The Sweet Christian Bride

A Father’s Blessing

by admin on March 28, 2013 in Communication, Family with 15 Comments

One of the tricky relational dynamics during an engagement is often the transition from the first main man in your life, your father, to the new main man, your fiancé.  As my dad said lightheartedly at our rehearsal dinner, the engagement period isn’t so much for the bride to plan her wedding, it’s for the father of the bride to prepare himself for a new son in the family.

Hopefully your father and your fiancé get along, but if they don’t, God can still work miracles during the engagement period, or if that timing is not right, during your marriage itself.  One thing that your fiancé can do to help establish a relationship of respect with your father is to ask your father for his blessing on your engagement.

If he has not already asked for your parents’ blessing, your fiancé might consider having that conversation now.  Even though it’s after the proposal, it can still do wonders in establishing a relationship of mutual respect between him and your parents, which in turn goes a long way for the health and peace of your marriage.

Many men do not do this; it is mostly a religious tradition (think Jacob and Laban) that has come to symbolize respect for the bride’s father and is rooted in the working out of legal arrangements for the groom’s buying of the father’s “property.”

Because we don’t entertain the notion of a dowry anymore and because this meeting might be intimidating, it’s easy to view the father’s blessing as an antiquated act that is no longer relevant to our age of independence.  Honoring one’s parents, however, is never an irrelevant act.  Although you cannot force your fiancé to do this, you can ask him to and you can pray that he will.

Chris called my father up and asked him out to breakfast.  The conversation that followed wasn’t effortless, yet to this day, Chris cherishes the benefits of that conversation and recommends to any potential fiancé that he ask for the bride’s father’s blessing (or mother’s if that is more appropriate).

From what Chris told me, one of the benefits of this meeting between him and my dad was that it gave my dad an open forum to discuss any of his concerns and it gave Chris an opportunity to demonstrate his thoughtfulness, prayer, and worth in those areas.  Both men felt heard and were therefore able to approach the engagement from the same page.

The greatest benefit of meeting with my dad, however, was the official welcome into the family that he gave Chris.  Having your father explicitly offer his blessing and excitement for having a new son in the family will allow your fiancé to hold on to that genuine expression of love in any future moments of insecurity.  I can’t imagine there being many fears worse than feeling like someone has to like you because he is stuck with you, rather than knowing that someone, of his own volition, has chosen to love you.

If this meeting does happen after the proposal has already taken place, consider beginning by being sensitive to their feelings and having your fiancé apologize for any negligence on his part.  The truth is, your fiancé is probably not an expert in proposals, and if he has no married man to speak into his life, there is no reason why he would know to ask for your father’s blessing.

Your fiancé can explain that to your parents in order to show that it was not omission out of disrespect but out of lack of awareness.  This post-engagement meeting between him and your parents can still be a good opportunity for open dialogue about their concerns and blessings for your engagement, as well as assurance from your fiancé to your parents about your relationship.

* If your father or parents express disapproval at this meeting, that’s a whole other ball game that has no simple answer.  I can briefly suggest, however, immediately petitioning God for His will in light of the new opposition and also following up with your parents’ rationale.  You are called to honor your parents, but only God can show you what that means for this particular situation.  Perhaps they see something in your fiancé that God wants to warn you about; other times, disapproval might be out of baggage that your parents are carrying, which is not your responsibility.  Again, only God knows that, and through petition by prayer and fasting, godly counsel, and Scripture meditation, God will guide you by His Holy Spirit.

Article was originally published on March 14, 2011.

By Lindsay
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  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Mike Eberhardt says:

      Bride’s dad would like to say blessing at wedding