There comes a point in every relationship when both guy and girl need to “meet the family”—one of the most intimidating dates you’ll ever experience! Whatever your relationship with your parents, inviting your boyfriend (or boyfriend-to-be) to meet them is not just a big step, it’s essential to healthy relationships. The accountability of involving your family (particularly if you have godly parents) encourages honor, purity and honesty. It also gives each party in the relationship a better view of their partner; our family accounts for much about our personalities and priorities.
So how do you know if your boyfriend should meet your parents? Since every family is different, I think this is a hard question to answer in one post. If your parents approach relationships from a legalistic perspective, you may be afraid to share your relationship intentions with them. You will need a very specific approach in cases like these (which will I share about in this post).
On the other hand, if you have parents who are involved in your life, but also give you the freedom to meet and date Christian guys, you’ll want to maintain that trust. This was the case in my own relationships (both before I met my husband and after).
Having your boyfriend meet your parents matters because honoring godly parents involves including them in your relationship decisions, asking for accountability and being open to their wisdom. But before you take the time to introduce the guy you’re dating, think about the following questions.
1. Does He Value Family?
Does the guy you’re dating value family in general? If he seems skittish about meeting your parents, it’s worth asking why. When a man pursues an honorable life and values you the way you deserve, he should have no reason to fear your parents. Certainly, a few nerves are understandable. But his perspective on family as a whole can affect your life for good or for bad.
God values family. He wants us to put Him first and family second. The family is the pivotal point for discipleship and the foundation of the church. If the guy you’re dating doesn’t value family like God does, there are bigger spiritual issues you need to discuss with him.
2. Does He Value Your Family?
Does the guy you’re dating care about your family dynamic? If you’re close with your siblings and parents, does he take an interest, even if he can’t relate? Though none of us have the same family background, we are all required to honor others with the love of God. Whatever your family history, your boyfriend should respect your family and honor your relationship with them.
3. Does He Value Accountability?
Finally, does the guy you’re dating value accountability? Meeting the parents takes a relationship to a deeper level. It forces a guy to acknowledge that there are other people who love and value you—people who will hold him accountable if he disrespects you. If the guy you’re dating doesn’t want that accountability, he may not be ready to value you the way you deserve.
Because I have a close relationship with my parents, and I respect their godly guidance, all the guys I dated called my dad before we became “official.” I didn’t live close to my parents or perhaps the guys I dated would have met them in person (and some did). This was one of the best decisions I made in my relationships.
Whatever your family situation, your relationship with your parents affects your relationship with your boyfriend, and vice versa. As with everything you do, seek to honor God first. Ask for wisdom to navigate your current relationship. Use wisdom as you communicate your family dynamic to the guy you’re dating. And above all else, pursue unity and peace between you, your boyfriend and the family he might meet.