The following is an edited transcript of the audio.
It seems our potential son-in-law became a believer to win our daughter. How should we respond?
Well, a person cannot do that. He cannot become a believer to win your daughter, because that is a self-contradiction. But I understand what they're saying. It looks that way.
You become a believer because you see it's true, and you love it, and it's beautiful, and you embrace it. If he's doing it for the daughter he's an idolater and not a believer.
But it looks like he made a profession of faith because she said, "I'm not going to marry an unbeliever." So now he's a "believer", and they can go to the altar.
That happens not infrequently. How should she and the parents respond?
Here's the danger: love is blind, they say—there's a lot of truth in that. She wants this man so bad to be a believer, because she likes him so much. And he says he is, and she's probably not as discerning as she should be because love is not helping her be discerning. And her parents see it another way.
I would say that the parents should gently and carefully—oh, it's so difficult! Because if they put their foot down too hard here, and the couple gets married, you've got a relational issue that lasts for decades with the son who felt they never wanted him.
I'm dealing with a situation where that's true 30 years on. The in-laws are still the enemy, because mainly they didn't ever want this to happen.
So, as I'm assessing the potential spouses of my children, I must be so careful. Because they're going to make this call here, and I believe they should. I'm not going to function with absolute authority here.
My conception is that as they reach adulthood I'm backing away. I'm praying earnestly. I've taught them. They've got to make this call.
And I think they're going to make a bad mistake! What do I say? What do I do? Because I don't want to say, "You're going to regret this!"
Now I'll say that about an unbeliever, because that's clear in the Bible. But on the other layers of judgment and wisdom and discernment, I'm basically going to draw my son or daughter's attention to principles.
I'll say, "Just make sure of this, this, and this. Be discerning and prayerful." And then you support them. And you've got to! If they're going to get married you've got to support. That is, you're caring, you're loving.
You're going to be in their lives for as long as you live. You don't want to throw that away.