Forgiving can be difficult, even (and sometimes especially!) if it’s your own family members that hurt you. So, how do you forgive your partner’s family members, whether it’s your mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, etc.? It’s difficult to balance your love for your spouse with the cruelty their family member has shown you, but sometime dealing with the in-laws is a necessary part of life.
Lean On Your Partner
For many of us, it’s hard to get over the initial pain of being rejected or blamed by a spouse’s in-laws. In fact, it often takes root unless we ourselves pull it out. However, one of the blessings of marrying a good, noble and honest partner, is that they’ll help you when dealing with the in-laws. You don’t have to do it alone. Your spouse will with help relieve your pain, even if it was caused by their own family.
In addition, you can lean on your partner to help resolve the problem at hand. But rather than act as a mediator, be sure that you both represent a united front. The goal is forgiveness, but your spouse should be clear with his or her family that they are on your side, always and forever.
Dealing With The In-Laws Requires Forgiveness
Please remember that your spouse’s family members are human too, and forgiveness is something God tells us to do out of love. He tells us to forgive so that we may be the light and truth and example of what being His children are, so turn the other cheek. “Show love, now, beloved,” He’ll whisper. “Don’t forget how I have forgiven you, my child,” He’ll say.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” —Matthew 6:14-15
Not only is our Father telling us to forgive, but imagine the sister of your fiancé or your brother-in-law in sorrow over what they have done, and especially feeling remorse that they’ve hurt someone. Look at what God tells us to do, and use those tips when dealing with the in-laws.
Restore Peace In The Family
“But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.” —2 Corinthians 2:5
If there’s one tip for dealing with the in-laws that can work wonders, it’s this: work toward the restoration of peace, even when it’s hard to so. Choose to obey and follow God’s will above your own feelings of pain. The rejoicing of truth and serenity begins there, because God enables us to do even more than we dare imagine or think we’re capable of. Forgiveness is one of those acts.
Forgive for the sake of glorifying your God, for the sake of restoring your family gatherings, for the sake of honoring your spouse. It’s a beautiful thing to pursue peace, but it’s even more so when you desire it for someone who’s hurt you.
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