How to Love Your In-Laws And Mean It
It was a huge decision. And it would bring many changes for my husband, me, and our daughter who was eighteen-months-old at the time. But my in-laws weren’t too happy about it.
My husband ministered as a part-time youth pastor while he also worked full-time at a local company. A place both his father and brother were also employed.
Yet, my husband had been called into full-time ministry and the time came to fully surrender to the Lord’s call. This meant we would be moving six hours and two states away from family and friends. And my in-laws, who were devoted Christians, weren’t in total agreement.
It just didn’t make good sense to them in many ways like financially, with job security and 401k. Of course taking their granddaughter away didn’t sit well either.
While we did move forward in our decision and my in-laws learned to accept our ministry life, this example is all too common.
I’m sure you relate as a wife. Right?
Whether it’s a job decision, where we live, our parenting and disciplining choices, our picks of schools or homeschooling, or even how much we cook or eat out may all play into the common struggles we all face with in-laws as wives.
So what’s a wife to do? Because these scuffles will likely never be completely eliminated from popping up.
How do we live in peaceful relationship with our in-laws while living out our intended family life?
Here are 6 tips I’ve learned along the way on how to build a relationship of respect and love with in-laws.
- Pray for your relationship with your in-laws. Prayers for strong family ties that go beyond bloodline.
- Ask the Lord to give you a deep and loyal love for them modeling your mindset after Ruth. When her husband died, Ruth felt a loyalty to her mother-in-law. A passage often used during wedding vows. ( Ruth 1:16-18)
- Don’t blame your husband’s issues on them. His upbringing isn’t always the reason for his faults.
- Have family meetings allowing everyone to express their viewpoints. Never sweep anything under the rug. This will only fester and cause much bigger problems later. State your reasons behind a decision, plan, or vision and lovingly hear them out too. But relay that you and your husband will have the final say and you hope they will respect it.
- Walk in forgiveness. Family members hurt each other and in-laws certainly are not exempt. But broken in-law relationships may also damage your marriage and the kids suffer since they are their grandparents. You can’t love someone fully you hold something against.
- Remember this is your husband’s flesh and blood. Loving your in-laws well is loving your husband well. Scripture tells husbands to “leave” parents and “cleave” to their wives. But not to sever the ties that bind.
Wife Step: Pray Ruth’s words become your heart’s words: Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (Ruth 1:16)
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. As an award-winning writer and avid speaker, she loves words and God’s Word. For over a decade, she has balanced the busy life of church ministry with working from her home office in marketing where she is frequently referred to as Girl Friday. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Karen’s writing connects family life experiences, Christian ministry, and real life scenarios as women to the timeless truths of Scripture. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and a grandson. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology.
Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com