I was wondering what your perspective is on patriarchy as it relates to the father/daughter relationship. This has become a very personal issue for me in the last couple of years. Ill try to spare you the details, but my father in law believes his children, and especially his daughters are obligated to obey him. Regardless of age, circumstance or physical location (living at home or not). The only exception is if he has "released" them or given them away in marriage. And I do mean literally given, as in property transfer. If not properly given, the daughter is then said to be stolen, and must be returned.My view is that the father-in-law's perspective is reflective of an ancient Mesopotamian tribal law that is no more valid today than the Roman custom of the paterfamilias who had the legal power to execute any member of his family who disobeyed him. The custom is from the "eastern peoples" of Paddam Aram in northwestern Mesopotamia and although it is described in the Bible, it is not Biblical in the sense of Mosaic Law, much less the New Testament Christian teachings.
What is your perspective? Is this kind of thing Biblical? Are children required to obey their parents regardless of age or circumstance?
While the Bible teaches that a father has a property right in his daughters, it is not an immutable one. Consider Deuteronomy 22:28.
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
So, clearly KG's father-in-law is wrong, even from a literal Old Testament perspective, as his permission for marriage is not required and even a "stolen" daughter need not be returned so long as compensation is duly paid. Given that a silver shekel is 8 grams of silver, or .257205 troy oz, and silver presently goes for $32.80 an ounce, KG can simply write a check for $425 to the old man and tell him to keep his nose out of his family's business. Or, alternatively, he could simply point out that they are not living in northern Mesopotamia circa 1850 BC.
And no, adults are obviously not required to obey their parents regardless of age or circumstance. One can make a reasonable Biblical case for daughters being required to be obedient to their fathers until they marry, or for sons being required to be obedient until they leave their father's house, (and indeed, one can make a strong secular and practical case as well), but in either case, there is a clear Biblical limit to the extent of paternal authority.