I have a lot of married friends, most of them with children, all of them with in-laws. Families are unique, and combining two families through marriage can create tension for newlyweds. A sister-in-law and Aunt, I have seen the in-laws dynamic in my own family, sometimes seamless and at other times busting the seams.
As Scripture says,
…a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Eph. 5:31).
Two becoming one seems pretty simple compared to leaving our father and mother, especially if you are from a family you love and love to spend time with. I love my family, spend time with them and talk to them daily. However, I desire to be married so I’ll likely gain in-laws. I want to love being in their home(s), spending time with them, talking to them, getting to know them and living life together just as much as I do with my own family. Not only do I want this kind of relationship with my in-laws, but I want the same for my husband with my family.
I’ve always been one to pray for my future husband but as more of my friends have been married and I’ve witnessed their relationships with in-laws, I’ve also decided to pray for my future in-laws. Ultimately, they raised the man who I will love and call my husband. I want to love them well, love them as my family and respect my husband’s relationship with his family. I have prayed simple things—For example, that they would like me and, if my husband and I have children, that I would feel comfortable leaving them with my husband’s parents.
As with every aspect of marriage, communication is essential and discussing in-laws, merging families and expectations with extended families from holidays to children can’t be ignored. If you’re already engaged or married and have a relationship with your in-laws that could improve, begin to pray for that relationship to improve. If you’re still looking for your spouse, add their family to your prayers—It might save some heartache for you down the road!