Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

SAVE LIVES!
See Life 2021
Double your gift now!
Yes, I will help save babies from abortion!
$

In-Law Relationships

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
What do I owe my in-laws? That’s an interesting question. Another way to phrase it might be, “As a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, what’s required of me? What are my obligations, whether I feel like it or not, in relating to my spouse’s parents?” Put this way, it doesn’t sound like a very warm or relaxed relationship. It sounds more like your in-laws are a burden in your life. Perhaps you feel caught between trying to please them (or trying to avoid offending them) on the one hand, and just wanting to be yourself or wanting your own “space” on the other. The first principle that applies here is that, if you’re a Christian, you owe your in-laws behavior that’s consistently Christian in character—as you do anyone else. This doesn’t ignore the reality that if your in-laws are “difficult” people, are controlling and manipulative, are emotionally or mentally dysfunctional, or don’t share your faith, this may be a particularly hard challenge. The problem is that they’re not just anyone. They’re connected to your spouse through genetics, history, and complex psychological dynamics. If you have disagreements with your in-laws, your spouse may feel caught in the middle between parents and you. You, meanwhile, have obligations to in-laws and spouse—and children, if you have any. If you feel your in-laws are intruding into your married life, the old saying, “Good fences make good neighbors,” may apply. In concert with your mate, set reasonable boundaries; ask that he or she firmly and kindly insist that your in-laws respect these limits. “Honoring” one’s parents (Exodus 20:12) does require showing them patience, kindness, gentleness, and respect. This applies to in-laws, too. You may not even like them, but you need to choose to act in a loving manner toward them. For instance, you might choose to adopt their tradition of having an Easter egg hunt, despite the fact that you don’t want your kids to think the Easter bunny is real. Enjoying the family event is possible, even if you follow it with a reminder to the children about the real meaning of the holiday. When you married, you also became part of another family with its own set of expectations. You need to recognize and respect those—within limits. What are those limits? Here are three things that “honoring” your in-laws does not mean:
  • It doesn’t require that you submerge all your own feelings, desires, preferences, and needs in the service of “doing things their way.”
  • It doesn’t mean you must permit them to disrespect, control, or manipulate you for their own selfish ends.
  • It doesn’t entail “obeying” all their “parental” requests or requirements—which, in some instances with some in-laws, may get pretty crazy.
Sometimes the most honoring response is to diplomatically but firmly say, “No.” Letting in-laws split, manipulate, or control you by silently acceding to their nutty, neurotic, inappropriate demands isn’t necessarily showing Christian love. In-law conflicts grow more complicated when a spouse seems to side with his or her parents and against his or her mate. The mate may rightly feel outnumbered or “ganged up on.” This isn’t so much an in-law problem as a marital one. If one spouse remains too dependent upon his or her parents, that needs to be addressed in a straightforward way. If one spouse is blaming the in-laws for a disagreement the couple is experiencing, that should be dealt with, too. If you’ve become engaged in a quiet (or not so quiet) war with your in-laws—and maybe also with your spouse—about these tangled issues, don’t let it erode your marriage further. Do the healthy thing and seek out a Christian therapist.

Subscribe to Focus on the Family magazine! Focus on the Family Magazine is a Christian marriage and parenting magazine from Focus on the Family. In this bimonthly publication, you’ll find age-specific parenting advice, inspiring profiles, marriage tips, faith-based family activities, insights.

Get a 12-month subscription with your ministry gift today!

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.
Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Read More About:

You May Also Like

An Illustration of a child's head with lines emanating from the ears
Connecting with Family

The Five Senses of Connection

Welcoming foster children into our home has caused Angie and me to work harder at building a connection with our kids and showing them they have value in God’s eyes. That’s why we intentionally use sensory experiences to let them know we care.

Family praying together
Connecting with Family

An Essential Guide to Effective Prayer for Family

Prayer is an essential skill, and your kids will learn it from you as you do it together. Nothing will communicate the why and the how of prayer to your kids like seeing you pray.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Tell Your Story

By sharing your struggles and triumphs, God can transform your courage into hope and faith for others!