Day 20: In-Laws or Outlaws?

I have been very blessed with my in-laws.  Firstly, they live in Cape Town, which is about an eight or a nine-hour drive from where we live… 🙂

But, they kinda let hubby just get on with his life without too much interference.  Which for me (as his wife) is lovely.  In fact, they are too much on the other extreme, where we would actually welcome more input from them.

However, I have heard some horror stories from some of my friends.  One friend had her mother-in-law tell her that she sincerely hopes any kids my friend may have with her son won’t land up being deaf, as my friend’s dad is deaf.  (She has since had two kids and both kids hear perfectly well.)

Or some of the snide remarks some get – one friend’s MIL constantly makes demeaning remarks about her hair, her clothes, the way she raises her children, but never actually says anything directly.

And it always amazes that instead of helping and being a mentor to these women who have married their sons, MIL’s tend to be antagonistic, narcissistic and vengeful.  Just because their sons happened to fall in love and find someone they want to marry.

But, don’t worry, although I do have a good relationship with my in-laws, I do have a sister-in-law who totally makes up for that and ensures to make my life as unpleasant as possible – all because I married her brother.  In every single possible way. 🙂

But dealing with a difficult sister-in-law is a lot easier than dealing with difficult parents-in-law.  And she also lives in Cape Town, so that does make things a lot easier.

One of the nicest things my MIL said to me is that she’s not my Mother-in-law, she’s my Mother-in-Grace.  How beautiful is that?

In today’s post at 31 Days to a Better Marriage, Gail Purath discusses this very issue.

So let’s look at eight ways we consciously or unconsciously undermine our relationship with our in-laws:

  1. Judging them hypocritically–not judging our own actions and attitudes in the same way we judge our in-laws’ (Mat.7:1-5). Christians are often more self-righteous about their in-laws than unbelievers.

  2. Favoring our parents and treating our in-laws like “second-hand” parents and grandparents (Mat.7:12).

  3. Not encouraging our spouses to resolve conflicts and improve their relationship with their parents (Eph. 6:2-3).

  4. Being petty and sensitive (1 Peter 4:8).

  5. Treating in-laws poorly when they treat us poorly (Rom. 12:17,21).

  6. Thinking we are responding to our in-law’s disinterest or disrespect, when they are actually responding to ours (Phil. 2:3-4).

  7. Becoming bitter (Heb. 12:15).

  8. Talking and thinking about in-laws in negative terms (Eph. 4:29; Phil. 4:8).

Reference: here

Mothers-in-Law, remember – you have the power to make or break your son’s relationship.  Do what you can to make the very best for this son that you love so very much.

Daughters-in-Law, remember – your husband’s mother comes with the package.  She is part of his life and always will be.  Accept her and love her as your husband would.  No matter how difficult she may be – do this for your husband that you love so very much.


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