HAVING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH IN-LAWS PT 1
HAVING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH IN-LAWS PT 1
I welcome you to another interesting edition on “Family Life”. This month, by the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall be teaching on the topic: Having a healthy relationship with in-laws. This will help you appreciate the place they occupy in the family and how to relate with them better.
What is a healthy relationship?
Let me start by defining what a Relationship is; it means contact and interaction with people; to be involved, to link up with someone. Your in-laws are the parents and close relatives of your husband or wife also referred to as extended family members. A healthy relationship with in- laws simply connotes having good interactions with people who are linked to you in marriage. In every family, in-laws are always present, and it has been said that most problems in the home are not directly between the husband and wife, but with In-laws.
You can have the best of relationship with your in-laws which will contribute to the success of your marriage. Take a clue from Moses, whose father-in-law’s wise counsel was a treasure to him and his family. The Bible says: And Moses’ father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said (Exodus 18:17-19, 24). May light from heaven shine upon every dark area of your relationship with your in-laws as we explore these vital keys in Jesus name.
Acceptance means reception. Accepting your in-laws as members of your household is very important. Many times, people verbally declare that their in-laws are members of their nuclear family, but still cannot tolerate them. They see them as outsiders trying to intrude into their affairs.
Although, there is a limit to how far they should get involved in one’s family affairs, it doesn’t mean they should be completely neglected. Ruth showed a very good example of accepting one’s in-laws as family. The Scripture says: And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me (Ruth 1:16-17)
Some people frown at the mention of their in-laws visiting them; they don’t see them as being related so every step of closeness from their part, is seen as nuisance. Are you a daughter in-law, son-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, father-in-law or mother-in-law? Then you should learn from the story of Ruth. By her act of love towards her in-law, she became a reference point linked to the linage of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You should not stop at accepting them, you should relate with them in love. Love should not be done in words only, but in your act. Someone once said, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. Learn to practices the love of God by giving to your in-laws. Giving should not just be material; your time, energy, intellect and occasional visits matters a great deal. Mother Theresa, a well-known Christian and Nobel Laureate winner of the Peace prize, when asked what the solution for world peace was, she said; “Let everyone go home and love their families”. This tells us that indeed, love is a vital force for growth and successful relationship with whoever you are dealing with. Walking in the love of God makes it possible for you to relate successfully with all categories of men including your in-laws, both the loveable and the unlovable. That love is made possible by the help of the Holy Spirit. The scripture says: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:5-6)
- 3. Hospitality
Hospitality is been friendly, welcoming to guests. It also involves the food, drink, and other privileges provided for them. It is what makes you want to share what you have with others. You must show hospitality to your in-laws. Hospitality has great benefits, and brotherly love should be the reason for reaching out to others. The Bible say: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality (Romans 12:10&13).
Brotherly love can find expression through giving. It could be a cup of water, a meal, money, a warm smile or a listening ear, whatever is within your power to give. Don’t eat all your food and drink all your water alone. Remember that the liberal soul shall be made fat (Proverbs 11:250). Hospitality is the path to God’s presence in your marriage and home.
In the early days of our ministry, my husband and I had to share our home and toilet facilities with the whole Church. We did it then without grumbling or complaining, knowing that was just a phase. I believe that was one of the reasons why God blessed us with a larger place. We learnt early that a friendly and open home is commanded by God. In our home, we are given to hospitality and we enjoy it. In actual fact, it is our watchword! Genuine and sincere hospitality brings with it great rewards. You will not miss your reward!
You need to be connected to the God of love so you can dwell in love. You want to be born again please pray this prayer with faith in your heart. Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. I accept You as my Lord and personal Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank You for delivering me from sin and satan to serve the living God and thank You for accepting me into Your Kingdom.
Congratulations! If you prayed this simple prayer of faith with me, you are now born again and 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).
With this, you are guaranteed all-round rest and peace in Jesus’ Name! Call or write to share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org, 07026385437 OR 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: Building a Successful Home, Making Marriage Work and Success in Marriage (Co-Authored)