Shows Main Idea – How do you respond when a family member does not accept you? Family conflict is commonplace because we live in a fallen world. Here are thirteen things you can practically apply to any of your struggling relationships, though I’m speaking specifically about in-laws.
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- You are one flesh. Your highest priority is your marriage, not your relatives (Ephesians 5:25-33).
- Live your life above reproach (Philippians 2:15).
- Love your family well, especially your in-laws. They may not love you but they can’t stop you from loving them (Romans 5:8, 12:14).
- Don’t try to change them; it’s not your job (1 Corinthians 3:6; 2 Timothy 2:24-25).
- Don’t retaliate, especially in subtle ways (Romans 12:19).
- Don’t gossip about or slander them to other relatives (or to anyone else) (Ephesians 4:29).
- Bring in someone from your church that you can talk to about this for an indefinite amount of time (Proverbs 24:6).
- Guard your heart, especially around Christmas and other big days like your children’s birthdays. You and your children will probably be slighted, while other family members receive preferential treatment (Psalm 27:10).
- You will have to put this under the “despised and rejected by men” category. You can honor Jesus by putting Him on display in your family (Isaiah 53:3; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
- Make sure you are mortifying “what you want” v. “what you are going to get” from your family (Romans 8:13).
- Honor your in-laws, even when they are not honorable (Romans 12:10).
- The most important thing: Let God take care of this. You live for Jesus no matter what. If you do this, then you’ll benefit from God’s favor in your life (James 4:6), a by-product of your humility. God’s favor is way more important than your in-law’s favor (1 Peter 2:18-25).
- Pray, asking the Father to turn the hearts of your in-laws (Proverbs 21:1).