How should a husband interact with the in-laws?
In a recent article, an author proposes four solutions to ending the potential battle between the husband and the in-laws. The husband is the leader of the family and must consider the overall impact of his decisions. Husband’s will better serve their family by ensuring that an effective plan is developed for interacting with the in-laws.
According to the article, A Husband’s Guide to Dealing with the In-laws, there are four questions that a husband needs to respond to in order to have a better relationship with the in-laws. The first consideration involves the wife. Since the wife comes first, the husband must consider:
- What serves her best as you think about her parents?
- Does she need protection or distance from an abusive father?
- Does she long for closer connection with her mom?
- Does she flourish when she’s back home for the holidays?
- Rather than thinking about your own interests and agenda first, what serves your wife’s needs and desires the best?
The second consideration involves the husband’s family. The husband should consider his wife, his marriage, and his kids. The husband can consider his family through by entertaining the following questions:
- Do your kids prosper around their grandparents?
- Is there something unique happening in the life of your family that means it is best not to have more stress in your household for a season?
The third consideration involves the in-laws. The husband should consider the following questions:
- Is what you want to say for their benefit or is it just to vent your frustration?
- Have you considered the ways your family might be able to bless them with access to your household?
- Are there ways your wife legitimately needs to care for the needs of her aging parents?
- If you have kids of your own, one day you are likely to be the in-law parents. How would you like to be treated when the time comes?
The final consideration for the in-laws involves the husband himself. The husband should consider the following questions:
- What serves your needs?
- Is it hugely draining for you to be around your in-laws?
- Have you spent every vacation for the last ten years with her family, and now it’s time to try something different?
- Are you trying to encourage a healthy relationship that moves beyond familiar passive-aggressive dynamics?
The problem with the advice provided by All Pro Dad is that it does not follow the original design of marriage (Ordermige). There are three phases to the original design of marriage. In the second phase, Adam was instructed by God on what he could and could not do.
God has left the husband two instructions that are prominent in how he interacts with his in-laws. The first instruction in found in (Genesis 2:24). According to this instruction, a husband is to forsake his mother and father for the sake of his wife. He and his wife are to become one flesh together. No father or mother from either side should be able to come between them. What also happens is that the two families become joined together. The husband’s parents become the parents of the wife and the wife’s parents become the parents of the husband.
The bible has left a very specific instructions for parents in Exodus 20:12.
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12).
The word honour in the Hebrew means to make numerous, rich, honorable. According to the law of first mention, the first time that this word honour is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis 13:2. The verse indicates that Abraham was rich. According to the scriptures, the husband should work with his wife to develop a plan that enhances the lives of his in-laws.
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012 (856) 566-3267 www.advancedmarriagetraining.com
Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
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