One area that God quickly cautioned me about in my early years in marriage is my relationship with my in-laws.
Do you know how we always watch movies that paint in-law relationships in a bad way?
There is a way some of us get married with a mindset to set boundaries and keep to ourselves. You may think you are wise but you may just be setting yourself up into a trap.
For instance, in some families, they expect a woman to respect the younger ones. For instance, they expect every wife in a family to call the younger people in that family with (sister or brother) before their names. For a generation Z personality, this may sound odd but I always tell singles to use their dating season to ask questions about the family of their partner beyond wishing that emotions will solve issues. If that is what is done there, wisdom says you should do so too, what will it cost you to do that?
Let me give you 2 examples of how I won my mother-in-law, I discovered that she is fond of calling everyone daily to check up on their welfare because she is alone in her home, wisdom demands that as a wife, I should also adjust to calling her at least once in 2 days because when we don’t call for like 2-3 days, she feels like we have abandoned her. Even though it is difficult for my nature because I may not even call my own parents for 3 days, I will need to adjust for the sake of understanding. I also take time to buy gifts and airtime when necessary. When she comes over, I try to make soups when she is leaving so she doesn’t stress herself when she gets home for the next 1 week. One day, God asked me to something for her, I didn’t know why but after that day, her love for me truly increased.
So right now, I find out what she likes or needs and I try to meet the needs. It has paved way for me. Till today, she always defends me over my husband and my husband is jealous (in a playful way) about this. He keeps wondering what will even make her not defend me. He keeps talking about it but I know deep down his mind, he is happy about our cordial relationship. And she truly respects me.
Now, it was not like that at first. I used to set boundaries, keep to myself and just stay in the bedroom when she is around, she quickly discovered that I wasn’t really a bad person later even when other relatives complained about my reserved nature, she always defended me in their house and I have learnt to warm up.
The lesson here is that your own in-law may have issues with you from the beginning but allow God to show you the path of wisdom. Find out the way to their heart and also work on your mindset. Pride and negative behavior will only land you in trouble.
As a man, it is very important that you cleave with your wife and also protect her. If you allow your family to disrespect her, you have truly failed in protecting your home. You need wisdom especially if your mother is overbearing. My mother-in-law tells me that my husband will never permit any of them to disrespect me including herself, can you imagine her saying that? That must have come from the way he has handled some matters in the past.
Now, what will you start doing? What is your takeaway? What are your struggles with your inlaw? Let us talk about it.