By Eve Ettinger
The weeks leading up to my engagement were not fun. There was no anticipation of a celebration, no giddy whispering of my excitement to friends. Instead, I was spending hours in my senior year dorm room, pouring over my family’s copy of “Vine’s Concise Dictionary of the Bible,” trying to parse the differences between two English translations of a certain New Testament verse, so I could write an exegetical analysis to deliver to my father in order to justify my decision to go ahead with my plan to marry my boyfriend against his wishes.
My boyfriend had called me with rage in his voice after he had asked my dad for his blessing. I could hear him trembling as he explained that the blessing had been granted, but permission had not, because it was not on my dad’s preferred timetable (we planned to marry eight months later, but my dad thought that was too long to wait and that sexual temptation would cause us to “stumble”).
Our pushback on his ridiculousness was met with a stone wall: We were “deliberately rejecting his authority over” me and he had the power to tell me not to marry this guy if he pleased, and I needed to respect that ― the Bible said so.
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