MEMORY VERSE: “And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.” Ruth 2:11
BIBLE PASSAGE: Ruth 1:1-18
INTRODUCTION: Christian couples are expected to live according to the dictates of God’s word. For instance, the Bible tells us that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife (Gen.2:24). This shows that a line must be drawn between the families from which both partners originated from and the new family set-up the couple is building. However, the Bible admonishes us to honour our parents (Exo.20:12; Deut.5:16) and do what is good to all men especially the members of the household of faith (Gal.6:10). It should be noted that in-laws are people related to us by marriage and we should deal with them with godly wisdom (Jas.3:17).
1.Build A Cordial Relationship
2.The Thin Line
BUILD A CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP
Let us learn from Ruth’s relationship with her mother in-law. She treated her as she would have treated her own biological mother. We must similarly treat our in-laws like our own blood relations. In relating with in-laws, Christian couples should therefore:
- Avoid Preconceptions: Don’t relate with your in-laws from a biased perspective. Be open minded in your dealings with them (Rom. 12:10, 16; 1Pet. 3:8, 1Cor 13:1-6).
- Avoid acting like they are strangers to your home or family. Do well to let your in-laws see you as another child of theirs and not a stranger (Prov. 18:24; Jn. 15:15).
- Avoid damaging rules: Make sure you avoid rules that can destroy the relationship with your in-laws (1Tim. 5:1-2). Be wise in all decisions relating to your in-laws especially in speech (Ps. 34:13; Col. 4:6).
- Treat in-laws as important people and avoid strife (Phil. 2:3), (Heb. 12:14), (Rom. 12:18). Exhibit maturity and patience with in-laws (2Cor. 6:4)
- Remain humble and encourage mutual submission (1Pet. 5:5; Eph. 5:21). Always seek peace and pursue it (Ps. 34:14; Rom. 12:18).
THE THIN LINE
While it is important to establish a cordial relationship with in-laws, it is equally important that in-laws give some breathing space to their married sons or daughters to build a godly home. There should be little or no external interference (Col. 3:21; Matt. 19:4-6). In-laws especially parents of the couple can give advice on issues or counsel them on some aspects if the marriage experience new to the couple (Prov. 11:14; 19:20-21) and prayerfully support their children in marriage without necessarily imposing their views (Eph. 6:4). The married couple should be allows to make their own decisions.
Christian couples must relate with their in-laws in love and as light/salt of the world (Matt. 5:13-14). Live at peace and remain humble at all times (Heb. 12:14).