|Author: Pastor Faith Oyedepo|
I feel delighted to welcome you again to this superb column. What I will be focusing on this month is what I call: “The Place of In-Laws.” As you follow with rapt attention, you shall experience a turning point in your marriage in Jesus’ precious name!
Most of the challenges we see in many homes today are not directly between the wife and her husband, but between the in-laws and one of the spouses. Members of your extended family are your relations, not members of your immediate family. Priorities need to be ordered right.
The number one rule that is of relevance here is that, as a born-again Christian, you owe your in-laws a godly attitude – as to everyone else. This doesn’t disregard the veracity that if your in-laws are “difficult” people, controlling and manipulative or don’t share your faith, this may be a particularly hard challenge.
Certainly, your in-laws are not just anyone; they’re connected to your spouse through a psychological dynamics. So, if you have any form of disagreement with your in-laws, your spouse may feel caught in the middle of his/her parents and you.
If, for instance, you sense that your in-laws are interfering in your marriage, the old saying, “Good fences make good neighbours,” may apply. So, in conformity with your spouse, set coherent boundaries such that your spouse will kindly and firmly insist that your in-laws respect.
God’s Word says: Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12). That is to say, honouring one’s parents necessitates showing them love, patience, kindness, gentleness and respect. This is applicable to in-laws, too. So, you are obliged to choose to act in a loving manner toward them.
For instance, you might decide to adopt their tradition – if it’s not really against your faith; and despite the fact that you don’t really admire it, do it for the sake of peace. Fully partaking in family events is also relevant, even if you have to create time out of none to do that.
Remember, once you are married, you have automatically become part of another family with its own set of prospects. Therefore, you need to be familiar with and reverence those within limits.
Briefly, let’s examine three limits that honouring your in-laws do not mean:
First, it doesn’t necessitate “conforming” to all their “parental” requirements which in some cases, some in-laws may get pretty fanatical.
Second, it doesn’t entail that you must permit them to disrepute, control or influence you for their own self-centred motives.
Third, it doesn’t require that you inundate all your own feelings, desires, preferences and needs in the service of “doing things their way.”
In-law discrepancies often grow more intimidating when a spouse seems to take sides with his or her parents and against his or her partner. The partner may feel “ganged up on.”
This isn’t so much an in-law’s problem as a marital one. There’s nothing more devastating in marriage than for either partners in marriage to be tied to the apron strings of his/her parents. For every small decision to be taken in the home, he or she says, “I am going home,” because he never left home in the first place.
Don’t let your relationship with your in-law erode your marriage further. Do the healthy thing required of you to give your in-laws their place in your home.
Until you are born again, you cannot effectively acknowledge the place of your in-laws. 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 email@example.com; 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).