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20-year Old Daughter Wants To Live With Boyfriend

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20-year Old Daughter Wants To Live With Boyfriend

Postby Adamik » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:25 pm

Our 20-year-old daughter sees nothing truly wrong with deciding to get an apartment with her 23-year old boyfriend. They have been dating just over a year. She did a semester of college last fall, but did not find it what she wanted to do. Now she is working in a La Petite daycare, which she loves(because she really loves taking care of kids). We grew up as a Christian family, but she has admitted to us that she thinks they might not be a God; she's commented on our beliefs as "that's  your opinion" rather than as irrevocable truth. We of course love our daughter and she is  one of the sweetest, most caring people I know. My wife and her have a wonderfully close relationship; we don't want to be the crazy Christian parents who cut off the relationship because of wanting to live with her boyfriend. I'n not even sure she is having sex -- seems to be more of case of her finding someone that she finds compatible in many ways -- why not share more time together? I have to admit that watching them as a couple, they respect and probably love each other. We of course have both expressed our disagreement with her choice, and if she does move out, she will have to pay for the car that she was given, car insurance, etc.(She's already on her own med and dental insurance.) We think the only thing we can truly do is to love her, but never being wavering in our belief that this move is an all-around bad idea. Any suggestions or advice?
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20-year Old Daughter Wants To Live With Boyfriend

Postby Dome » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:14 pm

Hi Michael,

It is difficult at times to stand back and watch one's adult children make what we as parents feel may be a mistake, but you and your wife have had your daughter for 20 years and by now she should understand your feelings regarding religion, premarital sex and relationships.

It can be very painful after investing years of love, concern, protection and instruction into a relationship, to have a child reject one's values.  This is a test of our love for our children.  Are we able to continue to love them, and to show them respect as adults, even though they are showing or expressing contempt for our own values?  Most of us are Prodigal sons(Lk. 15) to a greater or lessor extent.  Often, when we are older, we begin to realize that our parents were not quite as wrong as we thought when we were teens or young adults.  The principal opportunity we have when our children begin making choices as adults, is to show them that we still love them even while we gently remind them that our values and choices have not changed.  We should make it clear, gently but firmly, that while we accept their right to make their own choices, it does not mean that we approve of those choices. But regardless of their choices, we should still demonstrate love for them.

You mentioned that your daughter and her boyfriend have been dating for over a year which indicates that there is at least some commitment to each other.  That they are just now acting on moving in together hopefully shows some responsibility.  At least she isn't wanting to move in with someone that she just met a few weeks ago.

A suggestion: you might want to discuss with her that by taking this step and making this commitment that she and her boyfriend are actually committing to marriage in God's eyes. There is no basis mentioned in the Bible for a "church" sanctioned ceremony before a minister, priest or rabbi. God gave Eve to Adam  (Genesis 2:22-25) and said  "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."  This is the true basis for all unions between a man and a woman. As soon as a man and a woman make a commitment to each and consummate that commitment they are married in God's eyes. Isaac "took(Rebekah) into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife and he loved her"(Gen. 24:67).  Sex without the commitment is fornication and a sin. In the New Testament  there are references to wedding suppers or celebrations which were a part of Jewish "traditions" but no reference to a ceremony performed by a priest or "permitted" by local or national government.

Just a little research into the history of weddings shows that the actual union didn't come under governmental or religious laws or rules until the 1500's.  It wasn't until after the council of Trent  the Catholic church decided that it was necessary to have a church official officiate over an actual ceremony.  Even this ruling was to ensure that the Catholic church got a portion of the wealth and lands that were exchanged between the joining families. And even after the council of Trent there were not enough priests to go around and marriages were still settled by the bride and groom's families.  And keep in mind that most marriages were agreed upon based on family status, financial wealth, to settle border disputes between land owners  or to increase the social status of a family.  Even the poorest families tried to "marry up".   For thousands of years man has made marriage about power, money, land, laws, and countries instead of what God intended the joining of two people(Gen. 2:24) to become one picturing the union of Christ and His congregation and the relationship he wants to have with each of us.

If you take the approach that they are "marrying" in fact if not on paper, then it might give her cause to reconsider or to at least give this more thought.  You might want to consider throwing your daughter a wedding feast and that congratulations are in order.  Congratulations! You have a new son-in-law and a new member of your family.

You mentioned that you had "given" your daughter a car.  If you gave her the car with the understanding, from the beginning, that she finish college or with some other conditions attached and she didn't fulfill her part then it is understandable that you would expect her to take over the car payments.  But if you gave her the car, no strings attached, then it was a gift to her and you should not expect her to take over paying for it just because you disagree with her life choice. It is a parent's responsibility to treat a child as we would want God to treat us.  It is hard not to judge others especially when we do not agree with the choices that someone is making in their life.  And it often necessary to ask God to help us understand why someone else is different or has made different choices.  It takes faith and understanding to be loving, supportive and to set the right example for others.  An individual can not do any of these things if they cut off communication and sever ties with others.  Ask God for wisdom and understanding and remember that it is necessary to treat others as you would want God to treat you.  It is not unusual for parents become so offended at their children's choices that families become alienated and separated, for years and sometimes forever.  No one wins or proves anything except their own stubbornness and selfishness(over not getting their own way).  Her apparent rejection of God may just be a temporary consideration of ideas different from what she grew up with.  Hopefully it is not due to the boyfriend's influence.  Either way, after young people learn more about the "real world"(the world outside their parent's protection), they sometimes return to the values of their parents.  Hopefully, one or both of you had discussions with her during her youth and teen years about STDs, family planning, the problems of unplanned pregnancies, the results of divorces, broken homes, children of broken homes, single mothers, finding work without higher education and related issues.  In relationships, just as in business, having a plan that indicates success, including plans for any possible disasters, is desirable if not necessary to prevent failures.  At this time, she is probably excited about a new direction in her life, about "nesting", and she may not want to hear about all or any of the risks.  Her close relationship with her mother is a very good thing.   Sometimes the easiest way to positively influence another person is to "plant seeds" in casual discussion rather than confrontation or preaching.  If you put an idea on the table in front of a person, it is easier for them to pick it up on their own terms rather than to feel as though you are trying to force it on them.  They may only look at it now and decide to examine it later, in private.   From what you have written, it sounds as though you and your wife did a good job in rearing her.  All we as parents can do beyond that, is continue to set a right example and ask God to make up the difference where we may have failed, and to keep them safe.  If you have more specific questions or want to discuss this further, feel free to write anytime. Sincerely, Guyna and Mel Horne
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