Bible Question:

My girlfriend's parents do not seem to like or respect me. Can I have some scriptures that will help me with this problem?

Bible Answer:

Before we start it is important to remember that when we are seeking someone’s approval, it is common for us to fear rejection and so we evaluate their actions. Consequently, it is easy to think we are being rejected when we do not know the person well. It is possible her parents approve of you. But to answer your question, we will assume they do not.

There are a number of reasons your girlfriend’s parents may not approve of you. Parents usually want someone to marry their daughter or son who is like their child or better than their child. The book of Proverbs gives us some clues as to what parents look for in their offspring’s conduct.

How To Make Parents Glad

Our first two passages in Proverbs say that a wise son makes his father glad but a foolish son causes both grief and bitterness to his mother.

A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother. (NASB) Prov. 10:1

A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him. (NASB) Prov. 17:25

This should also be true of a potential son-in-law. You need to show wisdom to gain a father’s approval. What does Proverbs mean by wisdom? God tells us that wisdom is found in the book of Proverbs.

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: to know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity . . . (NASB) Prov. 1:1-3

As a man in my twenties I would read the book of Proverbs over and over again to gain wisdom, understanding, knowledge, discretion and discernment. I would pray and I still do pray that God will give me these things, especially discernment. I have much to learn and I need all that the Lord will give me. I would encourage you to start by reading Proverbs everyday for several years. Once you finish the book, start over again and continue re-reading it. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom.

Signs of a Wise Son/Son-in-Law

What are the signs of a foolish son or potential son-in-law? The first sign is the son’s attitude towards his mother or a son-in-law’s attitude towards his mother-in-law.

A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother. (NASB) Prov. 15:20

Any son who despises his mother is not wise and if he is not wise he is a grief and bitterness to his mother according to the above passages. The same is probably true of a potential son-in-law and mother-in-law relationship. One sign of a foolish son or son-in-law is his sexual life.

Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; that they may keep you from an adulteress, from the foreigner who flatters with her words . . . And I saw among the naive, And discerned among the youths A young man lacking sense, passing through the street near her corner; And he takes the way to her house . . . With her many persuasions she entices him; With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool . . . (NASB) Prov. 7:4-5, 7-8, 21-22

A foolish young man is one who has sex before marriage or outside of marriage. It does not matter if you love her, the issue is, “Did you have sex with her?” God’s divine standard is that we wait until after we are married to have physical relations.

Freedom of Action

Here is a truth that many ignore. God says that a son or daughter who usually gets what he or she wants will shame his mother.

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. (NASB) Prov. 29:15

The same is true of fathers. Reproof is never pleasant. The board of education applied to one’s seat of learning is not pleasant either. Too many parents today want to be friends with their children. With some single parents, the child has even emotionally replaced the missing spouse for one reason or another. In these situations, the parent is slow to discipline the child because they have trouble accepting the short-term emotional rejection. In other cases, the parent believes that discipline is harmful to the child. At this point we need to remember that no parent’s discipline is perfect, but that does not mean we should stop. Listen to the Holy Spirit talk about God’s discipline.

But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them . . . (NASB) Heb. 12:8-10

Discipline is a sign of love! That is the reason for God’s discipline. A son who is never corrected will never become what God wants him to be. Even potential fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law may verbally correct future sons-in-law. This is a time to learn and grow.

Finding Favor

Are you looking for favor with God, maybe with a future father and mother-in-law? Listen to this passage.

My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (NASB) Prov. 3:1-7

Favor with God and others comes from knowing the Bible and following it. When we know the Word of Truth, we become wise. This is God’s pattern.


I would encourage you to start studying Proverbs daily. I would encourage you to be sexually pure, to not seek your own desires either sexually or otherwise and to look for opportunities to help others. God’s word needs to be in your life, on your lips, and in your actions. Remember the Lord’s teaching.

Does your conduct show a high moral standard toward their daughter and respect for them? Sometimes a daughter may want to violate the wishes of her parents in the sexual area but that does not mean God’s gives youthe freedom. Depending on your age, your girl’s parents may look at you nd wonder if you can financially support their daughter in marriage.

I would also encourage you to have a conversation with your girlfriend’s parents and ask them how they feel about you. If they do have concerns, that would show them that you desire to please them. You will surprise them and it could be very helpful to both of you.