Honour your father and mother, what about in-laws?

Obedience involves recognition of authority; parents have authority over their children and children practicing obedience shows respect to their parents. But when those children are all grown up and responsible for themselves out in the big wide world, there are others who start to play a role. One being, because of this beautiful promise called marriage, in-laws; a complex relationship in itself.

Generally speaking, in-laws don’t know you as well as your own father and mother. They haven’t seen your personal bumps and bruises, your highs and lows of growing up, your darkest moments of despair or even your most excellent achievements. So why is it that for some, honouring in-laws may be easy to do and yet for others like me, so difficult. For me, it’s super hard to say the least.

When without a doubt, one is treated with antagonistic contempt, looked over as if only a shadow on the wall, a presence blatantly ignored, seen but not acknowledged even when physically there, a game one might think! It’s these circumstances that influence our behaviour and the way we respond or react.

I have tried searching for an answer, something that could ease the difficulty and often well-concealed anguish that eats away at my soul. I guess for me this is what it comes down to:

It’s not about in-laws deserving honour. It’s not about enablement or agreement with them, or going through the motions to appease. It’s simply about doing what I believe to be right and being confident that I have done what is right, based on Godly principles, integrity, and morality. Simply because God says so.

It sounds so simple:

Choose to talk kindly to them and talk kindly about them, even when it means honouring the dishonourable.

But to this end I know I have failed miserably. However, I have found one solution that works for me. I choose to honour my husband so that he can honour his mother. That is all I can do, all the strength I can muster and all the hope I have left.

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