BIBLE READING: MARK 10:29-30; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:10, 2 TIMOTHY 3:12
Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth? I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter in-law against her mother in- law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ Matthew 10:34-36 (NKJV).
In-laws and the issues that surround them rank as one of the top three challenges every marriage faces. The Bible anticipates it and even predicts it in the Key Text. The word “sword” in the above passage can also be translated as “war, hostilities, division etc.” Our belief systems, convictions and faith will set us at variance with people that have a different inclination from ours. And one of the major grounds of conflict or ‘theatre of war’ where this plays out is in the family, especially between in-laws.
While this is predictable and normal, it is not inevitable. Persecution is part of the package we have been promised as believers but there are some unnecessary persecutions i.e., the ones that don’t glorify God and are just products of our own foolishness and indiscipline (Ecc.10:1). A little wisdom can save you these unnecessary hassles of in-law problems in marriage.
Consider these few wisdom tips and try to put them to work:
- Understand that marriage is between two families, not just two individuals: ‘The two shall become one’ also refers to the families.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew: If you have serious issues you can’t handle about the other person’s family before the marriage, you may need to find someone else or at least discuss it thoroughly with your would-be spouse. Don’t ignore it.
- As much as you can, treat your in-laws the same way you treat your own family: Be accommodating and patient with them. Don’t discriminate.
Heavenly Father, grant us the Wisdom to navigate through the challenges in our marriages and the grace to continue to forgive and bear with family members and in-laws that have hurt us in Jesus’ Name. Amen.