The answer ideally is yes but ultimately is no. In other words, the Bible encourages us to have parental consent on the person you want to marry but the Bible does not ultimately require it, and this has a lot to do with our understanding of parenting. The Bible encourages and wants healthy and evolving relationships between parents and children.
In the early stages of the children’s lives, the parents should be more instructors and whereas as you move towards adulthood the parents should become advisors. Bad parenting is when people want to be advisors in the early stages and instructors in the latter stages. Now when you become an adult, part of what that means is that you are able to make your own decisions. Now you make your decisions with a number of advisors, close friends, pastors, godly people in your life, mentors, but also your parents, and one of those key decisions is who you are going to marry. Again, the parent should be an advisor not the one who is instructing you on who to marry and the Bible is clear about that because parents are not always totally unbiased. Parents also have sinful motives for why they choose this person or not that person. They may want you to marry somebody from their own ethnicity, they may want you to marry somebody just because of wealth. So if you ever find yourself in a situation where your parents want you to marry a particular person but you don’t want to because it doesn’t square with what the Bible is saying, rather than rebel against them and be angry and be condemnatory, what you need to do is to honour your parents, seek to be persuasive, get other people to help you to persuade them, always honour them, as you are trying to do that but you are not ultimately bound to their own choice for you.
So, does the Bible require it? No, but the Bible will certainly encourage it.
Answered by Femi Osunnuyi, Lead Pastor of City Church, Lagos.