I have been married to my dear husband for just a
year and lately we have been struggling with the boundaries we are
trying to set with his family. You see, none of his family members
are believers and they partake in a lot of behavior and attitudes
that make us uncomfortable from drinking and cursing to lying and
gossiping. We have set distance between us and them because of this
but find it difficult to deal with their guilt trips and
manipulation. What does the Bible say about relationships with
in-laws in this circumstance? Please help me, we want to do what is
right in the eyes of the Lord.
for the note concerning the differences between your in-laws and
yourselves. Just being with them does not mean you have to partake
of the things you think are wrong, does it? They can't force you to
drink, or swear, or tell dirty jokes or whatever else they are doing
that you don't like. What I would suggest is to call on them either
as a group or singly (which is probably better) in person if
possible, but email if you are not strong enough to face them. Ask
their forgiveness for being so standoffish.
fully understand your feelings, but the Bible says that we are to
treat our non-Christian friends with tolerance, acceptance and
unconditional love. Our whole purpose is to live "Christ"
in front of our precious non-Christian, atheist, agnostic, profane,
blasphemous, immoral, heathen family and friends. How are they going
to be touched by Christ unless they taste a little of His
unconditional love? When you hear them take the Lord's name in vain
don't correct them or radiate disapproval, just pray to yourself
something like "Thank you Lord for trusting me with these
precious people who do not know You personally. Help me give them
your love and acceptance because of Your Son Jesus. Amen." You
don't have to participate or pretend to go along with something you
hate. Just try to radiate Christ's love, and I know that God will
help you. Just asking their forgiveness will make them want to smell
your breath to see if you are finally on some controlled substance
because it will be so out of character for you.
is easy for me to say, and hard for you to do. But you could
transform your entire family by some good old unconditional love. At
least it's worth a shot. Let me know if you want to talk further.