March 11, 2017
By: Mrs. Kemisola Omoyiola on: Thy Handmaidens facebook page
photo credit: crosswalk.com
GENESIS 2:18, 24; ROMANS 12:17-21; HEBREWS 12:14; THE BOOK OF RUTH
The rancour between wife/in-laws, husband/in-laws has become a major problem in our society. Someone told me over 20years ago, “These MILs, I don’t understand them. When their sons are not married, they cry, pray, fast, run from pillar to post to ensure they get married. On the wedding day, they dance and rejoice, but as soon as the wife comes into their son’s house, they see a rival who has come to share her son’s attention with her, and the battle line is drawn”.
This summarizes the way the minds of in-laws work. Even the siblings and cousins, especially the females are not left out of this rivalry. The onus is on the Christian wife to have a good approach and determine to make a difference.
First of all, we must let it settle in our minds that it is the perfect will of God that we get married. Gen 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man (woman) should be alone; I will make him (her) an help meet for him (her).”
We must also know that it is God’s design that a man and a woman leave their father and mother and cleave to themselves, thereby forming a new family, Gen 2:24.
Another important point to note is that the man we married, or will marry is a human being born and bred in a particular family, comprising of male and female, some older and some younger than our man, this including the father and the mother, if they are still alive. So, we must know that our man did not fall from heaven, he is not an angel, he came to the world through some people. Therefore, you as a wife must know your place in your man’s life, you are his wife, you can never take the place of his mother or sisters. My husband told me this clearly early in our marriage when some issues came up, he also went to see his people and made this same declaration. He said the earlier we all knew and stayed in our places, the better for all of us. This helped keep sanity at all fronts except some very few occasions.
Once you desire to marry, you must automatically begin to prepare your mind towards having in-laws. I believe so much in praying ahead on issues. For the singles, you can pray ahead on God giving you good in-laws, but at times, the man may be exceptionally good and come from a family of ‘wolves’, pardon my choice of word, so you add to your prayer that God will prepare you specially and give you the grace you would need to be good to, and also cope with your in-laws.
And talking about praying ahead, I hope no one in this group is praying that her MIL or MIL to-be dies? A lady prayed this kind of prayer some years ago, that her MIL to-be would die before she marries her fiance! Such hatred and bitterness towards a woman who gave birth to the best man in your life! Though some Christian ladies know they cannot pray this prayer, but their body languages speak volume. As long as you don’t wish your own mother dies, don’t wish any other person dead. Remember, God sees and knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts!
Hebrews 12:14 says, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. As children and wives ordained by God, as pilgrims in our journey to heaven, we must, as a matter of necessity, live in peace with all men, including our in-laws. We must note that the charge is “follow peace with all men”, not ” follow peace with the good men, and fall out of peace with the bad men”.
Romans 12:9 says “…. as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men”.
Of all the people we must endeavour to be at peace with: our husbands and children, followed closely by our in-laws. Apart from doing this to please God, we must know that they are important parts of our husband’s lives. They are his flesh and blood. God’s super abundant grace is sufficient for us to do this.
Take note the following tips:
1. Be sure of your salvation experience. Guard it jealously. This is the foundation to living a life that pleases God. If you are not born again, it will be impossible to maintain peace with your in-laws.
2. Ensure you have a rich and close relationship with God. You’re first a daughter of God before being a Christian wife. You need Him in all the vicissitudes, ups and downs of the marital life.
3. You must imbibe the virtue of patience. People say patience can cook a stone to become soft. Daily ask for this virtue.
4. You must try to extend the love you have for your husband to his people. See them through him. Don’t love your husband to pieces and hate his family members like waste products.
5. As my husband said to me, know and maintain your place in your husband’s life. Don’t interfere in your in-laws affairs from the negative angle with your husband. Always intervene positively. Make light issues that weigh heavily on your husband’s hearts with his people. Be a peacemaker. Always mediate between them.
Don’t make comments and remarks that can make him turn his back on them permanently. You gain nothing by holding your husband firmly to yourself alone. Share him with his people and see the blessing and favour of God upon your marriage.
6. When issues come up between you and your in-laws, never ever have confrontations with them. Maintain a safe distance, no matter how provoked you are. Report the case to your husband as fairly as possible. Don’t colour anything to favour yourself, don’t add to, don’t remove. Let your husband be the one to face and deal with the issues with his people. Don’t support him to do it aggressively. Help him to be a practical Christian.
7. If the issue is not all that serious, for peace to reign, accept to be cheated. Since you don’t live together permanently. And in cases where you live under the same roof, be as fair as possible in dealing with them. Be plain, be transparent, be innocent. Its your family, your home, and you must contribute more than anyone to make it work. Remember, women are homemakers.
8. Always bear in mind that anytime you have unresolved issues with your in-laws, your husband is in sorrow and pains. I’ve seen this in all the cases I’ve witnessed. You and his people are important to him and he would love for you all to be together in peace and joy.
You must ensure that nothing breaks his heart. Work around things that will lift up his heart all the time. And you know what, God will see all you are doing and reward you beyond your expectations. He will make your home heaven on earth, you yourself will be at peace, your mind at rest.
9. Always be at the forefront of meeting their needs. Let them know you have their interest at heart, and they will see you as an ally. They will prefer to carry you along on their issues instead of going to their own person.
Remember it is better to give than to receive. Let them have their dues and there will be peace.
Sit with your husband and draw a workable plan on how to meet their needs and that of your own people. Your fair and balanced approach will appeal to your husband tremendously. Your people will benefit immensely too.
10. Be a prayer warrior per excellence. Set a day aside to take your marriage issues to God in prayer and fasting. It can be as long as a week if the issue is serious. I’ve never seen anything that works like prayer.
Pray instead of fretting.
Pray instead of fighting
Pray instead of gossiping.
No friend outside there can solve your marital issues, only the Author of marriage Himself.
© Thy Handmaidens 2017
What’s your thought on this? Let me know through the comments box. You have questions as regards this, use the comments box also.