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How This “Old-Fashioned” Tradition Can Save Your Marriage

When I work with failed marriages, there are several characteristics that are common among many of them. My mentor always said the big four causes of divorce are pornography, premarital sex, lack of a blessing for the marriage from at least one parent, and neglect. We’ve seen plenty of other factors, but these seem to come up with more regularity than most others.

Some of these factors get more attention than others. Many pastors and church leaders will discuss the harmful effects of pornography and premarital sex. And they will often discuss the husband’s responsibility to love and nurture their wives as well. But few will ever discuss the importance of parental blessing on a marriage.

In today’s culture, getting parental blessing on marriage is thought of as old-fashioned. Perhaps it is. Many people don’t think it’s necessary for their parents to approve of their future spouse. Still, there are a lot of great reasons to seek out the blessing from parents before walking the aisle. One of the biggest is authority.

You may be aware that marriage is based on authority. Ephesians 5:22-27 makes that very clear. In this passage, Paul reiterates the God-designed authority structure for the family.

When you get married, there is a transfer of authority. The bridegroom is no longer under his parents’ authority, but is establishing his own household under God. And the bride is moving out from under her father’s authority and under her husband’s authority.

If any of the parents doesn’t bless the marriage, then the transfer is done in rebellion.

And we have seen that a marriage established in rebellion will have more than it’s share of struggles. What’s worse is that most of these people have a terrible time solving their problems because they haven’t learned how to solve problems according to God’s Word. Failing to get parental blessing is often a symptom of that.

So, if you’re thinking about getting married, make sure you get your parents’ blessing. It will get your marriage started on the right foot. It won’t guarantee a successful marriage, but it will go a long way in that direction.

If you are already married and didn’t receive the blessing of a parent, then go to them and ask for their forgiveness. You can’t change the marriage, but you can restore the relationship. It will also do away with the rebellious spirit in the marriage and help to restore a proper authority structure. And it could save your marriage.

Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit and sign up for this free e-zine.