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

TITLE: Out-Laws?
By Sunny Shell
05/14/08


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The first thought that comes to most of our minds when we hear the word, “in-law” is, “oh no!”

We love our spouses, we love our kids, we love our pets, we love our friends, but how about those in-laws? We choose (with God’s guidance) our spouses, we don’t get to choose our kids (but we love them anyway), we choose our pets, and we choose our friends, but, how about those in-laws? We don’t get to choose them, we inherit them.

For some folks, in-laws don’t seem like “in” laws, they seem like “out” laws, or rather, they make you feel that way. They look at you sideways, size you up and seem to just sit there waiting to pounce on you for your very first mistake, then, roar with laughter at your folly. It is truly a nerve-racking experience just to meet them for the first time. And a special sting is added to this toxic experience when every word that comes from your mouth is a target of sharp criticism and you always end up as the gluteus maximus of every joke.

Is there a solution to this never-ending barrage of extended-family terror? Of course there is! Jesus! For our Savior and Lord is The solution to all our troubles, just like He promised.

Knowing we would encounter such heartbreaking trials in our lives, He made sure He left “notes” for us so we could live victoriously through all things, in Him. For it is written, “I can do everything through Him [Jesus] who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13). And once again in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” As if these were not enough to help us be more than conquerors over our in-law woes, our Lord also lifts us with these; “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13): “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

When we learn to love others beyond our own means, when we see others as Christ sees us and has compassion on us, then we are able to take the reigns out of our “out-laws” hands and make them our “in-laws” as we steer our relationship with them into Christ’s love, where forgiveness, grace and mercy are found.

In-laws or out-laws? I would definitely have to say, “In-laws, IN Christ!”


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Dee Yoder 05/16/08
You have some good advice in this devotional. It certainly can be difficult to get along with our in-laws, but it's the best way to have peace in our families!