Have you ever felt tense in the presence of your in-laws? Maybe you bite your lip as your father-in-law shares a strong opinion with your spouse—a point of view you don’t share. Or maybe, as you prepare to visit your spouse’s family, you cringe over the differences between your families. You want to build meaningful relationships with your in-laws, but you continually run into barriers that keep you from achieving true friendship.
So often, these feelings—anxiety, apprehension, resistance to change—serve as a major obstacle in your relationship with your spouse’s family. You know your in-laws have played a crucial role in the development of your spouse. You know they can provide wisdom as you travel through life with your husband or wife. And you know you want to love them more. But no matter how hard you try, you can’t help but feel uneasy when your paths cross. Is it possible to achieve harmony without the awkwardness? Can you truly love your in-laws as if they were your own family?
Whether your stress lies beneath the surface, or you have endured your share of tension-filled conversations, call out to the Lord in prayer. Ask him to grant you the strength to love your in-laws, regardless of your circumstance. And meditate on Scripture to find hope for your challenges, frustrations and uncertainties.
These four prayers will get you started.
- Lord, help me to love with an authentic love.
Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good. Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another. – Romans 12:18 (GNTD)
- Lord, help me to approach my in-laws with humility.
No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. – Micah 6:8 (GNTD)
- Lord, help me to practice patience.
Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. – Ephesians 4:2 (GNTD)
- Lord, help me to celebrate differences.
We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. – Romans 12:4 (GNTD)
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