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Parents Marrying Me Off

I have a complicated issue. I'm 16. My family is trying to put me in an arranged marraige. We're Palestinians & recent Christian converts. My parents are determined to marry me off. I want to finish school. I want to respect my folks. At the same time I want to live my life. What do I do?

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 ---Miriam on 7/11/05
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Miriam: Please pray for God's guidance. Ask your parents politely to listen to your reasons. Explain to them your reasons and your desires the way you explained to us. I will pray for you.
---bebet3754 on 11/16/07

Arranged marriages are a way of life in some cultures,but rarely,to my knowledge, among Christians.At 16 what can you do?Talk to your Christian Pastor,ask him to help you by talking to your parents ,or perhaps a relative with great influnce over your parents.Showing respect to parents has nothing to do with allowing yourself to be married off against your will.They also should respect you and your wishes.Pray God will intervene for you and stop them with a change of heart/mind.
---Darlene_1 on 5/13/07


Remember we can never live our life independent from the will of God for our lives.
---barbara67 on 10/24/05

Miriam,hi just checking in to see how you are doing.If you see this please let me know.Have you gotten to know the older man your dad picked for you and what do you think of him?Are you still friends with the young man? May God work all things out for your good.Keep being wise and take your time about what you do.Being young and free to grow, is a lovely time of life.
---Darlene_1 on 10/24/05

Miriam: Sorry, in my last message I'd forgotten that your dad and family are/have moved to Australia, so that's why he sent you there! I'm in USA, but AU seems like a nicer place to live than many others in the world. I pray that your dad will receive some help from God through wise Believers at the church you mentioned; and also conform to 'Aussie' law if 18 is the youngest you can get married! Does anyone know for sure?
---danie9374 on 8/21/05

Miriam, thank you for your answer. Hopefully you now understand why someone your age shouldn't be forced into making such a choice! Have you asked your father to fully explain why he wants you to do this? We would all hope that he truly loves you and is not thinking more of money instead. If you found a family to stay with in Australia, would he like that, or rather have you come home?
---danie9374 on 8/20/05

I don't know yet what I want to do. Hakim is financially stable. I could go to school and money would never be an issue. But he's 40 and I don't want to be with someone THAT much older than me. I am not in it for the $$, but then again, it would be nice to not have to work, so I could stay home with any kids God blesses us with. So many choices....
---Miriam on 8/20/05

Miriam, sorry for being so blunt, but it's necessary to help you: Are you still marrying Hakim? Or are you now considering marrying someone else? Don't fall into a trap of evil by marrying someone you perhaps really shouldn't, and then sin in your mind or actually commit adultery by being with another man you wished you had married! Those with more experience have seen that happen many times.
---danie9374 on 8/18/05

Miriam,hi,good to hear how you are. I was thinking about you.It seems things are falling in place for you through the love and mercy of Jesus.Answered prayer is awesome.May you continue to grow in the love of the Lord and be blessed with His hand directing your life.Nice to be able to speak in your own language with the leaders.Foursquare is a good Church.Preston sounds like just the young man you needed to meet.He's so nice, a Christian too,that means you're on the same track with Jesus. Blessings
---Darlene_1 on 8/18/05

Hi everyone. I am LOVING Sydney. Preston & I are getting 2B really good friends. Someone asked what church we're attending. It's Arabic Calvary Chapel. They describe themselves as a Foursquare Church. It's a nice place. I can speak to the elders in Arabic and to my peers in Arabic or English. Hope all of you are well. Cheerio!!
---Miriam on 8/16/05

Miriam, what church did you go to? Where is your church? I am from Sydney (but I'm not there right now). I will keep you in my prayers and am thinking of you. Hope it all goes well.
---lisa on 8/5/05

Sounds wonderful there,Preston sounds so nice,just enjoy being young and living life.You're welcome and though we may not be in contact every day I will continue to pray every day for God's move in your life and your parents hearts.God be with you,guide you,keep you,and bless you.
---Darlene_1 on 8/5/05

Sydney is SO COOL!! Preston is showing me around on Sunday afternoon after church. I am so happy. The weather is beautiful and we're right on the Harbor. It's like my own little paradise. Thanks for backing me up on my little dilemma. I appreciate it. Until later....cheerio (-:
---Miriam on 8/4/05

