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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: It Starts with You
By Kim Clendenin


It Starts with You

People cringe at the mere mention of in-laws! What on earth was I going to write about on in-laws? Finally I decided I would write about the origin for the term ‘in law.’ In the search bar I typed ‘in-laws.’ I am not kidding you one bit, but what popped up was ‘Monster In-Law.’ I had to chuckle, how fitting is that? I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that would agree!

I was now having a little fun with this so I typed in, ‘the 5 most annoying things about in-laws.’ They were:

1. They are like a dripping faucet that you can’t get fixed
2. They think their child is 5 instead of an adult.
3. They always over stay their visit
4. They are a gift upon marriage that you wish you could give back.
5. You wish there was a pop up blocker for in-laws

By now I am having a gay ole time with this article and all the crazy things that come up with the mere word ‘in-law.’ You can really find some funny stuff. For example, the word ’divorce’ popped up. I’m thinking, “You got to be kidding!” so I typed in, ’can you divorce your in-laws?’ unbelievably, yes you can! “Oh this is rich!” I giggled. “If people new this, Lawyers would be busier than any other time in history. The world needs to know you can actually divorce you in-laws. I’d sell this article to every magazine all over the world. This was my big ticket into the writing world, where you actually get paid as a writer!”

I love a good laugh, but fun time was over and it was time to get serious, because I know God desires that we love one another.

Does the bible have anything to say about in-laws? I believe it does.

One of my favorite stories comes to mind, the story of Ruth.
Listen to just how sincere Ruth is as she addresses Naomi in verse 1:17: Where though diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. (kjv)
My impression of Ruth’s mother in law is that she is a very bitter woman, having lost her sons, her husband, and everything she had. My guess would be that she wasn’t an easy woman to get along with. Then how was Ruth able to love her mother in law so much? She loved Naomi with God’s love. Again, in Ruth 2:11 we see that Ruth was praised by Boaz for leaving her mother and father, and taking care of her mother in law in all her needs.

What is it about your in-laws that frustrate us so much? Is it because they stick their nose in our business? Is it because they are always trying to tell us what to do? The list of complaints is endless. These complaints and differences of opinions put a strain of contempt between us.

But, just whose fault is it? There is a reason behind everyone’s actions. Think about your in-laws motives? Most of the time, they simply have your best interests at heart, maybe a little different point of view than you; well maybe a lot bigger view, but the point is, its usually because they just want to help.

There is a way to get along with your in-laws and I believe it is God’s will that we do so.
Ask God to show you how to better understand your in-laws. Ask him to help you love them in a Godly way. Not how you can change them, but how you can change you attitude. God can do wonderful things in relationships, but it starts with you.

And what did God do for Ruth and Naomi? He blessed them both in a mighty way. And Boaz and Ruth continued to care for Ruth, whom the bible says: loved her more than seven sons. She became nurse to Boaz and Ruths’ first born and became kinsman to a famous man of Israel. They called the baby Obed: he is the father of Jesse, The father of David. (Ref. Ruth 4:13-17 kjv)

May God bless you as you seek to love your in-laws with the love of God, and he will bring peace to your household.

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Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 05/15/08
This reads like a devotional-I bet it would work good in a home group/study, etc. The touch of humor is just wonderful and especially how you work it out to a biblical perspective! Well done! ^_^
Marlene Austin05/18/08
Well-planned, well-developed, well-written. Thanks for sharing these insights. :)