We want everyone with in-laws to have the healthiest relationship possible with them. Last week we began by listing the first four of nine axioms, or truths, for in-law relationships. We are blessed to still have all four parents and have a strong and vibrant relationship with them. This may be more due to their spiritual and emotional maturity than ours, at times!
However, these nine truths can take even the best of in-law relationships and increase the grace and depth of your connection with them. The Apostle Paul wrote simple command saying, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
In other words, it isn’t always possible because the other person(s) may not cooperate. But their response is their responsibility. Our response is our responsibility. Here are the final five axioms to follow to infuse your in-law relationship with God’s peace:
John and Luann, Bill and Marilyn—what do these four people have in common? You guessed it—they are our parents. Like almost every other couple, when we married we immediately gained in-laws and extended family on both sides. Unlike many couples, our parents were already dear friends and we haven’t struggled like so many couples with whom we talk.
After nearly 30 years of working with couples, however, we have learned a few things that have been important truths, or axioms in in-law relationships.
Here is Part 1 of our nine in-law axioms that we believe:
As a successful college football coach, Bill McCartney rode the wave of accolades from years of hard work. In the process, however, his family was left in his wake. He went to church, but was inattentive to the spirit of his wife.
In an interview with pastor Mark Ellis, McCartney said:
“My last year as a coach was in 1994. My team was undefeated and was ranked third in the nation —we had a great team. The pastor in our church said, ‘We’re going to have a visiting preacher next week. And he’s coming with the single-most important thing he’s learned in 41 years of preaching.’ And I wondered, what could be the single-most important thing?”
We believe in the sacredness of marriage. The marriage union in our society is treated casually and is increasingly diluted by cultural standards and laws. In that environment we are seeing Christian couples lose the sense of holy calling and commitment to their own marriage. The resulting effect on homes and families has been devastating. In part, that’s why we are so deeply committed to our calling to Build Your Marriage.
God created the union of one man and one woman with the first couple, Adam and Eve. At God’s presentation of Eve to Adam, Genesis 2:24 records,“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
God didn’t present Adam with multiple wives. He didn’t give him his same gender. God brought them together to be “one flesh.” Their bond was now exclusive to one another.