God bless you, Miriam! I hope you would develop friendships with your neighbors to be able to have clean fun with them. Pray that your parents will have a CHANGE OF HEART and OF PLANS for you. For the time being, be prayerful. Ask God for protection and guidance! God be with you!
---bebet3754 on 8/4/05

Praise the Lord, I am so glad you could talk to your Dad And your Dad listened to you.God is working on your behalf just keep standing in faith that God can work all this out the way thats best for you and will make you happy.I have been praying for you and will continue to do so.Just yesterday I thought I wish I knew how you are doing,thanks for letting us know.It's neat you have already made a new friend.Love to you in Jesus Name little Sister-in-Christ,and God Bless.
---Darlene_1 on 8/3/05

Hi everyone. I'm in Sydney & I meet Hakim next week. I'm happy & mad at the same time. I've made a new friend here & he's so cool. His name is Preston. He's 18 & we're going 2B neighbors. He works @ the restaurant near our villa. I talked to my dad about stuff...He *FINALLY* agreed that if I don't like Hakim when I meet him, I don't have to marry him yet. He still wants me 2 think it over, though. Small victory.
---Miriam on 8/3/05

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You know Lisa I will totally agree in prayer with you, this precious 16 year old girl has been on my heart since I read this.

You said it perfectly - pink lace & scribbling love hearts Amen!

I would marry this 40 year old man, at 16, 'if' God, in His hand writing gave me a note to do so.

Miriam I promise, I will pray for you.

As someone in her 40's, I cringe at the thought if I was 16, to marry a man 40!

Lord, I pray, Your complete perfect will for Miriam.
---bethany on 7/28/05

Miriam, the more I think about you the more troubled I feel. At 16 you shouldn't have to be worrying about such burdens of marriage to a middle aged man while you are barely a child, a teenager who should be wearing pink lace and scribbling love hearts with boy's initials your own age. I pray right now and may everyone agree, in Jesus name God would open up the eyes, ears and hearts of your parents to let you choose your own husband when you are a lot older and have studied. I ask this in Jesus name Amen.
---lisa on 7/28/05

Bethany,thank you, love really does make the marriage world go round.I love to do research so I will check that out,thanks for the information.God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 7/28/05

Hi Darlene,

I study/listen/learn often to a Pentecostal/Evangelical man named Chuck Missler, as we cant post websites, its easy to do a google search on him, well respected man of God, very very informative, and spot on. If you do a search re Mary and Joseph on his website - it was there I discovered the ages.

Your recent reply to Miriam was just perfect re the reason to marry, to be in love!

We learn by our experiences, we can never be anyone else's experience.
---bethany on 7/28/05

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Hi Miriam, no, certainly not to much to ask!

Your hope to work in the social work/and or law arena's, bravo (you must love justice, the God of Justice and His Holy Spirit will be such a wonderful reference/guidance).
I praise God for your/family's recent christian conversion.
---bethany on 7/27/05

Bethany, can you please tell me where you found the ages of Mary and Joseph?Don't remember hearing that before.Interesting.My grandmother was 15 years old and my granddad was 28 when they married ,but she loved him and choose to marry at that age.16 & 40 is too wide a gap.No one should have to marry for any reason except they are in love.Miriam keep praying dear and know even when things seem the worse God can and does intervene.Stand strong.Have faith.You aren't lost Jesus knows right where you are.
---Darlene_1 on 7/27/05

What I want is to finish school and work for a while-I want to be either a Social Worker or a lawyer. I haven't decided. I just want to live life for a while B4 I marry and have a family. I don't think that's 2 much to ask. Is it?
---Miriam on 7/27/05

Hi Miriam, beautiful name.
The age difference concerns me? Albeit, Mary (Jesus' mother) was 14, married Joseph 38.
Why isnt your arranged H-2B married yet previous to his 40 years? Married before?

