“A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife.” Mt 19:5 NLT
After arguing for hours, a couple drove along in silence. Suddenly they passed a barnyard filled with mules and jackasses. Sarcastically, the husband asked, “Relatives of yours?” The wife replied, “Yes, in-laws.”
Marriage was God’s idea, and it was a good one. Picking up the theme, Jesus said, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife.” In marriage, “two’s company, three’s a crowd!” So here are ten commandments for being a good in-law: (1) Thou shalt love, honor and respect the couple. (2) Thou shalt grant them independence, resisting the urge to show them “a better way” of doing things. (3) Thou shalt be loyal and not criticize them, for, “That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging” (Mt 7:2 TM). (4) Thou shalt not find fault: “Don’t…jump on their failures…unless…you want the same treatment” (Mt. 7:1 TM). (5) Thou shalt not outwear thy welcome, and always call before thou showest up at their dwelling. “Don’t…show up at all hours…[they’ll]…get fed up” (Pr 25:17 TM). (6) Thou shalt not expect them to visit thee too often. (7) Thou shalt refrain from giving unsolicited advice: “A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in” (Pr 29:11). (8) Thou shalt not talk about how thou wantest grandchildren unless they are already on the way. (9) Thou shalt respect their home decorating taste even when it differeth from thine. (10) Thou shalt pray for them daily and without fail. If you are an in-law who doesn’t want to be viewed as an out-law, live by these commandments!
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