Thursday, June 24, 2010

Inlaws or Outlaws?

I think one of the biggest trials married couples go through involves the in-laws. In comparison, I have some amazing in-laws and so does my husband. That doesn't change the fact that we will have disagreements that are made super tricky simply because we are family now. As one big happy Christian family, you would think everybody would walk Godly every step of the way and we would all live happily every after. Too bad it doesn't work that way in the real world. Everybody has off days, and everyone has different opinions, habits, and characteristics.

God has really been working some things out of me lately. Deep inside I have always had this hate for authority that I never wanted to acknowledge. What that means for me, is that I have a VERY hard time respecting someone simply because of position. I have always lived by, "You get respect when you earn respect." By the world's standards, there is nothing wrong with that. However, there are multiple scriptures (on honoring your parents, submitting to authority, and respecting elders) which disagree. There is no exception to honoring your parents just because you're older now, or married, or a parent yourself.

Now here's the bomb that has fallen into my world lately - my in-laws are my husband's parents. When I married my husband, we became "one flesh." Do I use that verse only when it is to my advantage, or suck it up and realize that his parents are my parents now. Therefore, I am to honor his parents. Honor is to "hold in high esteem" and to "reverently respect."

When this concept truly hit home, a lot of things had to happen in my heart. My pride was shattered. I realized, the opinions and disagreements I had with them - however noble they may have been - meant nothing to God as long as my heart had no respect for them. I also had to realize that God is GOD ... and I'm not. I can't be the Holy Spirit in their lives convicting them... only the Lord can do that. When I'm having an inner battle over something I see happening that I disagree with - I need to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. I don't need to be the hero... that's God's job.

Why is it so hard to trust that God is truly in control and that He holds the hearts of men in His hands when it comes down to us having our say? I suppose it's that I'm not content with God's timeline. I always want to step in and save the day myself... but who am I to say that God even wants the day saved? What if He's trying to work something out of that person I'm trying to "save"? What if He's letting that individual be blind for now so that years from now He will be glorified by the chain of events that take place?

I'm still not sure that I have the level of respect in my heart for authority that the Lord requires of me. I know that it's something I can't change without His help. I am learning every day to trust Him, to believe whole-heartedly that with every situation, every person, and every problem... that the battle belongs to the Lord.

When I humble myself, and allow God to be God in my relationship with my in-laws, I believe I'll never have a true set of "out-laws".