Why do parents refuse to allow their children to choose their own boy- or girlfriends?
It happens because many African parents still hold on to the marriage customs of the different tribes. It was customary that, when their boy reached marriageable age, and had passed the initiation rites, the parents would look for a suitable wife for him among the girls they knew. They arranged a meeting with the family of the girl where they arranged the dowry (lobola) and the wedding.
This is one of the main reasons why many parents in Africa, even today, refuse to allow their children to choose their own boy- or girlfriends.
Without despising the old customs, we must say that things have changed, especially when people become Christians. Christians believe
that the Lord Himself can and wants to bring two people, whom he intends to be life-partners, together. He gives the love for a special life-partner in the heart of the Christian. We must trust Him to do so, and we must be prepared to obey Him first, rather than the old customs.
But please do not quarrel with the parents who still adhere to the old customs. Let us discuss the
matter with them and try to convince them that the Christian must obey the Bible. Read Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."