Our daughter has just informed us that she's getting married, in spite of our strong opposition. She's legally on her own, but is there anything we can do?

Q:

Our daughter has just informed us that she's getting married, in spite of our strong opposition. We feel she is making a serious mistake marrying this person, but she won't listen to us—and the more we object, the worse it gets. She's legally on her own, but is there anything we can do?


A:

I suspect you are discovering what most parents eventually discover: At some point, we no longer have much control over our children’s decisions. The best we can do is offer them our love and advice, and then pray that God will give them the wisdom to do what is right.

And this is what I urge you to do. First, share your concerns with your daughter but don’t let it descend into an argument (which will only make things worse). Instead, tell her you love her–and because you love her, you don’t want her to make a mistake that will only bring her heartache and suffering. The Bible says, “Through patience (even) a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone” (Proverbs 25:15).

In addition, pray for her. Only God can change her heart, and only He can open her eyes and help her do what is right. She still may resist, but God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

If she refuses your advice, however, don’t shut her off, and don’t keep bringing up your disagreement. Your daughter is still part of your family–and her husband will be also. The Bible says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Romans 14:19). Rejoice with her if her marriage is happy–but if it fails, she will need your love and understanding.