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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: In-laws, out-laws what's the difference
By gayle jackson


Yesterday as we left the last Mother’s day visitation, our children once again questioned the differences in mine and my husband’s family. This talk, although not new, gets more interesting and complicated as the kids get older. We handle the queries as best as we can. We always touch on the out-law, I mean in-law situation, with as much humor as possible.

Our reaction will affect theirs later in life. Children learn from their parents, and if they choose to marry they too will be dealing with extended family and in laws. Truth be told, we both tolerate each others family with “kid gloves”. My family is a little easier and this I believe is due to our faith and Godly background. My husband’s family is another story. He always tells the kids it is about forgiveness.

Let’s face it, all families are different and everyone is an in-law of sorts. I could go on and on about all the past in-law indiscretions, ours and theirs, but there is no point to that. And I always remember Matthew 10:34-39, and the part about daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. God saw to it to give us a little insight and humor I think by only mentioning the girl in laws in these chapters. Maybe He knows something we don’t!!

My oldest son and daughter-in-law belong to a church that does baby dedications on Mother’s day. The pastor talked about mothers and women’s influence in the family. Even in tainted families, as I like to refer to them, God makes a difference.

Yesterday was an example of this and quite the Mother’s day for me. My daughter-in-law lost her dad to cancer a year and half ago, and they named baby Gary Daniel after him and my son. The pastor managed to intertwine each of the dedications around a bible verse and their names and worked it into a beautiful sermon.

My son and daughter-in-law, go out of their way to bring their families together. They used to include my husband’s family, but they rarely responded. In the beginning it was weird but after 6 years of this co mingle stuff we are used to it. And God is the reason it happens and works out

As I sat in the pew behind my son, daughter-in-law and grandson getting dedicated, I was full of joy and peace, even though we were sitting next to my ex husband and his wife. Behind us was my brother, his wife, one of her daughters, my parents just in from Florida and my niece from California. Our three teenagers arrived a few minutes late and sat next to us, and my two granddaughters were all over everyone! My daughter-in-law’s mother was in the back as the after party was at her clubhouse and she was “sneaking” out early.

Well my soul and mind must have been in the right place. My husband who had helped set up for the party before church, passed a note to my youngest son. Sure enough, being 13 and bored stiff the thought of sneaking out early appealed to him. We thought that he too could help out my daughter-in-law’s mother.

Dang it, where did they and we get this enormous open ended, tolerable love from? Could it be God’s love for us? I guess we must have been influenced by all those people in our lives. The moral if there is one to this story, is to try your best just to be like Jesus. Sometimes it’s difficult with different people, but we can do nothing less than return to our in-laws, out-laws, ex-laws and all others the same grace and acceptance God gives to us.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong05/19/08
I was chuckling throughout this. I really enjoyed the voice and humor and couldn't agree more: it's all about forgiveness. My kids call my sister's in-laws Grammy & PopPop, so I understand all about this co-mingling. A very enjoyable read!