Honouring parents, does not mean you have to marry someone they choose - ie. if your parents ask you to rob a bank, would you? of course not, that is DISHONOURING God's best for you (Though shalt not steal etc).
---bethany on 7/27/05

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Miriam, your situation is a tough because of your age and what is happening, but i'd like to help if i can. I am Australian and yes, 16 is too young to marry I think but I'll need to check. Honouring parents means respecting them but its not always doing what they ask because sometimes they have ulterior motives. The bottom line is this is your life and you are 16 which makes you under their guardianships so we'll need to look into the issues. What do you really want? Tell me and I will help you Miriam?.
---lisa on 7/27/05

Miriam,Ephesians6:1&4 Children,obey your parents in the Lord;for this is right.In the Lord,means if parents tell you to do something which goes against the Bible's teaching you don't obey them in that,obey only what lines up with God's Word.4 tells fathers not to provoke children to wrath.This shows fathers can't just treat children any way they please but must respect their feelings,welfare, and be in agreement with the Word and will of God.Fathers must not hurt children.
---Darlene_1 on 7/27/05

So honoring mom & dad doesn't mean i have to obey them all the time. But isn't that a contradiction. They are trying to do what's best for me and if I refuse, what is that saying about me? I am so lost.
---miriam on 7/27/05

Dear Miriam: Remember, EVERY experience in your life will be used to God's glory! Some aspects of life with my Muslim husband were wonderful! Two beautiful children and important lessons re my spiritual life in Jesus. Every day in every way become more like Jesus thru His perfect will. Even tho' we bloggers are located everywhere, we are united in Christ Jesus, as we are with you. Write to us and bless you both my dear in the mighty name of Jesus! Your friend, Elsie
---Elsie on 7/26/05

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Miriam honouring your parents does not mean doing exactly what they say. To honour means to be good to them, respectful but you are not always going to agree with them on important matters. This is okay because you are an individual with your own views on life and this is how it should be. If you truly believe what they want for you is wrong, then you need to follow your own heart otherwise they will end up with a divorced daughter or a dead one.
---lisa on 7/26/05

God bless you, Miriam! I understand that Hakim is a Christian convert. I hope that you will find something good in him to start liking him if in case there is no other way for you to get out of the arranged marriage. Pray hard and ask for God's guidance and blessings because it is difficult to live with a man without love in your heart.
---bebet3754 on 7/25/05

Miriam,you're more than welcome,so glad you're ok.I pray Hakim realizes what a wonderful,mature,and wise beyond her years,wife he is getting.I pray he will seek the Lord with you for all things.Pour out your heart to him,perhaps he'll understand,and help you get that eduacation you want so badly.Whatever comes Christ will always be with you.May you be blessed and happy with Hakim.May God give you peace and love with contentment.My Prayers are with you.God Bless you
---Darlene_1 on 7/25/05

Hello Elsie & everyone else. I'm good. Getting ready to go to Sydney for 3 weeks to see the new house and see my hubby-2-B. I still have muxed feelings, but I am resigned to the fact that I can't go against my folks-Honor thy mother & father. My dad wants me to marry Hakim, so I have to obey them. Thanks again my friends for all your comments.
---Miriam on 7/25/05

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Dear Miriam: I am the lady who was married 25 years to a Palestinian Muslim. I haven't forgotten you my dear! Thanks for the updates. How are you doing? Please know I am praying for the perfect will of our Lord Jesus Christ to be with you! Stay strong in Him!
---Elsie on 7/20/05

Miriam I had been doing some research on Muhammed's wives and you can thank him for your Dad's view of marriage.Muhammed married a 6 year old girl/Aisha and consummated the marriage when she was only 9,he was 56 years old.Men of Islamic belief followed his example,I read of a 14 year old being married to a 60 year old man.It said this isn't unusual practice.Maybe tell Dad Christian now and shouldn't do this because it's custom of Islam.
---Darlene_1 on 7/20/05

Miriam,thank you for giving us an update.May God work this out to your good.I pray God gives you the desires of your heart.God Bless You
---Darlene_1 on 7/19/05

Hello, friends-
My dad finally let me see a pic of my soon-2-B hubby...EEEEWWWW The guy's like 40! He's well off, but geez. His name is Hakim. He's a Christian convert from Islam-same as us. Next month I get my travel visa and I get to see him face-2-face.

