Monday, July 3, 2017

Marrying into the Family

This weekend Laura and I kept her sister’s son, which was pretty much the most fun we’ve had in a long time. Afterward, we had a big part of her family over for dinner and some pool time.

It was a blast, and it made me think of something my dad said many years ago. “Son, when you marry someone, you marry their whole family too.” At the time, I thought he was completely wrong, but as usual, he was right. He was saying that to me so I would be wise in my choice of a wife, but I think it also applies after the wedding too. I’ve been very blessed with my in-laws, and they treat me like a true son or brother. Of that, I’m very thankful. I also know that many other people are not as blessed in this way.

Extended families can be the source of many fights, ranging from offenses to someone not measuring up to some unwritten standard or even cross words that everyone regrets later. There was an argument, in my family, that went unresolved for over 45 years when finally, one of the parties sadly passed away. This unresolved “elephant in the room” saddens me to this day. It was the result of a misunderstanding that just never got discussed again.

Being conscious of communication between family members is essential. It’s very easy for people who are thrust together as family and forced to see each other from time to time, but may have different values and beliefs, to develop enmity. However, the choices we make can sway these things. Choosing to be the person who confronts the issue in a Godly fashion, with empathy, is always the right choice. Remember, these people are your family for life.

You may speak differently, make different parenting choices, or even worship differently, but you are family forever. My advice to you is to take care of your spouse’s family as if they are your own, because they are. Be a part, be a light, and be intentional.



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