IN-LAWS: BLESSING OR CURSE?
“When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah” (Genesis 26:34-35 NIV).
I was in a wedding reception some time ago when I overheard a woman sharing with another woman about her sweet experience with the sisters of her husband. According to her, her husband’s sisters are so nice to her and her son that whenever they see her, they always commend her and give her and her son monetary and material gifts. I cannot remember what initiated the discussion about these sisters-in-law, but that testimony reminded me of a woman who colluded with her mother and sisters to defraud her husband of thousands of US dollars. I wonder what kind of mother-in-law and sisters-in-law they are to the man.
An in-law is simply a relative by marriage. He/she can be parent-in-law, child-in-law or sibling-in-law. In-laws can be a blessing to a married couple in many ways. It may be in offering love, wisdom, encouragement and gifts. The Bible makes note of several supportive in-law relationships, namely Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1), Peter and his mother-in-law (Mark 1:31), and Jethro who guided his son-in-law, Moses (Exodus 18). However, in-laws can also be a heavy burden for a couple to bear. The Bible also has examples of this: the wives of Esau were a source of grief to their parents-in-law (Genesis 26:34-35). David's father-in-law, King Saul, tracked him down in attempts to kill him (1 Samuel 19:11). Laban, the father-in-law of Jacob cheated him (Genesis 31:7). Ahab and Jezebel had bad influence on Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Athaliah (wife of Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son) was their daughter.
Whether you have had in-laws for just few months, or it has been for many years, they will either be blessings or a curse to you. Examples abound on in-laws as blessings on one hand and as a curse on the other hand. Similarly, you are either a blessing or a curse to your in-laws. Many factors will determine whether they are blessings or curse to you and vice versa. The big question is: are YOU a blessing or a curse to your in-laws? One main thing that can make you a blessing to your in-laws is to relate with them not as relatives of your spouse, but as your own relatives. Your in-laws will not be a source of grief to you, and you also will not be a source of grief to your in-laws in Jesus’ name. Amen.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).