Just an update.
---Miriam on 7/16/05

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Miriam,please keep us informed how this turns out for you.Even if it's a long time before you know or things take place, some of us will still remember you.I am praying for you.God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 7/15/05

Thanks much for the imput. I'm starting to get ideas as to what I should do. I've been praying and I feel so at peace. Ok, another question based on my 1st one. If I do have to marry this guy, what are my rights? I'm a minor and I don't know Aussie law yet. Limited Internet access so I haven't been able to read up on anything. Thanks my friends (-:
---Miriam on 7/13/05

2;The only way a person can marry under age 18 is by Court Approvel due to exceptional circumstances.Advice;don't tell your parents about Australian laws,they could arrange a marriage in another country which allowed such marriages.Wait until you are in Australia and they try to force marriage then disclose this to them.If they go to court for permission ,tell the Judge you don't want to marry at all.That should put a stop to it.No person has a right to force someone to marry against their will. God Bless
---Darlene_1 on 7/13/05

1; Miriam, maybe, your way out of marriage at 16.In Australia;Religious and Cultural practices must exist within(agree with) existing Australian Laws.Arranged marriages are acceptable only if both parties are marriagble age,which is 18 years old under Federal Marriage Act 1961,and both are willing participants.Forcing a person to commit an act against their will,including marriage,is considered a serious matter.Men and women have equal rights including whether or not they wish to enter into marriage.
---Darlene_1 on 7/13/05

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Miriam,you say your family has converted to be Christians,but does this mean you have repented of your sins and accept Christ as your personal Savior?If not do that,then study the New testament and pray for God's will ,in Jesus Name, for your life.Draw close to the Lord and live for Him.If your husbandtobe isn't a Christian your parents are going against the Bible if they make you marry him.Christians aren't suspose to be unequally yoked with a non Chirstian.
---Darlene_1 on 7/13/05

Miriam: There might yet be another way, if & when you go to Australia tell your intended that these are your feelings,you are in new surroundings & hence the old traditions are not applicable.He probably has some misgivings of his own,as marriage is based on love not arrangement.Never the less Pray seek the guidance of God stand firm God be with you.A FRIEND
---Emcee on 7/13/05

With much love in our Lord and Savior, I pray for you. I know it's tough, but put your faith in our Lord and Savior. You are picturing the worst, but this could be a blessing. Running away is never the answer. Our Lord Jesus Christ faced all his fears, because he had faith in our Father. God be praised, Gerald
---geraa7578 on 7/13/05

Miriam,Please don't even consider running away.There are worse things that can happen to you out there by yourself than getting married.
Running out of money,no place to sleep,no food to eat,and it's possible someone could rape you.It's a dangerous world and you don't want to be in it alone.You may be suffering a far worse fate if you rebell against your parents.Start praising God for His love ,read His Word,and know He is with you even when troubles come your way.
---Darlene_1 on 7/13/05

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Now, I have some idea why you have to be married off. I can't blame your parents. They are thinking about your welfare and for your family's welfare too. But I pray that they will listen to your reasons too. I basically can't understand marriage without love. I will pray for you.
---Bebet3754 on 7/13/05

You must pray and fast and seek the Lord in this matter. He can intercede on your behalf in this. It is a tough situation. To defy your parents would be to defy the Word of God. After prayer and fasting, you must lovingly sit down with your mother and share your heart with her. If you can speak or write to your father, I suggest you do that too. Trust the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11 says that the Lord has plans that are for our good.
---Madison1101 on 7/12/05

Miriam,I'm sorry for you,I'll pray for you.I married at 16 ,my choice,to a man I love and together now 50 years.I had my first child,a son at 17,the second,a daughter,at nineteen.I made it fine with the help of my husband and parents.I got my GED at 31,An AA Degree at 36 , a Bachelor of Arts Degree at 43 , and did Graduate level work at 53.Don't give up your dreams keep them in your heart until you and God make them come true.If you marry;Let God love that husband through you,maybe you can love him too.
---Darlene_1 on 7/12/05

Unfortunately, my hubby to be is already in Australia waiting for me, mom, and my other sibs. Dad met his folks and arranged everything. He told Mom and she told me. So pretty much I'm stuck. I am so scared. I don't want to be a teen bride and a teen mom. I want kids, but after I finish school and have some $ in the bank. I wish I could run away.
---Miriam on 7/12/05

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Hi Mirium, I am Australian and I welcome you to our country. You are certainly in a predicament because I know how forceful parents and arranged marriages can be so you must pray very hard about this situation. Pray God will speak to your parents so they will take a step back. How did you all become christians in Iraq? You say you are also Palestinian? Are you a Palestinian in Iraq? Tell them if they force you, you will divorce.
---lisa on 7/12/05

