (Not that I had a good understanding of being a Christian myself.)

My experience shows that we as parents must earn the privilege to assist our children in choosing a spouse.

Would your children listen to you now?

What would you have to do to get your children’s heart so that they trust you and your wisdom?



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11 thoughts on “Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice?

  1. I wouldn’t have taken my parent’s advice if they had not consented to my marriage. That’s just the truth. And I grew up in a home where we went to church faithfully. Note my choice of words. I didn’t say I grew up in a Christian home, though many would probably say I did.

    No one was all that bothered by the fact that my husband wasn’t a Christian at the time. No one even asked except the pastor who married us and he didn’t raise much of an objection either.

    Of course, in our case there were, let’s say… extenuating circumstances that made it a moot point, I guess.

    Now, in the case of my own children, I think we have set the environment both by example and by building relationships where they will listen to us. Not just in the area of marriage, but other things, too.

    In reality, there is no way any of us can guarantee or force our adult children to heed our advice. And people have a stubborness about them when they think they are in love. It’s another reason why I don’t fancy shipping my kids away from us if they want to pursue high education.

    It makes it far too easy for them to attach to people without parental knowledge or guidance.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Terry,

    Oh, I know there is a BIG difference between attending church and being a Christian!

    Did your pastor spend much time sharing the gospel with your husband prior to the marriage?

    That is good that your girls would be willing to listen and discuss things with you. Even if they ultimately don’t agree just the fact that they would listen is important. I would think that if you have a child who doesn’t listen in the little things then when the big things like marriage comes along they would be even less likely to listen.

    In just a dating type environment, it is easy for a potential spouse to put “their best side forward” that is why it is important for the family to really get to know them also. It is hard for a person to honestly evaluate a potential spouse before the heart gets so attached that wisdom is overridden. We haven’t traveled this path yet so we’ll learn alot over the next few years. Hopefully though it will be just another developmental stage and not a seriously challenging stage.

    Berean Wife

  2. BW,
    Like you, I grew up in a broken home. My mom has been verbally and emotionally abusive for most of my life, not to mention having horrible taste in men herself, so even if she had wanted to guide me in a marriagedecision I wouldn’t have taken her advice. While my father is a believer he is much more moderate in his views than even I am at this point, but his opinion did, and still does, matter to me. If he had said that my husband and I couldn’t get married, he would have good cause to say so; his temperament is such that he is very diplomatic, and saying “no” would’ve been a big red flag.

    Terri, I understand what you mean about not wanting to ship your kids off for higher education. Ironically, I left on my own to get away from my own family dynamics, not because of a desire for freedom from parental accountability, but to get away from the toxic environment that my life had become.

    Sorry for the monologue!
    PIP

    Berean Wife Reply:

    PIP,

    Monologue away. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I haven’t heard from you in a while.

    That is a very good thing to be able to say that about your father. He has obviously developed his trust worthiness such that you would value his opinion so well. That is a relationship to cherish.

    Your leaving home for school in order to get away from your family is sometimes what it takes. 🙁 There are some children who benefit from being in childcare and from being in a public school / higher education setting just due to the family dynamics. But that is sad when a daycare or other institution is a better environment than the home. 🙁

    Berean Wife

    Perfect-in-imperfection Reply:

    BW,
    It is very sad. I talk to many people who have been involved in situations like I’ve lived through, and unfortunately getting away is the only way to remain sane in that situation.

    I talked to an old high school friend of my husband’s last weekend, and she and I could’ve written the exact same story regarding our mothers. Ironically, I moved to the province she fled to get away from my mom, while she moved to the province I fled.
    The main difference? Her mother claims to be a Christian while mine is “spiritual”.

    As bad as this sounds, I am glad for institutions who can protect and give kids a healthy escape from a physically or emotionally toxic environment.

    PIP

    Berean Wife Reply:

    PIP,

    Thank goodness the Lord can use us despite our upbringing or even because of our upbringing. Nothing happens outside of His will.

    Berean Wife

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  4. I wouldn’t have, but at the time I got married, I was completely lost and Godless and from a newly- broken home myself, so I really didn’t give a rip what my parents thought…they didn’t care enough about us kids to stay together (that was my attitude at the time, I’m not bitter anymore). Thankfully, in God’s providence, I did end up with a good man and now we are now trying to raise our children in the instruction and fear of the Lord.

    Berean Wife Reply:

    Ma,

    I’m afraid that there are many young people who find themselves in similar situations today. So not only does divorce damage the immediate family but the consequences of the divorce will continue to affect the children even into their own marriage.

    I imagine that your efforts in raising your children in the “instruction and fear of the Lord” are in some ways a direct result of your life previously. At least mine is.

    Berean Wife

    Ma Reply:

    Definitely a direct result, indeed.

    It’s time to turn the children back to the Lord.

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