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Getting Along with Those In-Laws

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Perhaps the relationship people struggle with most is getting along with those in-laws. Even in healthy in-law relationships there will be tensions and challenges.

Your people shall be my people. (Ruth 1:16)

Perhaps the relationship people struggle with most is getting along with those in-laws. In-laws are the gift we received in marriage—a gift many want to give back.

Even in healthy in-law relationships there will be tensions and challenges. You and your in-laws both love the same person, and the only reason you’re attached is because of that person. That can mean competing interests. In-laws can be made to feel like outlaws. They get to be the brunt of many a tale—especially mothers-in-law—the universal catchall of abusive humor.

Rather than offering advice on the in-law relationship, I offer four stories in Scripture:

  • For a healthy in-law relationship, read about Moses and his father-in-law in Exodus 18,
  • Or Ruth and her mother-in-law in the book of Ruth.
  • And if you think you’ve got it bad, take comfort—it could be a lot worse! Read about Jacob and his father-in-law, beginning in Genesis 29,
  • Or David and the all-time worst in-law, King Saul, in 1 Samuel.

The good stories inspire us, and the bad stories make us think, I ain’t got it so bad.

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