Miriam your family is waiting to move to Australia,if your husbandtobe isn't moving that may be a way to convince Mom you shouldn't marry him.Tell her if you marry anyone where you live now and have grandchildren for her,she won't get to see them when she moves to Australia and you don't.Ask her to let you go on to school and move with her to Australia ,beg her to please wait for a husband there ,because you want to always be near your family,and have your future children around both grandparents.
---Darlene_1 on 7/12/05

Where do you live? If you live in the US, you do not have to do this. You can go to a teacher, counselor, minister and they can help you.
---Barbara on 7/12/05

Miriam.You have every right to assert your feelings as a daughter, you are not being disrespectful,defiant as this is your body & soul for which you are accountable, you are too young at 16 to meet this obligation,it may be a tradional custom.But you are not sure, that you want to raise a family,You have a right; if you feel you are not ready you are the vessel of the future generation but do not desire this responsability as yet & will only cause more problems with the man they have chosen.
---Emcee on 7/12/05

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I know that all of the O.T. marraiges were arranged. This is 2005. I want to live my life without a husband for now. My mom especially thinks I'll end up a spinster if I am not married now. She says she wants grandbabies before she's too old to play with them and watch them grow up.

This is SO SO SO SO frustrating. Thank you my friends. Keep the responses coming.
---Miriam on 7/12/05

Arranged marriages are in the Bible. It was cultural to marry off the eldest daughter first.
Arranged marriages were also done for political reasons etc.
Being converted Christians, your parents are not supposed to marry you off. You are way too young and you can refuse.
Go to see your pastor and tell him that you don't want to get married and to help you.
---Marie_Jacquelyne on 7/12/05

My family is Muslim and I am the only Christian convert. My father is disappointed in me. But I am not living for him. I'm living for God first and then for myself. Read Matthew 10: 34-39. There are times when your own family will stand against you. You are not asking to do something morally wrong. Be brave and trust in the Lord. He will open a way for you. Approach your father in peace and love. Speak from your heart and may the Lord change his mind.
---Maha on 7/12/05

I can sympathize with you to a certain extent. My father is Palestinian as well. I was raised in a very strict household. I joined the U.S. Air Force against his wishes. It was my way to get away. I had a two year scholarship to the university and after that was over he could not afford to send me to school. My father was not happy about what I did. Basically, you have to stand your ground.
---Maha on 7/12/05

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My Palestinian Muslim husband for 25 years clung to his cultural traits. Talk to your family with respect and love, as Jesus would. Pray and ask God's will! It is difficult for them to change. Most Palestinians respect knowledge; I can't imagine your parents will not understand your desire to continue your education. DO NOT GIVE UP! Wish I knew Arabic as well as you know English. Blessings on your walk with Isus!
---Elsie on 7/12/05

I lived in Pakistan for two years and Christians are married in arranged marriages too, as in India and must of the rest of the non-western world. Arranged marriages are totally cultural and have nothing to do with religion. How many arranged marriages are mentioned in the Old Testament? I will pray for you.
---randy on 7/12/05

Thank you for all this advice-
To answer some questions...We are Muslim converts to Christianity. We're Iraqi, but we're waiting for our papers to process so we can immigrate to Australia. My dad is there working as an engineer. My folks are major old school Middle Easterners. Hope this helps to put stuff in perspective. (-:
---Miriam on 7/12/05

Pray about it and ask God the best way to approach your parents and make them see what you feel. I cant imagine how it feels, but you must not despair. Know that God always makes a way out of every temptation we are faced with. I will be praying for you.
---Onyih on 7/12/05

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Dear sister, i would advice you to talk to your preacher abt this issue, read "prov 31:1-8",1cor6:1-2,mth6:33, Gall2,6-7 &James1:5-6. We shall continue praying for you.
---Justa4583 on 7/12/05

If you are fairly new Christians your parents might not have yet fully adjusted to how differently things are done compared with how they were done in your previous faith (I presume muslim). It will depend a lot on which country you now live in as to how big a stand you can take against your parents. In U.K. and (I think) U.S. no-one can be forced to marry against their wishes. Get help from your pastor who will probably speak to your parents on your behalf.
---Paul_James on 7/12/05

Yes, Miriam, it's difficult. Begin by talking respectfully to your parents about how you feel. They surely love you and want you to be happy, but you need to convince them you've thought seriously about this and you're not just being young and silly. Be ready to calmly give them your reasons. If nothing else, at least see if they're willing to put off your marriage until you finish school. Many things could change between now and then.
---Billy on 7/12/05

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