In-Law Opportunities

Genesis 4:18
“And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.”

We have all heard the in-law jokes and laughed at them, but one of the reasons we laugh at them is because the jokes often carry a hint of truth. Fortunately, I don’t understand the in-law jokes because I have great in-laws. Before I was married to my wife, I had established a great relationship with my in-laws, and that relationship continues to this day. There is not one family member on my wife’s side that I don’t enjoy being around. All of my in-laws are people whom I enjoy being with.

In the verse above, it is apparent that Moses had a good relationship with his father-in-law. When God called Moses to go back to Egypt, Moses was wise in communicating with his father-in-law what the LORD wanted him to do. It is interesting that Moses’ father-in-law gave his blessing to go, and it is also interesting that Moses’ father-in-law became a counselor to Moses later in his ministry. There are several things I would like to help you with so that you can have a good relationship with your in-laws.

First, don’t look at the relationship in a negative manner. Instead of looking at the relationship with your in-laws negatively, look at it as an opportunity to enjoy the family of your spouse. Always remember that your spouse came from that family, and you would be wise to remember that they invested time and effort into helping your spouse become the good person that they are.

Second, don’t hold your in-laws to a standard of perfection. It is irrational and unreasonable to expect your in-laws to be perfect or sinless. To the parents-in-law, don’t expect your son/daughter-in-law to be perfect. You didn’t raise a perfect child, which means your child contributes to the problems in their relationship. Likewise, don’t expect your parents-in-law to be perfect. No, they won’t do everything the way you do things, but they still deserve your respect and honor. They raised your spouse to be the person whom they are, and you owe it to them not to expect them to be sinless. Always remember that your in-laws are humans who will not always do things your way.

Third, communicate with your in-laws. If you learned to communicate with your in-laws, you might discover that they could become one of your best friends. I always enjoy talking to my in-laws who are one of my best friends. It is enjoyable to spend time with them, but this enjoyment would have never happened had I not communicated with them. Don’t rob your in-laws of their child or sibling. Just because you are married doesn’t end the relationship of your spouse to their family. Keep the lines of communication open so that you can enjoy a great relationship with them.

Fourth, treat both sets of in-laws the same. One of the greatest mistakes that can be made in a marriage is for one spouse to disdain their in-laws. Whatever amount of time you spend with one set of in-laws should be spent with the other set of in-laws. Remember, how you respect, treat, and talk about your in-laws reveals the true level of your Christianity. If you are right with the LORD, you will have a good and respectful relationship with your in-laws. If you will treat both sets of in-laws the same, you can take one tool of disharmony the Devil will use out of your marriage.

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