Good thing I don’t have in-laws. But wait, Leigh Ann, aren’t you married? Why yes. Yes I am.
You might have noticed, if you have spent much time with me, that I most always refer to my “in-laws” as “in-loves.”
I have a …
- Wonderful mother-in-love
- Two sweet sister-in-loves
- One really crazy brother-in-love
- Even an amazing father-in-love.
In-laws have such a bad wrap. For most people, in-laws make them cringe. In-laws are a tough part of marriage. In-laws are a challenge regardless of how good or bad they are.
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing with my in-laws, but at some point, I realized that in most cases where disagreements were had or feelings were hurt – I was the problem. I was the one easily offended or even territorial over my family and our “rights.” I was the one billowing out self-righteousness and anger. Humble pie anyone? Come on … you know you deserve a piece. 😉
The truth is I love my family; therefore, I want to be a conduit of God’s grace for them. Each and every one of them. Either they married my brother (and someday my sister), or I married into their family. Either way, I know I am blessed. That’s the truth. What happens in between these moments of truth is solely of the devil. It’s sin. Regardless of who it belongs to.
At some point in my journey through the world of in-laws, I found that my thoughts and misconceived notions (even my own prejudice from “in-law profiling”) was standing in the way. As a result, I adopted a new way of thinking about my in-laws.
Here are 3 reasons I purposed in my heart to refer to them as my “in-loves.”
- Law is restricting. Think about it. Even though the law is meant for our good, and I’m all for keeping the law, it elicits a sort of stiff response. Doesn’t it? Maybe it’s just me, but when I say, “My mother-in-law …” I tend to stiffen and brace myself. With the law, there are limits on what you can do.
- Love has no boundaries. You can love as hard and as deep as you want. Nothing hems you in when it comes to love. Love is free and full of possibilities.
- Love begets love. When I say, “My sister-in-love …” I am filled with a sweet emotion. I don’t stiffen with a need to protect. I overflow with a need to pour out grace. The thought of love begets even more love.
By practicing this way of thinking about the ones I adore (most of the time), I have been blessed beyond measure. It is not a legalistic way of thinking, but it is a way in which I can take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I can obey Christ in loving my neighbor as myself for this brings Him much glory (Mark 12:28-34). And ultimately, it allows me to adorn the Gospel of grace (2 Peter 3:1-6) as I seek to love my in-loves as Christ loves me.
What do you think of this crazy practice of mine? Do you think that adopting this practice would help you to love your “in-laws” in a more Christ-like way?
This post is linked to Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things.