|Pastor Faith Oyedepo|
The marriage of a child is one of the last separation phases parents and children experience. The right approach to it can be to maintain a good relationship afterwards.
That is why as I round off this teaching this week, I will be talking extensively to parents-in-laws. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I will be speaking on: Helpful Approach Guidelines!
The right approach towards this separation from the parents-in-laws would moderate and enable the married couple to feel supported in their new spousal responsibilities.
The couple needs privacy in order to develop a meaningful relationship. So, do not give advice unless they specifically ask for it. Even if they ask for your opinion, simply suggest solutions, then give them the liberty to accept or reject them. Don’t meddle in their business, don’t visit too often and don’t overstay your welcome. Keep your personal questions to a minimum. Don’t try to offer financial aid, unless they explicitly request it. Realise that those trials are valuable to them as they develop their lives together. Your attitude will enhance your relationship with both your child and their spouse.
Here, an understanding spirit will be most appreciated. Treat the couple with respect and don’t ridicule them or their decisions. Recognise that when your child marries, their family circle expands and relationships become more complex. Allow them to make their own mistakes and don’t adopt an “I-told-you-so” attitude if they fall short. Endeavour not to add to the couple’s stress by playing the Guilt Card, because your time with them is limited. Instead, take a genuine interest in relating with your new in-law in a meaningful way. Welcome the new addition by multiplying the love you had for your child, rather than dividing it. That way, you won’t treat your in-law as a rival, who has stolen your child’s love.
Do not expect couples to live according to your standards and values. Be fairly sensitive to the fact that your child and his or her spouse are individuals starting their own home. Their commitment to God comes first; then the bond to their spouse, and then to you as parents. Rather than living through your children’s lives, find activities of your own. The good news is, you now have the privilege of spending more time with your spouse and discuss about your feelings, which eventually transports sensitivity into your own marriage and permits connection to take place. It’s another opportunity for you to focus on your marriage by having fun together or learning something new.
Facilitating your child to become an adult of marriageable attribute helps you both to feel safe when it is actually the time for marriage. In other words, the process of teaching them responsibility and independence must begin in their teenage years. This will lead to respecting them as adults, reducing your responsibility as parents and acknowledging the couple’s responsibility of making choices for themselves. Understand that no matter how wise or valuable your advice may be, until it is ready to be acknowledged, it’s insignificant.
I, therefore, urge you parents, to adhere to these guidelines as they will be helpful in keeping your in-law relationships strong and healthy, and in contributing to the success of your children’s marriage.
A word of advice: Be the in-law you desire to have. In conclusion, the “grace” to do all that has been said above and move is the exclusive heritage of those who are born again. You get born again by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. If you are set for this, please say this prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. Deliver me from sin and satan to serve the living God. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.”
If you prayed this simple prayer, you are now a child of God. He loves you and will never leave you. Read your Bible daily, obey God’s Word and seek Christian fellowship (John 14:21).
Congratulations! You are now born again! All-round rest and peace are guaranteed you, in Jesus’ Name. Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org; OR 07026385437 and 08141320204.
For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work, Building A Successful Home and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored).